Travels: USA Roadtrip 2019 – Episode 9

USA Roadtrip 2019 – Episode 9:
A Paradise of Stones

On a Friday, coincidentally the 13th day of our journey (25th January), was the one I enjoyed the most. It turns out it doesn’t take much to make me happy – only a stone paradise.

After 4 nights, we left LA behind and went to the Joshua Tree National Park. At first, I was a little bit confused when we arrived. After all the Sequoia trees I also expected a forest of trees. But it was mainly a forest of stones. I commented that the stones looked like hardened dinosaur poo. But in fact, they were made of hardened magma that was pushed through the earth’s crust ages ago. The Joshua trees, in comparison to the Sequoias, were pretty boring.

A Joshua tree
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My stone paradise
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I feel like I cannot post enough photos here, nor hide my excitement for this place. It may not look that spectacular from these pictures, but for me it was one of the best playgrounds on Earth. I simply couldn’t get enough of climbing around.

My playground
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When we departed, I felt really relaxed and deeply happy. On our way to our next AirBnB we stopped on the side of the road when we spotted something that looked like snow, despite the temperature of around 18°C. 

A salt field
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It was “only” salt of course, but also here I felt the need to explore a bit and so I climbed the little hill next to the street – and found a river on the other side! It was incredibly beautiful, turquoise and very salty 🙂

A salty river
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The guys in the other car wanted to go home as quickly as possible, while Audrey, Enrique and I decided to make a little detour to one of the many ghost towns in the area, despite the risk that we’d arrive after dark. The sun was already so low that our car’s shadow looked like a bug moving through the desert:

Some desert in California
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We found the ghost town hilarious: Instead of a deserted, abandoned place, we found a well-lit and renovated vistors centre. This however, was closed unfortunately due to the government shutdown.

We had no luck in the ghost town …
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Amused, we headed off to Needles, our destination for that night. It was almost completely dark on our way through the desert, so we could see the Milky Way. Only trucks’ headlights and a glow far away on our left disturbed the darkness. We were wondering for half an hour what that glow was, until we concluded, it must be Las Vegas, even though it was still 100 miles away. Checking on Google Maps revealed that we were right. It’s incredible how the light pollution of a big city can still affect the clearness of the night sky, even at a distance of over 100 miles.

Click here to read the next episode of this USA Roadtrip 2019 or navigate through the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

  1. Prologue & Epilogue
  2. Arrival & 1st Day
  3. Bryce, Zion and The Grand Canyon
  4. Cabin in the Woods 
  5. Yosemite
  6. The Golden Gate Bridge
  7. Huge trees & Hollywood
  8. Universal Studios Hollywood
  9. The LA experience
  10. A paradise of stones
  11. Finally, Las Vegas!

Written by Julia Heuritsch | Last edited: 29th June 2022

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