About Me

An avid people & pet photographer, this blog is an easier way to share stories and photos with family and friends that are scattered across the globe. I'm a blonde who finally went back to her natural color after years of being a redhead. I'm in love with photography, reading, movies, live music, history and my Italian Greyhound Dante. Born in Norway, I've been living in SoCal since I was five. {Photo by Nancy Orozco}

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A 24-Hour Getaway

Earlier last week, I got a text from Mr. Same Same, asking if we had any plans this weekend that we couldn't get out of? Turns out, we didn't, and we're both sooo glad. He really needed a weekend away from everything, and I had to agree it was about time. Just a quick trip, all by ourselves, no real plans and no obligations. Perfect. Plus, it was a sweet, understated way to celebrate our six month anniversary. :)

We decided to head out to Palm Springs, since it's only about an hour drive. The main attraction for the weekend was Joshua Tree National Park, which is not too far from where we were staying and a great way for a California newbie to get to know the desert. :)

Before going into the park lands proper, we stopped at the awesome Crossroads Cafe in the town of Joshua Tree (such a cute town, I'd love to go back and explore the vintage shops and unique architecture more). I had their house salad with balsamic vinaigrette and added grilled shrimp, which was possibly the best decision of the whole weekend.

Soooo yummy, I had to fight the boy off after giving him a taste!

We finally entered the park mid afternoon and it turned out it was free to get in since it was National Public Lands Day! Score!

First place we decided to stop was Skull Rock, which only looks sort of like a skull from this perspective (aka the side of the road):

The best part about stopping was when we got out, it was so incredibly quiet that our ears were ringing. So amazing. We just stood there, enjoying the feeling of the sun beating down and the sound of the breeze quietly whistling. It really reaffirmed that the trip was exactly what we needed. You forget how you're constantly surrounded by noise when you live in OC/LA.

The bonus part of such a huge national park and so few people in it is the empty roads:

We headed over to Barker Dam, since it seemed interesting and is only a one-mile trail. The heat may have been just barely bearable, but that's when you're not moving and in an air-conditioned car. :) 

It turned out to be a lovely trail! The only downside is it's not the part of the park with actual Joshua trees, so I didn't get any photos of them. {Later we stopped so the boy could do so - hopefully I'll get him to send me his shots so I can share.}

The dam turned out to be a pretty small one built by cattle ranchers way back when, but it was still cool to see this hidden spot of water amidst the bone-dry desert.

I thought I'd get smart and use the ingenious combo of a self timer and a big rock as a tripod...unfortunately the auto-focus gods weren't with me that day.

The dam (ooooOOOoooo):

Loved seeing these cave drawings. I'm sure they've been embellished by more recent generations, but still cool. :)

A sighting of the rare red-bearded Newton! Luckily he was sleeping so I could get close without risking being caught:

After that excursion, we mostly stayed in the car all the way to the hotel, where we checked in, freshened up and headed out for a nice quiet dinner before coming back and watching "Angels in America" on his laptop. Just perfect.

Next morning we just checked out and headed home to take shelter in the a/c for the afternoon with my family. It's funny, after only a day, but we both felt so amazing and recharged. Couldn't ask for more.

I'm really looking forward to the next trip - coming sooner than expected! We're heading off to Mammoth for my birthday in less than two weeks. Can't wait! :)


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Reader Comments (3)

This place looks gorgeous... Sounds like a great trip!

September 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

You got a shot of the red-bearded Newton?!!! So jealous. Just look at that amazing plumage!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEarl Newton

Ah so jealous! I love Joshua Tree and Mammoth so much. Didn't get to do our annual Mammoth trip this year. Love the photos!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda Muscato

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