As we start to settle down in California, we are finally able to take our adventures out of the LA area. Between weddings and visitors, the past month has flown by. I cannot believe I am coming up on 3 months of living here. It has all happened so quickly. This weekend, we decided on a Joshua Tree camping excursion with a few of our friends.
Joshua Tree Camping
Joshua Tree, California, October 25th, 2017
Burgundy Patagonia Jacket, Blue Nike Jacket, Nike Leggings, Nike Top, Nike Shoes, Russ’ Billabong T-shirt
We packed up our things Friday night in prep for a very, very (5:15 am) early Saturday morning departure. I got all the excitement that I use to get as a little kid before our camping trips as we headed towards Hermosa Beach to pick up our friends (I think I was still 3/4 asleep-shout out to Russ for driving).
After we picked up our friends Noah and Jordan, we hopped in their car and were on our way! It was a pretty easy drive to Joshua Tree, all things considered. Shortly before arriving at Joshua Tree, I realized I left my SD card to my camera in Santa Monica. Talk about distraught… I was SO bummed. My excitement level quickly plummetted, as I was looking so forward to sharing the trip with you all. But, I was set on sharing it anyway. Therefore, I depended on my handy ole iPhone the whole trip. And you know what…I think it performed quite well. I am always pretty amazed by how well pictures turn out in outdoor settings on iPhones. However, I have always felt really weird about sharing them on here. I have always relied on my camera and hated breaking that. But, here we are!
Despite all camera grieving, I was once again excited and anxious to explore this new place. A Joshua Tree camping adventure has been on my bucket list for California and I was extremely happy to do it so early in the game.
When we arrived (without a reserved campsite) we quickly learned that all the Joshua Tree camping sites were taken. Bummer. BIG, BIG bummer. However, we were pretty determined to find a way to stay. Joshua Tree camping has 2 types of spots, reserved and first come first serve. However, all were taken in both categories. After exploring many options (convincing someone with a reserved spot to share with us, private campgrounds, backpacking, etc.) we found out that there is overflow Joshua Tree camping on Bureau of Land Management property right outside the national park. So, we were determined to make it there by the end of the day.
However, we wanted to see everything within the national park before making our way down south. So, first, Russell and Noah led us to Keys View. It was quite the overlook. The boys knew what they were doing! From the Coachella Valley to the lake far in the distance, the combination of desert hues and pops of color made it all worth the journey to the spot. Despite the desert setting and the beaming rays, we were FREEZING.
Although the views were incredible, our shivering selves boogied our way back to the car. Next, we made our way to the Pine City Trail. I am not entirely sure we ever actually to Pine City…but we stumbled upon all these rocks that were the greatest adult jungle gym. We climbed around for quite some time and bopped around from rock cluster to rock cluster, trying to find the best, highest view.
After we made our way down the rocks, back to the trail, we headed back to the car. From there, we drove to Jumbo Rocks and set up for lunch. We enjoyed some sandwiches and snacks while catching up with each other. People watching at Jumbo Rocks was surprisingly fun as they were all jumping, climbing and anticipating the jump from huge rock to another huge rock.
Next, we packed up and started the 30 or so minute drive down south to the BLM property. We stopped the car along the way to jokingly read the Exhibits (still trying to figure out the point of them…), snap pictures and soak up the views outside. Finally, we made it to the property, eager to set up camp and settle in.
As we drove around to find a spot perfect for us, we found one with a big rock fire ring formed already. I was so anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time to have any type of fire during everything going on here. But, we made a little one, enjoyed a delicious dinner that Noah and Jordan made on the stove top, and smores and biscuits on the fire.
We finally called it a night and made our way to bed after hours of hanging out and taking in the spectacular views of the stars. It is unbelievable the views you get when there are minimal city lights. Everything was so clear. There were stars e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. This is the one thing I am SO sad that I didn’t have my camera for (iPhones are not that fabulous…or at least not to my knowledge, haha) but it is a memory I will always remember.
As we climbed into our tent, we all fell asleep for a few hours before being woken up by quite the wind storm in the middle of the night. Holy moly, it was something. The sand was blowing in the tent and the tent…well it was blowing over. But, shout out to the stakes, it stayed on the ground.
We woke up the next morning, after a few hours of sleep post wind storm. We made some eggs and bacon around the fire before heading home. After tossing the football around, we packed up our bags and took down our tents to end our Joshua Tree camping weekend. It was so sweet to spend it with such great company. I think it is the first of many California camping excursions we will have. I am already anticipating the next one. Where are some of your favorite places to camp?