For the record, I HATE the word ‘glamping’ and all things associated with it. It’s the one thing that has no duality for me. You are either camping or you are not. There is no glamorous in-between. Camping is roughing it. You smell bad. You sweat in places you didn’t know you had. Your nails break and get encrusted with dirt. You do things out of the norm like, drink beer before 10 AM after waking up to ravens at dawn, cawing away as they plot to over-take your sleeping campsite. Your comfort zone is compromised and it isn’t pretty. I urge you to GET DIRTY PEOPLE! Live! Let go! Let nature overcome you! EARN that damn shower you will eventually take.
That said, I have come to be completely captivated and intrigued by the desert. It’s dangerous and severe; witnessing the contrast as the fading light lingers over jagged rocks and sand puts me in a trance. It’s like a dreamy paradox, just as it looks bleak and relentlessly dire, there appears a soft, mysterious coyote making it’s way through the prickly vegetation, unscathed and unphased. Every time I go to Mojave it feels like a calling to come home, urging me to stay a little longer, maybe even live there. But I always drive back to LA with a pull in my heart strings instead, thinking maybe next time, one day.
I get so incredibly dirty and my gear has a permanent cast of beige, between the next camping outing. It’s like being in a sweat lodge, yet the heat is uncontained, all around you and boundless. I dry out and it’s theraputic for me on a physical and mental level. Recently I ventured to Hidden Valley Campground on a vision quest reunion with Joel and Chris. We stayed at Jumbo Rocks last summer and it was amazing but we mixed it up this time and we scored this isolated site at the end of the road. It was considered prime to us, as we rolled in with no one around and a giant tree for shade. A tree that decieved us with it’s sap shower. Post trip I learned the secret to sap removal and that’s alcohol in it’s various forms, like hand sanitizer and rubbing, coupled with elbow grease.
We were the few insane souls that came out to camp that 115º weekend which made for hiding during the day in town antique stores with iced coffees in hand. Even though I wanted to hike and explore, the heat and lack of motivation didn’t help this idea. We did find a cholla garden and glimpse at the vacant bird nests and cholla skeletons amongst the unavoidable jumping cacti. We also passed the time with a cooler full of Tecate and a sling shot (nuts without borders).
The following post-4th weekend I experienced pure luxury (NOT glamping) at the Parker in Palm Springs with my bestie Colleen; quite a difference from the previous weekend. I do need to balance my two distinct sides, wild woman and glamourpuss. The town itself seemed dead compared to the bustle of the hotel pool, which is where we spent most of our time. It is easy to get disorientated at The Parker if you go wandering. There are absolutely no signs with very high hedges among grassy fields and waterfall-nooks that resemble one another. It felt like I had been gone an hour during my trip to find the bathroom. Once we tired of the pool, we showered and waited out our dinner reservation on a hammock in the garden. It felt so Alice in Wonderland and I said to Colleen that they needed to unleash a bunch of white rabbits on the grounds, just for the hell of it. And just as I said it, a brown one appeared out of the hedge. Not white, but he’ll do.
We had dinner at Mister Parkers, where I had the BEST short ribs of my life. They are my favorite thing and I tend to order them where ever I go. We decided to save our desert for room service later while we watch scary movies. In the meantime we drank wine by the gas fire pit with other loud drinkers, one of which recommended to soak our feet in one of the decorative nook-fountains, which are not foot baths by any means. BUT we did anyways and that woman was absolutely right; it was the best shit ever.
The next day we woke early and had coffee by the pool until it was time to check out. Breakfast was had in town at a place that we decided on purely by name – Cheeky’s. It was delicious! We did some thrift shopping at the suggestion of LA Mags stylist and even ended up in Desert Hot Springs, in pursuit of treasure. Colleen acted as my own personal stylist and managed to find me two of the cutest vintage dresses. After we returned to LA, I had a Palm Springs state of mind for most of the week, donning those dresses with desert dreams in my head.