Joshua Tree, California
After we left Zion and Utah, the plan was to head to a campground in Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. It turns out it was in a state park, and when we got to the gate about 4ish the temperature outside was over 100 degrees. I quickly realized that there was no way that we could camp there and that we should just keep heading west, hoping that we could make it to California, hoping that it would be cooler there.
As we drove on through the desert heat, each pit stop proved just how uninhabitable the area was. Climbing out of the car felt like stepping into an oven, and neither the dog nor I could manage it for very long. As soon as I found enough reception I searched airbnb for a room to rent. It would be a necessary splurge. I found a reasonably priced room that allowed dogs just outside of Joshua Tree National Park. The trouble was that it would be nearly 10pm by the time that we got there.
As we drove on through Nevada I watched the temperature gauge increase as we headed west going all the way up to 107 well after the sun went down. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could live around there. (My apologies if you do.)
When we made it to our airbnb, I was exhausted and I tip-toed into our room and proceeded to get ready for bed. Anuk however was overdone from being stuck in the car for so long without any exercise or play. She started to play and bark and bite out her frustration. I tried my best to quiet her, but she refused to be settled. Still being a new ‘mom’ I didn’t really know what to do to stop her from barking. The ‘neighbor’ in the next room angrily told me to quiet the dog up, that everyone was trying to sleep.
I took the dog out for a walk. The neighborhood road was under construction and covered by packed dirt. The ‘yards’ were also mostly dirt and had very little vegetation that I could see with my head lamp. I walked Anuk up and down the street reasoning that she was as miserable as I walking through the dirt, tired and frustrated from the road. And I hoped that I could walk her enough that she would also be ready for sleep. It was either that or the two of us would be sleeping in the car that night, which at that point seemed a more welcome option than sleeping next to our angry ‘neighbors’. Finally she settle down and we went to bed. I scarcely slept, thinking that she would make noise and get us kicked out at any moment. So I woke early the next morning and took her outside before grabbing a quick shower. This airbnb required that the guests wash and dry their sheets and towels before remaking the beds before leaving. So I began doing laundry as I packed us up to leave. I wanted to leave before anyone else was awake in the house.
Then the door bell rang, The work crew that were re-doing the roads said the red car outside needed to be moved into the driveway. I explained that it wasn’t my car but possibly someone else staying there, but everyone else was asleep. He asked if I could please wake them and have them move their car. Now I had to purposely wake my angry neighbor. How dreadfully fitting! I knocked on the angry woman’s door first. Of course she grumbled that it wasn’t her car.
Then I knocked on the door across the hall. There was no response. I knocked again. Still no response, but I heard a little movement. I paused for a few minutes and then knocked again. There was a slow amount of movement and then a young man came to the door. He owned the red car out front. I apologized for waking him, but explained the situation. He was nice enough about it, and went out to move his car.
I packed our things up in the car and remade the bed with clean sheets. Then got Anuk and I back in the car and on the road by about 7 am. The further I drove away, the better I felt. It was by far my worse air bnb experience so far.
I found a lovely coffee shop that had just opened, ordered some coffee and a vegan cookie while we enjoyed their patio and waited for Joshua Tree National Park to open. We had a long drive ahead that day, but I am thankful that we drove around the park a little bit to take some photos, and ease my nerves from the night before. I must say that God continually brings me to beautiful places to refresh my soul on this journey.