May 22, 2011

Table for Six, Please

This weekend we headed over the 7,000' level for a weekend at Table Mountain. Andy brought his buddy Orlando, and we were joined again by our friends Paul and Linda. Clearly, one of our favorite things about this campground is it is only an hour from the house, but up in the timber without any challenging mountain driving. The campsite is just about four miles from Wrightwood, and at the fork in the road, you can head off three miles in one direction to the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center. Take another fork, and you'll find Jackson Lake. This short video shows some of the highlights of another great weekend getaway.

What isn't in the video is some of the window shopping the grownups did on Saturday. On the road to camp, a cabin, built in 1926, is up for sale. We started talking about how nice it would be to have such a place and before you knew it, we were cruising all over town checking out the real estate offerings. We were clearly just dreaming, but it was a fun afternoon.

May 5, 2011

Spring Boondock

After school and work on Friday, we headed out across the Mojave desert. Soon the sun was down, and I turned off on Afton Road, halfway between Barstow and Baker. There was no moon, and obviously no streetlights, and we've never been there before, so driving down the dirt road to Afton Canyon was a little intimidating. At one point, Andy said, "Dad if you're taking us out here to kill us, I'm going to be really mad!"

In the morning, however, it was, "Wow, this place is pretty cool." The Mojave River runs underground through much of the desert, and every once in a while, bedrock forces it to the surface. That is what caused this great little oasis away from everything.
We packed up after breakfast and a hike up one of the side canyons. We were on our way to the Annual Spring Boondock in Death Valley.

We got there a little before lunch, but soon we were back on the road again, this time with the others for some rock-hounding. Sherry and Andy found some pink amethyst crystals which I'm sure will be incorporated into some Hogwarts craft.
We made sure to get back to camp in time for the burn-your-own-meat potluck dinner. It was an amazing spread and more than a few arteries were more constricted after that carnivore carnival.

On Sunday morning, we did our usual shooting match, but this time Andy kept the rifle in the case and we worked on holster technique. Our host, Jake, brought his old duty weapon and Sam Browne, and let me teach Andy how to shoot from the hip. As expected, Andy was a quick study, and was looking like an old pro.
Everyone in this bunch is always so welcoming and friendly, and they always make us feel like family when we join them. Thanks guys!