|Whenever I think about the rock group U2, the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" comes to mind. It was a #1 bestseller from their #1 selling album, The Joshua Tree. Bono named the album after visiting and falling in love with the scenery and the tree. Ironically, the photo of the Joshua Tree used for the album was not shot in Joshua Tree, but in Death Valley. Go figure!
We spent an incredible week in the southern California area. The Joshua Tree is a beauty (as you can see in the photos) and has been named the Tree of Life. Did you know the mormons actually named the tree? They felt it resembled Joshua (the successor to Moses that led Isreal into the Promised Land) lifting his hands in prayer.
No doubt, Joshua Tree is a desert. The area is sparse and rugged, but truly majestic in viewing the huge rock formations and landscape litered with Joshua Trees. I can understand how it has become known as an "artistic" place to go because it can be a lonely place and the views are awe inspiring. The weather cooperated as it had been raining almost non-stop, but subsided on arrival day. Sunshine and 70 degree weather for the a good part of the week.
I was happy just relaxing and looking out the cabin windows as the backyard was part of the National Park. But, we did journey out a bit during our stay. We drove over to Pioneertown, which was used in old Gene Autry westerns. The rock formations on the way to Pioneertown were absolutely incredible! We visited 29 Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley. We viewed the murals in 29 Palms, the observatory (Sky's the Limit) near the park entrance, and the Desert Christ Park. What a hidden gem!!!
The Park is a sculpture garden in Yucca Valley depicting 10 various times of Christ's life through life-size sculptures, including blessing of the children (and my pups as you will see in the pic), sermon on the mount, the last supper, tomb of christ, and the garden of gethsemane, among others. Driving through the valley, you would never know this 3.5 acre masterpiece was there. Definitely worth a stop.
The towns of the area are close, but sparse, and so I didn't foray out to dine much. Yes, there were several recommended places, but because Lent started shortly after we arrived, my menu choices were limited. The restaurants with the highest ratings specialized in items in which I could not partake. I did venture out to one restaurant called Crossroads Cafe. The hamburgers looked and smelled amazing! But, no go for me. So, I settled on an ahi tuna fish taco (which was good, not great, but good) and some of the best tasting french fries ever!
For me, the week was spent with lots of reflection/reading/writing, hiking, sightseeing and driving to the Mojave Desert. It was everything and more I had hoped it would be, and so grateful I added this place to my bucket list.
Now, off to Northern California to catch up with some friends for a week, then on to Tahoe.
"A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong." - Orson Welles
I'm guessing Orson spent some time in Joshua Tree, California!
On to the next adventure...