My dad had initially planned to take the kids and I on an overnight camping trip to some mines a little ways from his house (close enough to be a day trip, if desired) but since it was so hot (close to 100 degrees!) and there was no shade there - except in the mines themselves - we decided to camp a little closer to home. So, we took the kids for an overnight trip into Joshua Tree National Park. We found a perfect campsite with lots of shade and wonderful climbing rocks - just a few spots away from one that I camped in with my parents when I was a kid!
We climbed rocks, chased lizards, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and slept out under the stars! Much fun was had by all!
Climbing through 'the cave'.
Miriam insisted on having her new monkey friend with her as she climbed so I turned her bandanna into a little sling for her. As it turns out that ornery monkey kept trying to slip out of the sling and ended up hanging by her tail several times, but it looked really cute!
We weren't at our campsite long before this guy slithered out of the bushes and along the base of one of the large rock formations that bordered our campsite. Yes, he is a good sized rattle snake, a 'Mohave Green', we believe. It was a bit disconcerting, especially considering that we planned to sleep under the stars that night! But dad escorted him away from our campsite and across two streets...and we just hoped he didn't have a buddy nearby. We also knew, though, that even with the high temperatures during the day it was still quite cool at night so we really didn't have to worry about being bothered by snakes while we slept.
Another, not so intimidating, visitor to our campsite. The kids had fun chasing this guy and his buddy...
...who was smaller and a bit better looking.
Isaiah, on the hunt!
Oh, so close!
Miriam gets a turn holding 'the catch' and checks out the teeth Isaiah just experienced first hand. (Which didn't do any damage, in case that wasn't clear)
Showing off his (or her) brilliant blue belly.
Roasting hotdogs...they never taste quite as good as when they are roasted over a campfire. So yummy!
If you look closely you can see Isaiah in this cool (at least I think so) photo of him roasting a marshmallow.
It was really cool sitting there with all my kids resting on me and staring up at the stars and talking about what we saw - so I asked dad to take a picture. Well, the only problem with that is that we were all sitting there in the dark and when dad went to take the picture the flash does this little 'pre-flash' which made the kids shriek in 'pain' (as in 'my eyes, my eyes!') and got us all roaring with laughter! So instead of a picture of us all peacefully staring up at the stars, this is actually a picture of us laughing hysterically because we keep being blinded by the flash!
Miriam and I snuggled in my sleeping bag, we were both a little chilly and she was a little scared so I just had her climb in with me. I slept pretty well, really, all things considered.