Camping by Big Bear Lake

After baking a sourdough boule for our lunch picnic, we drive up to Big Bear Lake’s Serrano Campground. We have several goals in mind: get the kids outdoors, escape the valley heat, and see Jupiter and Saturn while they are near opposition. The 130 mm reflector telescope had just arrived,…

Visiting Sequoia National Park

Last time we were up this way, an early winter storm thwarted our visit to the giant sequoia trees. The road was open up just beyond Sequoia National Park’s Foothill Visitor Center. This time, it’s the novel coronavirus that nearly caused this trip to be cancelled. We had originally scheduled…

Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree National Park

Our original plan was to leave early Saturday morning, early enough to secure a campsite at one of the first-come-first-served campgrounds in Joshua Tree. Because of coronavirus, the park had decided to remove reservations for all campgrounds. Having debated about camping at Black Rock, we decided to go deeper into…

Impromptu Camping in Joshua Tree

Nearly every day for the last two months, Daphney had been asking about camping—not just any camping, but specifically in Joshua Tree, or where there are foxes (Santa Cruz Island). The other request is to have a campfire, both in the evening and the following morning. That rules out the…

Summer Milky Way Camping

We arrive late to Lone Pine Campground. It’s now about midnight. Stepping out of the car, we hear the creek rippling down its drainage on the other side of our campsite. Beyond that stretches a dark ridge, and far beyond that, the summer Milky Way is already vertical. It looks…

Dogwood Camp

Close to Lake Arrowhead, Dogwood Campground is a convenient getaway. We arrive just in time to set up before dark. After dinner, it gets a little cold. As we prepare to go for a walk along the lake shore, Yan pulls out the little monkey fleece overalls. Daphney looks so…

Daphney’s First Camping Trip

It’s going to be Daphney’s first camping trip. I’m a little nervous about the altitude. Days before, I had been researching high altitude problems in babies. I had read that staying below 2500 m (8200 ft) is safe, but approach 3000 m (9840 ft) carefully. Since we’re staying at Big…

Joshua Tree

It’s been many years since my last climbing trip. I was a college student then. Now, my residents think that I can still do this, and Lucas set me up with gear. My main reason to go out to Joshua Tree was to get some Milky Way shots. But at…

Lobo Group Camp

We just got back from a restful weekend retreat in the San Bernardino National Forest. I left Friday evening after work, and by the time I got on the freeway, it was already dark. Most of the group left in the afternoon and set up Lobo Group Camp off of…

Joshua Tree Stargazing

The purpose of this trip was to gaze at the Delta Aquarid and the beginning of the Perseid showers in what was supposed to be a celestial traffic jam. After we arrived, clouds rolled in to obscure much of the sky. A few of us saw some meteors, but we…

Tentmaking

Today is the official day that I finished making this tent. Actually, I finished it several weeks ago, but then there was the bag for the pole and also the sack for the tent itself. Those are done now, and after testing it in a storm, it’s officially done. It…

Salton Sea and Desert

It’s been so long since I’ve traveled out toward the southeast. The last time at Salton Sea was when we were all really young. The three of us went camping, and some areas were the same as I remembered, but the one thing that is now different is that the…

Joshua Tree Geminid Showers

Last night, we went out to Joshua Tree National Park to see the Geminid meteor showers. Although it was several hours past it’s peak, we saw many brilliant ones flying across the sky. Upon arrival, we drove through Hidden Valley Campground and accidentally occupied someone else’s site. We relocated to…

Zion in Autumn

This last weekend in October was spent visiting beautiful Zion National Park during the peak of fall color. The highlight was Kanarra Creek and the slot canyon carved by this stream.