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Joshua Tree 2010 Trip

Day 5 of 10

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Tuesday, March 30th
Hidden Valley, Drive to Escondido

The wind kept gusting most of the night. The wind is the one thing that can keep me up at night when camping. Rain is fine, but the gusting wind shaking the tent every so often just doesn't allow me to sleep. I think I slept fitfully until the wind finally died down around maybe 5am, only to wake up at 7:30am. Thankfully, at least the kids didn't seem to have any problem sleeping.

It was another bright sunny day. After packing up camp, I turned the key to our car and...it wouldn't start. Apparently the battery had died. I'm sure I hadn't left the headlights on. I'm guessing that it was a combination of a relatively old battery not being able to hold as much of a charge, combined with the interior lights being on too long. I had kept a door open to hang our portable shower bag for 3-4 hours the previous night, and had kept all the doors open this morning while we were packing the car. That's the only thing I can think of. Still seems a bit strange that's all that it took to drain the battery. I think that's a hint that it's time to replace the battery.

We had already packed the car by now and I assumed my jumper cables were buried deep beneath all our stuff (although I would later find out that, in fact, I hadn't brought the jumper cables at all). Thankfully, our camp site neighbor hadn't yet packed too much of his car. He moved a couple boxes and retrieved his jumper cables and gave our car a jump start. I pride myself on being self-sufficient on camping trips, so I felt a bit sheepish in asking for assistance. I'll try to make sure it doesn't happen again, and I'll be sure to pack my jumper cables in an accessible place. And to Victor from Los Angeles, who helped us out, thank you.

Oh, I should probably admit that this actually wasn't the first time this has happened. This was the second time we needed a jump start, the first occurring nearly 11 years ago. At least we had our own jumper cables with us then.

After our little delay, we were on our way, back into the main park area near the Barker Dam trailhead. This time, we stopped to do a hike at Hidden Valley. There were picnic tables near the trailhead, but the wind was strong here so we decided to have lunch in the car before heading out on our hike.

After the hike, we drove to our rental house in Valley Center (just north of Escondido, which is itself a bit north of San Diego). It took about 2:25 of driving, plus another 1:10 of stopping for groceries and snacks.


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