Jamie Eddy | FEATURE EDITOR | THE USD VISTA
Joshua Tree National Park is located in the California desert region just three hours north and central from San Diego. This National Park is expansive, combining two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado.
Joshua Tree is well known for its fascinating plant variety, grand geological structures, and animal diversity.
I joined approximately 65 USD students in a weekend trip to Joshua Tree, commonly known as JTree. The weekend was filled with rock climbing, hiking, beer, bonding, and sleeping under the stars. It was a much-needed getaway. Not only did I see some incredible rock climbing and form new friendships, but I also experienced an area of California that I had yet to explore.
The memories I have from growing up camping with my family strongly and positively affected my childhood and continue to do so today. Although camping is less frequent these days, whenever I get the chance to do so, I try my best to act on it.
USD students have been traveling to Joshua Tree for some time and many students have already done a number of trips this fall semester. I think it is important for students to know that you do not have to be a member of Outdoor Adventures or Rock Climbing Club to jump in on trips. Joshua Tree is a great place to ride bikes, go for a run, sun tan, and simply get to know new people.
Unfortunately, one of my close friends got injured after falling from a 17-foot boulder, cutting our trip a day short. Thankfully, my friend is okay. Although this type of injury is fairly uncommon, it is still important to mention. When camping, there are dangerous elements that can present themselves, especially out in the desert where there is no service and minimal first aid care. Although the injury caused our trip to end sooner rather than later, we still had a full day and night of good times.
I encourage USD students to get involved in small trips. such as the JTree excursion. You never know what it can lead to. I’ve met so many great people, hiked along beautiful land, witnessed unbelievable strength, and realized that scary situations can and do occur out in the wilderness.
All of these experiences aren’t nearly as fun or worthwhile without peers and people to share it with. I highly recommend Joshua Tree and all other outdoor adventure trips. Weekends like this make for the best stories of our college years.