we spent the first two days of our california road trip in joshua tree. i boarded a sunrise flight in the mountains of utah, christopher scooped me up in san diego an hour later, and we hit the open road, scanning the radio and volleying dreams of all the places we want to see together.
i had never before set my eyes and feet upon a desert, and there was just so much i couldn't know. i simply couldn't know how the grit of the earth would feel between my fingers, couldn't anticipate the way the mountains would tumble into the sand. i had hoped we'd see animals, but i didn't expect how my heart would thump as a coyote slinked by. i couldn't dream of joshua trees, their coexistence of whimsy and majesty, arms reaching for heaven. even now, two weeks later, i dig for better words for the way it looks for the sun to rise and set over a flat horizon, washing the earth in lavender and blush and faintest gold.
we stayed in an airstream (where else?) and took every meal at the only open joint in town (crossroads cafe, delicious) and ambled around the park laying eyes on jackrabbits and scrubby cacti and a landscape that conjures another planet entirely. for two whole days, we were content to simply watch the sun move across the sky.