Leaving L.A. and riding into Joshua Tree really is a trip. The city people relentlessly drift between lanes in heavy traffic to shave 30 seconds off their journey time home from work, an hour later no one is around, just desert, an hour and a half after that you reach the first gas station in 100 miles and you fill up. You fill up because its the only gas station for hundreds of miles and you’ve been sweating for the last hour and a half, not because of the immense desert heat but because you’ve done the maths and you realise that you’ve only got enough gas to make it 98 miles and that the spare bottle you have in your pannier is only good for ten or so more at a push.
I arrived mid afternoon and after checking into a charming motel, I rode out into the park. It brought some welcome time to think after the business of the city. It reminded me of Fieval Goes West, the story about a mouse that I loved as a child. I felt so small like that mouse, desert and rocks as far as the eye could see. A truly humbling experience.
The next morning I departed early and shortly after leaving I realised that the road out of Joshua Tree was magnificent. Indescribably beauty. Along with Big Sur, there really were times I didn’t actually want to arrive at my destination. I wanted it to continue on and on.