Saturday, March 31, 2012

Failed at backpacking.

This is me last Tuesday morning about one mile into my hike. As much as I would love to brag about hiking all 20 miles I started just prior to mile 19 and went about 8 miles into the desert. I just love to lie on facebook.

This is my buddy Margot. Photo taken at the very beginning of our trip - miles before we realized the "adventure" we were really about to have.

We thought we were far more badass than this hike would prove us to be.
Example A: We didn't even make it to our destination of Quail Mountain - the tallest mountain in Joshua Tree National Park. We got tired. It was only about 70 degrees out, but bear in mind the sun is on you all day in the desert, you never hike through the shady pines of home.
Margot on a fallen Joshua Tree

Our journey started off in the flat desert, looking like the photo above for the first half of the hike. Eventually we came into a beautiful mountain valley where we stopped for a lunch break and chased after a legitimate mirage of water (to be fair it had rained in Palm Springs a few days ago). After lunch we didn't make it too far, we had been hiking about 4 hours and both of us were exhausted! We decided we wouldn't make it the rest of the way and started looking for a camp site.  Unfortunately the mountains were steep and about a mile later we still hadn't found a bare spot in a flat area and had to campe in a wash. This is something we had specifically been told not to do, due to the rare floods that occur, but we were so tired we risked it. This wash had two levels to it and we were on the upper level, also, it mostly rains in august , rarely in March.

This is our tent. It was cold as balls. We should have put on the rain cover to help retain heat, but we wanted to see the stars. Once we set this up, both of us passed out in the afternoon desert sun for a good hour. Once that sun dipped below our mountains, you could feel the temperature drop rapidly! I pulled out my propane to make dinner only to discover it didn't fit my stove. We carried out a stove and propane for no reason and I had to have an apple for dinner.

The rest of the night was spent awake and cold. I was in a regular womens sleeping bag made for camping in 25 degrees and considering how cold I was, I cannot imagine being poor Margot in a kids sleepin bag. This comfy looking sand felt like cement and we spent all night trying to fool our bodies into comfort so we could get much needed rest. By 3 AM we were so cold that we actually shared sleeping bags and had to cuddle for warmth - like in that Seth Green movie.

We probably should have put the rain cover on by this point, but we were too cold - oh and also we brought a mini, dying flashlight.

As soon as the sun came up the next morning, we ate my oatmeal soaked overnight in cold water (due to that stove issue) and curtailed it home! Our hike in took 4.5 miles, but on the way out we refused to break under 2 miles and we got out in a little over 3.5 hours.

The desert wasn't very pretty. It all looked the same. I miss my forests, campfires and sleeping pads.

Don't go hiking in Joshua Tree.

The end.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Setting a leprechaun trap! Would settle for sexy irishman...


I love celebrating any holiday I can! Especially when it means I get to bake.

Oh shoot - I completely forgot about pie day - would have used that excuse to make a lemon cream pie with the lemons in my yard....

Anyway, for St Pattys day I am not drinking. I did have a greenish club soda with lime, but no booze, which suits me just fine. I would prefer to consume my calories....

 Do you like my "leprechaun trap"?

I plan to lure him in with gold, after which he will fall into a bear pit of sorts constructed with pretzels. Muahahaha!!

The best part...

I got the recipe from someone who made it look a LOT prettier, but that's okay - mine would have looked better if I had piping bags, more cake better and frosting tools. Maybe next year.

My Source:

I had this recipe saved on one of my  pinterest boards. Do you have a pinterest?? It is pretty amazing. 

Enjoy the Holiday - even if it is a small one!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Palm Springs Tram

The Palm Springs tram is the largest in the world and goes up over 8500 ft in ten minutes. I wanted to take it in the winter and the summer as there is snow in the winter! This tram is very famous and is probably the number one activity to do in Palm Springs. It is a must and was definitely worth the $24 ticket up.

This tram is located on the opposite end of Palm Springs, so driving there took almost an hour. The last bit of it is a four mile drive from the visitors center to the base of Mt. San Jacinto.
It is amazing how flat the Coachella Valley is isn't it?

Base of the Tram

It was hard to get photos on the way up, because it was crowded and everyone has to stand by the window the entire time!

At the top of the tram there is a restaurant and bar, run by ARAMARK (who I worked for last summer)! $24 for the ticket was enough money out of my pocket so I didn't get anything, but went out back and walked along the nature trails. You can't go far without a backcountry permit, but I lounged around and enjoyed the fresh air and snowy meadows.

I plan on going back in two weeks to do an overnight trip up part of the Pacific Crest Trail - should be amazing! What is also nice about the trails up here is that snakes and bears very rarely come up this high. Every once in a while they do, but you aren't even required to hike with a bear can - makes me feel safe!

What a difference huh?!