28 Years of Love!

Adding another photo to our annual Anniversary Day post…

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Above –  In Joshua Tree National Park at Cap Rock honoring Gram Parsons on September 19, 2014.

The Jon and Tania Story – In 29 Photos!

We started going out on October 12, 1986, got married on October 12, 1992 (our sixth anniversary) and now 28 wonderful years have gone by…

To celebrate our Anniversary, here’s a gallery of photos of us together from 28 years of love – From 1987 until now, with each photo representing one year of the journey.

These Best Moments

I wrote this poem during the month after Tania and started going out. I remember it was composed in the early hours of the morning in a deep state of intuition.

The poem is a very accurate picture of our life now, after 28 years, much more than when I wrote it in November of 1986.

Fun Fact – I read this poem as part of our wedding ceremony in Big Sur on October 12, 1992  –

These Best Moments

It was a time to enjoy the best moments of our lives,
and everyday was something new.

We saw ideas:
dreams became real.

With these ideas came new hopes,
possibilities,
different avenues of expression.

Is this real? Should I even ask?

We’ve seen strange twists,
each for the experience, rich and cherished.

Content on pursuit,
following dreams,
knowing the creation of reality.
All at our grasp.

Developed in the light of patience:
savoring private moments:
anonymity.

Still standing with one foot in what they say is real.

More moments will come,
and we enjoy the moments that have been,
content.

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Above – Scan of the original notebook page from November, 1986.

Gallery of Moments

Off-The-Grid In Hidden Valley

Tania and I don’t just go camping, we mount a small expedition in our Honda Element. We pack our car with all the camping gear and supplies we’ll need for the next few days. We’ve got our tent and chairs, a stove, 3 bundles of wood, 9 gallons of water, food, flashlights, lanterns, firestarter, pots and pans, cooking utensils and on and on… and usually nothing that we don’t end up needing.

We usually spend a couple days preparing our supplies in a process refined by years of camping, and especially camping at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, (where we’ve camped at least 7 times so far – each time a unique experience.)

Then, along with our two dogs, Moseley and Suki, we leave cellphones and computers behind and enjoy some time off-the-grid… this year we spent our time in site #25.

In Our Element

Our love affair with Joshua Tree began eight years ago when we got our Honda Element, which we bought because we wanted a camping-mobile (among other things.)

Here’s a photo from our first camping trip at Hidden Valley in June of 2004 with our green Element in the background.

2004

The Element has been an awesome mini-expedition vehicle. Before we got the Element we had not gone camping for a few years and really missed the time away from the city, just the two of us together, or with a small group of friends.

Our history of camping together goes back twenty-some years. Tania and I even got married while camping in Big Sur twenty years ago on October 12, 1992.

Here’s a photo from just after the ceremony under the redwood trees at Limekiln Campground in Big Sur. We had a Volkswagen Vanagon back then for our expeditions…

1992

Boulders and The Light

Over the years many different things have been my focus-of-the-moment in this love affair with Joshua Tree, from the Joshua Trees themselves to the Gram Parsons legacy to the broad landscape of trees and boulders.

Currently I’m fascinated by the way the light changes the shape, color and presence of boulders. As an artist I marvel at the light and wonder how to capture it’s majesty in some kind of medium – a painting, sculpture, something I haven’t thought of… It’s a problem I keep turning around in my mind.

So far, I can only capture a photo of the idea, a mere representation of the real moment. This (see photo below) is what the light really looks like at sunset in the fall, but the real moment was 100 times better than any photo we could have taken.

This year’s expedition was the first time we camped in Joshua Tree during October. Usually we camp around September 19th in remembrance of Gram Parsons, one of my favorite musicians.

The light in October is very different than September. The angle of the light is steeper and full of contrast. Around our anniversary on the 12th the light is magical, and this year we had an unseasonal cold front that added a coolness we’d never experienced in our September camp-outs.

This Year’s Expedition

We arrived in Hidden Valley on Wednesday the 10th. Of the 44 camp sites, only 3 or 4 were still available. One of those sites was #25, on a side of the inner loop we had never camped on before.

The first night we had thunder and lightning in the middle of the night with rain. Our Hobitat tent which we bought a few years back from R.E.I. was very water-tight, and just we laid there enjoying the sounds and lightning throughout the night.

The next couple of days were unseasonably cool all day with beautiful clouds flying across the wide open sky. I wore a hoodie and knit cap most of the time, and really bundled up for the evening’s campfire.

We spent our time taking walks with our dogs, boulder scrambling, taking photos, talking, hanging out, napping and generally relaxing. It was a bit of heaven. And everywhere we looked were beautiful boulders basking in the changing sunlight.

At night the temperatures dropped down to 38 degrees one night and 40 degrees another night – very cold when you have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

On Friday the 12th we celebrated our 26th year together with special beers in the afternoon, a nice nap and a great afternoon walk… later Tania cooked-up an outstanding rib-eye steak and potatoes for dinner and then we relaxed around the campfire for conversation and more beers. A magical day all around.

The weather was finally warming up when we were packing up camp on Saturday morning the 13th to come home.

Moseley (a real homebody) was happy to be back home, while little Suki pup is already waiting for the next adventure.

Gallery of Photos

Here’s a selection of photos from this expedition into Joshua Tree. The photo order starts with morning photos and goes into the night, but covers several days of camping. All the photos have captions to tell you more about our expedition – Enjoy!

26 Years of Love!

Adding another photo to our annual Anniversary Day post…

Above – Photographed on the eve of this year’s anniversary – October 11, 2012 at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park…

The Jon and Tania Story – In 27 Photos!

We started going out on October 12, 1986, got married on October 12, 1992 (our sixth anniversary) and now 26 wonderful years have gone by…

To celebrate our Anniversary, here’s a gallery of photos of us together from 26 years of love – From 1987 until now, with one photo representing each year of the journey.

Enjoy!

Joshua Tree – Hidden Valley Campground – 24 Views

My mind in on Joshua Tree this week, due to an upcoming camping trip…

There is so much beauty to see in Joshua Tree National Park – there is the land itself along with the iconic namesake trees. There are the small flowers, the lizards, snakes, plants of various kinds – and then there are the boulders. I love the boulders!

This video, which was filmed in 2006 in Hidden Valley Campground – one of the best rock-climbing locations in the world – consists of 24 views, each one 10 to 15 seconds long, filmed in the warm, afternoon light…

One of the many reasons I return again and again to Joshua Tree National Park is to watch the light play across the boulders. It’s a very slow form of beauty and it’s worth spending all day just watching the light change the color of the boulders, re-drawing them over and over again into new and interesting variations.

When I’m back in my regular city life, and I daydream about camping in Joshua Tree, I imagine these boulders in the warm afternoon light…and what I imagine is what you see here – Enjoy!

Credits – the music is by Scenic, and the song is called “Lunar Afternoon” – it’s off of their album called “Acid Gospel Experience”, which I highly recommend.

All video segments were filmed by Jon, onehumanbeing.