Joshua Tree

Untitled
I spent 10 days in Southern California at the beginning of the year. New Yorkers have this thing about California. We've internalized Annie Hall to the point where we're convinced that the effervescent sunshine out west must be hiding deep, dark secrets because how else could the weather be so damn nice all the time?

The only secret I found out was how happy and at ease I felt there. It was in no small part because of my tour guide and his highly selective greatest-hits tailored perfectly to a country yet city girl who likes getting dirty but more often than not needs a nice americano in the morning and wants to inspect up-close every cactus, leaf and flower under her nose. It was a whirlwind, and I think I felt the most inspired and energized during our time in Joshua Tree.
UntitledThe Mojave and the Colorado deserts join forces in Joshua Tree and visiting it's rocky terrain is something of a pilgrimage for artists, hiking vagrants and U2 fans alike. I fell hard for the desert, so unfamiliar and fascinating. It was cold, even by East Coast standards. As we scrambled from rock to rock, our toes froze and required a thaw courtesy of some spicy indian food and the car heater on high. The next day it snowed, shattering many Southern California conceptions. Happy surprises, all around.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
To describe the beauty in Joshua Tree as subtle, especially in winter, seems the easiest solution. A rocky abyss, brown, brown, brown and dusty enough to camouflage the blackest shoes in a matter of minutes. But subtle doesn't remotely describe the huge cactus spikes, hazy mountains, coral wildflowers and chartreuse lichen. Little fighting plants everywhere you look, huge boulders balanced, seussical trees for miles and banana date milkshakes at the local diner.

It's put me in the mood for geodesic domes and cactus gardens and while it couldn't be further from all of the things that speak of home to me, I somehow felt at home there, too. When expanding your horizons, an expansive horizon is always a beautiful backdrop.

43 comments:

  1. Oh man, it is so beautiful there. I love the desert and there isn't any place like it in Missouri. This post is making me wanderlust. I want to go camping under a Joshua tree and search for strange rocks and desert critters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "When expanding your horizons, an expansive horizon is always a beautiful backdrop."

    perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful photographs! California is definitely a magical place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I lived out west for a long time, and miss it still. But I was never really at home there. I found all that sun unsettling, and I would wake up and look at the amazing expanse around me and instead of thinking "I'm home, I belong here," I thought, "I can't believe I live here."

    Your photos are gorgeous, and make me homesick, especially the one of the prickly pear.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, this scenery is amazing, gorgeous pics!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, Nice post and Pics are really mind blowing I like to use your second pic as my desktop background.All are just looking pleasant...

    how to get instagram followers

    ReplyDelete
  8. love these pictures, but love your words even more here...

    ReplyDelete
  9. OK...now I'm homesick. Joshua Tree, enough said. Your pictures are perfect.Thanks for the dry sun as I sit up to my _ _ _ in wet icy snow.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Muy buenas imágenes!! en ese desierto con esos cactus... un placer!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Magical! And somehow so comforting. We haven't had but grey skies and snow, snow and more snow up here in Northern Europe. I hope the sun will greet us one of these days, too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a fantastic place! Amazing gray sky!

    http://naomemandeflores.com/en

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a California girl and I agree there is magic there. Beautiful images, always.

    ReplyDelete
  14. good lord I want to go to Joshua Tree so badly I cannot even stand it. One of these days, maybe...

    ReplyDelete
  15. my HEART, amy.

    my heart. you passed our house on the way into the park. up in the boulders off to the left.
    it physically hurts to look at these pictures right now. so happy you got to experience the magic of my favorite place, m'lady.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is an amazing backdrop... I can see why you were so taken by it... Sometimes contrasts in our lives make the most inspirational moments... xv

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful pictures. Hope to visit Joshua Tree one day. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Joshua Tree is such a magical place, the air is different, the scent of earth is different. I haven't been there in years but I loved that time there. Your pictures took me back to a time when my husband and I spent a couple of days there and watched the sun go down and come up over this beautiful desert. Thank you for taking me along, Mary

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful pictures. It really is an amazing place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes all pics are good view nice look and i love it all pictures

      Delete
  20. I want to visit California so badly - we keep saying we'll stick closer to home (or at least stay in Europe) for a year and then maybe we'll manage our west coast trip!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Digging the photos! I love the desert. Now come back to Portland and visit us. xo

    ReplyDelete
  23. Stunning. No words. Just that one.♥♥♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  24. Replies
    1. Wish we would have bumped into each other!!

      Delete
  25. such incredible photos - and I completely agree about California...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brian! The California bug bites hard.....

      Delete
  26. jay and i are going to palm springs for part of our honeymoon and you've definitely solidified joshua tree as a stop we will be making. beautiful photos and your words are always worth reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yesss! The national park is where we took these- if you can spare a night it would be THE most romantic camping place.

      I am desperate to go back to camp under the stars, no tents required!

      Delete
  27. Oh wow. It's crazy to think now, but I used to live in Yucca Valley and we would go to Joshua Tree just to eat lunch or take family pictures. The photos are beautiful! Such a cool place..

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your beautiful pictures and words take me back a couple years ago when I visited here. All by myself - a little mini road trip - on route to a magical photography workshop the other side - at 29 Palms. Such a special time. A special place. I remember driving through the desert - nobody in sight as far as the eye could see, big blue beautiful sky and all of the desert's splendor around me...it was so moving...so heartstoppingly beautiful...I had to stop the car and have a good cry...the best kind of tears. Thank you so much for bringing it all back here xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. your pictures are gorgeous! i love joshua tree....i moved to california from the east coast a long, long time ago. a few years ago i missed the city so i moved back to new york....i lasted 11 months and then came running back! i realized that i had spent more time here than i had back east.....cali girl after all! joshua tree is one of the reasons i love it here.
    i tell everyone it takes 2 years to settle in & then you never really want to leave. (reallifeiselsewhere.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's funny to see someone from the East so enamored with California. Being from this sunny state I'm so often jealous of cool winters, snow and trees of the East. Lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
  31. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!
    Obat tradisional asam urat

    ReplyDelete
  32. Merci pour ces bons souvenirs qui réveillent les miens. Univers de pierres aux différents états d'usure, de textures étonnantes, du sable qui crisse dans le vent, des couleurs argents aux feuillages étonnants. Il y a une magie dans le subtil ici. Que cla fait du bie de le revivre par tes photos...

    ReplyDelete