perfect day for a warlock

 this wizard husband of mine turned 34 out in the desert! november 4 we woke up with smiles on our faces in a strange new land, in our own patchwork quilt in a dusty old man room. what a morning! brewed coffee in the 1960's percolator and had ourselves a pretty view sitting by the porch in old aluminum lawn chairs.




darin got to spend the day doing all the things he loves....like....bb guns?! yep, guess he's just a real dude at heart. (shooting a little paper target of course, and not our friends the jackrabbits!)

we walked around the property and visited the horses at the neighbors' ranch:
beauties.



 it was starting to rain and the desert town with dusty dirt streets smelling fresh and sweet.
a rainbow lying upon the horizon, every color vivid, right down to magical violet.
 on into the town of Yucca Valley where we found the perfect coffee shop: Ma Rouge.
you can order your own carafe of fresh french pressed coffee, yum!


next we did something that sounds more like my kinda fun only, but darin actually loves it too: thrifting! we hit up about three or four little weird desert thrift shops. most of them were tucked full of odd knick knacks that were pretty much just junk, cute little old people running the joint.
then we found this vintage shop that was truly a gem! 
i want to make a banner like this for our house; this was the front porch of Richochet. I bought a rad yellow skirt that fits right into my la loba vibe! you'll be seeing it here, I'm sure.

and finally: into the wonder of Joshua Tree National Park. darin says it's his favorite place in the world...perfect for the birthday boy! maybe we were just feeling extra exuberant there, but it felt so incredibly good to clamber around on these rocks and be out under this magnificent stormy desert sky. it felt like a mystic journey, or being lost in a dreamspace but feeling every yucca spine and raven so true and real.






we hiked into this area called Hidden Valley, a beautiful desert valley completely surrounded by mountainous boulders. Long ago it was used as a grazing area for cattle rustlers!
seems like a nice life for a cowboy thief.

because this valley is enclosed by mountains, much-needed desert rain funnels and collects here and creates a micro-climate transition zone quite a bit moister than other parts of the desert. so alongside the yucca and nolina cactus, there are pinyon pines and oaks. And of course the ubiquitous and strange, shaggy and stalwart joshua trees guiding the way west.







late afternoon we drove up to keys view, to watch the sunset and see the panoramic views of the coachella valley and san bernadino mountains from the highest point in the park. unfortunately, at such a high place -  those clouds we'd seen above? we were now in them! and they were icy cold and sleet snowy/rain was falling sideways against us in a frozen wind. darin was taking nips from his whiskey flask to warm up. we got to see the awesome views, laugh at our umbrellas turning inside out, and watch crazy storm clouds brewing, then hurry back to get cozy in the car.




we love joshua tree so much, it makes me dizzy to think about. but we decided to come back the next day to hike more in the "brilliant sun" that was forecast for tomorrow. i think it's appropriate that darin's birthday was misty and rainy, fitting for a magician who prefers the mystery.

so at that point we headed out of the park and up the road to the most wonderful true rock-n-roll roadhouse:

the style there is great, just like we love: a healthy dose of americana mixed with rock n roll, rustic charm and downhome fun. we heard it used to be a biker bar, but the crowd was way tame while we were there, and we found out too late you have to have reservations (?!) if you want to sit at a table for the music. but we still had time to eat a leisurely meal, have a beer, and then find a place near the bar to watch the music.
if the crowd were more frisky it would be just the kinda joint we'd like to run ourselves :)

ravenous from our rambles, we ordered the cheese fries as an appetizer, wowweeee!

we watched Solid Ray Woods play some hearty california-style soul.

it was too dark for good pictures, so i took the rest from their flickr just to show the vibe a little more...




best of all i love the old ones, and the story of pappy and harriet starting it and playing music there in the early 80s. 

aren't they cute?! darin and i in twenty years?

we headed back through the quiet desert dark to our little hermitage in the hills. past the eerie joshua trees waving their spindly arms, past the sleeping ravens and the burrowing owls and kangaroo rats, past the coyotes and horses to our own funky little room in the desert.



a pretty magical birthday, would you agree?




Comments

Teeny said…
Yes! What a birthday! I read your last post, but haven't been commenting lately...i've been sick and my head was all stuffy and i felt like my brain had disappeared for the last little while. so, SO beautiful this land of yours. almost every post of yours, I'm showing my hubs the photos and saying...look! we could go there! really! I can't wait to be amongst Americana. i don't know if i told you but we've extended our stay to the 5th of July - so we'll be able to see 4th of July celebrations. woohoo! And Happy Birthday to that oh so handsome fella of yours! x
Kate said…
Wow this looks like an amazing little trip. It reminds my of how much I need a getaway...
dude,i NEED a Hippies Use Side Door sign. NEED. i love your skirt, and darin's sweater. you guys are too cute. i've never been to joshua tree but i want to go.
what a magical time! i'm just cruising by this morning and want to comment in more depth later, but i just had to SQUEE at pappy and harriets! we were there last spring!! http://terrallectualism.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/pioneertown/ isn't it the place of your dreams!? i want to move down there just so i can go every week. i'm so glad you had a magical time with your magical honey. xoxoxo
whit said…
Happy birthday darin!!!
Amy Beatty said…
I could listen to you all day. i love all the photos and details. Darin!!! him and his bb gun - way cute!! joshua tree is such a play ground. the kids loved it the one time we went. we should go again. I love you guys. I'm so glad Darin had such a great amazing birthday xoxo
Chelsea said…
What lucky ducks you babes are. Looks like a magic dream this trip. You guys are such an inspiring, fun couple. I love you both!
anne said…
yes i would! what a wonderful day! i love seeing your smiling faces together!

ruben and i plan on going to joshua tree in may for our 11th anniversary (we didn't do anything for our 10th since marianne was only a few days old. i think it'll be the perfect place for us to spend a few days alone together.)
jenny miller said…
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Joshua Tree is on our list to visit when we're out west again (hubby's family is in Colorado). And a belated Happy Birthday to Darin! Love and light to you both.
Milla said…
Honey Child! The best of belated birthdays to both of you again. We feel so blessed to have you in our lives. I keep saying it but you're both just so glowy and golden. I love this sneak peek of JT as well, since C. keeps saying that he'd like to take me there. I'm not one for deserts, necessarily, but anywhere where nature's striking beauty is in abundance seems wonderful to me. I'm so glad you two got to have this dreamy little holiday. So much love
Elisheva said…
Yes I agree wholeheartedly, its beautiful there, all that dessert must be amazing to be able to access that. Thank you for your wonderful photos, I too love these things about America, and soak in just about as much as I can when I am there, but one day must go west.

You are two sweeties, there is no other word for it. xx : )
i have been terrible about getting to blogs lately, so i am playing a little catch-up. all your posts since late october have been particularly, strikingly beautiful.

happy birthday to my fellow scorps!
ZombieLace said…
Happy bday to your cute cute hubby! You guys look so happy together. It all sounds perfect ;)
AdieSpringB said…
these fotes are so BEAUTIFUL! I love the feeling. I can't wait to go, I can't believe I live here and have never been. That room you stayed in, looks amazing! I am glad you got to get out of town and have a blast. Love you bun :)
Missa said…
Magical indeed, what a birthday! Joshua Tree looks so otherworldly, I'd really love to see it one day. Haven't had the pleasure of exploring Southern California really at all. I think we need to add it to our list of future road trips. Cruising through the dessert with our little teardrop in tow, sounds awesome right now :)

p.s. I'm quite jealous of you and Milla for having husbands who actually enjoy thrifting!

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