Cali Road Trip: Joshua Tree Part 2 - Phillip Hare

Cali Road Trip: Joshua Tree Part 2

I texted Kristen while we were both at work earlier in the year. Outside my classroom a cold, dreary winter day moved slowly along.

- Me: "GIS conference in San Diego, late June. Want to go? Make it a long weekend trip?" - Kristen: "Sure!"

- Me: "Cool! I'll check out flights."

And then I went back to work.


We talk about traveling a lot, and take lots of fun weekend trips in the Southeast, but had only left the region a couple of times in the past few years. Not enough time, too expensive, there were always good reasons. This time was for real though. A quick weekend trip to San Diego turned into a weeklong road trip through Southern California. Pretty rad. Stop One: Joshua Tree

We love parks. We love conservation. In a country where most forested land has been cut over at least once, and often more, where environmental costs get ignored in favor of bottom lines, how cool is it that America has tons of places set aside where the environment comes before humans? We live just down the road from Congaree National Park. Its right in our own backyard (Tip: Go for the B.O.B. - biodiversity, old growth forest, big trees - and stay for the solitude). Though our list of visited parks is not particularly long, we do try to add stops when we can. Joshua Tree National Park looked too good to pass up.

After quickly dismissing summer desert camping, and glancing through hotel options, we decided to AirBnB the whole trip. Let me just say that we found some gems. After an evening of planning Kristen turns and informs me she's found our place in Joshua Tree; we would stay in an old '50's homesteader cabin.  One room.  Outdoor shower.  DIY composting toilet.  What a place it turned out to be. (check out @JThomesteader )

Solitude. Quiet. Radically different and amazing landscapes. Desert light during magic hour. Stated simply, the desert was magical. It was our first time. If you have not been, go. We'll definitely be back.

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