Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'll show you a place...

...high on a desert plain
where the streets have no name

Ever since I was a teenager and obsessed with U2's albums from the 1980s, it's been a dream of mine to see the Mojave Desert. The stark black and white photographs which Anton Corbijn shot there for  The Joshua Tree are so iconic and wild, I just knew I had to see that landscape for myself one day.

Happily, I can now cross that off my list.

On our way to Las Vegas, we stuck to the highway that ran along the north of the Mojave Desert. If I'd thought that seeing my first Joshua trees dotted along the side was thrilling enough, nothing prepared me for the amazing scenery on our return home.

We wanted to avoid the nightmare end-of-holiday traffic for our return trip, so we cut right through the heart of the Mojave, on a series of tiny roads, and eventually connected up with a different highway on the southern side.

Along the way, we stopped for lunch at a tiny 'ghost town' called Kelso, and went to some nearby sand dunes.

It was incredible. All of it. As soon as we stepped out of the car by the dunes, we were struck by the silence. There wasn't even a wind. I always imagined I might feel sudden panic in the middle of the desert because I've never actually been to a desert before (all our road trips in Australia were coastal, or no more than a few hours inland) but in contrast, everything was very much peaceful.

The music we listened to during part of the drive was the icing on the cake. I'd rummaged through the CD folder, and found U2's Under a Blood Red Sky - a regular soundtrack to our road trips back in Australia.

Travelling through the Mojave with my own family, seeing Joshua trees, wild horizons, and listening to vintage live U2... that day, it felt as though life couldn't get any better.


  1. Oh, how good is that?

    Is it wrong that I wanna see this before I see the Aussie outback? I think Ivan Milat has tarnished things for me considerably....

    I've been to Vegas but we flew in and out - I wonder if I even bothered to look out the window?

    As usual, photography is deluxe. Love. xx

  2. Such gorgeous pics xxx So glad you were able to get away! How beautiful...

  3. Thanks, lovely ladies. I think when I close my eyes and picture the Mojave, it's going to become one of my new Happy Places. Strange, because I'd never really associated the desert with serenity before.