Like a Week in the Desert – Joshua Tree National Park

We left some of California’s most beautiful and green coastal parks to make our journey across the state to the Joshua Tree National Park. The road took us through the dustbowl, and the landscape seemed almost as depressing as I imagine it was in the 1930s when the Great Depression saw millions travel from Chicago along Route 66  to seek their fortunes in California. The more recent drought has hit hard and the landscape is dusty, dispersed with orange orchards and oil derricks. We stopped at a petrol station which seemed to be a homage to Route 66, James Dean and better times. The sign begging people to make a purchase left me with a sense of desperation.

‘I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…’ America’s lyrics rattled around in head as we rattled across the Mojave desert. Well, we weren’t exactly rattling in our large, modern Dodge on the smooth tarmac of a dry climate but I imagined the wagons of the wild west rattling along it.

Joshua Tree 022It’s a rocky desert, not a sandy one.

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California Dreamin’ – Pacific Coast Highway


‘All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…’

The words of the Mamas & the Papas (though I know them better from The Beach Boys) went round and round my head. Actually, they still are.

I can see why they were dreaming of California during the winter. I thought I would feel the cold after a summer in Australia but the skies are blue, the sun is warm and winter in California is lovely. At least along the coast.

Jet lag from Australia is diminished somewhat when you see the lovely golden sand beaches and feel the warmth on your face. It probably also doesn’t hurt when there are folk (Barry’s parents) to pick you up from the airport, keep you awake for the day and drive you along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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