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[TR] Joshua Tree Thanksgiving - 11/24/2011

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Trip: Joshua Tree Thanksgiving -


Date: 11/24/2011


Trip Report:

We got outta Dodge for a 9 day trip to Southern California. First stop was San Diego for family & old friend visits, along with an afternoon tide pooling at the beach




After a few days we headed off to meet a crew of friends at Joshua Tree for the holiday. These folks have been doing Turkey Day there for nigh onto 20 years, and my wife and I are occasional attenders. It was great to get out there and play in the forest again. The weather was awesome this year, not too windy, sunny, afternoon highs in the upper 50's and lows around 30. We've had much worse at this time of year.




Climbing as a mob is seldom epic, and not necessarily photogenic, but we all had a great time with a little leading and a lot of top roping. I'd forgotten just how run out the norm is there, especially in the middle 5.8 to 5.10 grades, lots of ground fall potential and DFU territory. Here's a shot looking down, the stuff explosion is all from our crew




Of course, there was plenty of time for lounging in the sun and gabbing, telling lies, and reading.




We stayed in Ryan campground this time: smaller, lower key, and a little easier to corral 3 sites together. Each afternoon had a steady line of folks on the classic Headstone formation.




Campfire living can be pretty grand, and this was a prime example. I've known some of these folks for 30 years, so there's lots of yarns to be told and things to reminisce about. It's also an anniversary of sorts for me; my first time climbing was Thanksgiving weekend at Joshua Tree in 1973.




The Thanksgiving dinner itself is pretty damned amazing, easily the equal of any I've had at a house. Multiple dutch ovens are deployed, including a specialized one for cooking a turkey. The menu included:


16 lb turkey

9 lb ham

Sausage stuffing with gravy

Spaghetti squash with garlic & parsley

White sweet potatoes (grown in Moab)

Scalloped potatoes

Sauteed broccoli

Cranberry sauce

Baked apples

German chocolate cheesecake (from scratch on site)

Brownies with whipped cream

And of course beer, wine, hard cider, Martinelli fizzy cider, and schnapps




It made for that classic OMG holiday stuffed feeling, and we ate ham sandwiches all the way home, coming up the east side of the Sierra with a layover with some old friends in Truckee. Travel conditions were excellent for all legs of the trip, with only a couple sections of mild rain.




Hot damn, I'm already psyched for next year.

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