Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 76

Two more photos from the hike
A few things I forgot to mention about the events in the last trip report:

-After failed hike to sculpture garden but before successful hike in cattler rustler's canyon (rustle rustle) esteemed companion Johannes repaired both of our holey shoes using needle and thread.  I guess all those years he told me he was doing a surgery residency weren't wasted.

-J and I can't be around each other for any length of time without one of us (me usually) finding some subject to repeatedly mock about the other.  This time it was Google Maps.  For the first day we were together J seemed to be checking his iphone every ten minutes.  Then, on the drive, any time I wondered out loud if a gas station were near or where we should eat he would inevitably respond, "why don't we check Google Maps?"  After a while I had the idea that everything J did was based on google maps and that all questions that the world could offer could be answered using it.  So, for the rest of the weekend, any time either of us had any question about anything, I would say, "Check Google Maps."  What year did Proust finish In Search of Lost Time?  Who's the starting goalie for Manchester United?  What kind of bird is that, there in the road?  All of these questions, I suggest, should be--nay, must be--answered using Google Maps.  At one point, after telling J that if he checked Google Maps he could actually see into the future, I started laughing so hard I had to pull the car over.  I'm laughing now just thinking about it.

I'm not sure Johannes thought it was as funny.

-On our cattle rustler's hike, we got a brochure that showed photos of animals common to Joshua Tree.  Among them was something called the Dusky Chipmunk.  Because we are, basically, both of us nine years old, this also struck us as hilarious.  Everywhere we looked dusky chipmunks seemed to frolic.  In great thundering herds they ate up the horizon blacking out the land like locusts.

Well, not really.  But in our imaginations.

* * *

Okay, back to the narrative....

When we last left our two (dusky) heroes they had completed a grueling one-mile hike in Joshua Tree National Forest.  That over, we (they) headed to the festival.  The band we both wanted to see (El Ten Eleven) didn't go on until four pm, but we figured we'd get there early and enjoy the atmosphere.  Ogle the hippies, as it were.  I don't know.  (Originally, we'd planned to go to the festival when it opened at 11 am, but after Johannes found a video on YouTube of the morning's featured artist playing an instrumental piece on his guitar entitled "Dolphin Love Bliss" (really), we reconsidered.  Wisely, I think.  There's only so much dolphin sex I can listen to in the morning.)  

Anyway, we got the fest around two.  Here are some photos of what we saw walking in.

The fire truck was notable for having a plaque on it that said "Dr Bronner's Magical Soap."  As long-term blog readers will remember, I wrote at length about a documentary the wife and I saw when we first moved to LA about said Dr Bronner.  He is, to put it succinctly, a fascinating and fairly insane human being.  (He thought part of the secret of the history of the universe involved Mark Spitz.)  I have no idea how that fire truck connected to the good Doctor, but that's okay.  I still liked it.

The "Free Dancing" sign was in front of an area closed off by RVs and the fire truck.  Inside it, people were listening to a heavy-beated reggae and shaking somewhat rhythmically.

The giant rocking horse speaks for itself.  

I regret not taking a picture of the large purple amethyst-shaped structure where people could sit to absorb the healing energies of the planet.  It's probably because I was too distracted by the wind.

Because let me tell you: there was some wind.

We had prepared, in packing to go to Joshua Tree, for extreme heat.  We'd brought sweaters and jeans and jackets for the cold.  But we had not prepared to be in a sandstorm.  And unfortunately it was a sandstorm (or close to) that greeted us that Sunday afternoon at the festival.  Sand was everywhere.  It blew into our eyes, it blew into our mouths, it made it almost impossible to stand facing anywhere but away from the wind.  It was miserable.  There was no way you could watch music in that kind of environment.  That's not true.  You could watch it; you just couldn't enjoy it.  Standing there it felt like we were seconds away from being lifted up and taken away to Oz.   

So, after a brief debate, we left.  The plan was to come back in an hour and hope that the wind had died down.  Neither of us were especially optimistic that would happen (it had been at least moderately windy the whole time we were there).  Nevertheless, after scarfing down the chicken curry burritos we'd bought from one of the few food tents that hadn't shut down due to sand blasting damage we drove back to the house feeling, both of us, far far less dusky than we had on the drive in.

Although the burritos, it should be said, were excellent.

To Be Continued....


JMW said...

Loving these updates. I really wish I could have been there. Well, except for the sandstorm. And that rabid coyote. And the hippies. And the Crystal of Forever Happiness. But I bet that backyard cookout had some serious mojo attached to it. I'm really bummed to have missed it.

Johannes said...

Google maps says ANCIANT smells like farts. I checked.