Wilfred Thesiger once said “…and with it’s aggressive nature and ability to kill, there is something so gentle that lies in the vastness of the desert. Though a force to be reckoned with, those that survive it will earn the respect of all, and those that succumb to the elements slowly fade into the blowing dust” Just kidding Wilfred didn’t say that, I said that. Sometimes I can be very poetic.
I closed the Prius hatchback with only truly essential belongings, said my goodbyes to the dearest of friends, then with a fresh new playlist and an old pug serving as my heavy breathing copilot we hit the open road. The city slowly faded in my rearview and the In and Out burger signs that scattered the sides of the 405S became just a distant memory. There is something to bittersweet about leaving something good behind, preserving the many good times and ending a chapter, only to be in the beginnings of a completely dodgy new one.
Seeing as I was now intermittently unemployed and really in no rush to be anywhere, I took the incredibly scenic route via desert and let me tell you, it was all very lovely. Though I couldn’t think of much worse of a place to break down at, when alone with a very hot specialty breed dog and a very unreliable vehicle (rest assured we made it just fine.)
First stop Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is filled with hot sand and Joshua Trees. I originally intended on camping there for the night, but lets be honest, that was a terrible idea. The 106 degree mid day heat had me thinking otherwise. I’m sure there’s much to be explored in the park, but I saw what I needed to, instagrammed some trees and ventured onwards.
Then it was off to the Salton Sea. Ever since the Val Kilmer film I just had to check this place out. Honestly it was actually as depressing as the film. It actually looks like an ocean and as I pulled over illegally and made my way through the thick bush to avoid paying park fees, the ground seemed so unstable and salty as it crumbled beneath me with each step. Just as portrayed in any S. S reference, there were indeed massive amounts of decaying Tilapia everywhere sending mr old sweaty pug into a state of pure bliss. The air had a sort of a thick stench about it and the city nearby, seemingly abandoned but yet charming in a murdery type of way. As I got back into the car, about 30 flies had made themselves comfortable in my car, but I heard that was how the Outback was so I pretended not to care as they bounced around my face for a few miles.
We stopped at Salvation Mountain, a climbable hillside in the Sonoran Desert painted with Bible references and Jesus tags. Then made the trek through the Imperial Sand Dunes and then through Phoenix just in time for a perfect desert sunset. Lastly I made my way up 2 hours North to my ole’ hometown of Flagstaff, where I will be residing until I head off finally to Australia in July. Seeing as I’ve got nothing but time for a while, I’ll be blogging plenty so stay tuned and I will leave you with some photos: