Joshua Tree National Park is a place where countless amounts of people have found the exact self-worth or redemption they sought out by going to the destination: A passage of rights for many lost souls. By entering the dry desert lands we are administering ourselves a test. A test of the mind, body, and soul. Can we survive the heat and harsh conditions that come along with a few days of being exposed in the desert? That is the test but what are we hoping to prove or find out there in this unique landscape of rocks and cactus? A quest indeed.
This trip for me was about slowing down and taking time to enjoy things as well as reaffirming myself that what it is that I do is of value, to myself and others, for me this trip to the desert was a test of my own self-worth, a passage of my own rights.
I started out on a Friday afternoon. I knew the traffic would be bad but I had no idea what I was in for. Joshua Tree National Park is roughly 167 miles from Northridge, Ca. In order to get there passing through San Bernardino is a must there are only a couple roads that lead out of the Valley and driving through Pasadena on a Friday afternoon is not for the faint at heart, you’ve got to have some mustard on your sleeve to maneuver your way through that mess. Anyways, the first 80 miles took me about 3 hrs. to get through then the traffic lightened up after San Bernardino and I was home free.
Once at Joshua tree there are a limited number of options for camping, being that more and more people are heading outdoors these days, campsites fill up fast. It has been a goal of mine to minimize the costs of these trips by making notes of alternative lodgings, cheap gas stations, and minimizing other travel expenditures, so that I can fit more adventures into my annual schedule.
Just past the city of Joshua Tree there is an overflow camping area at the Joshua Tree dry lake bed or another couple of streets and a turn north leads you directly into BLM land which is free for anyone to camp on. This BLM land is where I pitched my tent.
I was familiar with the place having stayed there on other trips passing through the area. On late nights some friends and I will usually pull off here and spend the night, there are plenty of places nearby to get a hearty meal after a long few days in the desert and its easy on the wallet to stay here.
All-in-all; travel – 415 mi, gas – $45.00, park entry fee – $20.00, food and water – $20.00. Total expenses = $85 for a weekend full of adventure that I will not soon forget and wisdom that I could not have paid anyone to acquire.