Tour Locations | Joshua Tree National Park Audio Driving Tour
LOCATION 23 | Joshua Tree National Park Audio Driving Tour
Park Exit -Parting Notes
This is it! We're leaving the park. Carry on following the road.
[1,5 SECOND PAUSE]
Joshua Tree National Park is a destination for the avid adventure climber and it has inspired song writers like U2. They wrote the song called "Where the Streets Have No Name" of their famous album The Joshua Tree here in 1987. It's a place restless with the memories of the cowboys, who claimed this territory for gold.
But the long history of Joshua Tree reaches back many thousands of years ago. As we return to the valley below, try and visualize this area when it was inhabited by some of the first settlers in North America. These people were called the Pinto Man. They existed here after the end of the last ice age, some 12,000 years ago. Their remnants exist among the fossilized bones of fish that lived in the ancient lakes fed by the melting of ice.
The Joshua Trees are residual plants that were able to survive the brutally harsh cold climate. Joshua Tree is a reminder to us all that geological forces write the history of our planet and its many species in the layers of rock. Heavy in iron and metals, this park reveals the volcanic history.
[2 SECOND PAUSE]
Mankind has emerged in the last of the 5 ice ages of the Quaternary Period. This period of earth's history has us bound to recurring ice ages that last about 150,000 years. We're very fortunate to be able to read the rocks with instruments to determine their age, and acknowledge our fragile place among the many species that have marched the planet before us. Just imagine, if the history of the planet were to be represented by a 100 story building, single-cellular animals would appear around the 30th story. Complex mammals appear in the rock strata around the 80th floor. Yet the entire history of modern humans is only in the thin layer of paint on the top floor!
Nature is here as a reminder that, regardless of our creed or culture, we are all products of the dynamic processes of the earth. We are all made from the elements of the earth, born in the cauldrons of stars. In places like this we can retreat from the artificial world of concrete, steel and silicon. Here we can find peace away from the clamor of consumerism and the news of the day.
[2 SECOND PAUSE]
Keep driving straight ahead. We're on our way to the Visitors' Centre, which is the last stop on our tour.