Sunday, February 23, 2014

Joshua Tree: Day 2

Honestly, after the disappointment of not having the stargazing I had been hoping for (and oh-so-eagerly anticipating for WEEKS), I was not really that happy about starting this day. Surrounded by all of this beauty and I was a bit of a sourpuss. It was still cold, ridiculously windy, and we still had to pack up and hike out 2 miles to the car. Oh and we are going to hike a mountain. UGH.

Good Morning Joshua Tree...the hike out.

The clouds that dashed my stargazing dreams

Honestly, I love hiking. A lot. I love being in nature, everything about it. I hate the first mile of any hike, especially when it is an early morning start. This combined with my sourpuss beginning, I was not having a pleasant go of hiking up Ryan Mountain. It is only a 4 miles up and back, moderate hike, but I was not pleased. This was the one hike I wanted to do the most, as it was the only one that was in the middle of the park AND offered a 360 degree view

Up Ryan Mountain we go!

Overlooking where we camped the night before

See the Big Horned sheep?

One of Adam's primary objectives for the park visit was to see Big Horned sheep...about halfway up the trail we encountered one. He graciously stuck around for us to take a bajillion pictures of him, as well as come close enough to share the lens frame with him. It was at this point that my sourpuss attitude evaporated, I love seeing my husband get so excited about something.

Taking it all in

Finally, the clouds are starting to break!

Much better, all better. It was awesome to stand at the peak and watch the morning haze dissolved into another radiant blue sky.

Sunbeams over Joshua Tree

Sunlight and shadows

So tranquil

Due to the projected cloudiness again that night, we opted to not camp out the second night in Joshua Tree. That combined with the texts from Uncle Neal and my cousin Jason who had arrive in town the night before beckoning us to come back, we only did a half-day in the park that day. We easily could have enjoyed the whole day with more hiking and exploring, so don't think that there isn't enough to do. We just found the prospect of being with family (and my cousin Jessica was landing later that day), to be more appealing.

Hello again El Ranchito
After a stop for breakfast/lunch/dinner at El Ranchito, we got properly cleaned up from being properly ripe from not showering for 2 days, living/hiking/camping in the same clothes for the same time period, and we ready for family fun.
We ventured back into Palm Spring to Koffe an afternoon pick-me-up and oh was it amazing. ALMOST as amazing as the coffee shop in Edinburgh...almost. The chai tea latte I had was actually made from a base of freshly steeped chai tea, not some powder blend. Delicious. We then ventured down to a local venue to enjoy happy hour and await Jessica's arrival.

On Thursday evenings Palm Spring closes down one of its main streets and opens it up for a Farmer's is great. Come for fresh fruit and veggies, stay for the 20+ food vendors of dinner, stock up on local made products, feed the horses, adopt a cat or dog, listen to or watch the street performers, and have a really nice time. It definitely "is the place to be" on Thursdays in this area.