All posts filed under: trip report

Kelso Dunes: Please Enjoy My Terror

Here’s the thing: I’m a good hiker. I like to hike! But I do not like danger. I do not like danger at all. I do not even like the slightest perception of danger. Maybe this is because I often hike alone? Maybe this is also because I am a scaredy cat. This is not an insult. You say “Scaredy cat,” I hear “Prudent evaluator of perilous situations.” The summit of the Kelso Dunes, in the Mojave National Preserve, is the second peak I have ever turned back from. The first was the highest point in Pennsylvania, which involved a maybe 200 yard walk from the parking lot to  an observation tower. I could have made it (obviously) and would have, except for the arrival of three men in a pick-up truck. I’m not saying they were rapists, but I’m definitely not saying they weren’t rapists. The problem on Kelso Dunes had less to do with rapists, and more to do with winds. The hike to the summit is short distance-wise but annoying, since you’re pawing through sand …

The Best Hotel in Palm Springs

OK, so this is not exactly an exhaustive study — but if you’re trying to choose between the Ace and the Saguaro, we want to vote for the Saguaro. Yeah, the Ace is cooler (and the bar is better) — but it’s not that much better, and we love how colorful the Saguaro is. Like an Instagram feed ate a rainbow cereal and then exploded. Hmm, so if that doesn’t sound good, you should skip it. But I loved it. And the Saguaro was a lot cheaper.   A photo posted by faraway places (@faraway_places_) on Feb 1, 2017 at 1:33pm PST sdf

Joshua Tree: The Five Things I Loved Most

Last weekend, I spent 72 hours in Joshua Tree — not enough, obviously, but a good taste of a beautiful place. These are the five things I loved best, including a video tour that I made myself and is basically broadcast quality.  1. Joshua Tree National Park: Sunset Obviously: This was my whole reason for coming out. It is beautiful and amazing. I chose my Airbnb (see below) based on proximity to the park. A few things: 1. I’m glad I came as early in the season — the first weekend in February — as I did. It was definitely cold as soon as the sun went down, but the smaller crowds more than made up for it. (One ranger told me that in three weeks, there’d be an hour-long wait to get into the park and that it’d be hard to find parking.) As it was, it was hard to find a space for hiking Ryan Mountain, and the wait was about 15 minutes to enter the park (at 10 A.M.) and 30 minutes to leave (right …