California/Oregon Trail

Los Angeles

Day 24 (June 20): Where could we go from here but Los Angeles? Daniel’s old stomping grounds, as he grew up in California. This was one of the few locations we did not actually schedule what we wanted to do, opting instead to dedicate a full day to it and deciding on the fly.

We were pretty grateful for the easy day, as we slept in for the first time in what seems forever. We took our sweet time getting out of the hotel in the morning, and then headed into LA. We decided not to try too much, giving ourselves the day off, so to speak.

The one thing I did want to see was the Hollywood sign, but had no interest in actually hiking to it. So, Daniel found a way around all the parking and everything, and we got a couple pictures that look just like everyone else’s, but still makes me happy.

We stopped off at In and Out Burgers for the traditional burger, and bought Daniel a t-shirt, and then went and looked at the houses he grew up in. I felt positively creepy sitting outside the houses and taking pictures. If I were in one of those houses, I would have been writing down license plates…

And it’s officially time to head (slowly) back east. On our way to our camping site, we swung by Palm Springs to grab a date shake. Yes, I totally scheduled in a stop to get a shake. One, because I wanted to see Palm Springs, and two, because one of the tourist websites mentioned date shakes and I immediately desperately wanted to try one. It was absolutely delicious! The only problem was that they had so many other good flavors, we will have to go back some time to try the others! Also, it was 101 degrees.

Joshua Tree National Park was another add-on after we did some research. It was right on our way to Las Vegas, and since we already had the National Park Pass, why not fit in yet another park?

The National Park Service notes that, “Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park.” They further say, “Legend has it that [Mormon] pioneers named the tree after the biblical figure, Joshua, seeing the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward.”

As it turned out, we needed another lodging place as our original plan fell through, so we are camping in yet another national park! I don’t think we will have any reception there, so will finish this up and let you know tomorrow how it goes!

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