Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Oh, the Sights We've Seen

Bob and Jacquie at The Sky Village Swap Meet

Here are the highlights of our three-day stay in the trip-city area of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. First, it was wonderful hanging out with our good friends, Jacquie and Bob. It's been too long since we've seen each other. We must get together more often!
We arrived Saturday, late afternoon. The four of us drove out to the 29 Palms Inn for a delicious dinner. The restaurant at the Inn really has the best food in the trip-city area.  We didn't tour the property or walk over to the Oasis of Mara because it was dark and cold, but we have been there many times. 
Holiday Decorations for Sale at the Swap Meet

Sunday morning, after breakfast we headed over to the Swap Meet at the former Sky Village Drive-in in Yucca Valley. In years past, this was an excellent place to hunt for vintage treasures. Larry and I have been buying items at this Swap Meet for over 20 years. On Sunday, the pickin's were slim. Nothing to buy, but the grounds have turned into a folk art area. It was fun just walking around and seeing the metal sculptures, art installations and western settings.

Next stop, Antone Martin's Desert Christ Park (1951). Martin sculpted many biblical figures and placed them in scenes throughout the hillside. There is a chapel, bandstand and larger church nearby. During past earthquakes there has been damage to many of the statutes, but a non-profit organization is making repairs to many of the pieces.

We stopped for lunch at La Casita Restaurant and then continued our tour.
Art Installation using found objects by Noah Purifoy

We drove out to the Noah Purifoy Art Installation and Foundation in Joshua Tree. We've been here in years past and wanted to see if there were any changes. Yes, we noticed that some of the old installations were gone, possibly felled by wind. We also thought that a few of the pieces may be in storage. Last year, LACMA had a retrospective of Purifoy's career in the arts and many of the installations were transported to Los Angeles. Even though the area has changed, it was still a wondrous walk-through.
Toilet Bowl Sculpture, Noah Purifoy

On our way back to the hotel to rest up for dinner, we stopped at the Institute of Mentalphysics, built mostly in 1947.  We've been driving by this place for decades, but never toured it. We were lucky to get past the guard at the gate and drive onto the property. I'd heard that the place was designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd Wright. Since there was not a conference in progress, we wandered the empty grounds. The place is a time-capsule of post-war architecture and design. We visited the chapel, the dining hall and gardens. There are cabins scattered throughout the property. One day, I'd like to take a tour of the entire area.

Monday, we met up with my friend Lisa for brunch at the Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree. We had a hearty meal and then headed into Joshua Tree National Park. The vast spaces and rock formations of this beautiful area always take my breath away.

We hiked to the dried-up Barker Dam. This was supposed to be an easy hike, but for me, parts of it were challenging. It helps to have billy-goat climbing skills. We made it though and were rewarded with more beautiful scenery.

On our way out of the Park, Larry stopped at his namesake street, Underhill Road, so we could snap a photo.

It has been a wonderful long weekend with our friends in the beautiful High Desert! Happy Thanksgiving!

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At 1:44 PM PST, Blogger betty said...

Did you visit the Integratron for a sound bath? That was the highlight of my visit two years ago.

At 2:13 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Did not visit the Integratron this time, Betty. Next time!

At 7:55 AM PST, Blogger Nikki Andrews said...

I found the vintage treasures so cool. I think you really enjoyed the 3 days trip. Complete your Holidays with the great deals on home decorations this Christmas Season. Visit the Holiday Lanes of the Boutiqueken online shop, at https://www.boutiqueken.com/cat/home-holiday-lane.


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