Basking in the Desert Bloom in Joshua Tree N.P., California
The high desert stretches out before you at Joshua Tree National Park, wind sweeping over the waste, buffeting your ears with the silence. Out of the blue, blue sky, you see it, shooting out of what looks like a dead bush—the bright, red, trumpeting blossoms of the ocotillo. Then you notice more, like the bridal bouquets of the Joshua trees and Mojave yuccas. As you drive into the lower desert, the lovable teddy bear chollas beckon, but you know better than to get too close. Still, you stop the car anyway, pulling over for the same reason everyone else along there has—a silence so full, and solitude so complete that you feel right at home.