Friday, November 7, 2014

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
For the third time in as many years, we drove to Joshua Tree for a much-needed high desert getaway. We stayed at the same cabin as we did last year, a special spot rife with weird, wonderful, decorative details the owners have put into the place. It was originally a chicken and turkey ranch until it became a full-on hippie commune in the late 60s and early 70s. According to Green Acres’ owners, Gram Parsons (whose specter and Cosmic American music still casts a near-spiritual vibe over J Tree) and Keith Richards spent time hanging out at the ranch. A fact like this is impossible for me to ignore and imbues the place with even more mystique than that provided by the otherworldly landscape and sound baths at the Integratron. This year I read Keith Richards’ autobiography Life as a companion piece to last year’s Gram Parsons biography Twenty Thousand Roads.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

I wore my new Flax by Jean Englehart dress, we ate seitan sandwiches at our favorite restaurant in town, Crossroads Cafe, and I stopped by the new and more visible location of bkbceramics where I picked up a small ceramic dish and a post card by High Desert Test Sites. A non-profit organization with an inspiring mission to enact temporary, intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant conceptual art in the high desert, HDTS seems to embody the draw of this place and to gather the people drawn by it.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchDuring the day we passed red barrel cacti on a hike to the beautiful and serene 49 Palms Oasis before heading over to Pappy & Harriet’s and spending the afternoon traveling down dusty unpaved roads in search of the real estate listings I stalk year-round. At night, we shut off all the lights, stretched out on outdoor lounge chairs and hunkered down under Mexican blankets and in my case, a newly acquired vintage Levi’s shearling jacket, to stargaze. It’s easy to forget what darkness looks like living in a city — a fact thrown further into relief when we got back and I listened to an interview with the author of The End of Night, a book which explores how little darkness is left on Earth and the impact it has on its inhabitants. We saw some of the biggest, brightest shooting stars we’d ever seen.
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchOn the way to our second stop in Palm Springs, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park stopping at Cap Rock and Cholla Cactus Garden and watching the high Mojave desert turn into the low Colorado.
Joshua Tree Cap Rock
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden

1 comment:

  1. Such a magical place, and so true about the darkness. Can't wait to visit your desert house someday!

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