We aimed to leave LA by 11am and head toward Joshua Tree, where we were spending the night at the Joshua Tree Inn (spiritual home of Gram Parsons). Joshua Tree was said to be a pretty incredible place, in the middle of nowhere, and a very spiritual place, so we wanted to check it out before the sun went down. However, in the likely style we seem to have adopted on this trip, Marissa and I got completely sidetracked (shopping) and left at about 4pm. Typical.
As we (very stressfully) drove out of LA, we were confronted, yet again, with the pure magic of the California landscape. Seriously, it is ridiculous. You think you’ve seen it all, that it can’t get prettier than that, and then POW, you get to the other side of a mountain and your surrounded by a whole new and amazing view. Its enough to run you off the road. We only swerved a few times, but jeez, lucky we got that travel insurance, $370 well spent I say.
So here we are driving in this magical desert, trying to concentrate on the roads and we see a sign for Palm Springs. Its about an hour out of the way to Joshua Tree, so we thought, “hell, lets check it out!”
Driving up to the place was like re-enacting a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey . Rocky hot desert landscape, dry bushes and cacti lining the side of the road, miles of vast nothingness with the soundtrack of gushing wind that just reminds you of how far away from anything you actually are. As you get closer, you turn around one of those mountains and suddenly your driving through a wind farm, with wind turbines as far as the eye can see. The drive gets more bazaar the further you go, and then you pull into Palm Springs and its even more bazaar. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you are surrounded by lush manicured grass and blooming tropical plants. Where the hell are we?!!!
I think I can safely say that Palm Springs is the most bazarr place I have ever seen. It is this humid, tropical, green oasis surrounded by this red, dusty, dry desert. If you looked to your right you saw this desert of nothingness, but on your left you could have been in Fiji for all you knew.
In the 1920s Palm Springs became a popluar hot spot for retired Hollywood Stars. They moved out there, to the middle of nowhere and and built great houses for resort living. In the 1950s it became popular hot spot for teens to get laid. Although, from my impression, things have really changed since then, and the most fun you’ll you’ll have in Palm Springs is playing bingo at the local RSL.
And did I mention Sonny Bono was mayor in 1988?
We stayed there for about an hour, got completely confused but the pure ‘plasticity’ of the place, stuck gum under the table in the park to rebel against the perfectly manicured grass, then got the hell out of there and legged it to a much more ‘real’ oasis.