Joshua Tree 2010 Print

Duane put together a four-day, three-night camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park for fathers and sons that included five dads and their sons, and he invited me to go along so I could enjoy the time with him and with Christopher.  And take photos.


This is all the boys and their dads, taken with my infra red camera.

We drove out in early October on a Thursday with Adrian and his boys, Jackson and Carter.  Duane had reserved three camp sites, each next to the other, so we could all be together, and he packed a considerable amount of really cool camping stuff--a canopy to serve as the mess tent area, a great four-person tent that was perfect for the three of us, a serious two-burner camp stove fueld by a 5-gallon propane tank, a hanging camp shower with which to wash dishes, hands, etc.  We established camp and set about making dinner and enjoying the area.  At 8:45 I realized I hadn't taken any photos yet;  here's our base camp:


After dinner we built a fire and roasted marshmallows.  We had taken all the fixings to make S'Mores but somehow never got to the chocolate and graham cracker part;  the boys were so entranced by roasting their own marshmallows--and getting more than one of them--it just didn't seem important.


The next day, we walked a short way to a site that Duane thought would be good for a rock climb.  He has done a fair amount of this in the past and a primary focal point of this trip was to introduce the boys to rock climbing, both rope climbs and just simple bouldering. Duane climbed up to set the belay and spent some time introducing the boys to rock climbing.



Duane's next door neighbor Scott is director of outdoor education at REI and knows more about such things than just about anyone else on the planet, and Scott came out later Friday with his son Henry, joined shortly thereafter by Eric and his son Cameron.  Jeff and his son Jordan came out on Saturday.

There is no water at the camp sites so I drove down to the ranger station several times to refill our 5-gallon water jug and the camp shower.  On my first trip down, I saw a tarantula walking on the road from 50' away so I stopped and excitedly started searching for my camera and macro lens, only to realize that all my real camera gear was in the tent.  So, I had to use my iPhone.  I got to within a foot of it, at which point it stopped moving entirely.


I took my infra red D200 and there were IR opportunities all over the place.


Duane and I tried photogrpahing star trails;  he succeeded on the second night while I failed completely.  (We're going out again soon to try again.)  Scott set up several more climbs for the boys and the dads (I don't climb), we enjoyed camp meals and watched the boys having huge fun bouldering, and in general had a great time, so we're doing it again next year.

My photo gallery includes some photos of just about everyone on the trip.  Click the thumbnail below to view them.