Wednesday, 14 March 2012

March 14th, 2010

Last night we camped behind a huge boulder in Joshua Tree NP; a few hundred yards shy of the 1 mile minimum away from road.  It was getting dark and we really didn’t want to haul all our gear in the dead of night.  This meant we couldn’t sleep in this morning in case a park ranger came by to check up on us.
Phew!  That was a close call.  We managed to break camp right before a park ranger came by.  We made it look like we were taking a short break after hiking a few miles from where we supposedly had set up. 

We continued scouting for a place to have our little wedding ceremony and decided to take the Geology Tour Road; a road where 4x4 vehicles are highly recommended.  This will be great for it will limit the amount of people coming in.

The road ended up being quite challenging for the both of us.  Once again we found ourselves reacquainted with what felt like none other than sugar sand. With the amount of weight we had on our bikes and the front wheel plowing through, it was difficult to keep the bikes in the direction we wanted to go.  I remember having a few close calls myself. 

Mentally and physically drained, we pulled over onto the side of the road where a couple of Jeeps were parked.  It was a group of snowbirds from a nearby trailer park in Palm Springs enjoying the retired life.  When I took off my helmet to introduce myself, I noticed a few of them shuffling about as if they were trying to hide something from me.  Turns out they were having a lunch tailgate party and were trying to hide the beer because they noticed my US Marshal badge and thought I was some sort of authority figure.  We all had a laugh when I reassured them I was not and told them to continue with what they were doing.  We decided to have lunch together and told them our story, where we’re from, where we’re going, and that we’re planning on getting married the next day here in the park.  I’ve never met a bunch of people who were so excited for two complete strangers they’ve never met before get married.  So excited, in fact, they invited us out to dinner with them at a nearby village called Pioneertown.  There’s only one restaurant/bar so there’s no way we could get lost and not find the right place.  We were to meet up with them at around 18:00. 
The Jeep crew
Joshua trees were plentiful
We managed to survive the sugar sand and rode out to Yucca Valley to get a few supplies:  bridal veil, bridal garter, bowtie, bouquet of flowers from Dollar Tree, bubble blower, wedding meal, and wedding cake. 
This was the restaurant we were supposed to meet the Jeep club at.  At first we thought they stood us up because we’ve been waiting for awhile, but eventually they came and we all had a great time.

Here's a little history of Pioneertown neatly integrated with the menu
Out on the main strip.  Pioneertown had a really cool western theme to it.
Think we can sneak in there and take a quick shower?
We'll probably end up in here at some point on our journey.

Someone actually lives in there believe it or not.
The chef firing up our meal out back on the barbie
Bon appetite!

When the peeps from the Jeep club were getting ready to leave, they surprised us with something special.  They all chipped in and pooled together to buy us one night at the Pioneertown Motel out back as a wedding gift.  One of the ladies told Amanda, “We can’t have you all grimy on the day of your wedding.”  What a bunch of wonderful people; truly amazing. 

Kicking it back at the western themed motel
Later on that evening we returned to Pappy & Harriet's for an evening of live bands!
Amanda somehow managed to get lead singer Taylor Goldsmith from the band Dawes to give a shout out for us; congratulating us for getting married tomorrow.
It was a great night; totally unexpected.

Back in the sandbox.
Mistaken for a lawman.
Surprise wedding gift.

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