Rocking in Joshua Tree

Our family just enjoyed a great spring break. While my wife and daughter went to Disneyland, my 10-year-old son Andy and I went to Palm Springs and hung out in the desert. We started by renting a hot red Dodge Charger and going to the local Walmart for essential supplies:

1) An adapter so we could plug our iPod into the rental car (going to Joshua Tree without playing U2’s Joshua Tree just wouldn’t seem right).

2) A sling shot.

After Walmart, we drove to 29 Palms and had breakfast at a Denny’s, then headed into the park. Joshua Tree is known for rock climbing, with piles of boulders and granite slabs everywhere. There is great climbing and scrambling through narrow cracks and tunnels.

After several stops of climbing and shooting rocks from the sling shot, we headed out on a 15-mile trip down a single track dirt road. Andy sat on my lap for a good part of it and got his first taste of driving. Way fun. We went out the eastern end of the park where we saw lots of interesting things — including Skull Rock and blooming cactus. Magical.

In God’s country. Andy in action. Skull Rock! Blooming cactus.
Where the streets have no name.

After Andy got the taste of driving, we needed to hit an ATV park. About 5 miles outside of Palm Springs we found a great place where they had good machines and a minimum age of only 6! So we ended up doing it two different times and had a ball cruising around the dunes. Check out Andy’s speed:

The family reunited in Malibu for the weekend, where we met up with great friends we haven’t seen in a while. They had a 50 cc dirt bike and 15 acres, so Andy kept his need for speed going through the weekend. What a great dose of Southern California!

Back to work
Here at, we are busy finishing up our new Leads product. And tomorrow I’m speaking at the 4th Annual America’s Growth Capital Emerging Growth Conference on a panel about mortgage technology. I’ll report in after that.

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Jim Flaherty is CEO of and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.

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