And the desert adventures just kept continuing on! Shortly after my trip to the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City, my friends Will and Kelsey planned a trip out to Joshua Tree! Kelsey has a lovely 3 bedroom home available for Airbnb in Joshua Tree. It’s right next to the entrance of the park, and conveniently located near the downtown area. Check out her Airbnb listing at: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5884868. Also, check out her home’s Instagram page at @luna.llena.casa.
Our first day there, I decided to stop by the Jen’s Pirate Booty pop up shop! I’m a big fan of the line, and they were having a gigantic clearance sale just for the Coachella crowd! Prices were incredible, everything was 50% – 90% off retail prices, so naturally I had to scoop up a large handful of gauzy tops and dresses! (You’ll see pics of me wearing what I bought in future posts!) I got to meet Jen Rossi, the owner / designer of the line, and she said that she planned on making that spot a permanent shop for her line–which is so exciting!
Later that afternoon, the three of us trekked over to Pioneertown, just a few miles away from Joshua Tree. The drive from the highway is beautiful, and it’s hard not to think of the rock formations coming alive–à la Rock Biter from The NeverEnding Story! Pioneertown is a kooky place, as it was built in the 1940’s as an Old West motion picture set. Acting legends Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were key investors in developing the area. Their central area (known as Mane street–pun intended) has the facades of old stables, saloons, and jails, but at the time, they housed ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels! Numerous films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940s and ‘50s. The featured photo up top was taken inside an old barn that was converted into a bookstore! During the day, they have live Western shows on Mane street, which include acting performances and live music.
In addition to all the Western style sets, they do have little gift shops as well! I was out in front of the Chaparrosa Outfitters shop, making some new crow buddies! There are mini shops that sell local artwork, pottery, fragrant soaps, rocks and minerals, and many more! We had a good laugh at “local cactus” that somebody put sunglasses on, so I had to take a photo! And to top off our little trip, we all got to pet some baby goats!
We didn’t get a chance to go to Pappy and Harriet’s, which is the most famous destination in Pioneertown. It’s a restaurant and performance venue, where local bands and headlining bands (surprisingly so!) play on a regular basis. If you’re in Joshua Tree for a while, definitely check out this place! The only downside is that there is no cell phone reception, and the only available public restrooms are portable ones. But, it is offbeat and special in its own unique way!
After our visit to Pioneertown, my friend Will and I decided to visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway! Even though it was 90+ degrees on the ground, it was almost in the low 60’s once we got up there! So bring a jacket, even though it seems ridiculous to do so! The tram ride is awesome, what makes it different is that the car actually rotates 360 degrees as it ascends up the mountain. So no matter where you stand, you’ll be getting a great view into the valley below. But, if you can stand by the window, you can get some amazing photos as well as catch a brisk, cool breeze!
We got up to the peak as the sun was setting, so it made for some beautiful shadows in the forest above, and some phenomenal colors below! To protect my eyes from the bright sunlight, I’m wearing gold aviators by Le Specs.
Also at the top, there is a “wishing rock”, where people have thrown coins and such into the rocks below! My friend Will and I didn’t have any coins to throw, so he joked about throwing his car keys down there, and said out loud, “I wish I had my keys back!” The couple next to us laughed so hard that they ended giving us coins!
Leaving the mountain at night was such a magical experience! The lights of Palm Springs were so bright from above! This little adventure to the mountain was a lovely and peaceful end to an amazing day! Up next is all about my mini trip through Joshua Tree National Park!