Joshua Tree National Park

10/22/21

Another full day today! My friend Michele drove over from Escondido, just north of San Diego, to meet me and join me at Joshua Tree National Park.

First we went to visit her friend Walt, who lives near my host Lauren in Yucca Valley. He teaches Qi Gong, and has built the large lot surrounding his house into an amazing property with both sacred and whimsical spaces. My photos weren’t great, so I’ll leave that to your imagination and focus on the main visual event of the day, but Walt’s place was cool. He even shared a pomegranate he had plucked from his own tree, right in front of my eyes!

After our visit with Walt, Michele and I and her dog Dawa headed over to the park, and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. We covered only a small section of the park, because it is so huge. Of course there were Joshua trees all over the place, but I was also struck by the topography of the place: all the huge rocks and mountains, of different shapes and colors, and the canyons. It was a sight to behold, and a place to feel deeply.

Afterward, on our way back to Escondido (where I’ll be staying for the next couple of days) we drove through Palm Springs, hitting it just during the golden hour. My photos from there don’t do it justice, either, so I’ll spare you, but the midcentury shapes and colors of much of the upscale housing stock, interspersed with all the palm trees and bright pink and purple desert flowers, and surrounded by large scenic mountains in the setting sun, was really worth experiencing. I’m glad I got a chance to return there after Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree.

Tomorrow will probably be mostly a rest day, though we may explore the local canal path by bike. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New Mexico and Arizona, it feels good to be back in California. This state will be my home from now until the end of the year.

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