After all the hand-wringing on what to do for New Year’s Eve, at the last minute MFM (my fabulous man) (okay, I know that term is a recipe for gagging…. but there’s no good name for my partner. He’s more than just a boyfriend, more than just a lover and better than a husband…. Hmmm.,…maybe that’s a another post about urban definitions. But I digress!) Anyway, we jumped in the car and made our way to Desert Hot Springs. After soaking for a day and night in the hot springs that come straight from the aquafier at Living Water’s Spa Hotel, we were ready for some action. We drove 30 minutes to Joshua Tree and hiked around on the rocks. If you’re really still and quiet and just sit there, the desert comes alive. I sat for about 20 minutes, thinking I would meditate, but there was just too much going on!
First I looked over the canyon and saw these funny little desert squirrel-like creatures scurrying around, efficiently laying waste to the food that had been carefully wrapped up and left out on the picnic table while the owners climbed boulders.
Note: There were a plethora of climbers doing ridiculous, cool feats with ropes and harnesses and such. Just watching these characters shimmy up the side of a huge rock face is more than entertaining. More on that later….
Then, right behind the squirrels, I saw these long-eared rabbits hopping around. I thought they were going after the food too, but it seemed they were just killing time, chasing each other in circles. Who knew rabbits were such fun-meisters?
Seeing I wasn’t in for a peaceful interlude, we hiked up to the highest rock we could get to and layed out our picnic (Stone crabs and Veuve Cliquot). Just as we were settling in, a Medi-Vac helicopter came roaring over the hill and did a wide circle before neatly setting down next to the ambulance that had rolled up on the highway a ways away. Seems like one of those intrepid climbers took a wicked fall and had to be air-lifted out. Unexpectedly, I burst into tears, an irritating side effect I have occasionally around helicopters since being involved in a helicopter accident ten years ago on a shoot. Whenever they get too close to me now, I get a sickening feeling in my gut and want to run screaming. I thought I was over it, and have even been considering getting back into one of those flying death machines, but I guess I still have a little post-traumatic stress I need to work on.
Finally, the place settled down. Even with all the animals and a few miscellaneous humans tromping around, I have to say that Joshua Tree is one magical place. And it’s only two hours from Los Angeles!It reminds me of an outer space rock formation from a Dr. Seuss book that has been dropped here on earth. It was awesome, and they are, after all, just rocks! As the sun slipped down the hill, glazing the rocks with liquid gold, we packed up. I hated to leave. A fine way to welcome 2007.