I thought in between some of our current adventures, I’d write about some past adventures. I travel for work and often find myself with a day or so off that I have time for adventure, but not much adventure. Last January while I was working in L.A., I had one such opportunity. Since I was a little burnt out on L.A. (as I was literally the Portlandia sketch when they go to L.A. I was all it’s sunny and can I take public transportation? Can I walk? It was bad) I decided to hop over to Joshua Tree for the day.
When I find myself short on time and wanting to visit somewhere like Joshua Tree or Glacier, I try to figure out how I can maximize my time spent there but still get to do a bit of off the beaten path type activities. I had a couple hour drive from L.A. so an early start was necessary. I’m sure I attempted to go to bed early the night before, I’m sure I failed at that, but I did get an early early start to avoid most of the L.A. traffic. Then I decided it was just going to be a long day and that I would be traveling home late at night and would be sleepy the following day. Sometimes you just have to be a little tired in life to experience it. I also purchased a map of Joshua tree the day before and I noted the main road I would choose to drive on and a couple of specific spots I wanted to check out. Prep work is definitely a must when you only have a short amount of time. I remain flexible with my plans just in case I find something amazing, but this way I didn’t miss anything. I also assumed I wouldn’t have cell service so I printed out directions at the hotel, downloaded music to my phone for the journey, and mapped out which towns to stop for gas. Probably a little over preparing on that one, but I have no desire to be stranded anywhere, especially in California without gas.
Things I definitely wanted to experience at Joshua Tree:
2. A little bit of time in the complete darkness with all the stars
3. Do a short hike, but to the top of somewhere for some good views. I chose the Ryan Mt. hike.
4. Spend a little time off the main road for some solitude
5. See skull rock, jumbo rocks, and cholla cactus gardens
I managed to accomplish all of those goals.
What I learned is that one day if obviously not enough time! I want to go back for about a week and do a lot of hiking and some rock climbing. Also, I would like to just spend time in the loneliness and darkness of the nights there.
I can also speak highly of the Joshua Tree Saloon Grill & Bar. Excellent service, beer, fantastic burger, and local music (the night I was there anyways).
Slideshow of some of my pictures from the day: