Van-Go @ Joshua Tree



I’m waiting for the dryer to finish drying, hanging out in our van in the parking lot of Joshua Tree Laundromat, and I am not alone.. the parking lot is filled with other vans, many like ours. I know I am in California because gas is really expensive and I had to download an App to pay for the bluetooth-activated, but otherwise pretty standard, machines. We have been traveling down the border of California and Nevada through the Mohave desert.. a jumble of huge sculptural rocks with petroglyphs, semi-arid desert, birds (two lifers for James!) and cactuses that look like they have been here since the dinosaurs.  Yesterday it came to me.. LA is nearby and the animators of the Flintstones, Hanna & Barbera, must have modeled the scenery after the Mohave Desert.  In fact, in this scenery our van kind of looks like the prehistoric car they drove.

Things in the California desert are different from Nevada. Tonight is our last night in the “Container Sky Box Spa Resort” an Air B&B hosted by Jonesy, an award-winning songwriter and TV production person whose house in LA burned down a few years ago. He came out to 29 Palms and created this resort as his therapy and cash-intake project. (A man of many talents, he also created the iconic Art Car “El Pulpo Mechanico” with a team of artists for Burning Man: a yearly art happening in the Nevada desert on Labor Day weekend). He has horses, ATVs, electric golf carts, two hot tubs, a pool, an outdoor gym and 6 hip-camping spots.  Everything is for rent. It looked like fun when we booked it from the road, needing a break from the van and a place for James to work. The photos on line were beautiful.  What we didn’t count on was a two-day sandstorm. Oh well. We were happy to be inside something larger than the van, and the hot tub was a bonus, surrounded by a concrete fence that kept the flying sand and detritus out.

Tomorrow James will be on vacation for two weeks and we head further south. By the end of the weekend, if all goes well, we will be in Baja and on our way to La Ventana, Mexico to meet up with James’ brothers and sisters-in-law for a long planned, post-Covid vacation. I feel incredibly lucky, and honestly almost frivolous, to be on this trip.  Especially when I think of the devastation currently happening in Ukraine, which puts the difficulties of traveling in a van into perspective.

Thanks for reading my blog: it is helping me process this trip, and hopefully keeping me in touch with the people I miss! Also you’ll know where I am if we disappear. Everyone please take care.

Container Sky Box Resort, 29 Palms, CA


El Pulpo Mechanico


Sky Box Container Air B&B
Spring in the Desert