For the last few months we have been anticipating our friend Nathan and Renee of Wandrly to make their way west so we can spend some time together. Last summer before we headed out to the northeast, we got to see them in Sequoia National Park and then again in Lone Pine. We once again got to hangout when we both made it to the midwest in Michigan. Now they have finally made their way into California we planned a get together at our favorite dust bowl: The Joshua Tree Dry Lake bed.
We got out here to the Lake Bed and found that someone we follow on Instagram was already here. This is @whereiswaypoint. They are a young couple from the Delaware/New Jersey area who have been full timing in their renovated Airstream for a few months.
When we got here and settled in a spot, the kids looked outside and said, “Why is there so much trash here!” You just can’t leave a teaching moment like that alone. I answer them with an empty trash bag. Let’s do this!
With momentum in our favor, the girls kept it going with writing their journal of their experience helping to clean up our public lands.
With today’s school out of the way, LET’S PLAY!
Of course when you are out here, the weather can turn on you any minute. These clouds do not look very friendly so we retreated back inside after awhile.
This is James and Sarah’s (@WhereIsWayPoint) pup Kodiak. She is part husky and part malamute and all the way awesome.
Some of you might know that we use to have a husky until when Ava was baby. We’ve had her since she was just a few weeks old and she passed away at the age of 10 when Ava was less than a year old.
Ava says that she remembers her and misses her but I wonder how much of it is her real memory and how much is just from the pictures we have shown her.
She really enjoyed having Kodiak around.
Kodiak is only a puppy still and you can see all of the traits in a husky in her. They are curious and independent. That is a recipe for a lot of work for James and Sarah.
We hope one day to have another dog in our family. Until then, this will have to do.
We have our hands full already, can you tell?
And finally Nathan and Renee pulled up in their Airstream to join our little 3-rig rally. It has been awhile but we are glad to see them.
Our friend from Los Angeles Chris New also came out for the night. He had some big news to tell us about his decision to move into a new 2015 reissue of the 1961 Shasta trailer. He placed the order and will be picking it up in a few weeks in Indiana when he leaves LA for good. It is very exciting time for him.
With our group complete, we took the afternoon away from the lake bed and into the National Park. Nathan and Renee have been full timing for years but this is their first time to Joshua Tree.
We chose the Barker Dam hike on our first day in the park. The rock scrambling here is world class.
This is Megg (@staringatmaps). She is also a full timer but she does it in a bit of an unconventional way as compared to us RVers. She travels the country in her Saturn sedan and works at organic farms as a trade for room and board. She has only been on the road for a few months but it goes to show that if there is a will, there is a way.
Luka and Winter hiked like champs.
This is Barker Dam. This was built in 1949 by a local rancher hoping to capture the scarce water in the high desert.
There is usually some water behind the dam but the historic drought California is facing has dwindled it down to just a few drops.
“We are going THIS way!”
At the end of the Barker Dam hike we got to see some petroglyphs on the walls of this cave.
Unfortunately over the years some vandalism has occurred and defaced some of the writings.
It is still very cool to see that humans lived here and sustained themselves on just objects and food sources they found in the area.
When we got back to the lake bed, the winds have once again picked up. Even though the skies are beautiful outside, we retreated inside the Airstream and waited for it to subside.
It finally did around dusk and I took the opportunity to take the training wheels off of Mila’s new bike she got for Christmas. She has been dying to try to ride her bike without them after seeing Ava doing so well.
And wouldn’t you know it. Today was the day that she figured it out.
With every ride, she screams a number counting how many times she was able to stop and start riding her new bike like a big girl.
She rode her bike tonight 63 times. And on the final ride, she jumped off her bike pumping her fist in the air.
Some of our friends are not big fans of this lifeless lake bed. But I love it for its unique landscape and the memories we’ve made here over the years.
We plan to be making a lot more memories here for years to come.
With just a couple of more days together, we made the pilgrimage up to Pioneertown. As you might know from reading our blog, this is a favorite of ours.
We got to camp once again in the parking lot of the Pioneertown Motel.
The skies were clear so even though the moon was out most of the night, we captured an awesome star trails pic during one of our stays.
We took our friends into town which is just a short walk from where we were staying.
Of course you can’t come to Pioneertown without hanging out at Pappy and Harriet’s.
Our time with our friends are coming to an end. We hope to see them in the Pacific Northwest after we leave Alaska as we make our way down the coast.
We migrated once again and this time to Black Rock Campground where Nathan, Renee and their clan will stay for a couple of nights as we begin our drive north.
We will make a stop in LA once more before leaving California. Alaska, here we come!
over and out,