Natalie Pond is a bonafide weekend warrior through and through. She can be found at her desk Monday through Thursday and on the road living her best life Friday through Sunday. Her flawless execution of a work hard/play hard lifestyle is exactly what Luno aims to foster for the everyday adventurer.
Luno was fortunate enough to partner with Natalie on one of her recent epic weekend road trips. She used the Luno Air Mattress while she traveled through the best deserts that California has to offer to celebrate the end of a summer well-spent.
Where did you come from? Where did you go?
I began my trip in Redondo Beach, California and set out for Joshua Tree, Mojave Desert, and Zion National Forest. Something about the desert has always inspired me. I find that I am constantly being pulled back to the flat land and warm sand.
How did you choose your destination?
I planned my entire trip around watching the sun rise over the Valley of Fire in Nevada—something that has always been on my travel bucket list. I also wanted to do a pit stop in the Mojave, get my feet wet in Zion, and hike at sunset in Joshua Tree.
Trip mini highlight?
The mini highlight from my trip was getting to wear sweats and a long sleeve to sleep! I know that fall is just around the corner when I have to start wearing something other than shorts during my trips. I am really looking forward to the off-season adventures I have planned for this year so the cooler temperatures have been a welcome change.
My runner-up mini highlight was the perfect cup of coffee I made in Joshua Tree. I absolutely nailed the ice to almond milk to coffee ratio. I had every barista in the tri-county area shaking in their boots.
What is a must-do for travelers who plan on visiting Mojave, Zion, or Joshua Tree?
You absolutely must climb the Kelso Dunes. The Dunes cover 45 square miles in Mojave and rise 650 feet above the desert floor to offer fantastic views of the surrounding dunes and peaks. The sandy slopes transported me to a whole different world. It was like I pulled off the I-40E and ended up in Egypt.
Favorite road trip snack?
I’ve never left a gas station on a road trip without getting a bag of Munchies for the road. Whoever thought to combine Doritos, Cheetos, and Sunchips with processed cheese dust is a culinary genius.
Top 3 tracks on your road trip playlist?
How about a 7-hour road trip playlist instead? With a little mix of just about everything...
What does the open road say when it calls to you?
It’s a friendly reminder that I need to reset, gain some new perspective, and pick up inspiration.
What was your favorite thing about using the Luno Air Mattress?
Two words: Comfort. Valve. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to unpack my whole trunk just to let a little air out of my bed before I sleep in my car. Being able to adjust the firmness of my mattress without disrupting my whole setup was a total game-changer.
Where do you plan on taking your mattress next?
I’ve got a quick trip up north to Big Sur planned for this fall!
Favorite part of car camping?
Something I’ve always loved about car camping is the flexibility. I rarely have an itinerary, so being able to choose where I’m going at the last minute and having everything within trunk’s reach is perfect.
Why is car camping > tent camping, in your opinion?
The safety of car camping is particularly appealing to a solo traveler like myself. The security of locking my car doors helps me sleep soundly throughout the night so I can hit the ground running in the morning.
What destinations are left on your bucket list?
My travel bucket list is pretty much a world atlas at this point! However, I think I am going to keep things local for the next couple of years. I’m would like to try car camping in Wyoming to hike Yellowstone, spend time in New Mexico to visit White Sands, and see everywhere along the coast up to the Pacific Northwest before this year draws to a close.
One travel quote you live by?
“Get out from your house, from your cave, from your car, from the place you feel safe, from the place that you are. Get out and go running, go funning, go wild, get out from your head and get growing, dear child.” -Dallas Clayton