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Joshua Tree in Harley
by Andrei Rublev  Saturday, August 28th.

Thierry meets us at the intersection of I-10 and 62. We'll spend the next 24 hours together in Joshua Tree. Over the phone he confessed that his goal is to make me change my mind about motorcycle and convince me not to get a BMW R1100R by letting me ride his Harley during this week-end.

click to enlarge

We stop for lunch at Yucca Valley. The Harley Davidson dealer has a diner there. Thierry tells us that he always stops here for lunch when he goes to Laughlin with his friends for the motorcycle meeting (concentration en anglais?). He's getting me excited about motorcycling in the West and now I'm ready to join them next April.

As we ride through Joshua Tree National Park I finally get what IS a Joshua Tree. It's this kind of cactus that grows quite high and ends up looking like a regular tree more than a cactus. From the wonderfully designed "Official Map and Guide" of the National Park Service that the suspiciously nice lady offered us at the entrance of the Park I understand that this tree is a community enabler.

"As the original source of living energy, plants fulfill a vital role in the food web. A large productive plant such as the Joshua tree represents a focal point for a complex community of wildlife. Some birds nest in the living tree. Others come regularly to feed on resident insects. Discarded limbs or the toppled body of the tree provide homes for the yucca night lizard and termites. Even in death, the plant energy of the Joshua tree is converted..."

We stop at the Hidden Valley Campground for the night. Thierry lends me his bike for a ride around the Park at sunset. No comment.

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