Sunday, March 15, 2015

Life List Item #3: Visit a Desert

Usually on a day when I know I am checking off something from my life list, I get very excited. In this particular case, for whatever reason I didn't even realize I was checking something off until I was in the thick of it. 

Recently I took a short, but very full trip to San Diego, CA to visit my friend Tav. We decided we wanted to visit Joshua Tree National Park, a three hour drive from San Diego. We rented our car, packed some groceries and camping gear, and heading out.  Now I don't get to national parks often so I was excited at this possibility. I didn't know what else to expect besides a lot of Joshua trees, so everything that came my way were perfectly  executed unknown surprises. 

We planned on camping in one of the many camp grounds available in the  1,200 square mile park. We didn't realize we were entering the busiest time in Joshua Tree, so we entered completely full campgrounds. We found out that back country camping was available, but it meant a 1.5 mile hike off the road and no fires. Tav and I took the hike to the back country sites just to check it out and decided we would try to find some  people to share a fire with in one of the other campgrounds before turning in for the night. 

After hiking around some more and exploring the park we entered a group campsite. There were large plots meant to accommodate several tents in a group. Plus there were large fire pits for large group fires.  We parked our car and first approached a young couple who had just moved back to America from France. After pitching our tent and a quick rest we joined them for some homemade vanilla rum  and a camping version of darts. They were really open and genuine people. The four of us then journeyed to the larger campsite nearby where a group of about 10-15 twenty-somethings were camping together. They were all friends from San Diego. They were a warm and welcoming bunch and soon enough our entire eclectic group became one cohesive blend of people from all over. We all connected so naturally having so much fun talking laughing, joking, eating, drinking, and telling scary stories. I was on cloud nine, wrapped in a moment that had everything needed to put me in a perfect state of bliss. When we said good bye to our friends we headed to our tent and spent the night nearby. In the morning we joined our friends for breakfast then headed off on a short hike up Ryan Mountain. 

You may be wondering where the life list part comes in. Suddenly I realized I was in a desert and that I was getting something on my life list. One of the times that this was actually unplanned. Or at least a time when I just got busy living life and didn't worry about fulfilling a goal.