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Joshua Tree - An Escape To Paradise (PHOTO HEAVY)


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A while back, I came up with the idea to put together a gathering of people, friends, acquaintances, and other generally fun people. LINKY HERE

A date was set, a plan was made, and the rest, as the say, was history.


It is interesting to note that Jamie (2bmwfan) and I have both done a lot of camping in our own right. However, in the 7 years of our being together, we have NEVER camped together. To make it even more of a comedy, we have had a bunch of new camping gear sitting on the shelf for years just waiting to be used. As is all too common, "today" becomes "someday" and "That sounds like a good idea. We should do that.", really means, "Later, we're too busy."


We both had been looking forward to the trip more than most here are aware. An opportunity to get away from the "normal" life, its stresses, and the traditional rat race.


We loaded up the truck and put the bikes on the trailer.


Here I am checking the load the morning of our departure.



And here Jamie and I are somewhere between Diamond Springs and Joshua Tree.



What a blast we had on the way down to Joshua Tree. It was a total of about 9 hours including stops and I can assure you that there was maybe 5 minutes total quiet time in the truck. Jamie is my best friend and we never run out of things to talk about. It was so much fun and the worries of the world disappeared with minutes of pulling out of the driveway.





The trusty Fireman Antenna Ball guided us well on the way down. Though I did hear that he had a mishap while under the guidance of a certain Twisties? Hmmm, where is that man down photo I heard about?



JohnLT and Twisties were already there upon our arrival. As were Spartan and Donna and TGregg. And the jokes began immediately. The best part of ANY BMWST event is the people. It may be bikes that initially connect us but it is the people that bind us. This site has some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.


We got to work setting up the tent.





We found a nice spot tucked in to the shrubbery (Monty Python accent inserted HERE!) on Jamie and Leslie's stall. Since Leslie had to go and continue pursuing her break dance routine and take it too far LINKY HERE , we had the extra stall for the night and figured we would use it.



Our home for the weekend, courtesy of Wenger tents.



Once we got set up we hung out with friends and others began to roll in - Beagler, CoarsegoldKid and Juanita, MBelectric.


The wind had picked up significantly, so we all decided that a camp BBQ was not the way to go. We all piled in to Joe's Subaru and my truck and went in to town to try the local flavor. We found a nice Mexican restaurant and we all ate our fair share of some decent food. Lots of laughter and good times were had!


Here's Joe and Juanita at dinner.



I'll need to rely on others to add more photos from dinner, if there are any, as Jamie and I were too hungry to take photos.


After dinner we headed back to camp for the Scotch comaprison. It was Oban vs Highland Park vs The Balvanie. Each good in their own rite but I liked the Highland Park the best.


We all retired happy that evening though we were all a bit concerned over the wind as it was blowing pretty good by this time. Our major concern swirled around poor Joe and Juanita. Afterall, they were hoping to bed down in the divine comfort of their affectionately termed, 'Blue Marshmallow.' Not really a tent but more like a bounce house without the bounce. We offered to give them our SPOT Messenger in case they woke up the next morning and found themselves not in Kansas anymore and in need of rescue.


The next morning we all awoke to a spectacular sunny and wind free day.



I wonder? Did Joe and Juanita survive?



I have to say, there is no better thing in life than waking up like this with your best friend in the whole world!!! I'm just sayin'!!



Of course, we must have percolated coffee and pancakes!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!



Now, where are Joe and Juanita???? Joe???? Juanita?????


If you've never been, you owe it to yourself to get to Joshua Tree. It is beautiful!!





I see several very indicative things in this picture! The Subaru has steamy windows. That could only mean one of a few things. The local animal population of Joshua Tree decided that a Subaru would be a great wind shelter for the night. Joe and Juanita, well, uhh, emmm, yeah . . . . Or, finally, Joe and Juanita clamored in to the Subaru after Big Blue got tossed around as expected.


After looking at Big Blue, all collapsed and twisted, I think it safe to assume what happened.





Joe was not happy and made some comment to the fact that the Subaru need to be a few inches longer to accommodate his height while trying to sleep in it. It was pointed out to him that he was in fact driving a Subaru OUTBACK and that could only mean that his feet should have been extending out back of the tailgate. He didn't laugh!


We all gathered around having coffee, etc.




Gregg, Juanita, Jamie, Joe



John (sitting down), Jim, Gregg, Juanita, Jamie, Joe (still not laughing)



We came up with a plan to go do the Geology Road Tour. Jim and Donna would 2up on their Adventure, Jamie on her F650GS, and I on my F800GS. John took off for Big Bear for the day. Gregg and EffJay would be jeeping.


This bike has rapidly become one of my all time favorites!!



And, this is DEFINTELY Jamie's favorite. John's Adventure is in the background.



Some photos around the campsite.















Just entering the main park on the way to the Geology Road Tour.







UFO camera lens cap



Ahhh, just amazing!!!





Mars must look like this.





Charley Boorman, AKA 2bmwfan



The beginning of the Geology Road Tour.



Monty would have been proud. Rommel doesn't stand a chance.







Joe, Juanita, Mark, and Jan in the Big Red One.



More to follow but this will get ya started for now!

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Sorry about the Fireman Antenna Ball. I thought I had talked to Jamie about it, but must have forgotten to discuss it with you. But hey, what's a little cracked helmet between friends. The good thing is Mark saw him come off, I didn't. He would have been lost forever.


Nice start you have going here. I'm hooked. :lurk:

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Part Deux . . .


The Geology Road Tour was spectacular. There is just so much to see but, . . .


One MUST remember that there is one, AND ONLY ONE, option while doing this on a bike. Here are the two available options -


1. Enjoy the scenery.


2. Ride the damn bike.


You can only pick one. When attempting to multi task, things tend to go awry. I will, however, tell you that I definitely made it further than 50 yards!




I made two mistakes here. One, as indicated above I tried to look and ride. Two, after getting into the sandy dune I rode it out a few fish tails and had the thought that, "I'm good. I'm through. No problem!" About half a second afterwards I stepped off the bike as she fell to the right.


Note in the photo that you can just see Jamie's foot extending her kick stand. I will have you know that hte photo doesn't give the words on this one! The whole time she is dismounting, she is yelling, "Give me the camera!!!!!!!" Sheesh, best friends are something else!


We picked up and continued on. All the while picking our way between the hard pack and the sand. We made it to the loop section and it was there that we decided that it was getting a bit too much for fun and leisurely enjoyment.


The weapons of war.







You can just see the ribbon of a road that leads back to where we are currently. A large loop of many miles of beautiful park best accessed by jeep.




We were late in the season for full bloom desert glory but we found some none the less.




Digging holes in the sand box . . . Adventure style!





After turning around and coming back out we headed to Keys Point for some spectacular views of the surrounding area. We had stopped at the store before leaving and picked up some food for lunch and had that while we walked around as well.


A view toward Palm Springs. The hills in the mid ground are the San Andreas fault proper.











A look back down the hill to the personnel carriers.



After this we went over to another area (forgot the name) for some hiking. Since Jamie and had only had full riding gear with us and it was what we were wearing, Jamie asked to go back to camp, change, and come back. This left Joe, Juanita, Mark, Jan, Jim, and Donna for hiking while Jamie and I beat feet to change.


After Jamie got back to camp and pulled her helmet off, it was evident she was done for the day. We stayed at camp and awaited the return of our fellow travelers who were glad we didn't come back and make them hike some more!


So much fun!





We moved our tent for day 2 as Jamie and Leslie's spot was being occupied by others. We just moved on to one of our already designated spots.




I love this one! Thanks Jan!



Everyone hung out a bit and Jamie and I ran in to town as we had committed to providing dinner for the Saturday evening meal.


Once back we got the fire started (Lord only knows how with all the "help" going around) and turned our attention to people, fun, laughter, and jokes.





Juanita, Joe (he's smiling), Janine (skyskier's wife. They came up for the evening), and Jeff (EffJay).



Good grief!! Shut the H E Double Hockey Sticks Up peanut gallery!!! This was one hilarious moment! Light it this way, do this, pile the coals, get gas, get MORE gas, etc., etc., etc.



Here's Gregg, Donna (that's her nose at least), me, Jan, Jim, John, Steve (Beagler), Joe, and Juanita.


See!!! The fire is lit!!!



The group photo.



Jamie out did herself on this meal!!!!! Perfectly cooked with fantastic people to boot.












We all had our fill and enjoyed each others company. Joe was even smiling. Jamie and I had brought our extra tent and had given it to Joe and Juanita so they didn't have to stay another night in the Blue Marshmallow Bounce House.


The next morning had people heading off to home or other parts. Before leaving, we went on a fantastic hike with Jim, Donna, Jan, Jamie and myself.



Uhhh, where the heck are we? The nomads might be invading!





Lots to see!!!!!!










Jim and Donna. jan off to the rear some.








Hey little buddy!



After our hike, we all said our goodbyes for now. We did not want to leave. In fact, Jan did his best to keep us there by losing his key. Errr, sorry, he didn't lose it he hid it from any criminal mind who might have wanted to pilfer his steed. Yea, that's what she said! ('The Office' humor)


We got on the road and decided to take the more scenic route home up 395.


Third and final installment to follow - The Trip Home

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Phil, the picture, where is "THE" picture. We're all waiting for the 51st yard!


Shut it!

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Great report, Phil :thumbsup:

You now have a goal for your next off pavement excursion...

The 100 yard dash!

Good Luck! :grin::wave:

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Part Trois . . .


On our way home up 395, I have to admit I was looking for any reason to not come home. I had just too much fun and really enjoyed just being with my wife, good friends, etc.


On the way up 395, between Lone Pine and Independence, CA there is a very important part of US history. A place called Manzanar .


If you get the chance, go! It is one of the former WW2 Japanese detainment camps.


I have been twice before but Jamie has never been. We stopped.


Auditorium/Interpretive Center



Guard Tower



One of the gardens



The entire place is very spiritual but the cemetery will take you aback.









Hard to tell but someone placed some beautiful red origami on this site.



There are no words to describe this place. Go!! Find your own.


After this, we pressed on and stopped in Bishop for some food. Nothing special, just Denny's this time. Fun to see the "locals" hanging out though.


A married couple of ducks with about 8 furry friend cats behind and through the fence. Only a couple shown here.






It was getting late and Jamie and I were tired. So much so that we fell in to the GPS trap even though we knew better! Funny though as it is apparent that many others have done the same.




We got home about 1130 that night. We were tired, stinky, and otherwise completely satisfied.


We should do this one again!!!!!!


Hope you enjoyed our little trip.

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Great shots Phil and a really great weekend. Thanks for your organization and Wow, Jamie can really BBQ that checken!!

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Dude, you guys rock! My wife and I keep talking about going camping, have a bunch of new gear, and have gone thru the same thing for a while. It is great to see that the camping part actualy happens sometime! I have to say that you are a very luck man to have a wife that rides her own GS, camps, and cooks all the while having a great smile. The wife and I talked about going on the trip and if funds were better would have, but no luck this time. I hope that we have the chance to hang out be a fire with everyone soon now that the work thing is happening again. I'm sure that my wife would have a blast talking with everyone, as I realy have had a great time with everyone I have met from the online family. Thank you very much for sharing with us.

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...We made it to the loop section and it was there that we decided that it was getting a bit too much for fun and leisurely enjoyment....


From the pictures up to this point, it seemed like it wasn't a big deal and I was surprised to read this, until I got to this photo:



where you can really tell how much sand is in the road. Most of the photos just don't do it justice! Still, I'm sorry I missed it. Maybe next time I'll work up my gumption (and my supply of anti-inflammatories) to camp.

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:thumbsup: What a great tale with lots of photos! I really miss camping, but enjoyed living vicariously through all of you. Beautiful country indeed.
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I'm new here to both the board and the BMW world, but your outstanding trip report made me feel like I was right there with friends I have known for years !


Thanks for sharing your adventure. :grin:

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