Today was a long day of driving as we packed up our campsite and headed up to Monterey Bay! While there weren’t many activities, most of the students enjoyed some time in the pool upon arrival as we gear up for a fun day at the aquarium tomorrow.
On day 3, we fueled up with a hearty hotel breakfast then hit the road towards Joshua Tree. We met with National Park Service Rangers to learn about the beginnings of the park and to help conduct a research study. Students located off-trail tagged Joshua Trees using a GPS device, took various measurements of the trees, and recorded their data. These measurements are used to track these trees’ growth through the years and evaluate their health.
Next we ate our picnic lunches and began our tour through the park. We got off the bus to take a short hike through the Hidden Valley, explore a cholla cactus garden, and arrived at the Cottonwood campground. Students set up their tents and the dinner team began cooking. We ended the night with campfire s’mores and stargazing- we saw some incredible constellations in the dark desert sky!
On day 4, we packed up camp, ate breakfast, and started driving towards the Coachella valley. After a quick stop for coffee, we hiked in Thousand Palms and saw some incredible trees! Next we headed to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum where we took an audio tour through a handcrafted homestead. We drove to our campsite in the Morongo Valley and set up camp.
Today we packed up from LA and headed to Palm Springs en route to Joshua Tree National Park. Despite the rain, we were able to get in a 3.75 mile hike on a mountain in Palm Springs. The skies cleared up just in time to give us some beautiful views!
Greetings, all! This is Ms. Halfi reporting (from Troy) on behalf of the California trip. Heard great news from the Envoys field operator in charge of the trip:
“All is well in California! The group is happy to have arrived, if a little tired from their travels and the jet lag. They met up with Envoys program leaders at the airport and had some time to freshen up in the bathrooms and have some snacks before boarding their bus. They went to Venice Beach to conduct their program briefing and the creation of their full value contract, and then had time to explore the Santa Monica Pier and the surrounding neighborhood in small groups. They met back for dinner and then headed to the hotel to check in and go to bed.”
She also reported that today (Tuesday) marks the beginning of their journey towards Joshua Tree state park. Due to a forecast of very high winds in the Joshua Tree area tonight, they have re-routed their plans to camp tonight to instead board in a nearby hotel. Camping will still happen after tonight, though, as the forecast looks much milder from here on in.
Keep checking back here for updates from the trip participants throughout the week!