National park I am exploring: Joshua Tree National Park
Memorial Day weekend I took my family to the Palm Springs area to check out Joshua Tree. This was our first experience with this Park and we had a blast. On Friday night we did a sunset hike near Black Rock Canyon which was gorgeous. On Saturday morning, we tried to get up early to avoid the heat and to hike Mastadon Peak Trail (2 miles round trip). We also stopped briefly by Cholla Cactus Garden and Arch Rock Trail. We even got to experience our first dust storm on Sunday! The park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There was a $30 per car fee to enter. There are a ton of AirB&B options in Joshua Tree or the neighboring Palm Springs and Palm Desert has all of the common hotel chains as well. Overall, I was shocked at the massive size of this park. It required a fair amount of driving in order to get to the different points of interest. However, the views were fantastic and my family loved being outside and going on an adventure. If you are looking for some outdoor fun this summer, definitely consider this location. From San Diego, the drive is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Website I am recommending: Recreation.gov
If you are looking for an adventure this summer without a big price tag please take a look at recreation.gov. This site is designed to connect you to all of the different national parks, camping, and cabin locations around the country. The best part is that most of them are extremely cost-effective. Whether you want to do something locally, within a few hour’s drive, or want to explore a different part of the country this website is super helpful. You can also make reservations, and pay for your trip in advance too. I recommend taking a look at the interactive map found at the bottom of the home page and getting creative to find your next destination!
Quote I am repeating: “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous
If you have been feeling stuck, bored, frustrated, or like you don’t care about things anymore, I strongly suggest trying to get out of your current environment. The easiest and most effective way to help you gain a new perspective is to go on an adventure. The size and scope of the adventures are up to you, but just doing something different, will help change the lens you use to view the world. This past weekend my trip to Joshua Tree helped me refocus and reminded me that it doesn’t cost money in order to create incredible memories with your loved ones. Get out of your routine, get creative and build the life you want to live!
Have a kick ass week everyone!
Dr. Devin Shea, DC