Last Friday, Hollye texted me at 10am to ask if I wanted to go camping in Joshua Tree. I said "yes!" She said, "Great! Be ready by noon." This gave me all of two hours to pack for the cold desert and find a cat sitter. Normally, I would not agree to something like this on such short notice, what with all the preparation and planning I like to do, but I was having a rough couple of weeks and felt this might be the perfect chance to get me out of the house and active again.
We stopped along the way, at the Joshua Tree Saloon, which promised burgers, beer, and kitschy mining decor with at least one cattle skull. We left shortly before karaoke began and arrived at camp late that evening. After much hunting, we finally found an open site at the Belle Camp grounds, in cozy lot #3. We setup camp and set to drinking. On a chilly walk around the camp, we met another group of campers, out for the weekend to celabrate their friend's birthday (hence referred to as "The Birthday Crew"). They had a fire and we had none, so they invited us to hang out with them for the evening. To bed around 11pm.
Saturday, I awoke unaided at 7am and busied myself with long walks around the desert and cactus photography. My camp mates slept in until 11am. After a late breakfast, they spent the day rock climbing as I watched on, terrified. After dinner we drove to the first gas station just North of the park, and bought firewood and other necessary provisions (hot dogs, beans, Ho-hos, etc...). We visited the Birthday Crew that night to deliver said Ho-hos and 3 CDs from Hollye's car collection. The birthday girl rejoiced. We returned to our site for more camp fire stories. I tried to go to bed at 9pm, was too cold, came back out and eventually went to bed at 10pm.
Sunday, I slept in until 7:45am. We drove to a nearby trail and hiked 4miles round trip to see the Lost Horse Mine. It rained a bit on our hike but the burnt landscape and mine were awesome. Afterward, we returned to camp. Ate lunch. Napped. Ate dinner. Napped. Drank around the camp fire. Went to bed at 9pm.
Monday. Awoke at 7:45am, again. Hid in my warn sleeping bag until 8:30am. Packed up my tent stuffs. I was just starting to make breakfast when I realized our camp had been ravaged by crows. Hot dogs missing! Woke up my camp mates. Picked up our scattered trash. Complained a lot. Found Hot dogs on car floor! Made breakfast and packed up our site. We were on the road back to LA around noonish.
All in all it was a very fine adventure. A much needed break. And an eye opening, mind clearing, perspective shifting experience. Just what I needed.