We arrived in 29 Palms after a 4 hour drive from Bakersfield to Barstow, then headed south across the Mohave desert. I had it in my head that the journey was going to be around 2-1/2 hours, so it was a bit of a surprise. That must be a different segment of the trip 🙂
We’re in an adorable adobe bungalow next to a courtyard with a pool and palm trees. I love adobe; the foot-thick walls keep out the heat during the day and deep out the cold at night. I find the earthen walls (covered in plaster and painted for modern sensibilities) soothing. The town itself is about 30,000, but it seems very sparsely populated because there is so much space.
I’ve spent most of my time here recuperating from last week’s flurry of activity to organize a 6-month road trip and get out the door. It’s really just this morning that I’m not feeling dead-head
ed. I’ve been resting a lot and reading mystery novels that have been left here by other travelers. It has been a week of many transitions — not just the obvious ones of getting on the road and sleeping in new places and meeting new people as one does when one travels, but personal changes as well. I am determined to do more physical exercise, and have been exceed my goal in that area. I wanted to do at least 2000 steps per day in the first week, and I’ve hit over 3500 twice, and exceeded the goal every day except one. That’s a real step up in the physical activity department for me. In addition, I’m paying a lot of attention to eating healthy. These two shifts have also impacted my body and ability to think clearly.
But today, I’ve achieved a new normal and my brain is back, so I’m able to catch up with you and also finish an article for my employer (because remember, kids, this is a working road trip).
So, Joshua Tree. We had such a treat yesterday — a guided tour of the park! Kelly, our guide from Joshua Tree Excursions, was hella knowledgeable and a perfect guide. He’s lived in the area for 12 years, has been leading tours for two. His inquisitive mind gives him a breadth and depth of knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Y’all know I’m an information junkie so I loved getting answers to all my questions and hearing about the area.
“You’ll find out shortly,” Kelly said, “how hard it is to describe the magic of this place once you’ve left. But everyone who comes here, comes back. Sometimes it takes a while, but they all come back.”
We headed out to the Chollo Cactus Garden arriving at the perfect time — the newly green cacti were backlit by the desert sun. I went nuts. I need to set up an Instagram account to put all of the pics there. But it was stunning. We walked the trail with some other tourists (one of whom heard Kelly talking to us and bogarted him for a few minutes).
The Beaver tail cacti are blooming bright pink flowers. creating pops of color in the landscape. Because of the recent rains, the whole desert is blooming. Most of the wildflowers are too close to the ground for my iPhone, but the tiny bursts of color make me smile.
Next stop: Palm Springs Desert