Camping at Joshua Tree and Death Valley to See the New Year In

skull rock camping

Skull Rock

A conversation between my travel planner and me:

“We’re going camping at Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley starting December 28. In a tent.”

You’ll freeze to death.”

“Oh no, it won’t get colder than 50 degrees. We’ll be fine.”

I wasn’t very sure that we would be fine–or have fun.

Desert Camping

Boy, was I wrong. We had a great time, but it got a lot colder than 50 degrees–and you know how they talk about desert heat not being as bad because it’s so dry? Desert cold is really cold. Or maybe it’s because when you get up in the middle of the night and have to get dressed first, that is cold at its worst and it’s waiting for you.

New Year’s Eve Sandwich on a Ridge

Nonetheless, as I said, we had a great time. We climbed through Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree. On New Year’s Eve we climbed in Golden Canyon and ate a sandwich on a ridge on the way back down. It was like looking down on the whole world. Best Eve my wife and I have had in our 34 years of marriage.

Most of the tourists around us were from Asia and Europe. They were excited to see our Wild West. I didn’t blame them. Near the top of a cliff we climbed at Hidden Valley, we both thought it was as inspiring as climbing the Great Wall. If you haven’t done it yet, you need to. It’s a lot closer than the Great Wall.

When we first saw the sand Dunes at Death Valley, they looked fake to us. Like something someone had put there. They just pop up over the horizon like massive pyramids. It’s something I always wanted to see.

There are many beautiful places like this around America we haven’t seen yet. We’re trying to see a few of them this year.

Happy New Year!

Oh, and by the way: Melinda kept accusing me of taking more time taking pictures of Marilyn than I did of her. I promise as a lawyer that she’s wrong.

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