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're not afraid of no dust. #wegotourprotonpacks

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!

Why is there so much trash here, she screams. I answer her with an empty trash bag. Let's do this! 💪 by malimish_marlene

With momentum in our favor, the girls kept it going with writing their journal of their experience helping to clean up our public lands.

Why is there so much trash here, they screamed. I answer them with empty trash bags which eventually get filled with a burnt hard drive, a lone sock, glass shards, random plastic crap, shot gun shells and rusty cans collected around the dry lake bed. I ha

With today’s school out of the way, LET’S PLAY!

My bike gang. Watch your toes. by malimish_marlene

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.

What do you do when you're boondocking on a dry lake bed and a scary rain cloud shows up? 💩 your 👖!

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.

After a few sprinkles, the winds pushed the massive dark clouds away and we were able to come out of hiding. The kids got to spend the last couple hours of light riding their bikes and sharing watermelon with Kodiak, @whereiswaypoint's adorable husky.

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.

Everyone in the world has a dog, Mama. Everyone but us! - #avatheoldest by malimish_marlene

She really enjoyed having Kodiak around.

Good morning from the dry lake bed!

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.

Last night's happy hour. 🍻🐺 by malimish_marlene

We hope one day to have another dog in our family. Until then, this will have to do.

He is the perfect height for doggy kisses. by malimish_marlene

We have our hands full already, can you tell?

Life with a boy named Luka.

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.

Joshua trees used to thrive across the entire Southwest thanks to the extinct giant sloths. The giants sloths, which are described as fuzzy VW Beetles, used to eat Joshua trees and help spread its seeds via their dung. But due to the extinction of these s

Once he realized that his new shoes were making patterns in the sand, he had to take a closer look. by malimish_marlene

“We are going THIS way!”

He not only scrambled over boulders today, he also hiked over one mile like a freakin champ. #exceptforthebeefjerkyincident #tearsforjerky by malimish_marlene

At the end of the Barker Dam hike we got to see some petroglyphs on the walls of this cave.

My three little ladies,

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.

Last night she rode her bike for the first time. She was so proud of herself. I've never seen her so happy. She's never going to forgot this moment and neither am I. #milathemiddkekid by malimish_marlene

She rode her bike tonight 63 times. And on the final ride, she jumped off her bike pumping her fist in the air.

She rode her bike tonight sans training wheels 63 times. How do I know? She counted each bike ride out loud with the hugest smile on her face. And on the final ride, she jumped off her bike while 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.

What do you do when a bull mastiff insists on being a lap dog? You let him!

A drooling road dog that's too nice to bite the smartass behind him. by malimish_marlene

So must dust and so much happiness. by malimish_marlene

I love letting my kids get bored. It forces them to use their minds in different ways. If I intervened a few moments before this, I doubt they would be working together to tie a dump truck on a bike and take turns giggling as they joy ride on the bumpy di

"Mama, I'm chomping wood!" - #ohluka by malimish_marlene

This is Winter. He's super awesome. @wandrly @wandrlyrenee by malimish_marlene

You should have heard the sounds coming out of these full-timing kids when they caught a dog (who will not be named) drinking grey water. Haha. by malimish_marlene

I've been dreading potty training our boy on the road because the thought of pulling off the road every 20 minutes might make us all insane. But then he turned three years old and decided it was his time. Diapers off, underwear on, no problems. Well, almo

Running around as #mrlukanopants is hilarious! by malimish_marlene

We plan to be making a lot more memories here for years to come.

Friday night lights. by malimish_marlene

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.

Good morning from the @pioneertownmotel!!! We caravanned from the dry lake bed to our favorite made-for-TV cowboy town. Built in the 1940s by television cowboys Roy Rogers and Russell Hayden, this historic movie-set is now one of our favorite stops in the

We got to camp once again in the parking lot of the Pioneertown Motel.

All together now!! 🎶Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear @wandrlyrenee. Happy birthday to you!!! 🎶 by malimish_marlene

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.

A tiny town called Pioneertown was created in the 1940s in the hills above Joshua Tree as a live-in Old West movie set. And it will forever be our favorite pretend cowboy town.

We took our friends into town which is just a short walk from where we were staying.

Little Airstream friends. by malimish_marlene

Hello there.

Good morning, people!! by malimish_marlene

Of course you can’t come to Pioneertown without hanging out at Pappy and Harriet’s.

"Look at you, you have a baby... in a bar." #namethatmovie

Yoda would rather be sleeping on our bed but I couldn't resist a quick snap. by malimish_marlene

Thanks for the glowing desert sunsets and incredible shooting stars, @pioneertownmotel. Until next time!!

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.

Back on the coast in Southern California missing this desert, this sunset, our time with friends and even.... the wind... a little bit.

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.

Joshua trees have no growth rings which make determining their age difficult. But I'd imagine some of these biggies have got be near retirement.

We will make a stop in LA once more before leaving California. Alaska, here we come!

over and out,

Categories: daily

1 Comment

Nathan Swartz · June 4, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Maybe a little lifeless but that dry lake bed is so freeing with the kids and dogs. Lovely post and try not to bust Alaska!

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