It’s a Weird Place. In a Good Way.

Now that I’ve been back from California for a few days, I’ve decided that my favorite thing, besides the dramatic landscapes, is the weird vibe. Perhaps it’s created by being around an assortment of crazy plants (see previous post), or the intense sunshine, or living on ground that’s prone to shaking without warning. That would make me wacky.

So here’s a photo show of good old California wackiness.

We stayed in Pioneertown, a town created entirely for the purpose of shooting Westerns back in the 40s and 50s. Filming ended long ago, but the town has stuck around. We stayed in the “Gene Autry” room at the Pioneertown Motel, played bingo at the local bar, and watched silly looking California quail run around, cooing. I also got freaked out by this mannequin, a permanent resident of P’town:


And then there was our 8.2 mile hike in Joshua Tree, on a trail known as the Lost Horse Mine. We hiked two miles up to an abandoned mine, and then looped around the mountain surrounding the mine, finding creepy, inexplicable areas like this:


That’s an old stone fireplace to your left, Brendan standing, and a mattress frame to your right. There was no explanation for this on the trail map. We guessed pioneers or mine workers lived here, but that would have been 100 years ago. It was very Blair Witch Project Goes to the Desert.

But the weirdness cake was won by Desert Christ Park, in Yucca Valley, Calif. It’s a little-known sculpture garden dedicated to yep, that man for all times, Christ himself. An earthquake damaged many of the sculptures, which have a rather “amateur” look to them. (I feel like it’s a sin to say that, but it’s true. These were not great works of art.)

Note Jesus’ hands, or lack thereof. Isn’t there a scene in Star Wars like this? (I also think he looks a little he’s saying “What me, worry?”)

Hands of Jesus

More fun. God, it really is gorgeous, though.


And me, hangin’ with Jesus:


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