When we left our friend's place in Palm Springs we really didn't know where we were going to head. While Jim was filling up Ruby's tank I looked at the map and told him how close we were to Joshua Tree. We had talked about it but hadn't really committed to it until that moment. He said let's go and off we went. The ride to the area was incredible. We climbed gradually through canyons and small desert towns. The morning was cool and the skies were bright blue-another perfect day for a journey. Neither one of us had ever been to Joshua Tree-the closest we ever got was probably about 100 miles as we drove out to California back in the 70's. Wow, why didn't someone tell us what we were missing ?
Campsite 120 at Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree
I picked Jumbo Rocks Campground since they had a great deal of first come first serve type campsites available. Most of the other campgrounds were completely full since it was Valentine's Day Week-end. Also I liked Jumbo Rocks location because we were coming in from the North and it was about midpoint inside the park. Plus we could leave out of the South end of the park when it was time and not have to double back.
We drove slowly through the park, looking for the perfect site. No not that one, too small; not that one, too crowded; not that too close to the road. And then like Goldilocks we found it-site #120. On a little cul de sac with 3 other sites. No traffic, no crowds and surrounded by rocks-we felt so blessed and excited to stumble on this wonderful find.
The rocks are amazing-I'm not a big rock freak or anything but I could sit there all day and watch the colors change as the sun changed direction. It was fun watching the little desert lizards running all around too.
Joshua Tree is one of those places for me that as soon as I entered it, I felt something special. You know that spiritual feeling you get when you walk into an ancient cathedral. I felt like I wanted to whisper when I spoke to Jim. And when you sit on the rocks and feel the wind wrapping itself around you , you can feel the spirit of the place. I look around and wonder how the first people who entered the canyons felt when they were alone here.
The sunsets are incredible-everything rocks, sky,sand turn different shades of pinks and blues and purples. You don't know where to look next because it changes so quickly.
Sunrise with the moon setting felt like a religious experience. Everything was so quiet, all you could hear was the wind gently swooshing through the trees. Incredible doesn't describe it-magical yes.
We really were fortunate on this trip-we had some great neighbors in space #119. Jake and Mandy from San Diego along with their friends Alex,Sarah and Andy. We noticed Jake had a truck bed full of wood and we asked if we could buy some-we ended up with enough wood for the 4 days we were there. We also ended up with a great invitation to dinner for cheeseburgers. It was a fun night-laughing and talking-our 30year age difference didn't matter. These were good people and we were very happy they were our neighbors. Hopefully they will come and visit us once we settle in Florida !
As if our weekend wasn't perfect we got to witness the rising of a full moon out in the middle of nowhere-it really doesn't get any better.
The glow of the fire on the rocks at night made me feel like I was part of the wild wild west. I could imagine sitting around the campfire with the cowboys and cooking up some beans !
So I've given you the scoop on site #120-it really is the best in the park as far as I'm concerned. There are no hook ups and only pit toilets and bring your own water. It's a small price to pay for staying in such an awe inspiring place.
Wishing you a sky filled with millions of stars and Happy Trails....