California isn’t only about oceans and palm trees. Take a 2-hour drive down south and you’ll experience the barren and expansive beauty of the Mojave desert. More specifically, Joshua Tree, which has become not only inspiration for artists like U2, but Jim Morrison – who spent a lovely 1969 summer driving around the desert in his Shelby Mustang -- to Donovan and even Kanye West.
Although its rugged landscape is barren, its history is lush, as it has over the years become the backdrop for numerous artists, musicians and creators vying for landscape inspiration and needed isolation; and it’s pretty much stayed the same way since the 60s. The locals have done a good job at keeping the high risers out and the cholla cacti in, so make sure if you do plan to visit this beautiful and eerie spot, you check out the local farmers market, art events and galleries. Creativity really does blossom everywhere if you look in the right places.
Image via (Joshua Tree Castia)
But, lets gets down to the inescapable Joshua tree park itself. Where do I go when I get there? Do I have to pay? Did I pack enough coffee for the whole trip? Well, when you get to the entrance you can either purchase a “Day Pass” or the “Annual Inter-Agency Pass.” The latter provides you entry into every National Park for free for the next twelve months, which seems like a steal for $80 if you are the consistent vagabond type. Once inside, you have the option of over 300 campsites to choose from. Or if you are bold and daring, we’ve heard of people plopping under an isolated Joshua tree and snoozing under the stars!
If you are more the glamping type and running water and electricity is what you need to sleep soundly, don’t worry. Joshua Tree has something for everyone. You have many options when it comes to sleeping, dining and eating in style.
Image via (Joshua Tree Castia)
Married couple, Sara and Rich Combs, stumbled across this beautiful Joshua Tree House Property on one of their cross-country road trips. Today they share this home as well as the Joshua Tree Casita
to people for the week/weekend, honeymooners and many more. Watch out though. As soon as you step foot into their desert oasis, you might never want to leave.
And don’t think the fun is over when you leave Joshua Tree. There is so much to see and experience on the way back home. One place which has been drawing a lot of attention is the Integratron located in Landers, California (just 30 minutes north of Joshua Tree).
Created by a Ufologist, this pearl white dome feature is used today for “sound baths” where groups of people are exposed to harmonic sound frequencies produced by quartz bowls, claimed to have a deep calming effect. The website claims, “it is the only all wood, acoustically perfect sound chamber in the U.S.”
However way you choose to camp or see the sites, there’s one thing you can’t avoid when out in the desert and that’s the stars. Look up from any point under the midnight sky and you are bound to see the Milky Way and millions of stars beaming at you from light years away. These are the best moments to gather your thoughts. To bask under and around the great expanse of nature and revel in how beautiful life really is. Happy Traveling!