No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Head out to the desert, I can feel it from here Ride all the way to where the lizards play.”

April 19, 2015

“Head out to the desert, I can feel it from here
Ride all the way to where the lizards play.”

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 photo 007_zpsnktikbgl.jpg Lee

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 photo kendall-jenner-coachella-2015-01_zpsa3t8p3pd.jpg Kendall Jenner

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About an hour drive from Palm Springs is one of the most beautiful natural areas in California, the amazing Joshua Tree National Park. I have visited it frequently and never tire of spending time there, but my friend Lee who was at Coachella with us, had never been and wanted to experience it, so we made the short drive over in the early morning so that we could get back for Coachella in the afternoon.

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Palm Springs lies in the Coachella valley and to get to Joshua Tree you must drive up in to the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the park entrance near the town of Twenty-Nine Palms. It is a beautiful drive in itself, but the real magic occurs once you get within the park boundaries.

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The park contains two deserts, each with a very distinct and noticeably different ecosystem and the subtle changes between the two are still quite distinct. The higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. 

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The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts. The flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the boulder piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly.

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Below 3,000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features habitats of Creosote bush scrub Ocotillo, desert Saltbush and mixed scrub including Yucca and Cholla cactus. There are areas of such cactus density they appear as natural gardens. The lower Coachella Valley is on the southeastern side of the Park with sandy soil grasslands and desert dunes.

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It is a truly beautiful and magical place and we had an amazing time exploring, hiking and just taking in the beauty of the place. We even saw a coyote thanks to Lee’s keen observation. On the way back we stopped briefly in Pioneertown to check out Pappy & Harriet’s and some of the old former Hollywood backlot Western set. It was a great day and we still had the entire Coachella experience ahead of us.

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Back at Coachella, I pretty much resumed wondering around checking out bands and just taking in the crazy scene. The VIP area is particularly good for people watching as the need to be seen crowd try out their latest fashions. At times it sort of feels like you are living an issue of people magazine as “celebrities” such as Paris Hilton, the Jenner Sisters and other young Hollywood types prance about trying to be noticed without appearing as if they are trying to be noticed.

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 photo kendall-jenner-coachella-2015-02_zpstncggmil.jpg Kendall Jenner

It is just one of the things that makes Coachella interesting and different from many festivals. Still to me the art and music are what truly make Coachella unique. I spent time wondering around just checking out the many amazing art installations including meandering over to the very impressive camping area where they had a plethora of art, activities and food. 

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