We rented a Tear Drop trailer from our friends at Little Guy Trailers in San Diego. The Tear Drop was perfect for us, allowing us to pack in all of our gear and get us through seven days of travel.
The additional front rack on the Tear Drop was perfect for our water containers, gas cans, firewood, crates, and EZ Up shade.
Using up all of the extra trailer space helped the kids to have extra room in the Jeep and not feel like they were being packed in like sardines.
We passed by the Fish Creek primitive camp turnoff and continued up the canyon with our Tear Drop in tow. Everything was going well, despite the limited lighting being produced by the stock Jeep headlights and overall lack of visibility in the dark canyon.
While the Jeep was up for conquering the night, I was concerned for the Tear Drop and navigating large rocks with the low solid axle of the trailer. The last thing I wanted to do was rip the axle off of the trailer.
A few miles up into the canyon we came across even larger rocks (boulders) that I knew the Tear Drop would not be able to clear unscathed. So, in the darkness of the night and deepening sand, I needed to put the Jeep into reverse and start backing my way out of a tight spot.
With some creative clutch work to keep all four Jeep wheels clawing for traction and the trailer plowing sand in reverse, we were able to get to an opening that allowed us to turn around. Tear Drop unscathed! Everyone celebrates, well, at least I did.
After our little adventure, we were all feeling hungry for dinner and eventually a good nights sleep. So, we pointed our rig toward Fish Creek primitive camp and scored a large flat spot for us to comfortably set up a big camp away from any other campers, and this also allowed the kids to run free.
As we prepped breakfast and packed lunches for the days adventures, we watched the temperature climb from 80 degrees, to 90 degrees, and eventually by late morning, the temperature would hit 105 degrees.
We used both of our shades for cover from the sun and heat. But the best thing was to jump into the Jeep and turn the air-conditioning on at the lowest temp with fans at full speed.
With our water systems full, we were determined to hike up to the wind caves. Here is our oldest doing her best solo climb up the rocky trail.
While our water packs helped to keep us hydrated, there was not a drop of shade to escape the fire ball in the sky.
The kids eventually found a cool place to spend time making shapes in the sand while we allowed our bodies to cool off before heading back down the trail under the heat of the afternoon sun.
We decided to take a break, explore the sandstone boulders by foot and let the kids run around, and climb on the Jeep.
While this trail is fairly easy, it is an impressive drive, particularly in the sections where the canyon walls close in, allowing just enough space for a vehicle to squeeze through.
We found many pieces of sea shells, which we closely inspected and enjoyed holding, but made sure to leave those pieces of history where they belong for the next visitors to find.
The hills of the Elephant's Knees make a perfect backdrop for Shell Reef exploring.
Incredibly delicious that Nutella topped brownie is! "Most amazing thing in the world", she says.
While fueling up and enjoying some ice creams, our little Minion was attracted to this sand rail, which was all pimped out Minion style, with a giant Minion sized driver.
While I had been to the Salton Sea as a kid and remember the bad smells and dead fish, it turns out that Kathy and the kids had never had the experience of being at the Salton Sea. A short drive brought us right near the shore line. This day the weather was a little gloomy with smog filling the Coachella Valley.
There are still many well defined pumpkins in this patch, though a few have been obviously damaged from the weather and foot traffic.
Fish Creek would only be our first destination on this week long adventure.
We decided to take the kids for a suprise ride on the famous Palm Springs tramway.
The parking lot was at a bit of an angle. To ensure extra security beyond leaving the manual transmission in gear and parking brake in a full lock, I decided to push a chunk of firewood behind my rear tire. Such high class.
As the kids get older, we will plan to hike the final distance up to San Jacinto peak (10,834 feet) and camp on the mountain top.
But for this day, we decided to hang out at the restaurant and enjoy lunch with incredible views of the Coachella Valley
Looking out beyond one of the five cable towers and across the desert, we have visions of Joshua Tree National Park more than 20 miles in the distance.