Sunday, December 15, 2013

who knew it was freezing in the desert?

I signed myself up for another cali getaway this weekend and headed to the famous Joshua Tree National park. I had heard amazing things about the park and was excited when my hiking group planned a trip there. I invited a friend to come along as well. We chatted earlier in the week to discuss supplies and he tried to warn me that it would be really cold. I assured him I would be fine and that it would be chillier at night and then warmer during the day. Boy was  I wrong.

We arrived in Joshua Tree in the early evening but unfortunately at this time of year, that means it's already dark. We set up our tent in the dark and quickly huddled by the fire which the other campers had got going before our arrival. We also layered up since we had arrived in SD attire and weren't prepared for the brisk weather. We did the usual camping thing and drank some beers staring into the fire. I was bit toasty by the time I went to bed but was still scared out of my wits. The wind was brutal. You could hear it whipping around the tent and it also blew a good amount of sand in. I laid in fear hoping to fall asleep and just slumber through the terror. Luckily I finally drifted off before waking up to the light around 6am. I scurried to the bathrooms before jumping back into the tent for more rest. I woke again around 8am and stepped out before realizing it was much warmer in that sleeping bag. I slept for a couple more hours before we got up to venture off the grounds for a hike.

We did take a beautiful hike through the park. We saw lots of Joshua Trees, a little frozen creek, and lots of rock formations. Of course I inverted for the obligatory headstand picture. We did about six miles and as we headed back snow and wind met us in the wind tunnel. We made it to our cars and headed back to camp. We got back to a cold campsite and not a lot of motivation. My friend and I decided to head home before the rest of the group decided the same.

Sometimes, you have to know when to pack up the supplies and call it a day. We didn't have anything to prove, we could handle it but what's the point? Our homes were only a couple of hours away and really with so little free time in the week, why suffer? I am glad I went and it was an experience but I look forward to heading back in warmer weather to fully enjoy.

With all these expeditions and my extremely new adventurous spirit, I only wish that Matt could be around to see the woman I have become. He would be so proud of me. I wonder why his passing had to happen for me to become the person he probably always wanted me to be; a little less worried about the non-important stuff. I was happy that I could take his backpack with me and imagine this won't be it's first or last trip with me. I have to think that he's with me on all these trips in some capacity.

My fingers were frozen so I didn't take a lot of pics but here are a few...



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