joshua tree wildflowers

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We went on a wildflower scouting excursion to Joshua Tree a few weeks ago. The backcountry camping is great because you just have to hike over a mile away from any road, find a spot you like and set up.* We arrived just before sunset, hiked into the darkness and made camp. We woke up to a beautiful sunrise and, after breakfast, spent the day searching for wildflowers throughout the park. There were lots to be seen in the lower elevations and some were just sprouting in the higher areas. Getting a campsite can sometimes be tricky at this park since it’s so close to Los Angeles. Knowing you can just head out into the wilderness makes me want to visit every weekend.

*There are a few other rules, so check out the National Park site for details.

california poppy reserve

california poppy reserve 1california poppy reserve 6california poppy reserve 3california poppy reserve 5california poppy reserve 2california poppy reserve 8california poppy reserve 7We visited the California Poppy Reserve this past weekend and spent the day hiking around the place. It’s lucky to have blooms this year as apparently there haven’t been for the past two seasons. Despite the drought, a little rain in recent months means there were poppies everywhere. It was stunning.

There are around five miles of trails and we walked around in the gusty winds all afternoon. Besides seeing the flowers, I wanted to take my new backpack on a test run. Have I mentioned I’ve recently become obsessed with the idea of backpacking? It’s strange because, though I’ve always enjoyed camping, backpacking has never really caught my attention. These days though I can’t get enough of reading about various backpacking adventures. I’m glad to say that the backpack was quite comfortable so far. I can’t wait till we get to go on our first backpacking excursion. Luckily, we’re heading into the perfect season for it. It’s difficult to stay indoors these days, now that there is more light in the sky and the weather is warmer.

Shawn made a video of our trip too. You can see a little of how windy it was and a rattlesnake we saw on the trail.

CALIFORNIA POPPY from Shawn Bannon on Vimeo.