Day 28: Joshua Tree

Keith and I knew we wanted to venture out to Joshua Tree at some point during this vacation. The initial plan was to make it a day trip and hope we didn’t run into too much holiday traffic. At the last minute we decided to stay overnight, which was definitely the way to go.

We got on the road a bit late (we just love sleeping in!) but made pretty good time at about 2.5 hours. We hit the Visitor’s Center first since we had done little to no planning for our trip. Heck, we didn’t even really know what a Joshua Tree was until we got there! Luckily the lady at the information counter was very helpful, and gave us about 8 different locations in the park to visit. Keith loves to hike and I don’t, so she highlighted some of the easier hikes for us to tackle.

We started off at Hidden Valley, which I’ll admit I wasn’t too impressed with based on the information sign at the beginning of the trail. Basically it’s a rock-enclosed valley rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers to hide their livestock. Once we walked into the valley I was blown away by the beauty. This was by far my favorite spot in Joshua Tree. Luckily there were only a few other hikers in this section of the park, so we felt like we were in this amazing valley all by ourselves.

After that hike we drove deeper into the park to Skull Rock. This area of the park is known for it’s jumbo rocks, and for one in particular that looks like a skull. This was another great hike, and after a while the large rocks start to look like all kinds of different faces. It must be the desert heat!

Those two hikes in the middle of the afternoon heat pretty much wiped us out. We were ready to settle in for the night. Jenny J and Gretchen told me about this cute little camp site called Kate’s Lazy Desert. A camp site full of retro airstreams owned by Kate Pierson of the B-52’s sounded like a great spot to rest our bones! Kate’s is just five or so miles up the hill from the main gate at Joshua Tree, so it’s nice and convenient. We got to the campsite and found our orange-striped Planet Air (loosely on the B-52’s song ‘Planet Claire’) airstream.

We dropped our bags off and headed back down the hill (we’re talking dirt roads!) to grab a drink at Landers Brew Company. The staff and patrons were super nice at this very local establishment, but they didn’t have ESPN! We decided to go a bit further down the road to catch the second half of the CAVS game (we’re going to the Finals!) at the Joshua Tree Saloon.

Once the game was over we headed back to Kate’s. At that point we realized we lucked out and had the whole campground to ourselves. The stars were absolutely breathtaking seeing as we were out in the middle of nowhere, so we spent a few hours laying on the patio furniture and enjoying the moment. We even saw a shooting star.

The enterance into Hidden Valley

The entrance into Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley. Doesn't it look like we photoshopped Keith onto the rock?? We didn't.

Doesn’t it look like we photoshopped Keith onto the rock?? We didn’t.

Tree

Hidden Cannon

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

The desert was playing tricks on me. I kept seeing faces in the rocks!

The desert was playing tricks on me. I kept seeing faces in the rocks! See how this guy has one eye and a big frown lip?

The gate for Kate's Lazy Desert

The gate for Kate’s Lazy Desert

Our accommodations for the evening

Our accommodations for the evening

Our view of the desert from our airstream

Our view of the desert from our airstream

Where we watched the CAVS clinch their spot in the NBA Finals!

Where we watched the CAVS clinch their spot in the NBA Finals!

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