Monday, January 13, 2014

Picture This // A Trip Through Joshua Tree National Park

We rose early on Saturday morning and before that first cup of coffee was finished, we were on the road headed East toward the desert. Our day tripping plans had manifested not only out of resolve to get out and do more things in 2014, but truth be told, this adventure also had purpose. 

Many months ago, we finally settled on a direction for the styling in our central dining area. One of the things it involves is a photography installation of sorts. We searched local shops and online archives, but could not find the one. Unable to find exactly what we wanted elsewhere, we decided to experiment with our own camera. Saturday's subject: the twisting and turning architecture of the Joshua Tree. Lucky for us, they grow right in our own backyard here in SoCal.

Driving those first few barren miles into the park from our chosen entrance, I'll confess I was a little skeptical that we'd find the shot we were looking for. But as we wound our way along the perfectly maintained roadways within the park, I'm certain I no longer cared. What a sight to behold. It was as if we'd landed on some ancient and distant planet, warmed by a glowing desert sun. 

We'd drive along the main road, detouring at intervals down one of the unpaved paths that lead to a campground or point of interest. Rock formations drew most of the picnic seekers, hikers and climbing enthusiasts, leaving the main thoroughfare largely desolate.  The solitude only seemed to add to the experience. It felt as if we were seeing something seen for the very first time.

I'd pop out of the car to capture a few of the more unique specimens, anxious and excited to be roaming amongst this martian landscape. The Mister played both scout and driver, looking for just the right turn out that might yield us some more interesting points of view.

Carefully, I watched my step amongst the dust and brush, reminded by the boroughs and ant hills that once I ventured out beyond the well maintained road, I was trespassing into true wilderness.

Even amongst untamed desolation and the occasional fallen soldier, we found so much beauty.  I snapped away, at times focused and intent on capturing what I saw through my view finder. At others, I carelessly aimed my lens, trying desperately to take in every frame of what I saw right before me.  How could you possibly explain it otherwise?

Towards the end of our self guided adventure through the park, we made our way to Keys View, a summit of sorts looking down from the high desert to the lower Coachella Valley below. Haze prevented what we were told was a clear line of sight right on into Mexico. But we could clearly see Palm Springs and Mount Jacinto to the West and the glare of the vast Salton Sea out in the eastern distance.

Once back home, I crossed my fingers and was able to get a better look at what we shot through the camera. In the end, we captured the one we were hoping for. There's so much romance in the idea of filling our home with images we shot on days like these. The photo that will eventually hang in our dining room will serve as a good reminder to embrace new adventures and will always recall the day we ran around the martian desert, long after the dust has left our boots.



Liz Jordan said...

I LOVE this. Your writing pairs perfectly with the images you captured. I am adding Joshua Tree National Park to my "places I need to visit" list! Can't wait to see the picture you chose in your dining room. : )

Trissta said...

Joshua Tree is at the top of my visit list! I'm jealous! I had a good friend of mine that lived there and she told me so many amazing stories about that place!

Much Love,

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