Joshua Tree, Where Coos, Clucks & Silence All Inspire

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Coos, clucks, the occasional rasp. The sun rose at 5:40 am and so it seemed did every other creature in the desert. I popped my head out the door of our rented casita not far from the West entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and saw a flock of quail, several finches, cactus wrens and hummingbirds busily foraging amid the cactus before the temperature skyrocketed.

Yesterday’s high was in the 105 degree range which seems unlivable until you find yourself in it (not that we would have lasted without AC). On the way in from LA, we stopped at Desert Hot Springs Spa and marveled at how odd it was to have air and water hovering around the same temperature.

It’s not the ideal time to be here but we intentionally planned a stop in JT on our way to New Mexico and, as expected, the desert has charmed us.

Within a few minutes of rising we watched two coyotes waltz by. A pair of sparrows landed on a nearby rock and sang a sweet song as we drank mugs ful of strong coffee. We were greeted by friendly staff at the Park visitor center who helped us plan some beat-the-heat morning nature walks through Joshua Trees and the rounded granite rock formations the place is known for.

By noon, we were ready to head back to town for smoothies from The Natural Sisters Cafe and lunch provisions from the weekly Farmer’s Market. It may not be peak season but JT was abuzz with friendly locals and farmers. Everyone we talked to seemed to be an artist or creator of some sort. Perhaps it’s the heat, perhaps it’s the vistas. Maybe it’s the fabled ‘vortex’ of the area.

All told, we’re similarly inspired and invigorated, wondering aloud how and when we could return for a longer stay….

Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks (www.DeborahCrooks.com) is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
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