I awoke at sunrise in the open desert just outside Twentynine Palms, CA.
It was cloudy, but I caught a glimpse of the sun!
I started moving towards town.
I met Dan! His dogs were barking at me as I passed his house. He gave me a couple bottles of water! He told me that 18 people have died in car accidents coming around the bend by his house 😦 We parted ways.
David pulled over to check on me again! I had met him the day before. He told me that he was heading to pick me up out of the desert, but saw that I had made it much further than he thought I would. I was just a couple miles from town! He gave me another donation and wished me the best. He was a great guy!
I made it to Twentynine Palms!
With a quick look over my shoulder, I suddenly realized how far I had come. What a trek!
I put in a couple more miles and made it to the Joshua Tree visitors center. I washed up real quick and changed into clothes.
Blessed Sacrament was right across the street. I got ready for Sunday Mass!
I entered within.
After Mass, there were refreshments for everyone to enjoy. The priest blessed the food, and we all dug in!
I was expecting donuts and coffee, but there was pasta, sandwiches, and all kinds of food! I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started eating.
Everyone at Blessed Sacrament was so nice and welcoming to me! A few people asked about my travels, and they wished me the best. They also invited me to take some food with me!
Just past noon, I headed back across the street to the Joshua Tree Visitor’s Center. I was tired! I hung my hammock beneath a tree and passed out. I was exhausted! An hour or so passed. It was a quick siesta.
Around 1:30 p.m., I hit sidewalk and made my way across town.
I stopped at a Jack in the Box and ate a burger. I needed calories, even after lunch at Blessed Sacrament. I hung outside and charged my phone. I also chatted with a few friends on the phone. At 4:30 p.m., I was back on track. Sidewalk.
I met Ruben! He was cooling off at a water spicket at an auto shop. I cooled off too! We chatted for a bit. Ruben was in the military. We talked about LA, and he told me it is a whole other world. I was able to help Ruben out with some money. He was really thankful and actually gave me some of it back! We parted ways.
I kept moving. Through town.
From left to right: Shannon, Sophia, Dominic, and Philip!
And then Philip picked me up! He is a marine who currently works for the Joshua Tree National Park. I had met him after Mass at Blessed Sacrament. He invited me back to his house for dinner with his wife Shannon and their children Sophia and Dominic!
It was overwhelming in a good way. His wife Shannon told me they had googled me and read my blog, haha! They gave me access to a hot shower, did my laundry, and fed me dinner! Shannon had made a really great meal. Steak, rice, peppers, onions, and an ice cold can of coke. Wow!
I hung out with them at their house for a while. We even watched a little bit of the Olympics! It always amazes me when a family welcomes me into their home. I had such a great time!
From left to right: Philip, Dominic, Shannon, and Sophia!
Sophia gave me a rosary decade that she made for the American Heritage Girls! Dominic gave me some tactical glow sticks to put on the buggy at night!The family sent me off with a big bag of snacks! They also gave me aaa batteries for my head lamp, and a stuff bag for my sleeping bag!
It was so overwhelming. One moment Im walking down the sidewalk not knowing what the next corner will bring, and the next I’m eating dinner with new friends! Wow! And just like that, Philip dropped me off where he had picked me up per my request. We parted ways. What a great family!
Washed up, filled up, and geared up, I hit sidewalk out of town.
I had planned on traveling to Joshua Tree that night, but I decided to call it a day early. With all the traffic in town, traveling at night wasnt a good idea.
I found a street named Sunrise, and thought it would be a great place to watch the sunrise the next morning, so I hiked up!
I found a church up there on the hill. A great view! No one was around, so I didnt have permission to camp. I found a little palm grove and laid my sleeping bag on the desert floor by the parking lot. I fell asleep beneath the stars.
The moon rose.