2017 March Adventures: Joshua Tree Dry Lake, “See you later”, & Yosemite

Can you believe March is nearly over?! It went by so quickly! March was a fun-filled month. It was filled with some emotional highs and definite emotional lows, with a close friend moving all the way across the globe. Also, this month truly kicked off the next couple of months I have ahead, since April, May, and June will be quite hectic. So let’s delve into to the month of March.

Joshua Tree Camping: The month of March started off with a good old camping trip to Joshua Tree… yes, again. I can’t get enough of this place… can’t you tell? My fiance and I went camping with the same group of friends. We spent the days hanging out and enjoying the environment around us and the night exchanging stories around a camp fire. It’s always great starting off the month camping and disconnecting from the real world for a weekend.

 photo E3407987-79B7-46B5-9ED4-FFE7131C85C7_zpsfse726ey.jpg
 photo B359E288-5B92-454E-8A43-E727A1CC4A4B_zpsmdc3huri.jpg
 photo D40DCBF3-8F90-4362-8E78-834EBF3A34FA_zpsabvfqtpa.jpg

Not Saying “Goodbye”, but “See you soon”: One of my good friends from middle school moved to Australia this month for an indefinite amount of time. Her family threw her a going away party and a bunch of us got together to celebrate her new chapter with her. I’m so excited for her to start this new adventure, but at the same time I was sad to see her go. Naturally, I nearly cried… I’m such a baby. But I know that I will see her in the near future. And now that it is so easy to connect with friends across the globe, I know that we will still stay close.
 photo A7782791-87E3-4BA8-9CEF-3695CF4C807D_zpsiq2rgapm.jpg

Yosemite National Park: This past weekend, Wesley and I went to visit Yosemite National Park. We have both been before with family, but never have visited it together. We left the LA area early around 6:00 AM and headed out to the National Park. When we entered the park, it still took us almost an hour to get to the valley floor, but it was well worth it. We drove through the tunnel that leads into the valley and my jaw dropped. The view you see instantly takes your breathe away. The shear magnitude of the beauty of Half Dome, El Capitan, and the cascading waterfalls are so picturesque. We did a few hikes within the valley floor and I was in awe of the environment I was immersed in. After a long day of sightseeing we checked into our tent/cabin at Half Dome Village. Since we knew that it was going to be cold at night, we opted for a heated tent… which I highly recommend if you are staying there during Winter… even though it’s already Spring, it was still a bit nippy. Our tent was nice and cozy and just perfect for our stay. We had dinner and the hall within the village and enjoyed the free wifi and just hung out there for the rest of the night. The next day we woke up in the valley floor, which was pretty cool. We had breakfast again in the hall. The nice thing about staying within the National Park was that we could take our time leaving the park and we were able to enjoy the views just a little bit longer. Before we left the park, we did one more small hike to Bridalveil Falls and then we were off and headed back home.

 photo 3609A9F5-64E4-4485-91F1-F5B469CE9EC2_zpsbchmgetv.jpg
 photo 3A22920B-7C32-465C-9250-3E522B025C8E_zpsg8vboktr.jpg
 photo 874C2806-651C-4124-AB1F-7B4960BC3B3A_zpsgcuhnheb.jpg
 photo F52197F6-ED50-450D-AA61-E3F2CE414665_zpstgzjetd8.jpg
 photo D717EFF8-0E42-402A-AB44-BEEDA518234E_zpsjagpe32g.jpg

March was a great month and I know that the months are just going to get busier and go by quicker, but I’m not complaining! I’m really excited for the next couple of months. I’ll be sure to keep updating my blog! Thanks for reading and remember to stay curious and keep exploring!

Advertisements

Essentials for Desert Outings

Aloha! Today I thought I’d share my top essentials for a day outing in a desert landscape. The desert can be an exciting and fun place to explore, but you have to remember that Mother Nature can be powerful if you aren’t fully prepared for her.

 photo D9664A26-1588-4122-B917-484DD8F4AEC8_zpsqbnnicjt.jpg

I’ll be starting from the top and working my way left to right. Also, this is catered more for Spring  or Summer months.
Hat: The sun can be extremely powerful and can dangerous. Wearing a hat can protect you and your head from the powerful rays from the sun. Any hat will do, but I recommend a bucket style hat that has a brim all the way around and has a draw string to make sure the hat stays on your head. Winds can be strong and you don’t want to worry about your hat flying away.

Hiking Boots: Since desert terrain can be rocky and uneven, it’s important to have good support for your feet.  Also, since you’ll probably want to climb some boulders it’s good to have a good grip on your shoes, which hiking boots can give you.  When you are looking for a good quality pair of boots, you want to have good arch support, great grip, and good ankle support. I personally own a pair of Lowas and I love them!

Sunglasses: To add to with protection from the sun, it’s important to protect your eyes as well. Any pair of sunglasses will be fine, but it’s important that the sunglasses have UV protection and that the sunglasses are comfortable. You don’t want to be fumbling around and constantly adjusting your glasses. And I even recommend maybe even using a drawstring for your glasses so they can stay put, even though you’ll feel a little dorky, you’ll be protected which is more important.

Sunblock: If you can’t tell, you should be protected from the sun. I think sun block is self explanatory. The higher the SPF, the better. Use it!

Jacket: Winds can pick up in the desert and a wind breaker can be a great barrier between your skin and the sand the can pick up and whip you. Also, sometimes when your are hiking through a canyon it can be shady and cold so a light jacket would be perfect for a day hike. Also, this type of jacket can be perfect to roll up and keep in your backpack.

Snacks: When you are doing some day hikes, it’s important to not be hungry. To give yourself some energy, make sure you pack some light snacks that can benefit you. You can pack some granola bars, some fruits, or even a light sandwich.

Water: I saved the most important for last. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It is important to drink water while you are out in the desert. You don’t want to be passing out or getting dizzy out in the desert. I recommend using a mini hydration pack like a Camel Back so that you can have easy access to your water and you don’t have to worry about leaving your bottle in the car or out on a hiking trail. Also, you could use this pack to back your snacks and jacket and other things.

These are some of the things that I think you should bring out to the desert. Of course you can always bring more if you need to. But remember, be smart when you are out there, but most importantly have fun!

Desert Weekends: Death Valley, Anza Borrego, and Joshua Tree

In February and March, Wesley and I went to 3 different deserts out here in Southern California. Within the past few years, I have truly fallen in love with the desert landscapes and the different varieties that these landscapes have to offer. I love how barren and simple the desert is and it really shows the true self of California. There is a simplistic and calming beauty that I find in these landscapes. To me, the desert is so peaceful.

Of course, when you are going out to the desert, it’s important to stay hydrated and to be smart and prepared out there. It can be dangerous if you aren’t fully prepared.

During the last weekend of February, we went for a day trip out to Death Valley. We had recently gone in January with a big group of people for a camping trip, but we wanted to see more of “touristy” things in Death Valley. Also, I really wanted to see the Superbloom. The Superbloom apparently it only happens once every decade and it was so worth it. We left the Los Angeles area around 3 AM to get to Death Valley by 9AM. I highly recommend getting there early to beat the crowds. It started to get really busy by lunch time. We went to check out most of the touristy spots within the basin of the Badwater Basin. Death Valley is truly amazing and beautiful. Because it is so massive (it’s one of the biggest National Parks in the United States), there is so much more that we haven’t seen. I’m excited to go back and to explore even more.

 photo IMG_0701_zpsfzom0v81.jpg

Zabriske Point
 photo IMG_0711_zpshkarcptn.jpg

Badwater Basin
 photo IMG_0720_zps32mfpkfo.jpg

 photo IMG_0736_zpskb299o35.jpg

Natural Bridge Canyon
 photo IMG_0747_zpsckidmqkd.jpg

 photo IMG_0764_zps19zv81dr.jpg

Super Bloom!
 photo IMG_0782_zpswieoevey.jpg
 photo IMG_0786_zpsarblsskm.jpg
 photo IMG_0806_zpswkgvegaf.jpg

Devil’s Golf Course
 photo IMG_0826_zpsdt4plhfn.jpg
 photo IMG_0828_zps7eexcb1a.jpg
 photo IMG_0834_zpsrr5f5hur.jpg

Artist’s Palette
 photo IMG_0846_zpsnrjzaz6i.jpg

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes
 photo IMG_0852_zps87ekilcl.jpg
 photo IMG_0856_zpstmjcxn7v.jpg

The next weekend, Wesley and I headed out to San Diego County to Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells for a camping trip with some of our friends. Last year, we went out to Anza Borrego with some of the same people within the group. We camped out in Ocotillo Wells and explored around the area and in Anza Borrego. These areas are much more barren in comparison to Death Valley. Also, they aren’t as busy as Death Valley is too. This year, instead of camping at a traditional camp site, we literally had a GPS point and met everyone there. This was straight up primitive camping with no running water, no designated spot, and no bathrooms. It was actually a really cool experience. Oh yeah, and we also experienced our first legit sand storm. It was crazy and a little scary too. We also for the first time slept in our car, rather than set up a tent. The winds were just too crazy to set up a tent and Wesley has a huge car, so it was fine. The next day we explored both Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells. It’s pretty cool because we were just over on the other side of the Salton Sea. We saw the different places that this land scape had to offer and ended the day with the metal sculptures scattered around Anza Borrego. It was awesome to get to meet new people and see old faces. Can’t wait for our next outing. Hopefully it won’t be another year till we see them again 🙂

 photo IMG_0864_zpsijjvxkhg.jpg

 photo IMG_0872_zpsv0zxn651.jpg

 photo IMG_0875_zpsyiyh9mug.jpg


The following weekend, Wesley and I headed out to our final desert destination of our desert bonanza in Joshua Tree. We love Joshua Tree. Before last weekend, we had never gone camping the park, but we have done 2 day trips out in Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is one of the closest national parks to Los Angeles. Camping out in Joshua Tree was so amazing. We camped out in Jumbo Rocks campground with our oldest friends since high school. We were surrounded by huge boulders and the sites were secluded from each other. We checked out all of the different sites in Joshua Tree and climbed all of the rocks that we could. Joshua Tree is known for it’s rock formations and the Joshua Trees themselves. The rock formations make you feel like your in Bedrock, it’s so cool! It was awesome spending time with some of our oldest friends. We have all known each other since high school and it always awesome to make some time to hang out with them.

 photo IMG_0938_zpskovuzfot.jpg

 photo IMG_0953_zpsjmmb01ri.jpg

 photo IMG_0947_zpsozqcq1eh.jpg

 photo IMG_0975_zpsianpah5j.jpg

 photo IMG_0974_zpshgj6kl1t.jpg

 photo IMG_1022_zpsa7ajoju1.jpg

 photo IMG_0998_zpscnhcug6g.jpg

 photo IMG_1023_zps2jguj7k1.jpg

 photo IMG_1118_zpsqednozek.jpg

 photo IMG_1062_zpsehfwvcud.jpg

Deserts in Southern California are amazingly beautiful and offer so much. There are so many things to do out there for everyone. If you live in So Cal, go and explore your own backyard. There’s adventure out there.

 

Cheers! Happy exploring!

 

Camping in Joshua Tree 

Last weekend Wesley and I went camping with some of our oldest friends in Joshua Tree and camped at the  Jumbo Rocks. We had so much fun hanging out and climbing anything that we could. It was nice reconnecting with them because it had been a while since we’ve had a group outing. Collectively, we all want to get more often and hopefully after this trip we can make it happen. We’ve all known each other for 10 years and it’s always nice making time in our busy schedules to hang out. 

Made a short video of our time out in the desert! Hope you enjoy! 

Pioneertown | Joshua Tree

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I along with our friends decided to explore Joshua Tree and near by Pioneertown. I really love the desert and what the landscape has to offer. Even though it was pretty hot… about 100 degrees… it was still a lot of fun! We first headed towards Pioneertown. Pioneertown started out as a live in set for old westerns that were made back in the 40’s, since then it has turned into a cute quaint town for vistors to explore. It’s super cute and they even have a town shoot out between two dueling cowboys. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay to watch, instead after our quick visit, we headed out to Joshua Tree. Even though my boyfriend and I went there recently, we couldn’t stay away! Since our friends like to off road and explore, we thought it be fun to explore some trails out in the park. I love that we are able to explore landscapes through dirt roads and off the beaten path. It gives you great opportunities to see the landscape in a whole different way.

This day was pretty spontaneous and so amazingly fun! Check out the video below to see what went down! Enjoy!

Pioneertown | Joshua Tree from Jasmine on Vimeo.

Photo Diary: A Day in Joshua Tree

This weekend my boyfriend and I wanted to go off roading and exploring for the day, but also near our place. We decided to head out to Joshua Tree, which is about a 2.5 hour drive from Los Angeles. While doing some research we found an easy trail to follow. We usually don’t like to off road by ourselves, just because it could be dangerous, but we did our research and found that this would be fine to do on our own. The trail is called the Geology Tour Road. It’s an 18 mile trail loop that goes into the center of the park. It give great views of the park and is an easy drive through the park. It is recommended that you use a four-wheel drive vehicle. But we think that you don’t necessarily need a four-wheel drive vehicle, but you definitely need a high clearance SUV. After we did the loop of the Geology Tour Road, we headed towards the Berdoo Canyon Road Trail. For this trail, you definitely should use a four-wheel vehicle. It does have some rough terrain that can be more difficult for none off-roading vehicles. At the end of this trail, is a sort of shooting range for amateur gun enthusiast, so you’ll see tons of shot gun shells everywhere. Overall, the trip out to Joshua Tree was amazing. I’ll definitely be back to do more exploring and hopefully some camping!

IMG_9613 IMG_0139 IMG_9615 IMG_9628 IMG_9631 IMG_0144 IMG_0098

Palm Springs 2013

This last weekend, my best friend and I took a short road trip to Palm Springs to get away from work and life and just to relax. Man, was it worth it.

On our way to Palm Springs we decided to take an hour and half detour to Niland and to check out Salvation Mountain. I’ve seen pictures of this place, but for some reason I always thought it was Italy or some where near there. Yeah, don’t ask me why. The road to Salvation Mountain is a bit lonely because you’re on a two way highway along the Salton Sea for about 40-50 miles. There’s really no one out there, I was so glad to have my best friend out there with me. Along the Salton Sea, there are so many abandon buildings, it was kind of hard to believe that the area once thrived with tourist back in the day. When we got there, we were both awe-struck. It was so beautiful. We stood there for a while when we got of the car just to admire how much work and time was put into this place. The mountain is scrawled with bible verses and sacred words. I’m not religious, but this place really touched me emotionally for some reason. We spent a good hour there just admiring the work that has been put in there. It was truly amazing. If you want to learn more about Salvation Mountain, click here.

IMG_6855 IMG_6849 IMG_6853 IMG_6857 IMG_6860 IMG_6863 IMG_6865 IMG_6866 IMG_6868 IMG_6869 IMG_6872 IMG_6873 IMG_6875 IMG_6880 IMG_6884

So after that, we head back towards Palm Springs. We checked into our hotel and decided to rest for a little bit before we headed into downtown. We decided to have a quick and casual lunch at Grind Brgr Bar. We people watched for about an hour before heading back to our hotel to rest up for a nice long dinner. We headed out towards downtown again and walked around to see what the local sights were. We just took our time walking around because downtown is pretty small. We saw the big Marilyn Monroe and checked out the local shops. For dinner, we decided to spend the evening at Lulu California Bistro. I think what caught our eye for this place was the clean and white decor and the kind of retro feel it had. We ended up spending about 3 hours there enjoying our food, drinks, and had long conversations. It was quite nice. The waiters were all really great and attentive. What more can you ask for?

1000562_10151657906775759_829839985_n 994945_10151657906860759_881898739_n 1383367_10151657907015759_637869967_n 1380834_10151657907130759_2027052553_n

The next morning, we decided to sleep in and catch up on some sleep. We decided to end our trip at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to check out the mountain top. The ride was so much fun! A little nerve racking because it’s about a ten minute trip up there and it’s about a 2.5 mile trek as well. The view was a great pay off. The sights were so beautiful and the air was so crisp when we got up to the top. We decided to have a relaxing lunch up there to enjoy the views even more. After our ride back down about 2.5 hours later, we decided to head home.

IMG_6885 IMG_6887 IMG_6890 IMG_6892 IMG_6896 IMG_6898 IMG_6902 IMG_6903

This trip with my bestie was amazing. With our hectic schedules with work and life getting in the way, it’s always nice that we can make time for each other. We have been best friends since high school and it’s great that we can spend time together like no time has past. This trip was great because I got to enjoy beautiful scenery, wonderful food and drinks, and got to bond more with my bestie!

Hope you enjoyed the long read! 🙂