I’ve recently been craving a road trip, so figured I’d share my favourite one so far. It took place last year with my friends, Sarah and Haley. We embarked on our journey from San Francisco to Joshua Tree; NorCal to SoCal.
One of my favourite things about any road trip is getting to make new playlists. Our trip south came complete with some eclectic music; both Johnny Cash and Ed Sheeran were definitely there with us on that trip.
Silliness, deep chats, and lots of laughing fits sums up our 6 hour journey to our detoured planned stop in LA. It was a brief visit in LA to grab some dinner with Sarah’s brother. The three of us found ourselves eating Mexican food from someone’s house—it was basically a family selling Mexican food from their home. I’m not sure what the legalities are there but the food was amazing; really excellent. I can’t recommend it to you because it has no name, but if you ever find yourself in a neighbourhood in LA and you’re asked to go to a house for Mexican food, say yes.
Onwards to Joshua Tree. We arrive late and it’s dark. Really dark. Our airbnb is in the middle of the desert up an old dirt road. We’re excited. This is gonna be a good week.
I’m forever lost for words to describe our week in Joshua Tree. It’s difficult to write about it without sound romantically hackneyed. It was epic. A definite highlight of my life and I didn’t realise it was on my bucket list until I experienced it.
They say people make places and that couldn’t be a truer statement to sum up our week in Joshua Tree. The three of us bonded around our firepit; eating s’mores, creating our own little band playing country music, and laughing at silly things. Let me tell you, deep chats under a billion stars in a desert is the best therapy you’ll ever receive.
Watching the sun set over actual Joshua Trees, illuminating the rocks with a warm orange glow; coming face-to-face with rattlesnakes; eating amazing food; and, jeez, those smoothies! What a place.
One day we took a trip to Pioneertown, which is where a lot of Western movies have been filmed. It’s like taking a step back in time. As if the trip wasn’t dreamlike enough, our stroll led us to the sounds of an acoustic guitar and we looked over to find a guy on his porch, complete with a cowboy hat, playing a guitar. We got speaking to him - his name was JR - and he played us a few songs. As he was playing, a girl rode by on a white horse. You couldn’t make this up. I think I said out loud: “Is this actually real life right now?” JR played a Western version of The Pogues’ ‘Dirty Old Town’, which we soon tried ourselves around the firepit. Something was missing though. A harmonica. Haley sorted that problem out and made us all laugh one day when she came out of a gift shop with a plastic harmonica that cost her $9. She practiced that thing all afternoon and actually got pretty good at it. Rolling Stone we’re waiting on your call!
We spent one evening at Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Museum. This is a difficult place to explain. It’s very cool, kinda creepy, and super photogenic. It’s basically a bunch of ‘environmental sculptures’, where random objects are pieced together to form works of art. It's very ‘80s’ with old box TVs and rotary telephones. It's an intriguing place and if you ever find yourself in the area, I'd definitely recommend you take a visit. Just watch those goddamn cactus spikes on the ground—it ain't no fun standing on them let me tell you!
Our last night arrived all too quickly but we ended on a high. The annual Perseid Meteor Shower was active over that weekend and we spent our last night in the National Park under a billion stars and watched the meteors swoop through the sky. JR joined us, or more correctly, we joined him at a campsite he booked. He played his guitar while we took photos. It was really magical. We all got to a point where we realised we should just take time away from our cameras and lay down to experience this spectacular moment. We did. Goosebumps were on our arms. There was a stillness. It was beautiful.
What’s been your most epic road trip?