JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA 2018:
Joshua Tree leaves a mark on you. You can feel strong energy from the earth. The desert is full of the Yucca brevifolia in a magical atmosphere. Two ecosystems meet here, the Mojave desert and Colorado, creating an unusual habitat for plants and animals that live only in this part of California.
You get to Joshua Tree along the Interstate l-10 or California Highway 62 from Twentynine Palms.
🚗 Directions Joshua Tree, California
On Joshua Tree, I could write a book. I find the place so charming, but I want to start with 5 things that you don’t know about it.
- The Joshua Tree is the fifth album by U2. Frequently listed among the greatest albums of all time, The Joshua Tree is one of the world’s best selling album with over 25 million copies sold. Here Bono was inspired to write the texts of “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Mother of the Disappeared” screaming anger against a violent America. An album where strong conflicts are. Bono, in fact, was conquered by the beauty of the vast spaces and at Twentynine Palms, in the heart of Joshua
Treehe decides to stop with his band. They slept at Motel Harmony, an ordinary example of American hospitality on the road. A neon sign is flashing. The structure develops of a few rooms on the ground floor, furnished simply and functionally like any other American motel. Queen bed, TV, mini bar, ice bucket, air conditioning, swimming pool, interior patio. No luxury. But it’s the sky full of stars and the desert that surrounds you making the difference and laying the groundwork for “With or Without You.”
- Joshua Tree is the international symbol of the American desert. A type of tree that belongs to the Yucca family. It is born, grows and lives only here, in the Mojave desert on the altitude between 1300 and 5900 feet. Joshua tree depends on just the perfect conditions: timely rains, hot days, and a crisp winter freeze. Its sprawling arms structure makes it elegant and particularly photogenic. Some of them take many different forms. Sometimes they are full and bushy, other times spindly and open in their overall shape. But this rare species today is threatened by climate change and rising temperatures. The ecosystem is very fragile, and scientists predict that by 2100, Joshua’s plants will disappear altogether. Read the article on National Geographic.
- Gram Parson was another great songwriter and musician who fell in love with Joshua Tree. One of the founders of the country rock in America in the late sixties and early seventies. Enchanted by the wild beauty of the desert and the atmosphere of the place, he spent time in this area, until the day of his tragic and premature departure at the age of 27. The cause of death was an overdose of alcohol and morphine while on vacation with his new flame and a friend. He stayed at The Joshua Tree Inn Motel, room n. 8. Parson wanted to be creamed in Joshua Tree and that his ashes were scattered over Cap Rock. But his family, who had never accepted the artist’s musical career, stole the body by sneaking it to his native land, Louisiana, organizing a private funeral ceremony.
- But Joshua Tree is also a place of mysteries and tragic disappearances. A destination for hikers, it can also become a deadly place for who lost in unmarked paths, because of heat and insufficient food and water. There are dangerous and still unknown areas with deep canyons and pit. Too remote sites, where GPS does not work. There are about 50 cases of people who lose themselves each year in the park but who, fortunately, are later found. However, is not for everyone. Unsolved is the case of Ewasko, Vietnam veteran, jogging and deserts expert, who died in June 2010 in a remote area of the park. Even today there are unofficial research groups on its trail. It seems impossible in a park located less than two hours from the Greater Los Angeles Area and a few Miles from Palm Springs, a luxurious destination for golfers. Instead, many pitfalls should complicate the trekking. There are many dead, like the Dutch couple, who was found lifeless in the car for the high temperatures while looking for the tree of the U2 album or a couple of Americans from Orange County that in 2017 were found dead after three months. They drank urine instead of water and when they felt without any hope, they took their own lives. More info on Joshua’s mystery? Read at New York Times.
- Here we are at the last thing that not everyone knows about Joshua Tree. In that area and, exactly at Twentynine Palms, there is a concentration of tattoo studios and barbers shop to compete with a district of New York. I counted at least ten along the main street. I find the answer as soon as I discover that in this area there is one of the biggest Marines bases in America. Over 8,000 people are residents. This territory with deserts and mountains is suitable for the war games.
Joshua Tree is also a small village of 4,000 inhabitants, located at the main entrance to the park. It’s a destination for hipsters and who are desert and dusty roads lovers. Joshua is on my top of 10 favorite places to visit in the United States. Another spectacular place is the White Sands in New Mexico. Watch the video.
More 🔍 on Joshua Tree:
- don’t miss the upcoming movie-documentary “The Joshua Tree” by U2, directed by Antony Corbjin.
Before you go, check it out the official website: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm ☎ +1.760.367.5500