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Looking Back

Hiking Barker Dam Trail

Getting reading to set off to see Barker Dam

It’s hard to believe that we haven’t been out hiking since June 2015. We love the great outdoors and exploring, but my ankle injury put everything on hold for months and months and months. I’m still working on getting back to 100%, but I’m now at the point where I felt that I could start doing some short hikes. The first day of spring seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.

Hiking the Barker Dam Trail

We headed over to Joshua Tree National Park to take the easy Barker Dam Trail hike. The parking area was packed, but the hike itself was nice. The good thing about hiking around Joshua Tree National Park is that there can be a lot of people without the area feeling super crowded. (The prime climbing areas can be a different story.)

Looking at Barker Dam

Other than the allergy issue, we had an enjoyable time being back out in nature. We took our time and explored different areas. We weren’t in a hurry which meant we could take side trails and just explore. My ankle, while still lacking normal flexibility, felt pretty good.

Checking out one of the climbing areas

Of course, D wanted to check out the different climbing/bouldering areas, and he dreamed of when he’d, once again, be able to climb. He really misses it. He still has quite a few months before he’ll be able to even begin to do the basics, but he’s confident that his shoulder will get strong enough to start climbing again. I’m probably more hesitant than he is about the whole thing because I don’t want to see him hurt again. He still has the other shoulder that’s injured in addition to the shoulder surgery recovery.

Barker Dam

The water at the dam was quite a bit lower than it was last time we were there. The desert is just starting to bloom. We need a really good rain to get things going strong.

Looking at the petroglyphs


Munchkin’s favorite part was the petroglyph cave.

Looking at the petroglyphs


She enjoyed looking at the various petroglyphs as well as looking at the different rock formations in the cave.

Exploring the petroglyph caveOf course, it’s always fun when you can go straight through the boulder and come out the other side. 😉

Barker Dam

The weather was perfect thanks to a nice breeze. It was an enjoyable day. I’m looking forward to gradually increasing the length and difficultly of our hikes as I have missed going out.

Part of the Jeep Family

New (to me) 1989 Jeep YJ

I faintly remember a trip from my childhood where we took our Jeep and another vehicle camping. (Clearly I was more fond of the Jeep because I have no clue about the other vehicle.) I’m not sure when that Jeep was sold, but it was only a part of my early years.

As I grew up and got ready to drive, I always thought it would be fun to have a Jeep. (In all fairness, I also wanted a classic Mustang. I never did get a Mustang, but I did have a sporty Camaro for a few years.) A Jeep wasn’t in the cards for a variety of reasons, but it was always in the back of my mind that I would like to have one some day.

When we moved to the desert, D and I started looking at Jeeps as they make great off-road vehicles, but the prices of Jeeps were just crazy. At that point in time, we didn’t really want an older Jeep as we needed a reliable vehicle. Older Jeeps tend to have gremlins. lol!

As Munchkin approached getting her driver’s license, I starting looking at Jeeps again. It brought back memories of my teenage years. Since her project truck had been put on the back burner for several reasons, I liked the idea of purchasing an older, working Jeep. (We didn’t want to take on another project vehicle.) Munchkin, like her mama, has always liked the look of Jeeps.

Since Jeep Wranglers tend to hold their value (especially in our area where a lot of people drive them), it took a lot of time and patience to find a daily-driver Jeep that was in good condition within our budget, but it was worth it. We know that we’ll have to learn the ins and outs of this Jeep as each Jeep seems to have it’s own quirks and personality, but I am pleased to finally be the proud owner of a Jeep.

While we were already part of the off-roading community, we are now also part of the Jeep family. You’re never too old to see a fun dream come true. 😉

Wordless Wednesday: Valentine’s Sunset Walk

Our Valentine’s Day may not have been filled with store bought treats, but it did include a beautiful sunset walk with my husband. It was a wonderful way to end the day.

A beautiful Valentine's Sunset Walk

A beautiful Valentine's Sunset Walk

A beautiful Valentine's Sunset Walk

A beautiful Valentine's Sunset Walk

The Morning The Horses Disappeared

Phantom safe at home.

In the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning, I heard the thundering hoof beats of our horses. This isn’t abnormal, so I fell back to sleep as it wasn’t time to feed them yet.

As the sun began to peak over the mountains painting the sky in shades of pink and orange, I crawled out of bed still tired from a less than restful night’s slumber. After feeding the dogs, I opened the door to let them out and was puzzled when I didn’t hear my normal morning greeting from the horses. I looked out, and they were nowhere to be seen. I quickly threw on a fleece shirt and some boots and headed outside.

The gate was wide open. Our horses were gone. Someone had opened the gate and let them out. I looked around to see if they were anywhere nearby, but I couldn’t see them. I rushed back inside and woke up both D and Munchkin as I figured we’d be in for a search. I quickly through on some clothes before heading back out. D beat me outside as he went out as soon as I got him up.

When I looked out, I saw Dixie girl following D into the stalls while he coaxed Phantom in with some feed. Apparently, while I was in the house, the horses – knowing it was time to eat – made their way back to our place and were standing by the horse trailer waiting for their feed. Needless to say, we all breathed a sigh of relief to have our precious horses home.

I’m not sure why someone let the horses out, but we’re thankful that they made it safely home. I guess it’s a good thing they’re so familiar with their feed schedule and that they like us. 😉 We’re also thankful that they arrived back home with no injuries other than a few scratches on Dixie’s legs.

Beautiful Word Bible

I received a review copy of this Bible from the publisher. This post contains affiliate links.

NIV Beautiful Word Journaling Bible

Munchkin started attending a new youth group this past fall. One of her fellow college students recommended it to her, so we tried out the church (and youth group). It was a good fit for her, and the sermons were Biblical. We found ourselves with a new church home that was a better fit for our girl.

There was one slight issue though – the youth pastor was using a different translation of the Bible for his teaching. If you’ve ever tried to follow along with scripture reading when you have one translation and the person reading has another, you know that it can get a bit tricky. Depending on the translations, it can get down right difficult.

Beautiful word Bible margins and journaling

Munchkin’s preferred translation is ESV while the youth pastor was using the NIV version. She thought it would be easier to follow along if she could have her own NIV Bible to read during youth group. When I saw the Beautiful Word Bible, I thought it would be a nice Bible for her to use.

The Beautiful Word Bible has margins for notetaking and/or journaling. It has 500 colorful journaling images already in the Bible. The only thing that Munchkin didn’t like about the Bible is the size of the font as it’s on the smaller size. She prefers something that is a little larger for easier reading. The font itself is clear, so it’s really just a size issue.

Beautiful Word Bible Journal Image with books of the Bible tabs

We added some coordinating horizontal Bible tabs for easier usability.

The Beautiful Word Bible is lovely, hardcover journaling Bible. It’s not a study Bible with tons of additional notes or extras. It does have pretty journaling images and words already in the Bible. The pages are a good weight. If the font was larger, it would be a great journaling Bible for Munchkin. As it is, it’s a nice Bible that she’s using until she can find one that has a larger font.