We met one evening early that week to go over logistics. Two of the agreements were that we would drive Justin's truck and Justin would take care of the firewood we needed to haul in. (Now, for all of you that know Justin, any of you getting nervous at this point?) Naturally, when I showed up at Justin's Friday afternoon, there were two pieces of 4x4 about three feet long each laying beside his truck. Yep. Firewood. Let me skip ahead a little and tell you all that the low that night was mid-30's. A fire wouldn't suck. Thankfully, Peter manned up and conned some bundles from his uncle, and our friend Ken was kind enough to spare some as well. Ken Gits 'Er Done. Firewood: check.
Logan couldn't get away from the gas factory until mid-afternoon, and if you've ever had the pleasure of dealing with Friday traffic in southern California, then you can understand that we wanted to put rubber on road as soon as he punched out. Which we did. But... As we did, Justin's low gas light comes on. Immediately. And by immediately I mean as we pull away from Peter's curb. (Justin meant to get gas earlier in the day - he had nothing else to do mind you - but somehow he forgot.) Well we took a risk and just hit the freeway and ignored the light as long as we could.Leaving for J-Tree
Incidentally the mustache was put into effect specifically for this trip
I kid Justin a lot, but in all seriousness he is a really impressive young man. It is my honor to be his friend.
We didn't hit the park gate until about 8 p.m. so we pitched camp by the light of the moon. Considering it was nearly full, that's about all we needed. It was bright! The tent walls were nearly glowing. Chef Logan cooked up some chicken and baked beans (Logan continued to eat these same beans the rest of the weekend), and we spent the rest of the evening scrambling around rocks and taking pictures. I did more picture-taking than scrambling as my right leg is still in a brace.
We drove past a section of the park like this for quite a while. This was one of my favorite parts. It just seemed so primitive to me. I was waiting for a brontosaurus to stroll through at any second.
At sunset we went out to a cactus grove where we had stopped earlier in the day. Unfortunately, we failed to comprehend that the valley the grove was in was flanked by mountains to the east and west. The ridgeline being at about 15 degrees meant we wouldn't get any of the interesting light from the low-lying sun. I was very disappointed until I turned around to the East to see the moon rising over the ridge. From our vantage point it looked like it spanned over a mile of ridgeline. Incredible.
Saturday night we all took a scramble/hike along a wash leading away from camp. On our way back, I had the other guys go back along the wash a minute or so and come back with their headlamps on. This is the exposure of them walking toward me. We had been trying to get some pictures like this earlier with little success.
The Gang (w/ Joshua Tree)
"Here I go again on my own..."