When I was around 14, my parents took me and my brother to Desert Hot Springs to visit my grandparents. That was my first time ever seeing Joshua Tree National Monument. I’d love to say I was enchanted and impressed and amazed by the beauty of the place, but that’d be a lie. I was a snot-nosed 14 year old hanging out with my family. I was probably not a lot of fun to be around. Few 14 year olds are.
As we drove through the park, we stumbled upon this old Oak tree. This was amazing to me. Here we are in the middle of the desert, surrounded by Yucca trees and here’s an Oak… just like back home in Oregon. And it seemed so huge, yet hidden there in a little alcove of boulders. My brother took my picture in front of the tree to show how big it was and then a little later, he painted a picture of the same scene; that hung on my parent’s wall for years and years. It reminded me constantly of how much I did actually love that trip; how beautiful and serene it felt down there. It reminded me to return some day.
I finally made it. I spent the afternoon just driving through the park, looking at Joshua trees, but I couldn’t find the damn Oak. I drove past the parking lot for it probably three or four times, and then once I parked, it started to pour down rain. Once it cleared a bit, I went off searching and walked right past without even noticing it. I finally gave up looking and headed back to the car and there it was. Standing quiet and peaceful in it’s alcove of the boulders. It was much smaller than I remembered, but just as magical. I took this pic for you Rich. I hope it brings you as many good memories as it does for me.