Monday, February 9, 2009

Camping in the California Desert

Our first big outdoor adventure of the year was a camping trip two hours outside of San Diego, California in Anza-Borrego State Park with our friends Stephen and Sarah Connell. Karren and Sarah had been planning this for months and we were really happy we went. Unfortunately, we brought the rain with us (which the San Diegoites claim almost never happens).

We started out our adventures last Thursday. After staying up late the night before to finish packing (which Karren is much better at), we got a few hours of sleep before Sarah woke us up with a friendly phone call at 4 AM. We had a 7 AM flight and had to head out to the airport. Lucky for us, we had a good friend (Kyle Morgan) drive us. We arrived in San Diego in the early afternoon, picked up Sarah's father's car, ate some lunch, and headed out to the campground. We set up camp in the desert with a gorgeous backdrop of treeless mountains. Sadly, we only had one tarp and so we set the tents back to back. This was great except for the fact that Sarah didn't count on the fact that Sonya wakes up early, and so does her father to take care of her. While we set up the camp ground, Sonya explored the campground. We were all tired, so we played a quick game of Carcasonne and went to bed.

The next day, we embarked on our main hike up Palm Canyon. Sarah parents, Chris and Jamie, took Karren and Sarah up here often during their childhood. They had fond memories of this hike and remembered lucious waterfalls and gorgeous groves. Unfortunately, a flash flood altered the landscape a couple of years ago, but it was still gorgeous. The hike consisted of climbing up the mountainous canyon towards an oasis of palm trees.

Here, Sonya and I start up the mountain with confidence.

In fact, with company like this, how could you go wrong?

After a rocky climb, we arrived at the first oasis!

At this point, it was way past Sonya's bed time, but we continued on!
Unfortunately, with the bouncy climbing of rock, Sonya got more and more grumpy, so Sonya and I stopped for a nap while the others moved on. She slept on my chest for the next 2.5 hours while the others continues on to see what was left of the 3 or 4 groves further up the canyon. The answer was a palm tree here and another there.

Saturday, we took a trip to the visitor center where we learned the difference between crows (city birds), ravens (country birds) and their cousin the condor. Sonya took her new bunny with her, a gift from Chris and Jamie. The Visitor's center took longer than we expected, and it was 3 PM when we left, again way past Sonya's bedtime. Stephen and I went back to the camp to let Sonya nap while Karren and Sarah went up the hill pictured behind. Karren claims Sarah tried to kill her. In reality, she just got stabbed by a cactus and lost her hat.
Sunday, we packed up and left the campground and spent some good time with Chris and Jamie. They had a concert for Sonya (Chris is a grade school music teacher), We also ate together and walked around Old Town in San Diego. They put us up in a nice hotel in Mission Bay that night. It was great getting off the hard ground.
Finally, this morning (Monday), we had a nice breakfast with my old college buddy, Dan Muir, got on a plane and came home. It was tons of fun and now we need to get back to real life, work, work, work. :(

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I am glad you found my blog! I am much better at this than facebook. What a fun trip to California. We are dying to go camping again. We love it! I am going to add you to my friends so I can check in with you from time to time:)