We first headed to the mud hills area where there are Pliocene oyster fossil beds. This area is rather crazy looking as there are very large hills of dried mud all over the place. These hills are studded with gypsum, making them sparkle in the sunlight as if they were studded with palm-sized mirrors.
We followed a wash, a narrow path that had been carved out by sudden rushes of water, in order to reach our destination; the elephant knees and the oyster beds.
Afterwards we headed back towards the center of the park where there was more green life.
There were also some fantastic ocotillo plants in bloom, which I've been strangely attracted to since I fist saw them on a trip to Arizona. They have thorny stems, and only produce small leaves and large flowers after the rains. The flowers were these bright red spikes on the top of the plant (the first picture is of these beautiful plants).
After our cactus hike, we headed to the visitor center and palm canyon to see if we could spot the big horn sheep which are said to roam the park. Although this unplanned goal was thwarted, we did get to see a variety of wild life that did not leave us disappointed. In just the canyon, we saw tons of lizards, quail, ravens, and endangered desert pup fish in a man-made habitat. In mud hills, we saw tons of butterflies, lizards, and a cute beetle. On our way into the park, we even spotted a coyote crossing the road. All and all, an amazing experience!