We start the weekend with a sleep deficiency and I’m sure taking brisk morning walks in the cool of 4am doesn’t add to my REM but it does give me a sweaty back for Caleb to rub. I finish a post and a book before going to work but am home by 11am and Caleb soon after so we decide we’ll go camping for two nights to escape the noises of Imperial Beach and replace them with the soothing sounds of nature.
We were in for a surprise. We packed shorts and wool shirts, granola and pasta, tent and water. I grabbed my camera and we were on the road heading north by the afternoon. There was a weird amount of stop-and-go traffic, some road construction delays, and a short stop at the Ricardo Breceda Gallery and Sculpture Garden to peek at some large metal creations before continuing on the 79 east.
I enjoy the downhill cruising and slight breaking when necessary on the Pines to Palms Highway and then we seem to arrive to an empty Joshua Tree National Park. We revel in the solitude and put on our hiking shoes. Smiles on our faces and some sand in our toes we find spot 100 at Jumbo Rocks Campground around 6pm. Caleb set up the tent and I made dinner before setting off on a hike.
The Skull Rock Loop being the closest we thought it would be a nice 1.7 miles, but we have trouble coming out of the campsite and it only gets more difficult once we get lost on the other side of the road. This is definitely the lack of sleep catching up with us, but luckily we have a speed limit sign to guide us on a shortcut and once we see the skull we can find our way back over the last half mile.
We happily refill our already depleted energy reserves with the help of the wooden utensils I keep in my purse, since we forgot a few car camping necessities. We then attempt to read with the light of dusk but the best way to handle someone else’s screaming child is to yell back at them. Luckily, the mom was respectful about the situation and I apologized, but her husband’s personality was embarrassing.
My little outburst got the other sites near us to turn off their music and we put away books in exchange for stars through the partly-cloudy sky with tons of planes flashing their lights and some possible aliens getting their aircraft across our view in a hurry. This gives me time to recall my idea earlier of a show called Camp Swap, where couples, or families, get to use the gear of another couple at the same site. I also think about time travel but with the ability to have the mindset of the time you’re visiting.
Anyway, I think it’s time to put our thoughts away for the day and carry them into my dreams. Most campsites have quiet hours between 10pm and 6am, but since this is one of the few open in the park we are stuck between a couple in and out of their car and yelling at each other in the dark and two guys even louder overusing the word bro trying to hear each other over their music at 1130pm. Caleb gets up to tell them to turn their music down and there is a temporary reprieve.
Maybe I missed the memo, but I feel that music should be reserved for cars, showers, gyms, museums, and concerts, etc. People also have the right to headphones, even if you can hear what they’re listening to on public transportation, but it saddens me that nature, not only overrun with light and plastic is now being ruined with sound garbage.