Traveling: The Bliss of Crossing California`s Deserts
(Drivebycuriosity) - My wife and I are back from our travel in the US southwest. In Las Vegas we took a rental car and drove to Santa Barbara on the Californian Pacific Coast. Some days later we drove back to Las Vegas. So we crossed the deserts in Eastern California twice, the Mojave Desert & the Sonoran Desert.
I grew up in Germany which has a rainy climate. The landscape is green and when you travel you see a dense mixture of forests, agriculture, cities & villages. So I am fascinated by the emptiness of the landscape in Nevada & East California. We could drive for hours without seeing any house, just deserts. It is a bliss to experience the clear air and the very bright light. The vast open landscape and the nearly unlimited horizon is mesmerizing. The car`s air conditioning protected us from the heat which wasn`t unpleasant anyway thanks to the very low humidity.
The deserts we crossed are flat & mostly wide valleys surrounded by rough & naked mountain chains. In spite of the extreme conditions they aren`t completely empty, there is some vegetation which adapts to the rough environment. In some parts we spotted colonies of tough grass, other parts had robust bushes and even flowers. The combinations of sand, rocks & vegetation culminates into an awesome beauty.
These deserts are perfect examples how life adapts to the predominate conditions and thrives almost anywhere.
Above you can see some Joshua trees, also known as a Yucca, which only grow in Southwest US, and have specialized to the arid environment.
We also enjoyed the rare dessert cities we passed or where we stayed - including Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. These places are made possible by technologies like air conditioning & irrigation systems. They generously use the empty space around them. Above an image of Palm Springs.