-Posted by Isaac
Got out in the nick of time!
You thought I was just kidding about that professional vacation? No way. This week we had some important business in southern California. A conference with a few of our most high-ranking associates- sunshine and heat. And of course, honey bees.
Here's a short highlight clip from our business trip:
Or J-Tree if you're a cool climber type.
Jayne and I left our three youngest non-hikers, non-climbers with Grandma and boarded the plane last Friday. We escaped the huge barreling snowstorm by the narrowest of margins. Whew!
Mason joined us for the fun.
If you're unfamiliar with Joshua Tree, it's a big climbing mecca. Especially in the winter.
And specifically a style of climbing known as bouldering.
This is where you grab a crash pad and go find a rock.
A small rock.
You're never more than a few feet off the ground, but sometimes it takes hours or days to figure out how to climb those few feet.
If you compare rock climbing to a mainstream religion (and it is for many people), then bouldering would be Zen Buddhism.
This happened to be my third trip to Joshua Tree in the last two decades, and I've only known the park in a bouldering context. I wanted to show Mason the ropes.
And of course I wanted to broaden his universe with a new sport. A sport in which his old dad has found some degree of proficiency. Not to brag on myself, but I'm pretty good at it.
Oh no, haha, not the actual bouldering... at that, I'm horrible. I was really bad back in the day, and wouldn't you know it, I still am. Horrible.
But the climbing is just a small part of the whole. So much of your time, I'm guessing 95%, is spent practicing the subtle yet crucial nuances of the sport: 1. Sitting on your mat. 2. Staring up at the rock. 3. Smoking weed.
At this, I was an expert. Sure, it took some time- honing my skills, refining my technique- but eventually I mastered it. 95% fluent!
And you know what? Get out there! Try it! There's a learning curve to everything. For me, it took two trips with two different groups. But you may pick it up even faster, who knows? In short order, especially if you fall in with the right bunch of dirtbags, you too will be texting and facebooking your climbing adventures to all your friends.
But this trip wasn't about climbing. Or bouldering. It was about bees.
And after that 30 seconds was completed, it was about hiking.
Hiking through a dry, beautiful, magical spot on Earth.
Sleeping under the stars is one thing. Sleeping under the stars in the desert is quite another. You've never seen stars like this! It's a light show. Spectacular! I couldn't help it, each night I'd go walking for hours, eyes to the skies. It makes you want to sing. But you don't have to. The coyotes are better at it, and do it for you.
So we camped each night and hiked each day. And took a lot of pictures. Photography is a popular desert sport in its own right. Many models out there.
Jayne has the best shots. If she'd ever do a blog post, you could see them on here. As it is, I think she's planning to share them with the masses on Instagram.
How lame. How shallow. Depriving you, our devoted blog readers of a more comprehensive Honeyrun experience. How callous! Let her know! All three of you. Let her know!
Hiking in the desert requires plenty of water.
And of course, purple hiking socks.
Those socks get stinky. Days later, picking through a crowded gift shop, I found a clean pink and white pair that I thought my Girl would like.
As I contemplated the matter, Mason, standing right next to me, decided to use the blue pair to practice his out-loud reading skills.
I sheepishly had to explain that the boy really doesn't like gift shops. He's just not a shopper!
He's a climber.
The boy needs rocks, not socks.
In fact, he loved it so much, I'm thinking that one day, possibly, he may even be able to hang with his old man.
At least 95% of the time.