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   Growing up with Joshua Tree National Park
 by James S. Bubar
Official NPS Website
James Bubar and his family on their annual visit

Every year for the past 30 years, my family and I have met in Joshua Tree National Park over Thanksgiving. Itís an experience we always look forward to Ė picnicking outside, enjoying the scenery, and exploring new trails. Itís also a place that is very special to me since itís where Iíve seen my family grow up. Wherever my kids are living Ė Washington, London, or New York Ė we always make time to meet and pause and enjoy the parkís beauty. It truly is a place of refuge from our everyday lives.

This year, we were lucky enough to have the Superintendent David Smith give us a tour of Indian Cove, one of his favorite hiking trails. Following his lead, we scrambled through sand, cactus, boulders, and rock walls, and learned new things Ė despite coming here for 30 years! For example, if you cup your hands and breathe hot air on the leaves of a creosote plant, youíll smell the desert after a rainfall; or how frightening a female tarantula hawk is once you know that it lays its eggs inside a tarantulaís body. It was an experience we hadnít expected, and yet another example of what makes the park so special.

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Joshua Tree National Park is a stunning place that I hope to share with my family for years to come. Itís so important for us to keep it available and open to everyone Ė which you can only truly understand by visiting. I hope more and more people take the time to enjoy the park, as my family and I have for the past 30 years.

James S. Bubar
is an attorney in Washington, D.C. practicing litigation, corporate, communications, employment and real estate law.

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