Photographer's Note

Champion Joshua Tree

Joshua Trees are particular favorite of mine and this is one of the finer specimens I've come across while exploring Southern California's desert areas.

This one is about as far as you can get off the beaten path in southern California. In the far west corner of the Superior Valley in the Mojave desert north of Barstow after driving nearly 40 miles on dirt or mud (depending on the time of year) roads you'll come to this lonely, deserted landscape . It's the type of place you'll want to make sure you have a good map, compass, and an extra spare or two before setting out. While the road is generally good, it can quickly become 4 wheel drive material if wet. I've been here a couple times now but have yet to see a soul in the long two hour off pavement drive each way. It's nice to know places like this still exist in California.

My main point for visiting was not to find the perfect Joshua tree but to find the location of one of California's most prolific prehistoric rock art sites - Inscription Canyon. If you're a fan of rock art sites this is one you'll want to seek out. Some of the rock art here dates to 10,000 years old and the main petroglyph area is very concentrated with many patterns painted right on top of one another. The artwork is attributed to the Kawaiisu, a Numic-speaking group of Native Americans who lived in the central Mojave Desert. I hope to share some shots of the rockart here in the days ahead.

This particular shot was taken at sunrise as I was heading back out to civilization after spending a lonely night camping near the rockart site. The shape of this specimen was just too good to pass up.


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Additional Photos by Douglas Arrasin (darrasin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 717 W: 55 N: 835] (2860)
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