Field Report: In Search for a Cleanse — Joshua Tree

As smoke engulfs the West Coast, wild fires continue to rage from the borders of Canada to Mexico. Once taken for granted, safe and breathable air is now a rarity. This past weekend we escaped the tension and rumblings of the Los Angeles basin in search of clean air and a little adventure. Desperate and last minute, Joshua Tree was our destination of choice.

Through the smoke and ash the emptiness of the desert sprawled upon us as if the red carpet had been rolled out exclusively for what we were about to experience. Stepping out of the car, the crisp desert air awoke us from our groggy sunrise mission. A refreshing sigh of relief flooded us as the cool temperatures and clean air greeted us.

Twenty miles down the barren highway and through the small towns that lined our path, our group entered Joshua Tree National Park. The landscape’s emptiness is hauntingly mesmerizing with joshua trees and rock formations strewn far and wide reaching the horizon.

Fortunate, we were graced with few cars and calm conditions. Excitement and joy was embraced and the group’s vivacious tempo pushed us over the deceptively hilly route profile. Up and over Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks, popular hiking & camping spots, we ventured off the loop to the southern point of the park, Key’s View.

Slated to be a typical Saturday excursion for clean air became an adventure in search of emptiness which left us with full hearts of the beautiful desert landscape.