If I hear myself talk sometimes, I could actually myself get the impression that I would be most happy living on top of the Mount Everest. All by myself. No one close by. Just me and Nature (Ok, and maybe the one or other storm howling around from time to time).
But as much as I love to escape into the Wilderness of our beautiful, beautiful planet, I am a city boy through and through. Whenever I have made trips to secluded areas, after two or three days I was already missing the hustle and bustle of big city life lying just behind the apartment door at home. So a complete move into nowhere would probably bore me to death after all.
That´s how I found my compromise on taking excursions like this when on the road.
If you have a job like mine where people constantly want something from you, moments for yourself are pretty much the most luxurious thing you can possess. Of course, apart from spending time with your love and the people who you cherish and you don´t want to miss in your life. But all above, these moments are key to my balance in well-being. And the best location for me to achieve this balance is truly the Great Outdoors.
On my last rotation to LAX, I could feel the urge to reconnect. I made a reservation online for a rental car with Hertz. Their pick-up location is a little off the airport´s ground, but a free shuttle bus departs on a regular base from Tom Bradley International terminal) and drove down to the hotel in Torrance. Thanx to L.A. traffic, it took me infinity to get there. After the strenuous 12 hours flight, my tolerance and patience were not at highest level, I can tell you.
Anyways. Since I had not planned anything for the evening, I just made a quick stop at a grocery store to fetch some things to eat and lots and lots of water for the entire layover.
Finally getting to the hotel around 7pm, I actually almost fell asleep while emptying the box with humus. I was exhausted, so I decided spontaneously to switch off the lights and see what fiendish time my jet lagged mind would force my tired body to wake up again.
And guess what? Of course, at 3 am my eyes suddenly popped open.
“Great”, I thought. I cannot recall, how many nights in my life I have spent killing time on the West Coast until Dawn. With rolling eyes I finally got up to brew myself one of those mediocre filter coffees (at this time of day absolutely better than nothing!!!!) and taking a seat on the bedside. And that was the moment I realized, that there was no reason to wait. For what?
It would take around three hours one-way to drive to Joshua Tree and I would definitely avoid any sort of traffic at this time of day. So I quickly googled the estimated time of sunrise, packed my camera, some water, charging cables and everything that could be of some help in the desert into my trolley (NEVER forget safety when you plan trips like this! Joshua Tree IS a desert, so take adequate equipment). And off I went.
It was still dark outside, but the drive could not be more relaxed. Just a few cars and some trucks shared the highway with me. So no one to be embarrassed about screaming to my music the fullest.
I made it there just in time. Experiencing the sunrise in the desert (and I can only imagine how spiritual it must be in places like Northern Africa, South America or Asia) is something very, very uplifting.
Driving down the endless roads through beautiful Joshua Tree while the surrounding mountains were plunged into shades of red, purple and orange made me stand still in time…
I don´t know how you feel about this, but moments like these simply make me happy. I am not going to write anything else for now, but I would just like to share some of the photos that I was able to take during that morning. I hope, they will inspire you as much as I was inspired.
So next time you wake up at most inhuman time, maybe you should go watch that sunrise somewhere… Safe travels, folks!