2 hours of sleep before arriving on another planet, and being attacked by a bat.

Joshua Tree Travel Blog

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silhouette of a Joshua tree
We go back to Sals and crash out for something like one and a half hours. My alarm goes off at 3:30am to wake us up but I'm a notorious snoozer - and I'm thinking.. how precisely do you wake up a bunch of people you love dearly but don't know how they react to being woken up!? Hell if I'm woken up wrong I become mega-b!tch! I've never shared a room with Tracy or Sal! Luckily on the 3rd or 4th snooze alarm Tracy shuffles in the blankets next to me and mumbles out "we gotta see the meteor showerrrrs..." and that's my cue to pop and say above a whisper "ok guys, let's get going then!" The great thing about being with low-maintenance people is that lack of sleep and a day's delay in your um.
Danny enjoying dawn libation
. regimen was basically unnoticed. Nothing a little swish of vodka and cranberry in a desert couldn't fix right up! =)

I hesitantly called Danny just before 4am to see if he might be awake and he chirped "hello, beautiful!" I was shocked that he was awake as well so we picked him up and Sal was kind enough to drive us to Joshua Tree as I was really hurting by now. It was pitch black and you could see a ton of stars just from the car window! The sight of lots of stars always impresses me because I've only lived in NY and LA and have never gone camping, so I was startled at just how many were to be seen from the high desert! The rest of the crew seemed to know astronomy pretty well and I was looking forward to learning a few new star groupings!

Sal found us a nice turnoff and we popped the trunk and took out a ton of blankets between the 4 of us.
I think if God were to sing, it would look something like this..
Danny had even brought me a pair of jogging pants and sneakers since he knew I was still in my dinner attire and heels. We spread our blankets out in the pitch black, poured some vodka and cranberry juice for the boys, and finally got settled enough to look up for meteor showers. Unfortunately that hour and a half of rest proved to be just pushing it, and we got there just as a tiny hue of light was threatening to break the horizon. We had gotten there moments before dawn and were able to see only the brighter stars. No chance of catching meteor showers! =(

At some point a lone little bat figured out we were tresspassing in his stillness and proceeded to repeatedly divebomb at Tracy and Sal, who had no place to take cover, so improvised with some fancy footwork and throwing blankets over their heads! It was so funny - Danny and I were of no interest to the bat but my poor car could not say the same.
. but she is a sexy one! =)

Within an hour, the entire landscape that we had been sitting in in the pitch dark became visible.  What a trip! Funny looking mountains that looked like ginormous bird droppings, cobbled together mountains that looked like someone had taken a bunch of craggy little rocks and piled them up using a huge backhoe, strange multidirectional trees and the gorgeous, gorgeous sky. We seemed to be on another planet - and we didn't see another person for over an hour. This endless landscape was ours to enjoy this morning and I don't know what happened between the time we got back into the car and a few minutes before breakfast because I fell asleep in the back.

We had a home-cooked breakfast at Country Kitchen at 7:30am and we headed back to Palm Springs to drop off the boys around 10am and home for us to get in another couple hours of sleep before heading out again.
sunrise is almost here!
I think Tracy and I got in about 2 more hours of sleep, lingering showers and some time on the internet! Poor Tracy who had come out here to see her family got in 1 hour with her new sister-in-law and I tried to sleep despite the half dozen girls next door apparently yelling about the stupid Playboy pool party last night of Hot Latina Pageant or whatever craziness was going on at the hotel.

We got up from our nap an hour late which I felt so bad about because I knew this was the last time I'd see Sal in a while! He's got such energy.. next time I'm getting a chauffeur it was exhausting driving back and forth multiple times a day! Tracy was kind enough to drive my car to meet up with Sal and so we left at 2pm to the Palm Springs aerial tram - making a pitstop at McD's to grab some food as were running on fumes by now.
This is what the tram looks like!
Sal got there faster and bought us all tickets!

The tram was FAST and apparently it's one of the 2 in the world that ROTATES while going up and down the mountainside. I didn't know what to expect from this little ride - but when we reached the top - it was AMAZING. How in the world do you find a pine forest in the middle of Palm Springs?! I felt as if I were on the east coast with the cool temperatures and huge rocks and tall pine trees everywhere. We were just missing a lake! And who knows - perhaps there is a like somewhere as we only made it down the mountain and back up - ahaha! Silly us - during this trip we did a lot of hiking TO the beginning of trails and then took pictures and turned back around. That is my kind of hiking! =D

Actually that's not entirely true - Sal and Tracy clambered up quite a few rocks while I stayed on the trail mostly and played photographer.
Whoo! =D
We did a karate kid shot with Tracy, a jumping shot with Sal. All very dangerous as the rock tops were NOT flat in this area - oopsie! If I only knew that there would be water or something cool up ahead, I would have made a greater attempt to hike further. But Sal had to get back to LV as well as he was taking the backroads - should not make him too exhausted!

Southern California never ceases to amaze me with the different ecosystems, the really enjoyable outdoor culture and the friendly people. Danny and Sal helped Tracy and I make our trip. Danny's insider knowledge kept the quality of our activities at a very high level and his can-do attitude only contributed to our sense of adventure. Sal's generosity, thoughtfulness and amazing storytelling abilities just brought additional dimensions to a wonderful experience, making for an incredibly stimulating and happy time.
Woah!!! a little bit of heaven..
I am starting to fear that being around Travbuddies as much as I am is starting to spoil me and change my expectations of the world.. how is your average person ever going to compete with you guys?!?!
Quest says:
Great blog again, Jenn.. love your stories and your pics.. :o)
Posted on: Oct 15, 2008
acowboy says:
Palm Springs has a tram?!? what have i been missing out on?
Posted on: Sep 03, 2008
Sheila_0808 says:
great blog girly, this one for sure will be featured, wanna bet?
Posted on: Sep 02, 2008
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silhouette of a Joshua tree
silhouette of a Joshua tree
Danny enjoying dawn libation
Danny enjoying dawn libation
I think if God were to sing, it wo…
I think if God were to sing, it w…
sunrise is almost here!
sunrise is almost here!
This is what the tram looks like!
This is what the tram looks like!
Whoo! =D
Whoo! =D
Woah!!! a little bit of heaven..
Woah!!! a little bit of heaven..
sunrise is about 20 min away..
sunrise is about 20 min away..
Sal and Danny
Sal and Danny
we can finally see our landscape
we can finally see our landscape
jeez hes peppy considering we hav…
jeez he's peppy considering we ha…
Were gonna go up the mountain!
We're gonna go up the mountain!
Why do you do this, Jenn???
"Why do you do this, Jenn???"
Tracy and Sal having quick bite.
Tracy and Sal having quick bite.
As Sal mentioned - like the cows i…
As Sal mentioned - like the cows …
The conductor!
The conductor!
whoo this is fast!
whoo this is fast!
you get higher and the mist creeps…
you get higher and the mist creep…
Tracy and Sal up top!
Tracy and Sal up top!
Me and Sal
Me and Sal
That cloud is swirling so fast!
That cloud is swirling so fast!
Pine trees!
Pine trees!
Sal =)
Sal =)
Tracy!
Tracy!
More Tracy =)
More Tracy =)
Tracy and Sal!
Tracy and Sal!
Whoo we almost blend in!
Whoo we almost blend in!
Little kids on log couch!
Little kids on log couch!
Sal and Tracy prop up their dogs o…
Sal and Tracy prop up their dogs …
Jumping for joy!
Jumping for joy!
Hello, grasshopper..
Hello, grasshopper..
Thats Palm springs out there!
That's Palm springs out there!
Joshua Tree
photo by: jenn79