25 Before 25: Camping in the Desert

I haven’t really fallen off my 25 Before 25 list, but I am starting to wonder if I’ll be able to do all of it by my 25th birthday. Nevertheless, here’s one big thing off my list.

A couple of weeks ago, E, Bestie C, Bestie’s pups and I made our way to Joshua Tree for a one-night camping trip. We had originally intended for a longer stay, but when it came down to sleeping in a bed Friday night or setting up camp in the dark after a loooooong work week, the bed won. We set out early Saturday morning, the same weekend as Coachella Week 1, to find a camp site, and enjoy a short trip to hike, climb big rocks and see the army of entirely weird, but so cool Joshua trees.

Bestie C's photo

Bestie C’s photo

We miraculously found a camp-site. It was a miracle because April is the perfect time to go to Joshua Tree. And Coachella was that weekend. And all the Joshua trees from Big Bear to the Mojave Desert had bloomed this year, which is very rare. Unfortunately, for us, they were no longer in bloom when we got there, but also, unfortunately for us, most people hadn’t gotten that memo. The short story is always check the little yellow tag when you see an empty site. It doesn’t always mean reserved.

personal photo

personal photo

With camp set up, we were able to relax a little and enjoy the outdoors. We went on a great hike on the Fortynine Palms trail which starts in a place that looks like everywhere else, but after a couple of miles, you end up in an oasis of palm trees. Some dogs were really into hiking. Some couldn’t be bothered.

personal photos

personal photos

After our lovely hike, which had a nice breeze to it, we discovered that a nice breeze on our hike meant gusty, blow-your-tent-over winds back at the camp site. We placed everything heavy in it, since the sand didn’t really keep the stakes down, and went for another little walk to explore the rocks. Unfortunately when we came back, our tent had still been uprooted, and now almost everything was wet from the cooler falling over inside the tent. We came up with some creative solutions for drying sleeping bags.

personal photos

personal photos

Thankfully, the gusty wind and the sun in a clear sky really dried the sleeping bags quickly. I did have to take a break from the wind and sit in the car for an hour or so to get away from the howling wind. The wind negatively affected our dinner, but there’s nothing like a hot dog cooked over the fire as a backup plan. And as is required, we each had a Reese’s peanut butter cup s’more (the best kind of s’more) before turning in for the night. When I woke up the wind was gone and the stars were shining, I could see the worth of sleeping outside. The next morning was gorgeous and we packed up and headed out for a little more rock exploration.

personal photos

Notice the Joshua tree in the top left. Isn’t it so cool?

By this time, Bestie C and I were ready for burritos and some ice cream, so we started our journey back. E could have explored all day, though. He is truly an adventurer and explorer. Bestie C is also a great camper. She provided most of our gear and the cute dogs to cuddle with. I would say that camping in the desert was a success and it’s certainly a big to-do off my list! My feelings for camping might be growing, but I think that has mostly to do with the people I’m camping with and less with the camping itself. Thanks, Husband and Bestie for helping me accomplish this goal! There aren’t any two people I’d rather go camping with.

ayestriacamps5

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