I spent my Thanksgiving climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, just three hours Northeast of San Diego. A year ago, I'd never heard of a Joshua Tree, but now, having spent ample time in the desert, I find them fascinating.
Joshua Trees are trees native to California, Nevada, and Arizona, confined mostly to the Mojave Desert area. They are slow-growing trees with long, sharp, cactus-like "leaves" that grow in a spiral pattern. As the story goes, they got their name from Mormon settlers, who thought that the trees' up-stretched arms looked like the praying prophet Joshua.
Joshua Trees always remind me of the Truffala trees in Dr. Suess' The Lorax!