Meeting Lindsey & Gerrit from “Living Life in Between”

The first time we ever met up with friends on the road was in our second month, while we were parked outside of Joshua Tree National Park (south). We were coming back from a hike in Box Canyon, when they messaged us on Instagram and said that they were coming to Joshua Tree and asked to meet up. We were stoked at the prospect of “road-friends!”! We had not yet made any friends on the road, and we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to do so.

They parked a bit down the road from us, and we met up for a campfire the next night.

Prior to their arrival, Brendan and I had been wishing for some Chick-Fil-A, since we had not had any since leaving NJ. Since we couldn’t find any nearby (the closest was 3 hours), we decided to make our own. I had done this once before, but I was determined for it to turn out better than the previous times. I checked with Lindsey to make sure they like Chick-Fil-A (they do!), but I am not sure the friendship would have worked out if they didn’t like CFA (haha). I made homemade chicken nuggets, waffle fries, sweet tea, and lemonade, all remarkably close to Chick-Fil-A’s versions. They came over and brought Coronas, and we sat around the fire talking and laughing late into the evening. (Side note: If any of you fellow travelers ever want to meet up, I will gladly make you some of my homemade, copy-cat chick-fil-A. ?)

A couple days later, we met up again for a short hike to Mastodon Peak, which was really scenic and really fun. Afterwards, we stood outside our cars talking for awhile, until I suggested that we go get dinner somewhere. We found a great Mexican restaurant in Coachella, where we introduced them to ceviche and also enjoyed other great Mexican cuisine, such as quesadillas, tortas, horchata, and guacamole. After dinner, they moved from Joshua Tree South to Joshua Tree North to be closer to the bulk of the activities on the north end of the park. However, we planned an additional meet-up for the following day.

The next day, we met up again, this time for our first-ever climbing experience. Lindsey and Gerritt have been climbing for awhile now, and they are extremely knowledgeable and skilled in all things climbing. We had always wanted to try climbing but had never had the opportunity previously. They were so generous and let us use their gear and even try their climbing shoes. They took us to a neat little spot among various boulders along a 4×4 trail, and Gerritt lead climbed up the top to set up the ropes for Brendan and Lindsey. Bren did really well for his first time! I was a baby and was too scared to try it, but we eventually want to get our own gear and practice, so there will be more opportunities. I enjoyed hanging out and watching while they climbed two 50-foot routes.

After climbing, we hiked the Ryan Mountain trail, which was a lot more difficult than it looked. At this point, we had only been on the road for about two months, and we were not quite in optimum hiking shape. Ryan Mountain changes 1,000 feet in elevation over the course of a mile, so it’s safe to say it is pretty uphill. Lindsey and Gerritt are experts in all things outdoors, so they climbed with ease, while I hung out in the back and slowly made my way up the mountain. We eventually all made it to the top, and it was well-worth it! As the highest point in Joshua Tree National Park, Ryan Mountain offers 360 degree views of the entire park, and we made it up to the top just as the sun was starting to set. We both enjoyed having someone else to take pictures for us, since Bren and I don’t often get non-selfie pictures together, as there is no one to take them for us. Lindsey and Gerritt said the same is true for them, and we took lovely photos of each other overlooking the mountains and the valley below.

After our descent down the trail, we said goodbye, but we know we will meet up with them again. We had so many things in common, from our mutual love of dogs and guacamole to the fact that we are all the exact same age (23), in a world where the average RVer is 60+, this is quite a feat. Making friends with them was a fun experience, and we are excited for future meet-ups in the years of travel to come.

We had a blast today with these guys! Thanks for hanging (actually off a rock) with us today! Safe travels! Hoping that we meet again soon!

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About Samantha Binger

Samantha BingerSam is one-half of the Life Among Pines crew. She is an animal-loving bookworm, an avid photographer and an amateur chef/wanna-be foodie. Travel and adventure are two of her biggest passions in life, and she loves living life on the road, where she can explore new places on the daily. When not writing a new blog post, you can find her sipping tea, hiking with her dogs, sampling a local brewery, or fulfilling orders for her Etsy shop, MugsySupplyHouse. Feel free to reach out and say hi!