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2016 Joshua Tree New Year

Happy 2016 everyone!  Our annual New Year Joshua Tree expedition was another memorable one!






Joshua Tree!  I’ve been spending the New Year in Joshua Tree for more than 10 years now.  Check out our Joshua Tree trip from 2015 !  Langdon was just a papoose!!!

The only time I missed Joshua Tree for New Year’s was when I was trapped in Canada awaiting my immigration papers.  It’s about a 3 hour drive from my parent’s home.  We arrived at our Airbnb in the middle of the night.  The next morning when Langdon walked outside he was like, “But hark, what new planet is this that I have happened to step foot on???”.JoshuaTree'15 - 01

Poor Pacific Northwest baby is like, “What.  The.  Hell.”.


Jeff slumbered on while Langdon + I took a morning stroll.  Here is the street leading to the house.  I love a good dirt road.JoshuaTree'15 - 02

We ran, played in the dirt, chased a desert hare…pretty much our idea of a kick ass time.

After eating breakfast + getting our fannies in gear we met up with our dear Canuck friends who DITCHED ME.  I’ll explain.  Once I moved to Canada they were like “we are high tailing out of this place” + THEY MOVED TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!!!!  WHYYYYY?????!!!!!  Anyways my misdirected emotions stems from sadness because I miss them + jealousy because they totally love living in Cali + I REALLY MISS CALIFORNIA.

Upon entering the National Park we headed straight to toddler/kid friendly Hidden Valley.  Here’s Langdon bouldering on top of a rock.JoshuaTree'15 - 03

HAHAHA!!!  I know what you’re thinking – don’t freak out!  Jeff was holding onto him from behind!  People on the trail were spazzing out like, “OH MY DEAR GOD, THAT BABY!!!  IT’S UP THERE ALL ALONE HOWEVER DID HE GET UP THERE???!!!”.

Langdon with the ladies.JoshuaTree'15 - 04

It looks really serene + calm but behind me was like A HERD of people.  Joshua Tree has gotten insanely crowded over the years.  The line to get into the park took forever.  And all the parking areas for the hiking trailheads were so jammed packed people were waiting for spots.  Oh + the horrible hipsters taking fashion selfies???  Don’t get me started.

I was so thankful for Keiko + Hana!  They were so attentive, caring + the best baby sitters ever!  I could completely relax when they were with Lang.JoshuaTree'15 - 05

After our long day we all had dinner together, listened to Spotify + called it quits.  We know how to party.


The next morning Lang + I hung out waiting for dad to wake up.  Check out our posh Airbnb – the Saguaro Hideaway Guesthouse.JoshuaTree'15 - 06

It is super tiny + cozy but it served the purpose perfectly with stunning views!!!  There is the “main house” on the same property, but there was enough separation to create lots of privacy.JoshuaTree'15 - 07

We headed out + met up with the Hoiles clan in Yucca Valley.  Lang running across the street after a bite at the cafe.JoshuaTree'15 - 08

There’s lots of antique shopping to be done in Yucca Valley but there’s no way in hell I’m taking a grabby toddler into a shop full of breakables!  FORGET about thrifting.  Every store has been completely picked over by the hipsters.  When I was young it was a goldmine!  Now – nothing.

The Hoiles had to head back home + Lang received a kiss from Uncle Steve!JoshuaTree'15 - 09

After saying our sad goodbyes we stopped by the vintage store The End.JoshuaTree'15 - 10

Jeff + Lang very intensely studying the merchandise.JoshuaTree'15 - 11

This store is pretty much all about me + I want EVERYTHING IN THERE.JoshuaTree'15 - 12

Lang napped in the car + we headed to 29 Palms.  It’s a half hour drive from Joshua Tree where there’s a second park entrance.  There is a huge marine base located in 29 Palms.  This picture pretty much sums it up.JoshuaTree'15 - 13

Tattoo parlors, barbers specializing in military cuts, oriental massage parlors (*ahem*).

What I love about 29 Palms is that it’s also known as “The Oasis of Murals”.  Lang really enjoyed gazing at the art.JoshuaTree'15 - 14

That night we celebrated New Year’s Eve…JoshuaTree'15 - 15

Sort of.  Lang + I went to sleep at 8pm.  I woke up before midnight, then Jeff + I went outside before twelve.  It was hella cold but it was amazing being under the night desert sky wooping + blowing our horns to ring in the New Year!


First stop, back to the park for a short walk to Ryan’s Ranch, a historic adobe homestead built in 1896.JoshuaTree'15 - 16

God, I love the desert.  I appreciate the forest of the Pacific Northwest, but I have always been + always will be a desert girl.

Approach to the ruins.JoshuaTree'15 - 17

Frontier Man basking in the glory of the spirit of the pioneer.JoshuaTree'15 - 18

Silvery, sparkly cholla cactus.JoshuaTree'15 - 20

Second stop, Cap Rock.  Time to refuel!JoshuaTree'15 - 22

I make the pilgrimage to the site of Gram Parson’s funeral pyre on every visit.  What?!  A cremation in Joshua Tree?!  It’s too long to explain so I’ll have Wikipedia do it for me.  Click to read about Gram Parsons.  It was really strange, usually the rocks are colorfully painted, there are flowers + offerings.  But on this visit just a simple RIP G.C.P.JoshuaTree'15 - 23

Gram Parson is pretty much one of the main reasons why I started coming to Joshua Tree in my early 20’s.  Here’s Gram with Anita Pallenberg + Keith Richards in 1969.Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 9.41.07 PM



















After paying our respects, we wandered around Cap Rock’s interpretive trail.JoshuaTree'15 - 25

This kid loves the desert as much as his mom.  Langdon was so darned happy in the desert!  Like the happiest I’ve ever seen him!  I’m not kidding!!!JoshuaTree'15 - 24

It’s pretty cool because this year having a toddler in tow, we went on walks that I’ve never done before.  They were simple + easy but still so damn gorgeous!

Third stop, Keys View.  A sweeping panoramic view of the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, Palm Springs + you name it!  It has a steep incline to the viewing platform.JoshuaTree'15 - 26

Langdon walked the loop FIVE TIMES.  Some adults were huffing + puffing up the incline.  This little desert rat is a trooper – he could have walked it a dozen more times!  Here he is displaying typical toddler behavior:JoshuaTree'15 - 27

“GO ‘WAY!!!!!” he’s screeching at me.

The never ending view:JoshuaTree'15 - 28

Even though there are tons of people at the site, most of them are too chicken sh*t to get closer to the edge.  And the view is so heavenly that it gives a calming affect.JoshuaTree'15 - 29

Jeff looks like Waylon Jenning’s long lost brother.

What a full day of activity, fun + nature!  We all slept like rocks that night!

The next day on our drive out we stopped by Coyote Corner.JoshuaTree'15 - 30

It’s been there for as long as I can remember.  I always make a point of going in whenever I visit.  Man, I could live in the desert forever.  It has always felt like home to me.  I hope everyone’s 2016 has gone off to a great start!  Until next time!!!  Thanks for coming along!

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kenneth Dad's/Papi Nishino #

    WoW’ZeeR’s another wonderful outing in….the desert!!!!!
    L-Lang & Jeff, could easily pass as Local’s…haha…LOL!!!!!
    happy to hear, L-Lang, bonded with, Hana and Keiko, gawd
    they’v grown,..again terrific photos, Nan,…luv Dadd’s

    January 16, 2016
  2. Kenneth Dad's/Papi Nishino #

    Yaah, Joshua Tree-Joshua Tree, another great outing in
    the desert, amazing blue skies, WOW, terrific photos as
    always,…Jeff & LLang look so typically Local…haha..LOL !!!
    happy to hear LLang/Hana/Keiko bonded great to see old
    friends,…totally enjoyed the blog, love DAD’s

    January 16, 2016
  3. Kenneth Dad's/Papi Nishino #

    hi, Nana, great stuff, photo’s look marvelous,WOW, the
    sky in Joshua Tree is amazingly blue-blue, funny, Jeff &
    LLang look so typically LOCAL,…hahaha…LOL !!!!!!

    January 17, 2016
  4. Happy belated New year!!
    Beautiful photos !!
    He is growing fast 🙂

    January 29, 2016
  5. I found your blog going thru political news about the presidential election year..people wanting to leave u.s. if XX got elected. I live in Barstow and we passed by Joshua Tree NP on way from North Carolina to my new job at Ft Irwin 3 years ago..I was born/raised in HI. Never been to Joshua Tree but see a lot of the desert daily, on way to work. I enjoyed reading/ going thru this and explored your other sections. I like your energy and joy in life. Keep it up! I signed up for your emails.
    PS. I remember asking the older lady at the BLM visitor center near I-40 (I remember the stuffed animals in her small office (I think there was a bobcat slinking on a high shelf) and asking how the cactus got its Joshua Tree name.

    Also enjoyed your posts about mochitsuki and the luau too..keep it up!!!

    March 5, 2016
    • Wow! Thanks so much for the positive feedback! I’ve been feeling a little unenthusiastic about keeping up the blog lately, so I really appreciate your comment!!! Wow Hawaii to Barstow! Talk about culture shock!!! I’m still having culture shock coming from dry, sunny LA to wet, rainy, green Vancouver!

      March 5, 2016
  6. Debby Chamberlain #

    I just read about the only three things that you like in Canada. Well liking your husband doesn’t count so if the only things you can find to like in Canada is our health care and oka cheese then I suggest you head back to the US and Target. Canada has beautiful dessert area’s, mountains, majestic coastline and the list goes on. Not to mention the friendly people and the fact that we don’t have to worry about everyone carrying guns. I find your comments offensive.

    March 12, 2016
    • If you read the article thoroughly, you’ll notice that I mentioned one of the pros to living in Canada was it’s natural beauty. It’s true, nothing compares – it’s absolutely stunning – the coast, the prairies + the Canadian Rockies. And yes my husband counts as one of the things I like about Canada because he’s Canadian + he’s the main reason why I live in Canada. And for your information the only reason we live in Canada is because of my husband’s work. I would love nothing more than to return to the United States, would do so in a heartbeat + I know many U.S. expats here that feel the exact same. But if you don’t know a person’s personal story + you don’t understand an individual’s free right to express an opinion, please don’t be judgmental + please never come back on my blog again.

      March 12, 2016

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