Joshua Tree

Started the new year off with a trip to Southern CA. Part work related and part personal time. First couple days was attending the Donovan Tennis Showcase at the beautiful CMS/Pomona campuses. Each time I’m at the CMS facility it makes proud to think that a D3 program could have such an amazing facility. And just a tad bit jealous! Don’t get me wrong I love the Whitman tennis facilities – they are beautiful, have indoor and outdoor courts and located in the center of a campus. But the CMS courts are amazing!

Along the way I got to spend some time with the new CMS AD and good friend Erica Perkins Jasper. Funny I have known Erica since she was a young firstyear playing at WSU – she used to come visit Whitman and practice in our facilities!

Also spend a day with Whitman Parent Tom Carter learning the finer points of sour dough bread. Tom got me hooked on making sourdough, but I just don’t have the feel for it yet. But after a day with Tom I feel much better about my skills.

The highlight of the trip was spending three days in Joshua Tree. I’ve always enjoyed Joshua Tree and if the team has a day off during spring break I always try to take the team into the Park. I find it stunning the differences between the Washington and Southern CA coast lines. The Olympic National Forest and Joshua Tree couldn’t be more different! But both are completely awesome!

Originally I was planning on camping in Joshua Tree Park. However this type of camping is never my favorite. Typically the camp spots are cramped together with little or no privacy. Last year I was camping in Key West, FL and on one side had a wonderful group of college students that I ended up hanging out for a couple nights but the other side was a van with some serious domestic issues (without going into details I was worried for my safety as well as theirs).

airbnb tentAt the last minute I decided to check AirBnb for spots in Joshua Tree and ran across this little gem. It was actually cheaper than camping in the Park and I had complete solitude for entire stay. I’m posting because this is a pretty cool listing. Plus it is only a few minutes outside the town of Joshua Tree and close to the park entrance. If you want solitude this is the place! Note you are near a house is being remodeled but the owners completely respected my privacy. Also nice to know that I could leave my gear in the tent when I ran into town. Note this place has no running water or a toilet (they do have a bucket if needed). Electricity is from a Goal Zero Yeti 400 and solar panel. Just enough to keep the computer powered up and lights for the evening. Place also had a sweet hammock and fire pit. Lastly the place has strong cell coverage — which could be a positive or negative depending on your wants. Honestly for me it was perfect. Lots of quite time to think about the upcoming year, read and do some writing.

Since the tent spot is only a few minutes from the town of Joshua Tree I was able to spend afternoon and evenings exploring this quirky fun little desert town. Bonus I was able to have dinner with CMS tennis alumn Joe Dorn who is living in Joshua Tree! We had a great evening at Pie for the People swamping stories and talking teams, tennis and life! Made me regret not getting to know Joe better when he was a CMS player — I think we played against him 3-4 times (Including a trip they made to Walla Walla).