While life in San Diego has proved pretty amazing for the both of us, we found ourselves venturing outside of the city these last two weekends. Seeking a journey of a few miles and a wander through a different portion of the west, we took our trusty CRV to the road to see where life would take us just a few hours away from the Pacific.
Our first weekend destination was Joshua Tree National Park. Just shy of three hours from San Diego, Joshua Tree National Park beckons hikers, climbers, campers and tree-huggers to a desert climate filled with Dr. Seuss-trufula tree look alikes, boulders of all shapes and sizes and cacti as far as the eyes can see. On our way, we stopped in Murietta at Pie Place Bagel and Bakery selling Australian pies for a well-deserved taste of home. Continuing north and west, we wound our way past twirling wind farms, giant boulders the likes of a scene from The Princess Bride and endless land to Joshua Tree. Open year-round, Joshua Tree National Park is a haven for climbers and hikers thrilled to know that trails are merely suggestions here-the entire park is fair game! Aside from the parks of southern Utah, this has been the best RV watching spot around so far. Caravans and campers of all sizes, shapes and cost litter the campsites peaking out from behind boulders tucked beside the trails. One of these days I’m going to have to go RV shopping to see the insides of these mobile marvels.
Two distinct deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, make up Joshua Tree National Park. To see the whimsical Joshua trees, we headed to the northern portion of the park where most of the specified hiking trails and marvelous boulders reside. It’s not often that you find this asthmatic and allergy sufferer ever stating, ‘I love trees’, but these did just that. Quirky in nature, these green-topped gifts dotted the desert landscape employing many to pull off at each scenic stop to photograph, hug and awe. Amidst a backdrop of giant boulders sprinkled with climbers at varying heights, we hiked through the desert privy to stunning vistas, a spectacular sky and clear air. It’s said that on a clear night, Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best places for stargazing.
Surprising the most avid hikers, it rained in the desert on Sunday. Although it made for a hazier view, we weren’t deterred. Driving south through the park, we left the eccentricity of trees to find cacti both small and large everywhere. As per the ranger’s instructions, we drove through the Colorado Desert portion to see the vast difference between both parts of the park. Stopping at the Chola Cactus Garden, I again found myself smiling amidst trees-another surprise to both of us. These guys were showstoppers along the side of the road. Cacti, ocotillo, boulders, and colours of all sorts line the sides of Park Road all the way to the southernmost entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.
On our way back west, we wiggled and wound our way through Palm Desert and Palm Springs. Stopping at the well-known Sherman’s Deli in the heart of Palm Springs, we ate outside amidst swarms of people just waiting for their chance to grab some pastrami, lox or knishes. Sometimes a bit of New York Deli warms the heart!
Although a quick turnaround, those forty-eight hours felt like travel days amidst a travel lifestyle. A short road trip, time to wander, a hike in the desert, beautiful scenery and some delicious treats all made for a fabulous weekend.
What weekend adventures have you been up to?