Inland Empire

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Last month I spent a beautiful long weekend visiting a friend who lives in California. I had never spent any time East of LA, let alone heard of any Inland Empire, so I was blown away by the beautiful vistas and desert scenery it had to offer.

I was originally traveling for a work trip which ended up getting canceled, so I was happy to enjoy some spare free time drawing and listening to my audiobooks (I am about 3 decades behind but a friend in publishing has got me sucked into the Garth Nix series Sabriel...any other fans out there? First book was incredible.)

These photos are actually out of order since I visited Joshua Tree National Park on my last day, but the rock formations really are something to see... I only went to the park on a whim and at my friend's suggestion, as she had to work a shift my last day. I hadn't realized until I got there that it's one of the more instagrammed national parks and a popular day trip as it's a short drive from LA and Palm Springs (it was tragically never on our radar when we planned our 2011 road trip, though looking back it definitely should have been.) There's only a handful of places I've visited that made me feel transported to an alien planet and this was one of them (in a good way, haha.) I'd love to come back and camp at some point, and maybe take some time to explore the nearby town of Joshua Tree.

Having grown up in one of the flattest parts of the country (we called my neighbors' mound of landscaped dirt a 'hill' and the steeper streets of Athens 'mountains'...nope not kidding!) we Floridians tend to get excited by anything that remotely resembles a mountain. These beauties were no different.

The three above photos emphasize how truly terrible I am at blogging- when I was in towns/cities (including one of the most photogenic little spots, Palm Springs of all places!!) I really didn't bother to take photos! I guess I was a bit more self-conscious? I don't know. What I will say about Palm Springs is that it was gorgeous but I really only walked up and down the main drag and visited a couple restaurants/coffee shops in the ABM guide. If you'd like to dedicate a weekend to Palm Springs I'd definitely recommend checking out the post, their team members seem to visit quite a lot, haha.

Living in a big city the past 6 months has truly been a blast, but after weekends like this one I tend to realize that in the long run I need green, open spaces, woods, trees, mountains... either way this under the radar part of California was definitely worth a visit. More time hiking and camping (and maybe a first ever backpacking trip??) will definitely be on my bucket list this New Years'. How about you?

Hope everyone's having a fantastic weekend!

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