Yes, we ended up camping in the desert in 90+ degree weather (what we try to avoid!) It was hot and dry but we still had a blast. This was our first time at the Hidden Valley campground (all of our previous J-Tree trips were at Cottonwood), and it turned out to be good timing: the Cottonwood campground had recently been damaged by flash flood and will be closed for at least another month. We loved camping closer to all the rock scrambling activities...in fact, there was rock scrambling right next to our tent!
Lukas is on top of one of the boulders near the tree in this picture.
Here's Dominik enjoying his first s'more (remember, six months ago he was barely eating solid food, and those were only purees).
The next morning, Natalie enjoying her cup of hot chocolate. The kids now assume that hot chocolate in the morning is a part of camping! And it keeps them out of my hair while I'm making breakfast.
And speaking of breakfast, my new favorite thing is to make waffles at home and then reheat them on the griddle. This works better than reheating pancakes...and fast meals are important so I didn't plan to make pancakes fresh on the griddle (although it's not completely out of the question). This is in addition to pre-cooking the bacon at home so I get rid of a lot of the fat...then I finish cooking the bacon in the pan here, and scramble the eggs in the little bacon grease that comes out.
The kids spent a lot of time digging in the decomposed granite at our campsite. We're still shaking that stuff out of shoes!
This is the audience for...
Ford vs. Chevy monster trucks! I got this pack of two radio-controlled cars at Wal-Mart for $60...then the teller asked if I wanted to buy the replacement plan for $6! Are you kidding? The boys get to trash the trucks at the desert for four days, and then I come back and replace them? Of course I'll buy that! Funny thing...the trucks are still running fine. Just goes to show that "buying insurance" might be the best insurance!
Natalie said, "We made it!" a lot on this trip as we hiked here and there.
Konrad's latest facial expression when you take a picture of him.
Quick, take a picture! Natalie has her hat on! This is a rare event, but we managed to convince her to wear it on several occasions.
The audience for the rock scramblers.
Ok, that looks like too much fun not to do!
I think this was at Skull Rock. It was VERY warm so we were taking advantage of the shady side of the rock.
And then the boys posed. Note to self: if we're camping in an area where boys are going to be climbing on granite, just go ahead and put jeans on them, even if it is 90 degrees. You'll use fewer band-aids.
At Keys View. The last time we visited Joshua Tree, it was extremely windy at this lookout, so it was nice to take in the view without being blown back to the car.
No, we didn't do official homeschool on this trip, but we did work on the Junior Ranger booklet.
Friday evening, out for a walk. Beautiful!
And that's the end of the first full day. More to come...soon!...including guest posts by Lukas and Tom.