We got in on a Thursday night after the rangers had gone. We drove through until it got too dark to see much. Initially we thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the stars at night, but it was too cloudy. The trees were so neat! And the rock mountains were so different than what we're used to. They are more like hills with rock crumbles stacked on top of each other. I loved how curvy they were, especially in contrast to all the jagged edges of the Joshua Tree.
We went back to our AirBNB for dinner, a movie, and a good nights sleep. Then we woke up early and got to catch the sunrising at the park. It was really neat to see the parks in both types of light.
Then we went home, packed up the car, and had the coolest drive back to southern Utah. We drove through the Mojave National Forest and we didn't see any other cars for hours. It was slightly creepy to be driving on a small road in the middle of nowhere with no one around. But luckily Greg had done lots of great maintenance on the Matrix before we left, so none of our fears were realized. :)
We listened to many great podcasts... Radio West, another one from a t-shirt company that had interviewed Nathan Bond from Rifle Paper Co., and lots of other great ones from 99% Invisible. I made it a priority to get an SLC library card before the trip so we could find some good e-books, but the podcasts were really great.
After a stop in Vegas for In-N-Out burgers and a night at my parents house in southern Utah, we came home and cleaned up! Great road trip and good times!