What a weekend! John and I spent just one night camping in Joshua Tree National Park and I feel like I’ve experienced so much in that short time. Believe it or not, Joshua Tree is less than two hours from where I live and I’ve never visited. I pass by it all the time on my way to somewhere else in California, but never took the time to drive through it. I won’t be making that mistake again as I plan to visit this place as much as possible from here on out (except in the summer of course).
I understand why people flock here for hiking, mountain climbing and spiritual retreats. I also get why some of the greatest bands came here to trip on acid. It’s just that kind of place. When you’re in the presence of these prehistoric monadnock mountains there’s some need within us to have a spiritual experience. It feels otherworldly and demanding of your upmost respect. Despite the campgrounds being completely full and the hiking trails as busy as any I’ve seen, it felt tranquil. The whole park is also immaculate, shockingly so actually. I didn’t realize how accustomed to litter I’ve become until I was somewhere there was none.
We spent Friday and Saturday scrambling over the boulders and basking in the sun. I experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets ever. That’s saying a lot coming from a girl who grew up in the Mojave Desert. There’s a moment during sunset when you’re amongst the boulders that the light changes. Every sunset has this moment, but here it’s almost tangible. It’s like someone placed a pair of rose colored glasses on my face. Everything seemed to have a glow that came from within itself. The boulders felt alive. I had wondered about all the veins throughout the boulders (pictured at the end). I’m no geologist so I’ve been studying up on this area since arriving home. I know these are white quartz veins but I like to think of them as the life blood of the park. Maybe even the backbone with each vertebrae exposed.
I am a true desert dweller, a sun worshipper, and I’ve never felt it so acutely as I did here. I can’t wait to go back.
Our brief stay in Taos was probably my favorite part of our trip. Well except for the White Sands… and the Sandstone Cliffs (coming up in the next post)… and Santa Fe… obviously I have issues choosing favorites. Taos was something special though. It’s the type of place you immediately feel at home and welcome in. Artsy, but not pretentious. My one wish is that we could’ve stayed just even another night here.
Upon reflection Taos and the days either side of that visit were definitely my favorite of the trip. For me it was different enough terrain to give me a permanent rubber neck while driving and trying to take everything in.
I also experience one of the most beautiful lightning storms ever! And that’s saying a lot since I’ve seen some stunners. It was right over the top of use though and the colors were just shocking. We had to abort our late night photo shoot due to hail but that made it even more of a memorable night.
After this I think I have one more New Mexico Road Trip post in me. It’s been difficult weeding through all the photos and having to choose favorites. And just LOOK at that storm! I was hiding beside the car while taking this, trying to keep my camera at least a little dry, but Jillian couldn’t help but run out and chase it.
I know it maybe seems like an excessive amount of old gas tanks but I just couldn’t get enough of the old rusty colors. Plus, when do you ever see so many together like this?!