Planning ahead….sort of
So a few weeks ago before we were set to fly down to Orange County Kat and I were talking about some of our passed adventures in the golden state countryside. Everything from resorts in the rocky hills of Indian Canyons to escaping blizzards in Truckee and getting a hell of a sunburn twisting our way down the cliffs of PCH. One thing that we always had a keen eye for but had not yet experienced was staying in the dry and sprawling landscape of the SoCal desert near Joshua Tree. Now to be fair we have spent time in Palm Springs and I personally had a nighttime excursion in to JT park, but we always wanted to try getting a spot to stay a little more out of the way. We had both been looking into alternative accommodations from the regular pool clad, room serviced stays in the more glamorous areas and trying to find something a bit remote, but not so far that a flat tire or some form of emergency would leave us marooned. We spent several hours going through lists on the Plum Guide and Air Bnb sites looking at cabins, airstreams, houses and campsites until we were both drawn to one listing that had a friendly budget, a good location and tonnes of scenery to take in right off the back door. We figured out what days we wanted to stay, left a light on the wallet credit card beep-boop and were all set for a couple relaxing days at a place by the name of Adobe Ridge.
Arriving to Adobe Ridge
So the day had come to pack a couple bags and cameras and head east out of the beige and white suburban landscape towards the slightly more beige, brown and green targa of the California deserts. The journey is nothing to write home about especially since we rented what I can only described as an underpowered, boring glad garbage bag on wheels, it was silver though (awkward smile). I shouldn’t be such a snob, our little Kia rio was actually not to bad for a compact commuter/rental spec KDM machine, and it only took $40 USD to fill up. Anyways, we left Huntington Beach around noon and stopped for a couple groceries somewhere near Cabazon California then after a few hours of driving we arrived at a dusty crossroads where the main road diverged into 3 options of silt, sandy silt, and dirt with rocks and sand. Our turnoff was the sandy silt option, and I immediately wished I was behind the wheel of my GC8, maybe with the AC installed. Never the less we floated and bumped down the sandy ditch that was the street and eventually pulled up to the gate of our 2 day desert oasis, Adobe Ridge.
The right amount of isolation
Not too far from town and also just far enough out that there is almost dead silence at night, the lights and stars off in the distance and beautiful colours and scenery as the sun rises and sets. That’s a fair swing at summarizing the location of the little 100 plus year old hut but it has so much character I would challenge anyone to wordsmith everything about this place into a single thought. Hell try squeezing it all into a single blog post, I’m not going to even attempt it other than showing you a generous helping of photos. BUT I DIGRESS….to be quite realistic it was great to stay in such a neat little abode and be within earshot of a general store and a few cool touristy spots including Joshua Tree National park. In fact standing on the back patio of Adobe Ridge you can look to the South and see the hills that lead to the basin that the main area of the park lives on. If you hop in your car and head straight to the park entrance, your looking at about 15 to 20 mins depending on how many red lights you get graced with on highway 62. We only really left the house on the second day to do some sightseeing and grab a couple small things to make our dinner, and get some more ginger ale for the bottle of whiskey I made a self challenge of consuming fully. I didn’t realize the at the time but I sort of would just wander around the property looking at the house and the surrounding land, the desert landscape was captivating and quite beautiful and I guess I was drawn to the feeling being out there left me with.
The Desert at night
After we had a home-cooked pasta dinner the first night we sat on the back patio of Adobe Ridge well passed sunset gazing out at the lights across the valley in 29 Palms and towards the hills below Joshua tree. I think the fact that nothing around could really distract us we sat and enjoyed a couple drinks while talking about the last trip around the sun and everything in between. There are times you know you’ll always remember just having a simple conversation with your better half, this was definitely one I will think fondly of until I’m old enough to shout at neighbourhood kids for playing hopscotch. The night air was considerably lower in the mercury and the dusty breeze was rather refreshing over the dry heat of the afternoon. The only real sound was the few trees and bushes rustling and a rooster that seemed to be confused about what time it was, maybe he dipped into the whiskey as well? We relaxed under the stars for a while and once Kat went to bed I once again grabbed my Leica Q2 and wandered around the property taking some pictures. It was so beautiful and quiet I can’t say enough what a location like this can do to clear your head.
Would we go again?
I think the general thought between Kat and I is “F%^K YEA”, This place was a great experience and it is so quaint and bright anyone would feel welcome by it’s century old presence. This small home has stood the test of time and undergone a wonderful overhaul to add the flare of the modern age. You still get wifi, there’s a couple AC units and fans provided and really it’s only a 10 minute drive to the convenience store on Highway 62 if you need any last minute provisions. We spent our two days exploring Joshua Tree and Pioneer town, as well as a quick dunk into a bottle of Pendleton’s Whiskey (cheap whiskey fans will approve). This was a stay worth talking about and remembering so I figured it would be a worthy topic to leave here and maybe give you some inspiration and ideas for your next trip to California. Honestly the only thing that would make it 110% perfection in Andrews world would be my GC8 thrashing through the desert, but it’s a worthy box to tick on my bucket list. Maybe you’ll read about an adventure like that one day, maybe in between now and then I’ll see you on the road…
Bunch of random pics
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