Tag Archives: Joshua Tree

Touring the Southwest: Trestles, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, and Santa Fe.

Our journey actually begins, it’s not just an idea anymore. It’s important to set a good tone for a trip, habits developed in the initial stages echo throughout the journey.

San Mateo Campground

We take a couple of days to surf in San Clemente, about an hour south of our home in LA.

San Mateo CampgroundSan Mateo CampgroundSan Mateo Campground

Joshua Tree

We try to get zen in Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree Joshua Tree Joshua Tree Inn Pool at Joshua Tree Inn DSC_0489 DSC_0507

Grand Canyon

Arriving at night, we stay overnight at Mather Campground.

Grand Canyon Mather Campground Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Lodge at Grand Canyon

Santa Fe

After a few days on the road we find an area that’s easy to fall in love with.



Ghost Ranch DSC_0575 DSC_0610


Visit The Integratron

Out in the desert  near Joshua Tree, if you look from the hills above Landers, you might wonder about the bright white dome out in the flat basin. Short answer: It’s a circular, sonically balanced room where people gather to listen to the quartz bowls, whose sound is a fusion of spinning helicopter blades and whale song.

Visit the Integratron

So here’s the lowdown from Wikipedia:

The Integratron is a structure designed by ufologist and contactee George Van Tassel. Tassel claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel.

He built the structure following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.

The Integratron’s workings rely on the generation of strong “intermittent magnetic fields.” Van Tassel claimed the Integratron is intentionally constructed atop a powerful geomagnetic anomaly and its construction is entirely of non-ferromagnetic materials.

Get that. Good. Now let it go. To truly experience The Integraton one must not question the practice but instead open your heart to the experience. Which is exactly what I set about to do.

Arriving is like finding a Mad Mex set: The white orb perched as if ready to return to outer space adjacent to an empty courtyard of sculptural seats constructed of repurposed trash. The setting creates space to focus the mind.

Visit the Integratron

Visit the Integratron

We enter the dome, our voices deepen with resonance echoed by the half-sphere above. We choose mats with a view to the perfectly blue sky. The wind outside had been driving me crazy, blowing in whistling gales so strong they can be heard while driving, inside the dome is silent other than the whispers of other time-travelers.


When the quartz bowls begin, I close my eyes and turn my palms toward the ceiling. I begin a series of the most lucid dreams I’ve probably ever had. The magnetic fields do their work on me while I sleep. I wake a few minutes before the bowls finish their song, as though I’ve been summoned back to consciousnesses.  Do I feel different? It doesn’t matter. I participated and now I encourage you to do the same. Become one of us. Visit the Integratron.

In cold water: Photographs from Ventura and Joshua Tree.

The surf was forecast to be 7-8 feet, initially. As the time to depart drew nearer the forecast was scaled back further and further until I thought our Ventura cabin by the sea was a bad idea, what else was there to do in a tiny enclave of houses trapped by highway? The forecast stayed small but the waves came in large and strong. Sometimes when you put some faith in nature and long-distance surf forecasting things just work out. But, you would not believe how cold that water was. Each of us were desperately under-insulated in 3/2 wetsuits, at least Jo-Roxy and I had booties. The water just refuses to warm up this year.

Quick surf at County Line on the way.


Ventura surf




From the cramped cabin, to the open space of Joshua Tree where there is no excuse to be cramped – why else be out there? We ate at the Crossroads Cafe, again, because the waiter there is sunny in a way that brightens our days. It’s interesting introducing people to the high desert, I think a lot  of people have an expectation that everything out there is going to be all trippy and more of a “What is this that’s happening to me” experience, but really it’s just quiet and peaceful. Soon enough you get so quiet and peaceful that you’re thinking a little different to before – you’re slower, calmer, more comfortable. That’s the power of J-Tree.