Road Tripping to Joshua Tree

Living in California is something that I think a lot of people take for granted and that includes me. There aren’t many places like L.A, where you can have urban space, the beach, snowcapped mountains and the desert all within a three hour drive or less. There are so many beautiful places a stone’s throw away from Los Angeles and Joshua Tree is definitely one of them.

Val and I, my friend from UCLA who happens to live next door to me decided that on the last weekend of Spring Break we would get out of the city and go do something to remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. I’ve been wanting to visit Joshua Tree for a while because I had heard how amazingly different the landscape was from anything else I would have seen before. All of those people were right.

After around a two and a half drive south of Los Angeles the cityscape fell away and it was replaced with huge masses of land with absolutely nothing on them but Joshua Tree’s and big piles of dusty coloured rocks. We sometimes passed by small towns that seemed so quaint that everyone within that town would know each other intimately. Val and I had a great time stopping off at these small towns and visiting the clothing stores they had. I’ve never seen such unique, thrifty and hippie looking stores in my life. The vibe there was amazing. We also stopped my an unusual place called Integratron – the home of the sound bath. We got limited information from the employee there but after a quick google search I found that a sound bath is:

“This is an unforgettable sound experience for those who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and introspection. All Sound Baths are 60-minute sonic healing sessions that consist of 25 minutes of crystal bowls played live and the balance of the hour to integrate the sound and relax in the sound chamber to recorded music.”

I’m not too sure how much I believe in it but Val and I didn’t experience the sound bath. It’s something I would love to try if I ever visited Joshua Tree again but it was very fitting with the atmosphere of Integratron where a woman was crying sat in a circle with other people holding hands and sharing stories.  Very California!

Take a peek at The Getty, Los Angeles!

Hiking around the huge rocks and fields of Joshua Tree’s was a unique experience. The landscape was unlike anything else I’ve ever seen but is comparable to Death Valley in its barrenness and dry heat. After climbing and resting on the rocks until almost sundown Valerie and I decided to find somewhere to camp. We had been told that camping was full so we were only allowed in for the day. But Val and I managed to find a secluded spot to set up camp on the campsite and so we stayed the night reading and talking until the sun woke us up in the morning.

The next day we travelled to a restaurant that Val had looked up called Pappy + Harriets. It was like an old style Western Bar that did great food. There was a huge variety of the type of people in the bar, men that looked like cowboys, older women in yoga gear and then us UCLA kids. The food there was brilliant – I ate a Veggie burger with a side of Mac n Cheese the portion was huge and only $15 plus a drink. I don’t think I’ll ever go back there because of how out of the way it is (unless I come to Joshua again) but I’ll never forget its old Western style and the bunch of glossy motorbikes parked out front.

We felt so refreshed after the weekend away. It’s amazing what a difference going to the middle of nowhere without phone service can do to improve your mood and real make you connect with your surroundings and more importantly, the people you road trip with.

Have you guys every been road tripping in California? Where would you recommend I take my next trip with Valerie?