Joshua Tree , California

January 10, 2018: Day one of our Southern California Adventure.
This original post was started by Don, but stolen and heavily edited by one Sage Marie

This was a quite a day for the Johnsons. In fact, you might say that we rolled two full days into one day. Fun, but exhausting.

That morning we woke up around 0330. This was after working three 12 hours days in a row, exhausted was an understatement. Sage took her time fussing at me and getting agitated at everything I was doing that morning. She tends to show her nervousness at flying that way. Finally packed up we were on our way to the airport. We drove one of our cars instead of taking an Uber like we usually do.  Our Memphis airport has recently started doing economy parking for 6$ a day. It was 10 degrees outside, so the idea of not waiting around for an Uber was even more alluring. We arrived at our airport with plenty of time to spare, our flight was not until 0600. TSA security checkpoint was not as bad as usual, and within a few minuets we were headed to the closest airport Starbucks. Sage cannot function in the morning without here coffee. We lucked out since the Starbucks was directly in front of our gate. Our plane seats ended up being next to an old co-worker who was not living as a travel nurse in California. We enjoyed her company and the tales of her travel adventures, apparently California is the best place to live for nurse. Sage asked me “Have you prayed for us today” as she seems to do everything we fly, indeed I had. The flights were smooth, and 5 hours later we were landing in Las Vegas, Nevada where it was a sunny 60 degrees.

We got off the plane and hit the ground running. We had to get an Uber to pick up our rental car a few blocks away. I was handed the keys to a brand new, cherry red Silverado. Sage said I looked like I had won the lottery. I was elated to be driving that big ole truck. It only took us three hours driving through the Mojave Desert to get to Joshua Tree. While you can see Joshua Trees all along the desert, none are a spectacular as they are in the park. As we were coming down into the park you can quickly see why it’s called Joshua Tree, well because the Joshua Trees are everywhere!  Yucca brevifolia is the real name of the Joshua Tree.  We winded roads all along the park enjoying the views. The sun was starting to set, and we began looking for a good place to pull off and enjoy the views.

We took the 2-hour drive to Big bear through the winding roads carved out of the side of the mountains. We stayed at Bay meadows. The Manager had called us at 5 PM while we were standing on a lone rock in Joshua tree with one bar of service to call and check on us and ask when we would be arriving. He said they had gotten 6 inches on snow the night before and wanted us to travel safe. The Roads into Big bear were well played and salted, and besides by nighttime cliff driving anxiety, the drive was good. We were very impressed at their readiness for snow and ice. When we get snow in the South Schools close, and everything shuts down until it thaws.

The Joshua Tree
The sky being rolled back into night at the Joshua Tree National Park
We unknowingly took Route 66 most of the way into Joshua Tree
The Sunset and Joshua tree

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