been there | Joshua Tree National Park

"It seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert. Each living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock."
Edward Abbey

Lots of people have "bucket lists" - things to do or people to meet or places to go before they die. You know, activities like sky diving (no thank you.) Me? I have a list of things to see. I don't even need to really do anything when I'm there, with the exception of being absolutely over-come with wonder and then taking a few pictures. 

Number 4 on this list was "see a Joshua Tree." Joshua Trees are a type of Yucca and only really grow in the Mojave Dessert. I saw a picture a few years ago, and ever since, I simply could not leave this earth without seeing one. 

After staying the night at the Joshua Tree Inn, we got up early - before the heat of the day - and drove into Joshua Tree National Park. The terrain was so strange, it was honestly like being on the moon. We hopped out of the truck, and Sam headed out to climb the nearest mountain. I mostly just stood there, awestruck by it all. Just liked I'd hope I would be. 

(photos) on ektar100 with Pentax K1000 | Joshua Tree National Park
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weekenders | Song for Zula

now my heart is gold, my feet are right  and I'm racing out on the desert plains all night.
this is a song about the way that love changes you, when it comes and when it leaves. it's both heartbroken and triumphant (and kind of reminds me of Bruce Springsteen a little bit?) 

weekend reading | On Input

(listen) Phosphorescent - Song for Zula (photo) on film | from the pool deck at the Joshua Tree Inn
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one night stay at the joshua tree inn.

When I went to Southern California last summer to photograph Grant and Taylor's reception, my friend Sam picked me up in LA and we took the long way to San Diego. When we arrived in Joshua Tree the sun was still blazing over head, so we waited out the heat of the day in a saloon down the street from the Joshua Tree Inn. We left around sunset and the dusky desert was just incredible. It took hours before it actually got dark. We sat by the pool in the fading light until after 10, drinking a bottle of Santa Barbara riesling that Sam had packed in his suitcase. When we tuned in for the night a dove named Emmy Lou cooed softly from the rafters. 

(photos) on ektar 100. I love that film, the colors are so punchy. it's absolutely made for the desert!
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OR vs. MA

Last week, I did my taxes (this blog post is off to a thrilling start, huh?) Big shout-out to Edward, the Junior accounting major who helped me at the campus tax assistance office. I have so much respect for the kids who volunteer for that program, preparing taxes for free! they are real heroes. The office was packed with about 100 people for the four-hour appointment window, half of them international students and all of us overwhelmed. I left feeling really grateful and with a headache. I filed returns for both Oregon and Massachusetts and comparing these two question (about tax credits) gave me a laugh: 

Did you lose any livestock to wolves this year?

Are you currently restoring a historic home?

I have such love for both the states that I call home!
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