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Joshua Tree National Park

We’ve wanted to camp in Joshua Tree for a year or two now, and we had a chance to go to Southern CA this past weekend for a quick getaway. After flying down and stocking up in LA, we drove two hours to the park, arriving at 2pm to find our campsite for the night. Unfortunately, due to the nice weather and three-day weekend, we had to drive through the entire park, checking every campground until finding an opening!

After setting up at Cottonwood campground, we went in search of firewood and somehow ended up driving another two hours and visiting the Salton Sea. Turns out finding firewood for sale in the middle of a desert is tricky. Fortunately, a Food Mart sold us a few bundles, and we caught the last few innings of a Giants game on the AM radio.

That night, Max worked on the fire and set up his camera for some long exposure star trail shots – this worked well for an hour or two, but then the nearly full moon rose and obliterated any further chances of long-exposure photography. He got a few good photos and made a short video posted online here. Kristan went to the ranger program and learned about 5 inch scorpions, barbed jumping cholla, and tarantulas. Winners all around! We celebrated with SoCal pumpkin beer, coz it’s that time of year.

The next day was spent driving back through the park, hiking, exploring, climbing, and finally spending the night in Palm Springs at the Riviera. Good times were had relaxing by the pool, finding a tiki bar, having great breakfast, and exploring mid-century modern furniture shops the next morning. A great little trip!

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