After our four days in Death Valley, we loaded up and made the drive south to Joshua Tree National Park, crossing a vast region of the Mojave Desert to get there. We would have two and half days to explore the comparatively much smaller but starkly different national park that is Joshua Tree. Here, instead of a lifeless moonscape, desert plant and animal life abounds. Named for the enormous succulents known as Joshua Trees, the park is alien in appearance, but marked by the strange forms of cacti, yucca, and the ever growing, ever twisting forms of the Joshua Trees themselves. Joshua Tree is also a place of deep spirituality, revered by Native Americans, European settlers, and modern Americans like the late Gram Parsons. I ascribe this partly to the eery rock formations that exist here, enormous mounds of cavernous granite that take on the forms of skulls, animals, and otherworldly spirits. Eyes seem to be peering at you from every direction, partly obscured by the twisting forms of the desert plants. It can also seem like every living thing in Joshua Tree is trying to stab with you with spines and thorns, natural defense mechanisms evolved over the ages by desert plants to protect their delicate flesh from ravenous animals.