road trip to palm springs
Lake Havasu, Arizona
In an attempt to leave behind the cold, wind and snow of winter in Flagstaff, Murphy and I embarked on a mini getaway towards Palm Springs. It was our inaugural trip in the van (name TBD), so our excitement and nerves were both running high.
We pulled out of town late on a Wednesday night. Our first stop was BLM land just outside of Lake Havasu City. In our typical camping fashion, we arrived late, around 11pm. Cold, tired and hungry, we drove off the highway and into the desert looking for a secluded spot to call our own that night. Our first camp meal was rice and leftover beets, red wine and chocolate. We fell asleep to the gentle breeze and full moon.
It was actually on our way to this campsite that we ran into our first big issue with the van. Fully loaded with camping gear, shit for the pop up at the Ace Hotel, and all of our mountain biking gear, the van was sitting much lower than before. Only the worst noises were coming from the wheel wells. We ignored the problem until morning.
The next morning, and after a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, we make the decision to head into town to attempt to lift the van. Our hope was that this was the only issue, or at least a temporary fix before the fenders completely shaved both rear tires. We found a Walmart, and planned to purchase a car jack, do the lift in their parking lot, and return all the tools within a short hour or so. Things didn’t go quite as planned, and the van was shakily and stressfully resting on two jacks for the better part of the afternoon.
Finally, two old cowboys named Ferguson and Rodney came to the rescue. Up from Quartzite for a grocery trip, they happened to have the world’s largest car jack in the bed of their truck. I wish I had a snap of them. They pulled up to where we were in the way back of the Walmart parking lot, rolled down the window, and asked with a slight country drawl whether or not we needed some help. I desperately nodded, and Murph asked to borrow the jack he had already spotted in the truck bed. The two men were dressed exceptionally well for a Walmart run. Nice straw cowboy hats, on-trend Canadian tuxedos, boots and hand-tooled leather suspenders…
Murphy scrambled to get the lift done while they were inside. We gave them each a bolo tie as a thank you. I am eternally grateful to people like that, helping out strangers so willingly.
Joshua Tree, California
With the van pieced back together, we left the Lake Havasu area for Joshua Tree. Racing daylight, we caught the most beautiful moonrise on the way.
Now we were one whole day into the trip. The relaxed road trip feeling was more apparent with our main car troubles temporarily solved, and we were excited to see what the rest of the trip had in store.
I wore these jeans from Rolla’s and chelsea boots from Nisolo basically the entire trip, with a bright pink beanie and a bear coat, #fashion.
I see the hype of Joshua Tree. The long stretches of road and desert and rocks and shrubs are inspiring in the way they open up to the vast blue sky. Each view is worthy of a pause.
Dates from a small farm-to-market shop in Desert Hot Springs make for a great road snack. This little stand is on the left side heading towards Palm Springs. Lots of local fruits and nuts, each item labeled with the location of the farm.
La Quinta, California
On we ventured. Going south towards a camping spot in La Quinta, California, closer to mountain bike trails. Stiffness of the road and cold nights had started to sink in, so we were seeking nature and warmer weather.
At the next campsite, we arrived just as the sun was setting. Watching the glowing sunset over the distant mountains was a highlight. Twenty minutes later the moon rose over those same mountains, reflecting in the lake right beside us.
Desert Hot Springs, California
We passed through Palm Springs, California for some devastatingly delicious Mexican food to replace every calorie burned on our bike ride, and then some. And we have nothing notable to report from Desert Hot Springs except that the KOA was exceptional. All I wanted that night was food and a hot tub. Upon arrival at our campsite that night, we learned that the pool had three (three!) natural spring hot tubs ranging from 93 degrees to 104 degrees. Heaven.
My only souvenir of Desert Hot Springs was a relaxed state of mind. We woke up early the next morning for the show in Palm Springs, ready for it.
Palm Springs, California
Lake Havasu, Arizona
Another visit far too short. But Palm Springs was great. We only had time for the little pop up with did at the Ace Hotel, and were limited in food and coffee to that area. Our booth neighbors were all great, and I feel like we met a decent number of amazing customers.
We left that same night to get part way home. Stopping before Lake Havasu for the night. The next morning we hit the trails in that area before driving home to Flagstaff.
Overall, it felt so good to be on the road again. Murphy and I used to travel a ton for pop ups all over the country. I love how it reconnects us and allows us so much time to talk and dream and catch up. Knowing that we would be without cell phone service for parts of this trip actually inspired me to not get on social media almost the entire time. I didn’t vocalize my goal, because I hope that social media takes up so little space in my mind that it’s not even worth mentioning that I’m ‘taking a break’. It was pretty easy! And nice to be in nature and on the road and be fully present with Murphy.
xx kisses xx