It's surprising how well the rough rocks of Joshua Tree help to break in a pair of jeans. Rock climbing, scrambling over boulders, squeezing through narrow canyons, and overall just running around and getting injured makes for a great formula to fade raw denim.
I now have access to the photo studio at school (yay art classes) so I can finally take some pictures that aren't completely horrible. These are probably the most color-correct shots that I've taken so far. I'm quite happy with the increase in quality, in any case.
About the jeans themselves - I've worn through the edges of the back pockets, have increased the wear in the knees, and my pocket notebook fade is setting in nicely. And no one's commented on any unwanted odors or anything like that, so I'm gonna say that I'm safe with not washing these things for now. Ha.