December 15, 2014

Left my heart in Joshua Tree.

If you don't know already, Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in the United States. Last time, I went stargazing with a friend and went late in the afternoon. This time, we left bright and early to make it to Joshua Tree before 10am.

Unfortunately, this meant that there was harsh sun and that led to some overexposed photos (also sometimes I don't have the settings right on my camera..oops).

We mainly climbed some rocks and did a couple of hikes. What I love most about coming here is that every time, no matter which trail you do, it seems like there's always something new. Nothing ever looks familiar to me, and I'm constantly finding new paths and rock formations to climb up.

What's better than a place that's constantly offering you new things to do?

New workout clothes! This sweater is labeled active performance by Calvin Klein, which I am all about. Quilted black fabric in the front, breezy gray in the back. Pants and shoes are from Nike. And my new favorite sunnies are from Steve Madden. 

I'm a little bit concerned with my obsession with sunglasses and bags. I may have splurged on a little Badgley Mischka number while shopping at Cabazon on the way back from Joshua Tree...

This guy came up and was walking all along the road! A little strange, and really dangerous for the coyote. We saw him(?) crossing the road, back and forth on our way out. We're not sure what was wrong but I hope he's okay and stayed clear of the roads once it got dark.

The struggle was so real. I went on a climb up with my dad, which is usually fine, but it was so incredibly windy and my fear got the best of me. There were gaps between the rocks that I had to jump and after a certain point, I felt like I was up too high and got nervous. In reality, it probably would've been okay, but...better to be safe than sorry.

And it is always, always better to do something like that when you're sure of yourself and not so nervous. You have to stay calm! 

I weirdly really enjoy finding crevices and caves to squeeze myself into. This one fit me just right, which made me want to snooze and hide from the wind.

After our walk around Hidden Valley, we decided to head up Mt. Ryan. If you remember in my last JT post, I said that Mt. Ryan is not an easy hike. Having done a couple of hikes the past few weeks, I was feeling a little more confident -- and rightly so!

This is the majority of what the hike up Mt. Ryan looks like. They're steep, stone steps that you have to climb until you get to the top. There are a few flat areas, but it's still quite the incline. 

I was rather proud of myself. I didn't have to stop to break very often, and we made it up there fairly quickly. Maybe it's because my madre was waiting in the car (hurt her back) and so we wanted to make the trip quick, but we had speed on our side.

Though the wind was no joke. Cue dust and pebbles in your face, and feeling a little bit reckless while running down the mountain.

Once down, it was time to eat. It was around 2:30pm and we were ready to grub. We drove back to Hidden Valley and set up shop at one of the many picnic tables there, and got cooking.

Now, this is the beauty of going on long hikes with family (or Koreans in general, really). We prepare. We come ready to feed the masses. My mom packed ingredients for budae jjigae, otherwise known as army stew. It came about around the time of the Korean War, when Korea didn't have many food resources. They'd throw whatever they had into a pot and make it into a stew.

Nowadays, at least from what I knew of New York, people eat budae jjigae as a drunk food. We eat it as a family dinner because this stuff is amazing, and when it's cold -- well, nothing beats warm broth when you're cold.

Tell me this doesn't look delicious. Noodles, jalapeno, squash, mushrooms, soybeans, gochujang (red pepper paste), onion, radish, sausage, and spam. 

It was gone in record time, and I felt blissfully full afterwards.

I'm thinking about doing something about how to prepare/pack for a long hike. Would you be interested in that? Since we do a lot of hiking, we sort of have our go-to's for long hikes, short hikes, and things for when we go on day trips like to Joshua Tree.

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  1. I'm jealous of all the hiking you do! I don't think I remember EVER going hiking before. It's sad I know. Anyways, these photos are gorgeous. What kind of camera do you use? whatever it is, it's amazing!! :)


  2. Over exposed or not, these photos are gorgeous Sara! You definitely have an eye for photography. I loved looking at all the photos.

    Have you ever been to Death Valley? I just visited a lot of the desert Southwest and spent a few days there. Your photos kind of remind me of parts of Death Valley. Here are a few of my posts from there.

    I did a bit of star gazing while I was there too. Apparently, Death Valley has some of the darkest night skies in the country. Perfect opportunity to try night/star photography! Even though my photos aren't NatGeo worthy, it was so fun to stand alone in the dark and appreciate the amazing view.


  3. Thank you V!! That's so kind of you! And I have been to Death Valley, though it's been years since I've properly gone. But yes! I love California deserts -- to me, everything is so much more saturated and intense.

    And stop, your pictures are amazing! Holy smokes.

  4. You should go!! It's so much fun. And for me, it's the one way I can work out without it feeling like I'm really working out? It's hard, but it's not the same as going running. It feels more intensive but slow...if that makes sense, haha. And I use a Nikon D60! It's not the best of cameras, but it's been good to me for 5-6 years now.

    Thank you lady!

  5. These photos are amazing! It looks like such a fun time was had, I find the photos quite enticing actually, a lot of mystery surrounds them!

  6. Thanks so much, Hayley!! It was a lot of fun :) Can never go wrong with a bit of fresh air, right?

  7. That landscape is spectacular! It looks like so much fun to explore! Hannah

  8. It's amazing! If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth checking out. The desert is so beautiful.


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