Monday, November 23, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is one of my favorite California parks. On my way to Borrego Springs for our annual Turkey Day bash, I stayed two nights right outside the south entrance to the park. The hiking here consists of walking among Joshua Trees and rocks.

My favorite hike in the park is the one to Wall Street Mill. First off is the ruins to this pink house. Why pink? No one knows.

Nearby is the first of several old rusty vehicles. I just love rusty stuff! And one thing my new camera does is take bracketed shots like this:

This allows me to do HDR (High Dynamic Range) pictures, that are made from different exposures of the same shot. It's supposed to look more like your eye sees it, with more detail in the shadows and the highlights. For more information, look here.

About a mile from the trailhead you come to the mill, the remains of a stamp mill operated sporatically by William Keys from 1930 to 1966 to process gold ore from his mines and the mines of others.

And nearby is more rusty stuff.

This one definitely needed some new tires.

Also along the trail, which used to be the road, is this monument, where Keys shot and killed his neighbor, Worth Bagly. It states "Here is where Worth Bagly bit the dust at the hand of W.F. Keys, May 11, 1943." It's hard to believe the Wild West lasted so long here. Keys argued self-defense, but was convicted. He was paroled from San Quentin in 1948, and later pardoned, when his friends intervened and provided more information about Bagly's threats and antagonism toward Keys.

Another good hike is the one to Barker Dam. Keys built this dam by enlarging a natural dam.

Apparently there is a lot less water here than in the olden days. I really don't think the "No Swimming" sign is necessary.

On the same trail is evidence of the earlier Indian inhabitants of the Joshua Tree area. Unfortunately, these petroglyphs were defaced by a movie crew that painted over them in order to make them more visible to the cameras. They're now known as the "Disney Petroglyphs."

One last stop was the Oasis of Mara. Since that's my granddaughter's name, I was interested in where the name came from. It was named by the Serrano, the first recorded Indian tribe living here. To them, "Mara" meant "little springs and much grass." Hmmmm....


  1. It looks an interesting place. I like the braketed shots. This is a new one for me as I usually do my editing etc in Picasa.

  2. I zipped though Joshua once and would love to get back there one day.

  3. Im certainly going to add Joshua Tree to my Bucket List after seeing all the interesting landscapes you have shown here!! Great Work with the new camera...the bracketing feature will provide you with lots of fun!!
    Love the HDR look--did you do any prospecting for gold?

  4. Where are the Jumbo Rocks? I LOVE that area! Love the pictures. ;)

  5. Wonderful pictures, and I love the no swimming sign. It would be so great if we could see what the past looked like in those times, like when the rusty car wasn't so rusty lol

  6. Nice demo on the HDR. I think I finally get it!

  7. Diana, I'm wondering what type of photo program you use? Thought I'd put it here so others might benefit too.

  8. Hi Brad!
    Good to hear from you. For general editing, I use Microsoft Digital Image, which they don't make anymore, but you can still get it on the internet. For processing the HDRs, I use Photomatix, which I gave the link to.


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