Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park (feel free to click on links) is located very close to LA and due to this close proximity to a large metropolitan area I expected it to be quite busy. Unlike other National Parks in California, there are not large busloads of tourists or car load after car load of gawkers.  However, with the power of social media sites like instagram I found Joshua Tree to be hotbed for 20' something LA rockabilly hipsters, and rock climbers. We did see some very impressive tightrope walkers but mainly... homless looking rockclimbers sitting on $400 Yeti coolers. The Park is quite incredible, the ecology, geology, and accessibility make this place one of my favorite arid parks so far. There were numerous short and long hikes, many beautiful roadside pullouts, and this time of year (November) it was relatively easy to find parking to explore.

The visitor centers are small and the campgrounds primitive, which makes the park feel much more “intimate” and centered around nature and experiences not the stores, shops, park trinkets, and curated “tours”. Joshua Tree is truly the polar opposite of Yosemite and Sequoia, and for that reason we love this park. Connecting is so much easier.

To the north of Joshua Tree is the town of Joshua Tree, we would have spent more time there but alas… we needed to make haste as we were Arizona bound. The town is super fun in a way that I imagine Burning man would be. Its creative, artsy, shabby, and clearly has a culture all its own.  

We stayed outside of the park (Click Here) on the south side to avoid camping fees. While camping we had many like minded neighbors, which made camping all the more fun! Here are some images from or touring the lovely Joshua Tree National Park.

Family Time - Thanksgiving

We spent a few weeks parked in the driveway of the Shea’s residence in Riverside CA.  Our presence in their driveway certainly had elements of the movie Christmas Vacation. While in Riverside we spent time with our nephews of whom are very dear to us, it was a real treat to spend so much time with them! Our visit wasn’t justed limited to our nephews, but many family members including a 103 year old grandmother! While there we traveled to the beautiful Newport coast, Disneyland, and a thanksgiving 5k run. 

Thanksgiving is the time for thanks, I am thankful for my inlaw’s for allowing us do coupious amounts of laundry, take long hot showers, drink up their fine liquor and eat all their food.

We are in Arizona now and today I saw a hand painted sign in a flea markey. It said, “live your dreams”. I think we are close to achieving that, which makes me very thankful.

We love you all and will return the favor of generosity someday...somehow!

Photos to follow this sappy post are from a Turkey Trot 5k, Thanksgiving, and Disneyland. 

Kernville CA

We made a three week “standstill” near Kernville CA. Kernville is a gem of a town, it reminds me of a town I group near (Carbondale, CO). It is full of outdoor enthusiasts and artists. Rock climbers, rafters, kayakers, hunters, and old timers abound. This town is a gateway to the Sierras, a true gem in California. We first stayed at at the Stine Campground (a free campground) on Lake Isabelle. When we arrived at the Stine Campground we found that is was surrounded by grazing cattle and views were grand. Unfortunately, we only could do five days at this campground as the wind was relentless and intense. So intense, Robyn woke several times thinking we were in the process of flipping or already flipped. It (the wind) was wild. When then moved just a few miles to an amazing campground called Chico ( Here we found minimal wind, large boulders, and endless river activities. Two weeks at this campground was just right! Robyn found a Cowork location where we met some amazing new friends! This place is a must return too!