By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Since Olivia & I began planning our transition to fulltiming life, it has been a goal to visit Joshua Tree, California. I’ve daydreamed about the rock and roll life of Gram Parsons at the Joshua Tree Inn and I’ve been swayed by the mysticism of U2’s The Joshua Tree album. One of my favorite parts of traveling is being able to retrace the footsteps of the lives & songs that have fueled my passions.
Joshua Tree is about 40 miles away from our campsite in Desert Hot Springs. The scenic drive is an uphill, desert mountain trek. We left late in the morning with the intention to spend the day exploring – our only “must see” spots were the Joshua Tree National Park and the Joshua Tree Inn.
Our first stop was the Joshua Tree Inn. The parking lot was completely vacant and the “open” sign wasn’t lit. This, by no means, could dampen my curiosity. I parked the car and jumped out to take a quick picture – then I noticed the gate that leads to the courtyard was open! As I walked in, looking as innocent as possible, I saw room #8 and the adjacent Gram Parsons monument. I was giddy, taking pictures and trying to soak up the vibes.
Suddenly an employee popped out of a nearby room and suspiciously asked “Can I help you?” I tried to play it cool and tell her I was just taking a picture of the monument. She kindly said, “Oh, you must be a Gram fan”, and proceeded to let me in his room to look around and take a few more pictures! For those who don’t know, room #8 was Gram Parsons’ regular room at the inn, and eventually where they found him unconscious from a lethal drug overdose.
After the inn, we drove to the National Park for a quick exploration. There must be a million Joshua Trees! The oddly beautiful trees are rich with textures and colors. We took a moment to climb the desert boulders and get a closer view of nature. Because all the trails at the park prohibit hiking with dogs, we kept our visit short.
The abundance of thrift stores in Joshua Tree had us itching to do some treasure hunting. We stopped by at least four and found a few worthy items for our Etsy shop. If our budget would’ve allowed, we could’ve purchased a whole new vintage wardrobe. The boutique clothing stores have an amazing curated selection of vintage clothes, hats, boots, belts and more!
Our visit to Joshua Tree was unique and rewarding – we traced footsteps and created our own!
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