Goodbye Open Road, Hello Joshua Tree

We made it. The trip is over. We are now desert-dwellers and loving it. It is undeniably hot at times, but the evenings are beautiful and the sunsets in Joshua Tree are always spectacular. I’ve heard the sunrises are too, but I think we’ll have to wait until the days shorten to confirm that.

We got back to Idyllwild on Saturday, June 27th and then came down to Joshua Tree on the Monday to see houses, decided on one and had the rental agreement signed by Tuesday. We have been moving in and trying to catch up with work whilst navigating the onslaught of organizational chores that come with moving homes. Thomas hated the drive down even more than previous times. However, once the 90 minute drive was over and he was out of his cat carrier, he was back to his normal self. He has been splitting his time between exploring the new neighborhood (we only kept him in the first night and after a long night of insistent meowing, he was rewarded with outdoor access the very next day) and sleeping, both on the cool tile floor and the more comfortable surfaces around the house he can find.

So far we have been out to two live music shows at Pappy & Harriet's and the JT Trading Post, eaten excellent vegan burgers and quesadillas at Crossroads Cafe, enjoyed an Indian take out from Sam’s Pizza (an unusual hybrid of Indian restaurant and Pizza joint), shopped at the Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market, and finally, noted but not yet sampled the selection of vegan pies at the Natural Sisters Café. Joshua Tree is small, but so far we are really enjoying it and there is loads going on here. Even though we only moved about 70 miles from Idyllwild, it feels like we have a totally new place to explore and be excited about.

But enough about our fabulous new home…the biggest news is the fact that Melissa and I are engaged! We are set to marry on June 9th, 2016 right here in Joshua Tree (probably, unless it is way too hot) with just our immediate family and a few close friends. Melissa proposed at the farm in Wisconsin during pizza night. June 9th is the anniversary of our first date and we celebrate it every year. Melissa told this to Robbi, our host on the farm, and she gave us a pizza to share along with a bottle of champagne. As we sat in the meadow, drinking and eating, Melissa said, “So…how about we get married this time next year?” And that was that. I then crafted a provisional clover ring (which came off later that night as Melissa helped clear up after pizza night). Days later, we picked out an engagement ring together in Deadwood. The ring is gold with a Zuni inlay—the Zuni’s are a native people located in New Mexico—of turquoise, mother of pearl, red coral and onyx. It’s not a diamond, for sure, but it is classy and beautiful—just like my fiancee!

So that wraps up our trip. Thanks for following along. THE END.



Jim is the proud owner and driver-in-chief of the small red truck (affectionately named "truck") that will make it all 11,000 - 12,000 miles of the trip around the States with nothing more than a couple of oil changes and tire rotations. When not indulging in delusional thoughts about the abilities of his 21 year old truck with almost 300k miles on it, Jim likes making websites and taking photos and gets paid by people for doing these very things at Apple Canyon Designs.