Joshua Tree 2021

On a cold winter day, a visit to Joshua Tree National Park is special!

It’s so easy to take the other path when the days are short and cold, hunker down, and not venture out. In December, the park’s temperature is cold, the sky’s color is exceptional, which gives the visiting experience a sense of a particular intensity. The park is a heaven for photography.

The sky is stunning; I dare say, at times, even more than the moon-like imagery of the boulders. The rocks look as if they were piled up one on top of the other like in a child play, but in reality, they were carved by wind and water very patiently over millions of years. In my mind, the spiky trees conjure up the nude drawings of Egon Schiele, the Austrian painter, or maybe, Danna would say, a page from a Dr. Seuss book.

It’s a relatively short drive from our house in Los Angeles, only 2-3 hours. The park is a mecca for rock climbers, but I no longer possess the need to climb on top of each boulder. Much of the beauty can be easily seen without leaving the car, but short hikes give the experience a different perspective. The Split Rock and Hidden Valley hikes and a stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden are not to be missed.

We listened to Benjamin Labtut’s book: “When We Cease to Understand the World.” The name says a lot of what the book is about, but it’s much more than that. It was surreal to listen to it while driving through the park.

On this excursion, we also discovered Pioneertown, Pappy n Harriet’s restaurant, and the Integratron.