The desert is beckoning and we just can’t resist…

I’m generally an undemonstrative OldPlaidCamper – I say that I’m smiling on the inside – but I will confess to being and even appearing rather excited this week. Why? We have arranged to visit Joshua Tree this coming summer! I love this place! We met up with old friends there a couple of summers ago, and will be meeting them again in August. Why do I love this particular desert so much? Is it because the scenery is amazing?

We’d seen Joshua trees in pictures (and on album covers…) but those images did not prepare us for how strangely unique they are. Each one is so very different; they have an almost alien beauty. They grow in a desert full of rocky outcrops and sandy stretches, with mountains in the far distance – these are landscapes you just don’t see every day.

 Quite remarkable…

I will confess that we weren’t camping on our last stay. We’d been on the road for about a month, a trip from Alberta, zigzagging down to Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and over to Joshua Tree, mixing up a few nights in a tent with a few nights in a cabin. A campground owner took pity on us in Needles, renting us a cabin that had a hardworking air conditioning unit. If you’ve ever been through Needles, CA in the summer, you’ll forgive us the air con unit…hottest place I’ve never camped! Anyway, no tent for us in Joshua Tree, rather this lovely little house perched on a rise above the town and overlooking the desert:

 Mrs PlaidCamper always finds great vacation rentals!

 Lovely vacation home!

Our jobs mean we take our vacations in the summer, a time of year that is off-season down in the desert. The high temperatures were fine provided we stayed in the shade, kept hydrated, moved slowly, and used sunblock. The National Park and town were pretty quiet in terms of other visitors, and when we headed up into the park, either early in the morning or towards dusk, there were few people about. I’m not an artist or photographer, but these times of day were really special in terms of the quality of light, and it was easy to see why the area attracts artists. Scenery plus light equals spectacular!Pretty shades

Intense shades

I am so excited to be returning here. Maybe it was the heat, but we really slowed down and relaxed thoroughly, soaking up this amazing place. At night, the lack of light pollution afforded us tremendous views of the Milky Way – this August, maybe I’ll try taking a photo…

Next time, I’ll write a little more about our trip to Joshua Tree, and how it was almost a wilderness too far upon our arrival. (Don’t wait up, it’s not as exciting as it sounds). I know, it’s the header picture again. But this place, love it, love it, love it!

 It isn’t on fire or smouldering, just looks that way!

Have you visited Joshua Tree? Where’s the hottest place you almost camped? (I’m such a boy!) Thanks for reading, and keep your guy ropes secure.

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

20 thoughts on “The desert is beckoning and we just can’t resist…”

  1. I’ve yet to visit Joshua Tree, but my wife reminds me often that it’s one of those places I must see before I die. Hopefully I’ll postpone my earthly departure long enough to make a trip west!

    Great post!


  2. Haven’t yet been to Joshua Tree, but I certainly understand your excitement about revisiting a beautiful desert area. I’ve camped near White Sands, NM in the summer and the morning/evening walks there are outstanding. Oh, the sunsets and the Milky Way at night!


    1. Deserts are quite entrancing. I don’t think I could live in or near one of the SW deserts, I’d miss greenery, but to visit for a while is certainly fun.
      Enjoy your day!


  3. I’ve driven through deserts in a car a few times and it’s always been incredible. I am looking forward to making a trek out west on a motorcycle. I’m sure it will be a wholly different experience!


  4. Are you going to look for Edward Abbey while you’re there?Supposedly he’s buried thereabouts. Gram Parsons, too.


    1. Parsons was partially cremated at Cap Rock after two buddies stole his body from an airport where it was awaiting transportation to his family – sounds improbable enough for a movie! Parsons wanted his ashes spread in the desert. Don’t think that happened…
      I think Abbey is buried in Arizona somewhere unmarked. He was an interesting character, I need to read more about him. Thanks for taking the time to read OldPlaidCamper, I appreciate it. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I never realized how sharp Joshua trees are, until I got poked by one. The hottest place for camping must have been Death Valley in August.


    1. I can’t even imagine camping in Death Valley – but I’d love to visit there one day!
      Thanks for taking the time to read OldPlaidCamper, I appreciate it.
      Enjoy your day!


    1. Deserts are interesting – and sometimes, overlooked or under appreciated places.
      I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment here.
      Enjoy your summer!


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