Friday, January 13, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park

That's a Joshua Tree

 Our first day in Joshua Tree
Home is where you pitch it
Dates camped: January 5-7, 2017
Campground: Jumbo Rocks Campground, site #75 ($15/night)
Trails hiked: Skull Rock Trail (1.7 miles R/T) and Ryan Mountain Trail (3 miles R/T)

Having lived in Southern California my entire life until this past year, I had never actually stepped foot inside Joshua Tree National Park till this trip. Which is really sad, because this place was gorgeous and I want to go back already! I planned camping in Joshua Tree because Cody was flying down for the last few days of my California trip and I wanted to show him the different things California has to offer, specifically desert camping. So I rounded up some friends, brought my little cousin Andrea with, and headed out here for 2 nights.

Thursday January 5th, we picked up my little cousin from Claremont, CA and hit the road for Joshua Tree around 8:30 am. I thought we wouldn't have much stuff since I didn't have much camping gear with me, but I was wrong. Cody flew down from Seattle and packed a 2 person tent, his sleeping bag, and his sleeping pad. All I had was a Jetboil, sleeping bag and pad. We borrowed a 4 person tent and cooler from my uncle. That all sounds like very little things, but still somehow our car was full (Probably because we also had 2 giant suitcases stuffed in the trunk lol). Anyways, we got to Jumbo Rocks Campground a little before noon time and met up with my friend John. We drove around the 100+ campsites and ended up settling on a site near the back. It was so windy! I had actually checked the forecast and was like "Oh a lil wind isn't a big deal", oh how wind really really sucks in real life. We struggled with setting up our 2 tents, the wind whipping the rain flies right out of our hands! But we managed to get the tents up eventually. John opted to sleep in his truck, so he helped us setup our tents. We made sandwiches for a quick lunch, and hopped back into the car to make a quick run to the store for some last minute supplies. On our way back we stopped by our friends' campsite who were also camping at Jumbo Rocks for the weekend. We all decided to hike and climb the rocks around the campgrounds for the afternoon and not wander too far. They weren't kidding about them jumbo rocks! After we watched the sunset, we all went back to our camps, made a fire and some hot dogs and s'mores, and called it a night. That Thursday winds were estimated around 20-40 mph, it twas a rough, windy, and cold night.

Friday morning we woke up to no wind! Woohoo! Andrew showed up bright and early Friday as well to join in our camping. Ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast and went in search of some adventure. We met up with Sergio and friends and hit up Skull Rock Trail which is located pretty much in Jumbo Rocks Campground. After some hiking and boulder hopping we went back to our sites for lunch. After lunch and a quick nap, Sergio convinced the group to hike up Ryan Mountain. Ryan Mountain was kinda steep, but the views up top were amazing of the desert floor! You could see for miles! We caught sunset that night at the base of Ryan Mountain and headed back to camp. For dinner, John made some delicious sausage jambalaya. It was another cold night in the mid 30's but at least no wind this time. I slept fine, but there were a few complaints that it was cold lol. I think Washington's made me more immune to cold weather lol.

Saturday morning Cody and I woke up early to catch the sunrise, and then we packed up camp early to hit the road. Another fun camping trip with great company for the books.

Until next time Joshua Tree!
Sergios' prop 
 Trail out to Skull Rock
 Do you see the skull?
One with the wind
Boulder hopping
 Jumbo Rocks
Feeling like kids again, climbing everywhere!
Andrew's truck was clean when he showed up... what happened?!
 Lovable rascals, Sergio and Francisco
The gang on top of Ryan Mountain 
 Yoga pose
 Oops, did I fart again?
Top of Ryan Mountain
 Sunrise back view
 Sunrise front view
Sunrise with Cody


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