As we hiked to the top of Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park, we had the feeling of being watched. Looking around as we began our climb, we saw only four other people.
But still the feeling lingered.
The variety of colors in the plants caught our attention as we turned our sight on the paved walkway that covered the final 100 yards to the 5185-foot summit.
From this peak in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, we had a panoramic view of the Coachella Valley to the south.
Although it is difficult to see in this photograph, the Salton Sea is barely visible over the mountain range on the left.
In the distance are the Santa Rosa Mountains behind the town of Indio.
The most interesting aspect of this view is not San Gorgonio Mountain (11,500 feet) (the peak on the right in the photo) or Palm Springs at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, but it is the dark line that passes through the Coachella Valley.
This is the San Andreas Fault. Seeing the size of the Fault really drove home the magnitude of the ever-present risk.
Moving around the summit at Keys View, we could see the Hexie Mountains to the east.
Even at this point, with all fellow travelers in view occupied in their own activities, there was still the feeling that our moves were being followed.
This was the view to the north with Keys View Road in the left portion of the photo (right).
Before returning to our truck, we looked for the smaller scenes around us. This tree trunk presented a stark silhouette.
This photo shows the range of colors in one type of desert flower. Maybe it's more accurate to talk about the range of shades of a few colors in the desert.
The shape of this plant was unusual and, therefore, made an interesting subject for this photo. Once we returned home and reviewed these photos, a more meaningful picture appeared.
Enlarging this portion (right) of the photo highlights the holes in this plant that served to create what appeared to be a face.
Or was it, in fact, a face--the face of the being that we felt had been watching us.
We photo-graphed a few more scenes of the rocks and rock formations that characterize this beautiful Park.
We exited via the North Entrance and headed down this highway into Twentynine Palms (CA).
At Twentynine Palms, we joined Highway 62 and headed west.
Again we passed this wind farm. It struck us that there seemed to be many more turbines present than on our first pass earlier that day.
The hills that had been partially hidden by the fog earlier in the day now stood out in "layers" as the sun struck them through the clouds.
We continue to be captivated by the desert, and the contri-butions of Joshua Tree National Park were considerable.