Our spring break adventure started with a dead battery. Fortunately, the Via has a battery booster that taps the house batteries to assist the chassis battery. After this start we made an emergency stop at Mercedes Benz of Chandler where Sprinter service rep Bill and technician Vincent replaced our battery in a timely manner (one hour) and under warranty. We drove with a slow down to one lane for several miles of road construction east of our destination Indio, California.

Face Rock

Face Rock

On Saturday we entered Joshua Tree National Park with a stop at the Cottonwood Visitor Center where we picked up maps. Interestingly, we drove some 27 miles before seeing the park’s namesake, a Joshua tree. The park encompasses two deserts, the Colorado Desert which is part of the Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert. We hiked about 3.4 miles on the Split Rock Trail, the Discovery Trail, and a small segment of the Skull Rock Trail. On the Split Rock Trail we saw blue sky between rocks three times. Face Rock, in my opinion, was more dramatic than Skull Rock. Because Skull Rock is adjacent to the road, however, it is a very popular stop. We ate lunch in the Split Rock picnic area. We were lucky to get a parking spot near the Hidden Valley Trail, a one mile loop in a valley surrounded by boulders. Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936. In 1994 the area became a national park that now protects 792,510 acres. We exited through the Joshua Tree Visitor Center and looped back on Highway 62 and Interstate 10 to our camp site at Shadow Hills RV Resort.

 

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