Looking down at Lake Isabella from our camping site

Group shot in the middle of desert with Jay and his friends (from left: Jay(Fire Poker), me(guest of honor😉 ), sasha(Skinny Raven), mike(Squirrel Chief), Joe(Snow Legs), Pedro(Sky Pointer) and Melissa(another guest of honer) –  I think Zelmo, Diane and Debbie already left at this photoshoot.)

As I was giving my brother the news that I would be heading to LA to visit him early August from NYC, he told me that he was planning to go a camping trip with him friends (who I met them at Karaoke party in LA about a year ago…) I said, ‘alright… I guess I’m going to camping. ‘ My brother loves camping and I do like camping as long as it’s less than 3 nights. I thought it would be really comfortable to camp in a nice weather in LA area… guess what? I was wrong – but just to be straight before going into the detail, I did enjoy camping with these cool friends – including my brother. Fun group of people!

When Jay picked me up at the airport… he didn’t seem so happy. It looked like something was bugging him. I was optimistic enough to know that it wasn’t me. 😉 Later, I heard that the camping site they reserved got on wild fire and was closed until September and they were looking for the camp site at the last minute… or cancel the whole trip. After finding about hundred mass emails among, umm, them – I’ve learned that we are going to camp and the day we were leaving, I learned that we are heading to “Lake Isabella.” By the name alone, it sounded very promising…

With Joe in the back seat, we got in Jay’s car and after driving about an hour… It was getting really hot, I meant 100 degree. I looked at Jay as feeling the hot wind over the opened windows of the car. “Jay, is your AC broken?” “I didn’t have a time to replace the gas” “oh……!!!” After learning that we are going into the desert (the lake is in the middle of desert) and after not seeing any green for two hours of driving – while looking at the temperature at 110 F… I just knew I had to drink lots of water. Then I learned that we have to drive one more hour.

OK, from that point, my dream of camping like the green Maine forest… was stumbled down like sand. I was thinking… ‘it must be like this driving in Africa.’ After about 3 hrs in the desert heat and hot wind which dries my sweat immediately, we started to see some green… pointy leaved trees that look like half cactus and half tree. I was picking up my hope… then I saw some thin lines of stream… Yay! At least, we are not camping in the middle of desert with no shade… When we finally arrived at the camp site, it was around 6 pm. The sun was still strong. There were few trees with skinny branches which forms some kind of shades… but, at least breeze was nice. After few struggle of agreeing where to camp…, we all started to settle. Of course, when Jay’s friends learned that he drove in the desert without an AC in his car for 3 hrs in the middle of day, they were really shocked. Thanks, Jay!

It was a dry land where wild fire catches up so easily with any friction. Setting a camp fire seemed easy although Jay deligently kept fire going well(that’s where he got his Indian name, “fire poker.” Also, we were looking at this low but large lake in the middle of this desert area. Further more, there was a river in 6 miles up… very refreshing cold water with real trees!!! Drinking several bottles of dequilla and beer with great BBQ hamburgers… we talked and laughed. The camp host was exceptionally friendly to us as well and wanted to learn about us. What a nice guy… he was also very funny.

The night sky was astonishingly beautiful. You could see milky way with your bare eyes…I tried to take photos of them but no success. I saw about 2 to 3 shooting stars but, only managed to make a wish once. No matter what, it was a great camping trip with a great company of people at the end.