as soon as we got our camper back, we packed up and get the heck out of las vegas and made our way straight into joshua tree national park. it was dark by the time we arrived, so we didn’t get a good indication of our view, but when the morning rolled around, indian cove campground proved to be quite an upgrade from vegas.
at our first site, we struggled to get level. derek dug a hole for a back wheel and we used up all our leveling blocks on other wheels and it wasn’t happening. after talking to a ranger, he moved us to a pretty epic spot and all was right in the world. the lidkids would have been happy if we never left the campsite. (but we did, and i’ll post about that later).
but. a problem arose. we think that during our time in vegas, we ran our battery too low and damaged it. even using all the allotted time slots for running our generator, we just couldn’t get the battery charge full enough to keep up. we realized that we could only make it about 3-4 days before it would get too low. so, we decided to drive to walmart, run the generator for awhile to charge the batteries all the way up, eat a dinner out, and do a bit of grocery and christmas shopping.
we were only in joshua tree for about a week, but between moving sites, driving to charge the battery, and a tiny person’s birthday, the time for actually DOING stuff in the park went fast. thankfully, the ranger book was on the easier side, as far as ranger books go, so the lidkids were able to knock those out pretty quickly. the day before we left, we cruised over to the visitor center to make it official.
after the kids were sworn in, he took us outside to show us some cool stuff. there’s a spot where the resident owl, ellie, perches at night to scout out prey at a nearby oasis. we saw her evidence, in the form of scat, and owl pellets, which are balls of fur and bones that they cough up after consuming tiny animals. delicious. eventually, the pellets decompose a bit, leaving behind the bones of the tiny creatures, in this case, a mouse skull and leg bone, as identified by our awesome ranger.
we seriously learned so much from that guy. and the kids actually seemed interested. hooray!
joshua tree has moved to the top of the lidkids lists of favorite national parks, mostly for the climbing. we did learn that the rocks were much more treacherous than the sandstone that we were used to in utah. they were granite. and hard. and very abrasive. blood was drawn on several occasions, but they still loved it, and anna has already requested to go back.