Summer is here. In the desert the mercury climbs above 100 degrees with ease. Lizards and Turkey vultures are braving the heat. Dust devils hurl fine sand in the air here and there. The wind feels like somebody opened the oven door. Although there is a breeze it does not help. It is just hot air sucking energy out of our bodies.
We are in Joshua Tree National Park. Grainy rock formations, a dark blue sky in stark contrast with the spindly Joshua trees are the hallmarks of this park. The trees have confused botanist for a long time. Neither tree, nor a lilly that’s the latest verdict. Genomic sequencing has revealed that Joshua trees are closely related to yuccas, hence the Latin name Yucca brevifolia. The oldest trees alive were here before the Spaniards. Joshua trees are found outside the park between 1000 and 4000 feet in altitude.
We did not see a single climber, no wonder. It is just too hot.
Route 66 brings us to the Grand Canyon. The big crack is rimmed by spectators. The air is fresh, an hour before sunset the rock turns into warm colors, shadows appear.