Tag Archives: Joshua Tree National Park

Travel Notebook: Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park

It's not the sun itself that makes a sunset for me. There is no doubt that it plays a prime role, but there is more to it.

Say, here in Joshua Tree NP, the sunset creates vistas over this boulder landscape that are fascinating to the point where each rock, each curve, each pit, takes on a personality. The large, tapered boulder to my front sheds a complacent tan glow, giving its reflection to me from an oblique angle. And the rock outcropping to the right catches flame as the shadow of the mountain to the west plods on to quench it. The sky, too, wil do the same, casting off its cool blue to be replaced with peach, then rose, and lavendar, fading back to indigo before giving way to the deep blue of night. Only the cirrus clous above to project a memory of the sol over Joshua Tree.

A pun: when climbing, fortune favors the boulder.

Travel Notebook: Lost Palms Oasis

Lost Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park

Act I

I've come to understand a bit about why the desert reaches me on a personal level. We have similar personalities in many respects. There is something -- something -- about the balance of life out here. The near-death that occurs every summer. The apparent diappearance of the living that thrusts itself back every spring. The opportunistic explosion after heavy rain.

Evenwhen my dreams are nearly dead, they lie. It might be somewhere under the surface and under the dirt where you can't see -- but it's always there, ready to bloom.

Act II

It ain't your mom's park. You're gonna have to sweat. Bleed. And you will burn. And often hurt. You'll wonder why you got out of bed to do this to yourself.

But you've found truth. Veriditas. Live hard. Find everything. Look.


Sometimes you have to be prepared to keep walking -- that oasis on your map might be a sham.

Act IV

It's not hard to see your/my face in everyone/thing.

Act V

In the quest to find my personal path, I may have uncovered a common thread.

What do the desert and Washington, DC have in common?

Act VI

Reiterate: what do Washington, DC and the Mojae Desert possess that has caught my attention in such a firm manner?

It appears that they both offer opportunities in three things tht I love: space exploration, education, and wilderness management. Yes, a funny mix I've created here, but let's examine...

First, let's that pursuing education is ubiquitous, can be done anywhere. DC offers the aded advantage of being the location of the Dept. of Education and probably a number of other organizations like AAAS, NSF, etc.

Second, wilderness. For the desert, this doesn't have to be explained -- I'm in JTNP. Iin DC, there is the Dept. of the Interior and the NPS.

Finally, there is space. In Southern California there are space companies on all levels of the continuum, from Boeing and LockMart to JPL, to Interorbital and Scaled. In DC, there is both the source and solution to the problems of space: NASA. Plus there are numerous other agencies, Dept. of Commerce, for example, that have a say in what goes up (or stays on the ground).

Gut feeling -- this observation is the gateway to the road I will travel. Now, it is time to take stock of what I have (forget what I don't have for the time being, must not focus on what I can't do, it's hindering my progress)... and go. Fortune favors the bold. Let the meek inherit the Earth, there are those of us who have our sights set on other things. Me, I'm going to examine this thread, this underlying piece of myself, and prepare to change the world in a positive way.

Finally, the beginning of a mission. Stay tuned.