Long time, no blog…I know, I know. I apologize, but also recommend you get used to it, as I have the sneaking suspicion that fun will ALWAYS trump blogging about fun. But without further ado, here is an old post I wrote about our first days in California en route to the Bay Area.
(Written June 18, 2016)
We arrived in Joshua Tree NP after a long haul out of Texas, across New Mexico, and a quick stop in Arizona overnight. Now, now…Don’t start hounding us for not stopping in AZ to see the vast wonders of the Grand Canyon, or for skipping right past Carlsbad Caverns in NM. Yes, those sights are indeed a couple to be seen, and see them we shall…when we have more time! Each of the two states we powered through en route to California deserve a week or two at the VERY least to enjoy and even begin to explore them properly, and sadly we had a San Francisco contract start date looming in late June that wouldn’t afford us that kind of time. But fear not! We will return and explore these two gems at a later–and likely less sweltering–time!
All that being said, our mad dash across three state lines (as well as one continental divide) ended with our arrival in Joshua Tree in time for our eagerly anticipated Sound Bath at The Integratron…
A What at the What?! The Integratron is essentially the most amazing roadside attraction I’ve ever encountered, and not only is it a sight to be seen–a giant white wooden dome erected in the middle of the Mojave–but also boasts the added bonuses of “rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel.” A guy named George van Tassel built the Integratron in the 1950s after being contacted by “ETs from Venus” while sitting on a large boulder known as Giant Rock (it is indeed quite giant). These friendly aliens told him that under their direction–along with some added inspiration from Nikola Tesla & George Lakhovsky–van Tassel could rejuvenate human cell tissue, levitate, and bend time.
Yeah. Well, we let go and let Venusians, and lay down on mats with about 35 strangers in the middle of the acoustic dome while a man played Quartz bowls for about an hour. The resonance in the dome is such that one does feel oddly, uh, vibrate-ey?? And I definitely zoned out and time traveled to the end of the 45 minutes pretty quickly (nap time?). Whatever, it was awesome, I levitated AND time traveled, & then I bought a t shirt! If you go to Joshua Tree, this is a definite detour!
Joshua Tree NP
Boy Scout Trail to Willow Trail
An excellent taste of what Joshua Tree desert hiking is all about! Dr. Seuss-inspired yucca trees and Flinstonian rock formations pepper the landscape as you hike amidst jack rabbits and technicolored lizards.
Ryan Mountain Trail
3 miles total (up and then back down the way you came); 1,057 ft elevation gain; 5,457 ft mountain summit. It was gorgeous; I cried.
Lost Horse Mine Trail
Cool remnants of an old gold mine that is representative of so many that used to dot the landscape in the Joshua Tree area. Worth risking stepping on a rattlesnake to get there (one was spotted one the trail while we were hiking).
Joshua Tree Inn
We didn’t stay there–we bring our digs with us!–but we drove by and paid our respects to Gram. The hotel still remains, & you can still stay in Room 8.
Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground
Kind of a vast campground, and the owners are very cool and accommodating. They host two music festivals a year, have an Astronomy Theater on the grounds, and host the “Babes Ride Out” motorcycle event every October. The only downside was having no free wifi, but our cell service was fantastic, so we didn’t need it anyway.