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    Out and On Point: Jup Brown visits Mt. Baldy and Joshua Tree National Park

    I had a few days off after my boss told me I looked like a bear in a trap after working in the office for the last few weeks --  I must admit I was missing the outdoors a lot and I’m definitely not one to work in a office. So I asked around to find somewhere to go explore.

    Mt. Baldy came up, so after a quick check on Google Maps, I was off toward the mountains with a smile on. Over the last year I have been looking back on my adventures and seeing what I loved about them and what I would like to change or tweak a little. The biggest thing I see is that I love to not have a plan, even though all my trips have had one. It was to make sure people knew where they could join me, as I love to meet new people and share an adventure. The weather wasn’t looking the best, I was worried about that, I was sure it would come right at some stage. I arrive at the bottom of Mt. Baldy and met a guy who had just come down. He said it was crazy windy up top and you couldn’t see a thing, so I headed off up the trail just to check out what I could.

    In the winter you can ski up there, so I used the road that lead to the ski lodge, as I had no real idea of any trails around. I was so happy just wandering along and watching the clouds fly past me through the valley with the ski lift popping in and out of them.

    I made it to the lodge in around 3 hours and decided that would do, as above there I couldn’t see anything and I was planning to come back up early the next day. Once down I headed into town and got some food before driving back to the trail head, where I’d sleep in the car for the night.

    Day 2

    Up with the birds and sunrise, I started my hike up again, today was going to be awesome. The sunrise was amazing and not really a cloud in the sky, no wind either -- which just made it perfect. I knew there was another trail that you could go up but I thought I’d go down it, as the way I went yesterday went right up the ridge and had AMAZING views. It took me so long to hike up because I was stopping to admire the beautifulness of this part of California: So close to LA and the city lights, but not a soul around me.

    Once past the ski field boundary signs, I walked the ridge line and I could make out the top, the little snow still around just added to the magic. I was in my happy place and loving every second. I only saw one person the whole way until I reached the summit, 3.5 hrs after I had set off. Alone at the top and almost no wind, I couldn’t think of any other place I’d rather be in the world at that moment. Mt. Baldy had put it on for me. Thank you Universe!



    As I sat there a couple of people popped out of other trails and we chatted a bit while we ate food and got ready to go down. I teamed up with a couple of guys, as I wasn’t sure of where to go after seeing a lot more snow on the other side. This side was way steeper and more of a challenge, which I liked after my nice cruise up the ridge. More snow meant for a bit of fun sliding down, More people, too, as it was later in the morning now, and I enjoyed saying hi to everyone. People are so friendly in the mountains and I dream of it everyday I walk in a city -- a big reason I say hello to everyone I make eye contact with.

    Once down I said bye to the boys and thanked them for helping me and sharing stories. Nothing better than connecting with new friends and spending time getting to know them.

    As I still had a couple of days, I decided to head off to Joshua Tree National Park, which was about 2 hrs drive away. I’d been through the area in 2015 but hadn’t gone into the park.

    I found a camp ground for the night and set up my tent to then just sit and enjoy the sunset over the desert while sipping a hot brew of miso soup.

    Not much else makes me happier than this feeling of having nothing to do but be in this moment.

    As I sat there a couple came over and asked if I had fuel for their stove which they had had trouble finding at the shops. Feeling sad I couldn’t help I told them to bring their stuff over and cook on my stove which they did and we chatted away in the evening telling stories or trips around the world and places to check out tomorrow in Joshua Tree NP.

    Day 3

    Sun was out and hot early on which was awesome. I’d noticed that the camp ground was packed last night and after asking around found out it was a long weekend and the national parks were free. No wonder everyone was here. Aye. I didn’t really expect what I saw next and I don’t mean the beauty of Joshua tree NP but the millions of cars and people coming through the park. I thought I was in a city, haha. I did manage to find a few spots that no one was around and loved just being in this amazing place sitting on a rock taking it all in.

    If you have never been to Joshua tree you had better get going, Such a magic peaceful place and so many places to explore, climb, take the kids or just chill out. I spent the day wandering around, climbing small rocks and then just chilling thinking of other adventures I have planned for the future. What a list it is becoming, and I can’t wait to connect them all and start. One giant one way adventure around the world, with no plans and the want to explore and share everything with you from the amazing people to the beautiful places I pass through.

    After these past few days, I was feeling great: recharged and excited again. I have been on a mission to pay the bills of my last adventure in North America, so I can get back out in our world to do more. "What’s next," you may be thinking. Well, I have just started a project to rebuild a school in Nepal and the fundraising side has begun. To start something can be hard, but the feeling of getting something out of your head and onto paper, then to share it with others is something so special and powerful.

    You hear it a lot but dreams can come true and do happen. So if you have one, get it out there and watch the magic start.

    #Spreadthewool + #aloeupsunscreen = go #exploreyourplayground with Happy feet in #point6socks