Lots of people have "bucket lists" - things to do or people to meet or places to go before they die. You know, activities like sky diving (no thank you.) Me? I have a list of things to see. I don't even need to really do anything when I'm there, with the exception of being absolutely over-come with wonder and then taking a few pictures.
Number 4 on this list was "see a Joshua Tree." Joshua Trees are a type of Yucca and only really grow in the Mojave Dessert. I saw a picture a few years ago, and ever since, I simply could not leave this earth without seeing one.
When I went to Southern California last summer to photograph Grant and Taylor's reception, my friend Sam picked me up in LA and we took the long way to San Diego. We spent the night at the Joshua Tree Inn, next to the room where Graham Parson died. We sat by the pool until after 10 and met a dove named Emmy Lou who'd nested into the rafters.
In the morning we got up early, before the heat of the day, and drove into Joshua Tree National Park. The terrain was so strange, it was honestly like being on the moon. We hopped out of the truck, and Sam headed out to climb the nearest mountain. I mostly just stood there, awestruck by it all. Just liked I'd hope I would be.