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9 Things to Know About Camping Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree Star Trail

Star trails over Black Rock Canyon Campground at Joshua Tree National Park near Yucca Valley.

There are several reasons that I travel to Joshua Tree National Park to experience nature. Following are some of my observations and what I consider practical things to know learned from my visits to JTNP.

1.  Joshua Tree National Park is easily accessible

from Interstate 10 Freeway in Southern California. It is where the Colorado Desert and Mojave Desert meet. The Mojave is considered high desert, 2,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation, and is cooler and milder than the Colorado, which is the Low Desert – think Palm Springs.

2.  It is a short (relatively) drive from home

(depending on time of day and day of the week). Traffic in Southern California is a nightmare during the daily commute.

3.  Joshua Tree National Park is the closest place to my home in Orange County with low light pollution in Southern California.

Light pollution is caused by urbanization and is the man-made alteration of light levels in the outdoors. Sky glow is one form of light pollution, which reduces dramatically the visibility of stars in the sky. Because of its close proximity to Yucca Valley, Black Rock Canyon Campground has lots of light pollution.

4.  It is an exceptional place to create interesting night photographs.

Blue hour in Joshua Tree National Park

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

The bristly and twisted Joshua trees, a member of the yucca family, make great subjects for daytime photos, too.

5.  Cell service is available at Black Rock Campground – if you just can’t be without it.

6.  No cell service is available as you go deeper into the park.

Rangers patrol regularly, so if you happen to lock your keys in your vehicle, it won’t be too long before someone comes to your rescue.

7.  Make reservations ahead of your visit at Black Rock Canyon Campground and Indian Cove.

Black Rock Canyon is close to Yucca Valley. Indian Cove is near the Ranger Station at Indian Cove Road in Twentynine Palms. All other reservations are first come, first serve on all other campgrounds in the park.

8.  Some of the campgrounds close in the summer.

You can check ahead at the National Park Service website – www.nps.gov/jotr

9.  As you watch dawn break over the desert, you realize that it is worth getting up before sunrise.

Sunrise and Joshua Trees

Sunrise over the Joshua Tree National Park desert.

I have discovered that this is the reason I camp there overnight.

Please share your Joshua Tree National Park experiences in the Comments below.

Photo Walk Orange with AirBnB and JDP

“Great experience…very well prepared and informative!” Jill M. 10/26/17

“Julie is not only knowledgeable but has a very good sense for how to teach.” Lowell I. 8/10/17

“Julie is a wonderful instructor! She is engaging and thoughtful, and she provides clear instructions and advice.”  Jaclyn 10/11/2017

 

AirBnB Photo Walk – Orange

Learn how your camera works and take home pictures to prove it!

Lively and interactive EXPERIENCE

Photo Walk - Orange Welcome to Old Towne Orange Experience

Your “Photo Walk – Orange” EXPERIENCE portrait is done here!

 

Explore with Julie the vibrant commercial district and quiet back alleys of this quaint and historic town in Orange County, which is also a popular movie location. Orange Plaza at The Circle of Orange, site of the famous annual Chapman University Undie Run, is our meeting and ending location. A brief review of how our cameras work kicks off the event and Julie will answer photography “how to” questions.

Beginning by the fountain at the Circle in Old Towne Orange, where several popular movies were filmed, historic buildings and sites will be the background for our lively and interactive experience. Along the way you will learn tips and tricks for creating amazing images with your camera. Learn to understand light, experiment with macro, motion, architecture and people photography.

The best part of this experience is that I will photograph you during this experience so you will have lasting memories of your time in the O.C. We’ll end at a favorite spot for a snack and beverage, discuss what we learned and relive our best shots.

 

Julie now offers EXPERIENCES in Orange County!

Local hosts design and lead excursions or other activities through AirBnB. Hosts give guests unique access into places and communities in their city. We offer both immersions and one day experiences. One day experiences can last just a couple of hours. All experiences can range from workshops to long treks, and are available for various skill levels and interests.

 

Airbnb Experience Photo Walk-Orange

Photo Walk – Orange

Out-of-town guests?

Experience Orange County in a fun and unique way!

 

If you’d like to reserve your spot for this Photo Walk – Orange EXPERIENCE with Julie, click here.

 

Special pricing (only $49 – some days $29) for this Photo Walk Orange Experience through December. Call today for details – 714-669-4537

View of Irvine Lake from Fremont Canyon Ridge

Irvine Lake from Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve

Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve

Fremont Canyon is often referred to as “the Yosemite of Orange County” due to its striking beauty and massive granite formations. It is rich in biological diversity and history. The area is also home to many rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals. The Irvine Ranch Conservancy conducts frequent scheduled docent-led hikes and also lead mountain bike rides and equestrian rides enabling nature lovers to experience the canyon’s remote wonders. Registration for docent-led programs is required due to the area’s sensitive habitat, but all programs are free. (LetsGoOutside.com).

The docent-led hike I joined on a recent Saturday morning was informative and mildly challenging. We climbed to the top of the ridge on some continuously steep hills. Our pace included many stops to learn about the flora and fauna where we learned about animal scat and animal tracks. One hiker also made a cast of mountain lion foot prints that were embedded in the creek bed from recent rains.

This panorama image was captured with an iPhone 6Plus and edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Learn how to

unleash the power of your iPhone

this summer at Santiago Canyon College/Community Services with Julie Diebolt Price. Here is our schedule of classes.

Getting All My Ducks in a Row

All My Ducks in a Row

We got all our ducks in a row at Oxbow Regional Park in

Gresham, Oregon

Ducks and an easy hike awaits you just 7 miles east of Gresham, Oregon at Oxbow Regional Park. Using a National Forest Pass or paying a $5.00 day use fee affords easy access to the whitewater of the Sandy River, well marked hiking trails, picnic areas and campsites.

Riverbank restoration in process

The riverbank is under restoration because the river has undercut a wide path as it forms the oxbow curves. The exposed stumps on the shoreline have been carbon dated to 1780. At that time an eruption of Mt. Hood, a stratovolcano and now the highest mountain peak in Oregon, caused a mudflow to completely bury the forest.

The buzz of chain saws accompanied us on our “hike” until we rounded a bend and the trees muffled the sound. We learned that the Forest Service was grooming the tributary for salmon breeding by creating pools of still water with downed logs.

You only need a mild interest in spending time outdoors either walking in the forest, or hiking, or camping, or simply communing with nature to enjoy Oxbow Regional Park. But, for someone like me who has seemingly found a new lease on the outdoor life, this park is a jewel in the crown of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

NOTE:

Actually, the “duck” photo above is a family of Canadian Geese – adults and adolescents. But, you already knew that, if you’ve read this far, so there is no need to correct my “mistake”.

Location is a state of mind

Location is a state of mind

While contemplating the state of my existence today, I realized that location is a state of mind. We have owned our Pacific Northwest home for about seven years (as long as our youngest grandchild is old), and it just seems to get better the more we spend time here.

I am enjoying the river and deck from our home on the Sandy River in Oregon. It is approaching dusk. We have just enjoyed a meal that was prepared almost a year ago and frozen for a later date. Today was the later date. Damn, I am a good cook! The meal , Shepherd’s Pie, was probably made more enjoyable because I didn’t have to think about ingredients, grocery shopping, or food preparation. I simply had to thaw, throw a salad together, decant the wine, serve al fresco and simply enjoy the sound of the river and enjoy the sunset. The mosquitoes are not an issue tonight, thank goodness.

The desire to travel and explore foreign lands doesn’t go away. But, simply enjoying the simple life that we can sometimes take for granted, speaks volumes to my heart.

I’m listening…

 

Three Misconceptions About Travel

When thinking about traveling around the US or abroad, many people believe it’s very expensive and only rich people can do it.
This is only one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to traveling.
But believe me, as a person who works in the field, there are many more! This is the kind of belief that makes traveling impossible for so many people, who in fact would love to travel and see the world.
Here are three common misconceptions about travel.

# 1 Misconceptions – Traveling is Very Expensive and Not Anyone Can Afford It

Yes, traveling can be pretty expensive if you book a 5 stars hotel, dine out every day and all that. But traveling isn’t about spending all your year’s savings in a few days with caviar and Mumm’s champagne.
There are so many alternatives to expensive travel, from low cost flights, special travel offers, cheap accommodation (Airbnb) or even free hosting like Couchsurfing, free tour guides, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), Workaway and many other alternatives that will help you spend less and travel more. Personally, I have used Airbnb for lodging more than once and have been very satisfied.

Isn’t this the whole idea around travel? To see more of the world? Myth busted!

# 2 Misconceptions – Traveling isn’t Safe Especially when Traveling Alone

Yes, many of us have seen the movie Taken and it kind of invites us to stay at home, where at least we’re safe. And this applies if you’re traveling alone or if you’re a woman in particular.
But it’s a long road from being nervous and labeling traveling alone as unsafe. In fact, contrary to general opinion, if you follow a set of “rules” you should be relatively safe and sound.
It’s important to keep your valuables hidden, avoid unpopulated areas at night, make friends with your hostel/hotel staff, stay alert and look confident.
These simple guidelines will definitely make traveling safer for everyone!

# 3 Misconceptions – I Don’t Have Enough Time to Travel

Traveling is about seeing some other parts of the world, besides those you are already familiar with. It’s not about moving to someplace else and spending months on end there.
So, for those who believe they don’t have time to travel, let me tell you, this is pure a misconception. Travel isn’t just about going very far from home for a very long period of time.
It can be a short road trip over the weekend to a nearby city or Wild Park, a mini-vacation that you can definitely afford and have the time to enjoy without extensive drive time. You can even consider a stay-cation in your home town. See it like a visitor and you may be surprised at how much you learn and enjoy.
On my recent stay-cation, I discovered a macro world in my own backyard.

Travel Misconceptions stay-cation spider web with water and spider

Spider web, complete with spider, after watering the garden … On a stay-cation!