Tumbleweeds and the peculiar Yucca known as Joshua tree.
teddy bear cholla cactus
lots of boulders along Park Blvd. in JTNP.
“Joshua tree” was the name given Yucca brevifolia by mid-19th-century Mormon settlers. The plant’s unique shape reminded them of the Biblical story of Joshua raising his hands to the sky in prayer.
Up at 5:30am with a mission of exploring Joshua Tree National Park. Worried too much about running out of Tesla Reddy Kilowatt juice as it takes 75 miles just to get to the JTNP gate in Joshua Tree. Grabbed an apple, some coffee at the La Quinta Resort’s reception desk after figuring out where I’d parked the car last night. After returning from Cliff House restaurant I’d asked the desk at La Quinta to pick up my car for me and park it as close to our digs (“San Ignacio,” #371. What happened instead is that he carted us to the car, I unplugged it, drove back to guest check in, and parked my steed there. Fortunately, when there’s a good break in the rental cabanas, palm trees, and Jacaranda mimosafolias one can espy the American flag outside at reception.
I was getting a “Tesla needs service” warning message on the dash, and the charge had crept down about seven points––that much, probably, because I’d forgotten to unplug the converter from the cigarette lighter. My iPhone with AT&T service is as dead as a hammer in these here parts, so I asked the concierge to ring Tesla service. They told me that nearby Palm Springs has a service center, that they’d make sure that service center would “follow my log,” i.e., the data uploads on my vehicle that goes to Tesla HQ. The concierge’s desk would be alerted if anything dicey turned up.
Yesterday Susan and I made it as far as the town of Joshua Tree but were concerned about how much energy we’d have left after driving through JTNP. It was a given that we’d not be likely to make the entire circuit (with a driving time round trip of approximately 3 hours). I’m comfortable with two hours of driving and maybe 20 or 30 minutes more before a recharge. But 3 hours and mile-high ascents do not augur well for a secure return, no matter how good Tesla’s regenerator. The desert west of the San Andreas Fault is unforgiving––108 degrees expected today, and the terrain is a tinder box. The Colorado and then Mojave deserts in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains are home to cacti, yucca, reptiles, and prairie dogs. JTNP is half a million acres.
I explained my predicament to a lovely young lady at the VC desk, and she agreed that the 140 “projected” remaining miles, esp. in this rugged terrain, did not offer the requisite blessed assurance I needed. Ultimately what I decided to do was “triangulate” my distance from the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce (which purportedly had some form of free EV charging) and the HPWC that would be available to me at the Tesla service center in Palm Springs.
Long story short, I managed to drive to the gate entrance, pay my $15 admission, and explore the first dozen or so miles of the park. Many stops and trudges through the sand and creosote bushes…loads of pictures of Joshua trees and boulders. But I want to go further, maybe tomorrow, or even Thursday (perhaps rent a car or motorbike while the service center here in Palm Springs is checks out my battery coolant pump to make sure it’s behaving within thermal tolerance points. Yep, I’m here in Palm Springs blogging while charging. Planning to head back “home” (La Quinta Resort) within a few minutes.