Weekend Warrior’s Guide to Joshua Tree

I woke up Saturday morning to the same white ceiling I wake up to every morning.  I closed my eyes again and painted an endless stretch of road under a blue desert sky.

Just as I was beginning to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, I texted my friend Drea and suggested a spontaneous road trip to Joshua Tree.  A few seconds later, she replied in all caps, “LET’S DO IT.”

Drea is one of my favorite adventure partners-in-crime.  We both have full-time jobs, pursue our passions at all other hours of the day and still make time for adventures.  She runs an awesome online magazine called The Cult Collective, which provides regular inspiration to satisfy my weekend wanderlust.

Within a few hours of the text message, we were headed into the desert with our two friends Julie and Kris.  Julie has a blog of her own called The Blagueur, and Kris is a talented rock climber and photographer.  We had a full tank of gas, no reservations and a serious hunger for adventure (and s’mores).

We arrived at the West Entrance to Joshua Tree after dark and set up camp by the light of our headlamps.  We built a fire and prepared a gourmet dinner of Italian sausages and foil wrapped veggies, served with a mug of warm whiskey.  For dessert, I finally gave in to my craving for s’mores.

Morning Campfire
The Birth of a Pyro
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This is how we do Sunday brunch.

We fell asleep under the stars and woke up under the blue desert sky I always dream of.

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Morning desert sunlight is what unicorns are made of.
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Desert Angel
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8-Person Party Tent

We spent the next few hours climbing Jumbo Rocks, sunbathing like lizards and running across the seamless landscape in our underwear.  You know, girl stuff.

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Julie and Drea
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Party in the USA
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Desert Skinny Dippin’

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Jumbo Rocks
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Between a rock and a hard place

On the way home, we stopped at Pappy & Harriets for lunch and picked up some souvenirs at a boutique called Hoof & The Horn.  I took home a California charm necklace that I haven’t taken it off since.

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Pioneertown
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A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.

Though we had only been away from Los Angeles for little over 24 hours, I felt completely recharged.  This kind of magic only happens when you toss your plans out the window and live in the present moment.  Multiplied by 4 equals 1 incredible weekend.

Joshua Tree National Park

  • Sleep: We camped at Cottonwood (Near the South Entrance) because it was the only campground with sites available on a Saturday night after dark.  We had to drive 30 minutes from the West Entrance, but we were happy with our campsite.
  • Hike: Jumbo Rocks is a beautiful place to walk, climb and take photos.
  • Eat: Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown offers good food, drinks and entertainment.
  • Shop: Hoof And The Horn is a cool boutique for both men and women.  Treat yourself to a souvenir.


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3 Comments

  • Hey Alyx, I just came across your site via Jeff’s socalhiker.net and am glad I did so! I really like the look and feel of your site which seems to be stuffed with inspiring goodness, intriguing photography and “joie de vivre”… Pretty much up my alley, so I look forward to following along your weekend warrior forays! Have fun, take care and speak soon, Oliver

    • Oliver, thank you for enjoying my blog! I’m so glad you found me. You have a compelling writing style and voice, and I look forward to following on your adventures as well!

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