(Almost Exactly) 5 Years Ago Yesterday

I am hanging out with my love under the stars around fire-pit… it’s the perfect temperature and breezeless. Shadows are dancing on a pile of a freshly delivered wood next to us…

We are reminiscing about the last time we were sitting around a crackling fire camping in the hi-desert. It seems so long ago. So long ago because we basically stopped camping when we moved here. We felt like we’d moved into the National Park when we landed in Gamma Gulch. It was better than camping. We had a whole little cabin instead of just a tent, smack in the middle of endless gigantic boulders- and right out the front door were hiking possibilities in several directions. 

Better than camping. Our Gamma Gulch cabin.


So the last time we sat around a crackling campfire at a campsite… was almost exactly 5 years ago today at Hidden Valley Campground in the Park. It was our anniversary week… there was an unseasonably cold front storm warning for that evening- and wow did it live up to it- we’d only experienced mildly chilly desert nights up to that point. Late night it got crazy windy and crazy cold and rained like a mad dog- our portable thermometer read 33 degrees in our tent. 

We wrapped the pups in a down comforter and lay zipped up in our 20 degree bags with the air so cold on our faces it almost stung. We weren’t used to this. We woke up to frozen water bottles and realized- the desert can get COLD. Very cold. 

Pups waking up after the 33 degree night.


That day it warmed right back up though- and was so clear and so fresh our city eyes and lungs didn’t even know what to do…

After the storm.


We hiked around and imagined what it would be like to actually live in the desert… a conversation that had been ongoing for at least 5 years… discussing different aspects and wonderments and puzzlements… we had no idea that just a little over a year later we would live here! 

Now here we are at the Outpost- our second dwelling place in hi-desert… with a view that knocks our flip-flops off and astounds us everyday. With a porch that constantly beckons us to hang out and behold the view as the light and colors subtly shift and change across that vast expanse we’d been longing for. 

Here we are around a crackling fire under the stars not so much dreaming as we are appreciating this exact moment. So happy to realize that we love living here all year round and being hi-desert people as much as we hoped we would- even more actually… even our pup Suki has proven to be the ultimate desert dog. (The only thing she misses is eating grass- so we have a little pot of organic grass for her to nibble which she loves- and is much healthier than the pesticide-ridden lawn grass she used to munch.)

Suki and her desert grass.


We drove home 5 years ago after camping feeling crestfallen and wondering- why does this desert heaven always have to come to an end? Can’t we figure out how to stay? Of course, the rest is history… 

-by Tania


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  1. Patrick House

    An enjoyable romp through the highs and lows of desert dwelling. You are no longer the city people living in the desert. You are now (5 years later) one of the native families that sparsely populate the ever changing texture of the greater desert life.

  2. Susan Jordan

    Love the photos and descriptions of your new home in the hi-desert! Your place definitely is a haven and looks very inviting. Someday, I hope to visit you two in your beautiful corner of the world! ❤

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