2 hours of sleep before arriving on another planet, and being attacked by a bat.
Joshua Tree Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
August 31st, 2008 – by: jenn79
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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