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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Hike To The Cottonwood Springs Oasis

After a cold night in the 30's,yesterday dawned a cool crisp sunny day that would eventually reach the mid 50's,a perfect day for a little hike over to see the Cottonwood Springs Oasis.
But first as we walked along the trail from the campsite,Ron and Sue needed a little "Photo-Op"
This was only a half mile hike,so we took our time and read the interpretive signs along the way describing the various plant life and what the Cahuilla tribe of long ago,did with these plants.We noticed many "Jojoba" plants(used in shampoo and skin creams.)When you really look,its amazing just how many different variety's of plant life are on the desert,which change at the different altitudes.

Along the way,we sidetracked a little to investigate a small oasis in a dry wash.(pic above).Standing down in that stand of trees and fan palms was a totally different experience as the breeze passed through the big Eucalyptus trees.

And from the same area that the above pic was taken,Ron and I do a little "Hide and Seek"in the rock formations.(Note the empty nest between the rocks,upper right)

We finally arrive at the Cottonwood Springs Oasis.This was created by earthquake activity many moons ago,and at this time had no visible water,as I have seen it before.Probably too late in the season.And of course plenty of bird activity,but difficult to see as they fly in and out of the big grass skirts on the palms.

Below is a look inside.Its fenced off,so no entry.I bet on a hot summers day,that its 20 degrees cooler in there.

Nearby we found 2 granite bedrocks(below) that were used by the Cahuilla (Salton Sea Tribe)to grind up seeds etc.You can just make out the hole in the second rock also.The holes are almost a foot deep and as the sign suggested,must have taken a long time to grind down that deep.

We carried on further down the wash from the oasis and noticed the varied plant life changing as we walked along.As you can see fluffy grasses started to appear and a humming bird gave us a little display,flashing its red chin in the sunlight.(no pic)

This tree I thought was a standout,as it shimmered so white in the sunlight.

You may ask....Where are the Joshua trees?....Well,this park is in 2 distinctly different deserts.The low Sonoran/Colorado.....and the high Mojave desert.The Joshua is in the high desert and we will be travelling to that part of this National Park on Friday morning,as we pick out another campground near 29 Palms Ca. Which will be our last stop before heading toward home.

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