Camping American Style

Trip Start Jan 12, 2007
Trip End Nov 19, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, November 11, 2007

Camping at Joshua Tree National Park on a sunny Veteran's Day weekend in November was a "pinch me" moment of the trip.

Along with the turquoise waters of Tulum, the Chiriqui rainforests in Panama and Costa Rica's Caribbean beaches, the park was easily one of the most stunning spots we had seen during our travels.

According to the park's promotional materials, "Joshua Tree National Park provides a haven from everyday routines, space for self-discovery, a refuge for the human spirit, and a sense of place in the greater scheme of things".

And this is true, even though it sits just off Highway 8, only 140 east of Los Angeles.

Without question, the appeal of the park lies in the stunning plant life and surreal geological displays that mark this place, where the Mojave and Colorado Desert ecosystems meet.

The Cholla Cactus Garden was fascinating, the Joshua trees mesmerizing. And the cartoonish-looking rock formations create a landscape that resembles Bedrock, the prehistoric town where Barney, Wilma and the other Flintstones lived.

The camping vibe was different here as well. No longer were we close Semana Santa neighbors with extended Mexican families who listened to loud Norteano music.

Or with grey-haired snowbirds who congregate like clockwork for happy hour under their oversized RV awnings.

The crowd here was California cool, decked out in their MEC gear, many game on spending the long weekend rock climbing. Campfires and headlamps replaced tiki lamps and portable bars.

It reminded us of what camping is like at home in British Columbia.

And it marked another step in the transition back to our "regular" lives, that we knew was now just days away.

See more about our roadtrip, and others' roadtrips, at
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