This year there will be more camping. I have declared it so, and so it shall be. We started the year with a trip to Joshua Tree. We arrived a bit late for a holiday weekend but by some great fortune were able to snag a secluded spot behind a boulder. It was one of the quietest campgrounds I’ve ever been to. It was comfortably warm in the sun during the day and quite chilly at night, though not unbearably so. We ate lots of camp food, split logs, did some rock climbing and made s’mores around the fire with our friends Jenn and Scott.
The thing I love the most about going camping, besides the quiet, is being able to come home and see the place you live with a new perspective. This applies to most travel I suppose, but there’s something particular about car trips. You spend all this time examining new places, trying to understand them from the outside. It’s easy to keep those inquisitive lenses on for just awhile when you return to try and see what your home is like from a different angle.
Mostly though I just like the quiet. The quiet and the dark and the stillness. There are no pressures on you to do anything at all except feed yourself and perhaps explore if you are so inclined.
This was the third national park we’ve visited in the past year. I’d love to say that I’d like to visit them all, but with 8 in Alaska, 3 in Hawaii, and several on other various islands, visiting all 59 seems quite daunting. Perhaps we’ll just start with the 9 parks in California (that makes us 1/3 of the way there already). Yes, I like numbers. This is something you should know about me.
I have wanted to go camping in the sequoias for years and this weekend Shawn and I finally made the trek up north. To say it is a magical place is an understatement. It is sincerely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Being in the presence of massive trees that have been living for centuries had a great effect on me, especially seeing the destruction humans have caused. I’m thankful that at least the trees within the national park are protected and that conservation efforts continue.
Beyond that, it was really nice to get out into nature and camp for the weekend. Sometimes it’s a great relief to be totally self sufficient and without cell phone service. I loved being surrounded by little creatures and birds all weekend. I even spotted a flying squirrel in a tree above our campsite one night. We cooked some delicious camp meals, did some hiking and really just enjoyed ourselves. I honestly can’t wait to go back. It really solidified for me how important it is to be able spend more time in nature; it makes me feel like a more complete human being.
I’ll have some more to share later in the week, but for now, check out one of the largest trees on the planet.
With the last few posts having their fair share of words, I thought it might be nice to balance things with some photos. We spent the weekend with my dad in Palm Springs on a mini vacation for all of us. We walked around, took lots of photos and ate some surprisingly good food. It was good to have a change of pace and get away from home even if just for a day or two. It was quiet and relaxing and I hope we’ll get to go back in the future for a longer stay. Shawn discovered that we were staying at the hotel where Frank Capra wrote It’s a Wonderful Life. Wouldn’t it be lovely to spend some time in such a tranquil setting, just writing? I think so.