Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park a Guest Post by Shannon Des Roches Rosa:

Joshua Tree National Park: An Autism Vacation Destination
Shannon Des Roches Rosa
We spent New Year's Eve at California's Joshua Tree National Park, near Palm Springs. It was one of our best family days ever. Ever ever ever. 

If your child with autism likes to hike and boulder, I couldn't imagine a better place to go -- as long as you're prepared. Joshua Tree is high desert, and in December that means ow-my-nose cold temperatures. If you go, check the weather report beforehand, take it seriously, and dress appropriately!

For hiking, I'd recommend the Barker Dam trail. It is a relatively flat 1.5 mile loop -- flat in terms of elevation gain, not footing. There were many bouldery moments, which as a family of billy goats we all loved.
Barker Dam trail - outbound
We found snow! And ice! Mali is holding up a small slab of frozen H20.
Iz testing the lake to verify that yes, indeed, it is frozen.
The reservoir created by Barker Dam is small but lovely. It attracts the area's fauna, but to Seymour's disappointment we did not see any Desert Big Horn sheep.
Iz pushing her personal bouldering limits.
There's always time for a game of "my cheeks make excellent bellows"
See? Joshua trees! Return leg from Barker Dam.
There were even petroglyphs. Though these ones have been messed with.
We hit several other sites in the park, but the kids' favorite was Skull Rock and the bouldering behind it. The rough-textured granite rocks make climbing easy -- almost too easy. Your kids may get over-confident about their new super human climbing abilities, so mind them closely. There are many sharp drop offs on boulder backsides, and kids may not notice how high up they are climbing, and could get stranded.

Leo billy-goating -- with close supervision.
Bouldering wonderland!
Wear jeans or other tough trousers. After a couple of hours of gamboling over the rough-textured rocks, Mali ripped the bottom right out of her pants! Which led us to sing her an impromptu personalized version of the SpongeBob Square Pants "Ripped Pants" song. She was mortified and made us all swear never to share it.
We stayed nearby in TwentyNine Palms, at the Fairfield Marriott Inn. The hotel seemed set up for families, with complimentary breakfast, huge clean new rooms, and free wireless. Score! Recommended, especially with a spanking AAA discount rate.

I think we'll be going back. A single day, no matter how full, was insufficient to appreciate this beautiful park. We're hoping to come back, possibly even camp (!). 

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree National Park? What did you think?
This essay was originally published at www.Squidlicious.com. Shannon Des Roches Rosa is a writer, editor  whose work can be found just about anywhere on the web.
We would like to feature your family's Autism Travels here too. Send us an email to autismtravels at gmail.com and we will review your submission!

12 comments:

Ruth George said...

In this New Year I ill surely visit this place.cheap parking at Luton airport

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Maya Alexander said...

I have never seen a park like this. It sounds really an amazing place.
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Patricia Carter said...

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Jenna Catlin said...

kids love places like this. They look horrible scary at night too.
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Luton Airport Parking said...

The place in the above pictures looks like the frozen desert, what a wonderful view it is.
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Jessical Alba said...

ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DONE FOR MY DAUGHTER?
My daughter suffered from autism for more than 2 years which we started experiencing in her when she turned 1 year and 5 months we all thought it will end but got even worse as days went by. We tried all several treatments and therapy prescribed by various doctors we met but to no avail, she lost total concentration and always complain of sensitivity to sound . She usually tells me she haves poor eyes contact. This were steady disorder that disrupted her entire life, even at night she slept less because of this.It was during a casual conversation with a friend that i learned about Dr Williams herbal medicine I was able to contact him on his email address. and give him all the necessary information that he needed,few day later he sent me the herbal portion and his medicine was able to restore her back to normal and she is very okay now without any side effects whatsoever. If you have autism, do not hesitate to contact him on drwilliams098765@gmail.com for advice and for his product. I hope this also helps someone out there

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