(click for a bigger picture!)
Mari and I decided a little while back that we needed to get out of Dodge (Los Angeles) and get away for a weekend. With school for Mari, and all the hours I've been putting in at the office we haven't been seeing as much of each other as we would like. So we decided to pack up our stuff and head out to Joshua Tree National Park.
I took off early from work and we drove out, making it to the campground just before sunset. We invited a friend of ours out to join us, we will call him "JayJay". He has asked that we keep his identity a secret, to protect the innocent, mislead the goverment, and maintain his anonymity online.
JayJay thought he could boil water by holding the pot over the fire, silly Secret Agent.
We really just had enough time to set up our tents, make a fire, and cook some very simple fare for dinner (the spicy jalapeno sausages not such a good idea), before falling asleep.
We woke up early the next morning around 6:00 am and packed up camp as we were in Joshua Tree really to do one thing, hike. We decided that morning to do the beginning of the Boy Scout Trail. Mari and I hiked the entire trail, 14 miles one way, a few years back with our friends, Huay, Su Kim and Sue Meng. We were very interested to see how the recent rains had affected the area.
A photo at the parking lot before our hike, Me, Mari and our mysterious friend.
The hike starts off very flat and easy,walking through the Joshua Trees. As we started early it was very cold and windy, with the temperature around 45 degrees.
Although the beginning is flat, it very beautiful. Just being withing all the Joshua Trees, feeling the sunrise, and seeing the mountains in the distance is amazing.
After hiking for a little over and hour, we were moving very slowly enojoying the scenary, we stopped at a rock formation for a break. JayJay and I hiked into an area of the trail. After climbing over a series of rocks we came upon an amazing area. Unlike the last time we had come out, about 4 years ago, areas of the Park had become lush Eden-like sactuaries.
We continued on our way, planning to take a small detour that we had taken a few years before. As we walked along the wash we found a small stream still flowing.
We decided to follow the stream. I can not express how beautiful it was - the photos just don't do it justice. We found small waterfall, which was under neath a number of the boulders at the park. I climbed up the rocks while Mari rested and "JayJay" explored an adjacent area.
After spending some time just taking in the beauty we headed back. We spent about 4 hours hiking, a nice easy hike, and just enjoyed the day.
We ended the trip eating at a small local cafe in Yucca Valley and stopping by some shopping outlets on the way back to LA. I felt so refreshed when we got home that night. It truly is one of the greatest parts of being in LA, having access to the varied areas to enjoy.