From India to Joshua Tree

Welcome to Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. It’s known for and named after its bristled yucca palms.

That’s right. Joshua trees are the largest yucca in the world.

So why exactly do we call them Joshua trees? It came from Mormon settlers in the 1800s as they made their way through the Mojave Dessert.

In Spanish, they’re referred to as izote de desierto, which translates to “desert dagger.”

I think I prefer the latter.

These dessert cuties can even live to be 1,000 years old.
They are truly a treasure, which is why they’re protected by federal law.

Joshua Tree / for the love of nike / Jennifer Martinez Conway

But the gorgeous namesake isn’t all the park has to offer. There are rock formations and other plant species galore.

Joshua Tree / for the love of nike / Jennifer Martinez Conway

After traveling to India, it’s plain to see some similarities between Joshua Tree and the dramatic city scenes of the 7th largest country in the world. So I took the same colorful purple sneaks with me.

Perhaps the most striking is the yellow hue hanging over everything.

I did make a major mistake…taking too little water to the dessert.
Life on the wild side.

I also spotted quite a few birds of prey.

Here are my worn in sneakers up-close. They’ve been through a lot of treks…but still going strong.

Here are some other fun facts about Joshua trees:

  • first of all, they aren’t actually trees
  • they only grow 2 to 3 inches a year
  • they can get up to 40 feet tall
  • they hold water and animals nibble on them to get a sip
  • they’re native to Mexico and the American Southwest
  • they flower (and the flowers stink!)

Most importantly, Joshua trees hold significance to indigenous people. In traditional Cahuilla language they are known as hunuvat chiy’a or humwichawa. The plant had endless purposes, from food to clothing to dye.

Despite how hot these pictures look, Joshua trees prefer cooler climates.

Joshua Tree / for the love of nike / Jennifer Martinez Conway

Well this little stint in CA was fun, but now we’re headed East!