A cold high wind has only strengthened since yesterday. I’d say I was turning soft, avoiding the wind by staying inside the camper and considering an early departure if it doesn’t abate, but I’ve never enjoyed cold wind camping so may have been soft from the beginning. I remember being in a different part of Joshua Tree a few years ago during the winter and the weather was similar. It’s a vastly different desert here: less green, diverse, and interesting than Organ Pipe Cactus; more brown, mountainous, and rugged; except for creosote and cholla none of my favorite flora from OPC. Instead, the Mojave Yucca is common, and I’ve always been drawn to it. I notice those changes but without judgment; I’d like being here except for the bitter wind. I said earlier there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inclement weather, and did not mean that as just words. To call weather bad suggests something inherent to it when in fact it’s just inconvenient for us and is just what it is given meteorological conditions (under the shadow of climate change). Practically any place where more or less natural conditions have been able to hold on, as in this desert, gets my approval; I’m easy in that regard. Another thing to mention about my present location is that the namesake Joshua Trees are absent as are the remarkable rock piles that attract rock climbers from afar. When I first came to what was then the Joshua Tree National Monument I wasn’t prepared for the power of their presence and spent days wandering among them marveling. From atop Ryan Mountain the view was almost unearthly, but I’ve learned more about Earth’s artfulness, so I still marvel but less surprised.


Photo by  Jacki Drexler via Unsplash

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