We (being my husband Nick and I) finally were able to use all the REI gear that we got for our wedding a couple of weekends ago. We both love exploring new places and adventuring around so for one of our registries we decided to register at REI and it was the best decision we made as an engaged couple!
Since it’s been way over 100 degrees here in good ol’ Twentynine Palms, CA we haven’t really ventured out to go hiking or camping in fear of dying of heat stroke. Luckily, we were told about this tram in Palm Springs that takes you about 2.5 miles up into the San Jacinto Mountains. The weather up at the top of the tram is anywhere from 30-40 degrees cooler than on the desert floor, so it was in the mid 70’s all day and then dropped into the low 50’s at night, it was AMAZING! Of course as soon as we stepped on the tram I realized I left my camera in the truck, no biggie, I had the GoPro. Just kidding, it was dead. So my Iphone camera had to do.
We strapped on our backpacks (that had way more stuff than we needed) and started our 2 mile trek to our campsite. I know what you’re thinking, 2 miles, easy peasy, oh no hunny, with everything but the kitchen sink strapped to your back and hiking up hill the whole way, I thought I was going to keel over and have a heart attack. Luckily, I didn’t. We made it to our campsite and set up camp and ate some lunch.
Then we were off again (with much lighter packs, thank GOD!). We hiked about another 1.5 miles, again I know what you’re thinking, 1.5 miles, cake. Joke was on us, it was all up hill again. Now I’m an athletic person, I look at Nick and ask how the hell people do this who aren’t in shape?! He said, very, very slowly. After what felt like hours and my legs burning we finally made it to the first peak (Wellmans Divide). Every muscle in my body that was screaming went away as soon as I saw that view. It was so beautiful and totally worth the challenging trek up there.
After taking in all the greenery and beauty we started our hike up to the top of the San Jacinto Peak. This was about another 2.5 miles, but wasn’t nearly as strenuous as the first half of our hike, so that was a nice change of pace. The whole way up was just so pretty, I couldn’t believe that all this was only an hour from our 100+ degree, brown, sandy, desert home.
We made it to the top! The second highest peak in SoCal (almost 11,000ft) and it was worth every step! We found a nice smooth boulder to lay down on and just soaked up every ounce of beauty that was around us. I honestly could have stayed up there all day.
We then started our trip back down to our campsite. We got there just in time for dinner. It was my first time eating one of the freeze-dried Mountain House meals and let me tell you, it was pretty delicious! I had the steak with peppers and rice (all gluten-free!) and I was pleasantly surprised with the ingredient list too. After dinner the stars started to peak out and we laid under them and chatted until we fell asleep.
We woke up Sunday morning, packed up our campsite, and made our way back to the tram. It was such a beautiful, challenging, amazing adventure and I was lucky enough to do it with my best friend. We had survived our first camping trip as a married couple, that called for some coffee and a nap!
With So Much Love,