We're heading off to the desert this weekend. I am so ready to get out of town. I like road trips, even short silly ones like this, where you drive for 20 hours or so round trip so you can be somewhere else for a couple of days. We're going to Joshua Tree, which is always gorgeous, and also not too hot this time of year. I checked the weather-- ~81F in the day, and ~50F at night. There are lots of enormous rocks all piled around for the kids to climb on, and a pool at the hotel, for our sanity at the end of the day. I wanted to camp, but as usual we put everything together at the last moment (I was going to say "planned", but that's really not an appropriate description of the process), and we don't have the camping supplies we would need anyway.
The last little impromptu getaway was a couple of months ago, when we went to Yosemite for the weekend (the weekend!). My poor mother was here and made the mistake of coming with us. I had innocently booked a nice cheap hotel at the southern entrance, because the literature said it was located only 15 miles from the park. What it neglected to mention (I guess we were supposed to have done our homework) was that from the southern entrance of the park it was another 20 miles or so to the floor of the valley, where half dome is, over a mountain pass and narrow winding roads. And chains were required. You can't go any faster than 35 mph with chains, and preferably less if you don't want it to sound like you're riding in the bowl of a Cuisineart. On the final (second) day of our stay, it was snowing. We went sledding, which was marvellous, and then cheerfully decided we would make our way back over the pass into the valley for one last look before heading home. It was snowy. It was really snowy. And icy. And for part of the way, you couldn't exactly see the edge of the road. Or the road, really. I have no idea how long it took us to inch our way into the valley, but I am pretty sure my Mom wanted to kill us very early on in the adventure. J and I have gotten ourselves into other dubious situations like this, through willfull ignorance and the assumption that we'll probably survive. So far we have, though not through any skill or smarts of our own. But it was gorgeous:
They look like black and white photos, don't they? You can just see the tiniest glimpses of color. Anyway, we were all set to stay the night, but then we discovered that if we just followed the road the other way, toward the entrance we should have stayed near in the first place, it was all down hill and the roads were clear. Hahaha. So maybe I have learned my lesson. Maybe.