In May we packed up our San Francisco studio apartment – the one which has kept us “cramped up” – and we busted out of the Bay Area with one thing in mind: to get out.
We got out of our routines, out of our jobs, out of our apartment, out of our comfort zones. Outside, out of town, on and off roads, in and out of our typical notion of civilization. Five weeks zig-zagging our way across the United States, knowing it was only the beginning of an entire three and a half months we would spend on the road; plane tickets awaited us on the East Coast, bound for Europe.
But first this. Our first week was spent working our way down the 395 through the great state of California, our now former home, enjoying its beauty and slowly preparing to detach. Quickly remembering what it feels like to roam free.
Photo Locations (from top to bottom): Route 62 driving east from Joshua Tree; Yosemite National Park; Hike near Lake George in Mammoth Lakes CA; Crystal Crag from trail in Mammoth Lakes; Shepherd’s Hot Spring in Mammoth; Fossil Falls off CA395; view off Route 62; Desert life in Joshua Tree National Park; Friend’s re-furbished trailer in Joshua Tree; Warm sunset in Joshua Tree; Plant silhouette in Joshua Tree; Ready for bed in friend’s trailer Joshua Tree; Joshua Tree starry night.
Photos taken on Canon AE-1 with 35mm film and on Canon Rebel SL-1.
As the wind blows free through the desert, meandering through groves of Joshua trees, cacti, and clumps of various Lichen, one can hear its sound; almost an echo. We can’t help but think that the desert is solitary, an encapsulation of a sort of insulated loneliness.
Coming from the thriving Sierra where vibrant greens top the tallest trees, rivers flow with deafening aggression, and monoliths of granite jut up through the sky, our wilderness is sheltered and comforting. Here, in Joshua Tree there is an awesome sense of nothingness and we are left with a clean slate to ponder the landscape, along with the sharp emotion of the nature of desolation.
Isn’t it ironic then to have inhabited places within a wilderness like this. As one looks at the crumbling buildings along the Salton Sea, there is the realization that it can understandably hold hands with a place like Joshua Tree despite the footprints of our predecessors. That the same feeling of quieted loneliness exists here as it does in the barren desert. That we as an invasive species built this and claimed it as our own with buildings, boats, and hotels… and yet, a short time later the desert reclaimed it and forced us out.