- Joshua Tree Decompression
Sometime last week I decided that I needed to get away from the city for a few days. My old-reliable escape destination since I moved to LA has been Joshua Tree National Park. It has several distinct advantages over most every other destination within 2 hours of Los Angeles.
First, it is inexpensive. An annual pass to the park costs only $30 and I’ve had one for the past two years. Camping is just $10/night per campsite. I can say for a week at Joshua Tree for the same price as a single night at an inexpensive hotel/motel. And is an ice machine conveniently located just down the hall really worth 7x the price?
Joshua Tree’s second advantage is that it doesn’t attract large crowds of people. Last time I spent 3 days camping there, I only talked to one other person and only saw several people in total – it was fantastic. This time, even with the 100+ degree days and lack of most services (i.e. real bathrooms and running water), there were quite a few people visiting but still nothing like a state park on the ocean.
Third (and most importantly), it has basically zero cell coverage throughout the entire park area. This allows/forces me to really disconnect from the rest of the world. I get calls and text messages all day long (not to mention emails) and my morning routine before I even get out of bed is to 1) check email, 2) read facebook, 3) skim NY Times headlines and read any interesting stories, then 4) glance at twitter – only after all those tasks are completed do I even bother to crawl out from under the sheets. Not so during my time at Joshua Tree. You realize how long a day really can be when it’s not filled with constant attempts to “keep up” with various, often irrelevant, information. (more…)