Joshua Tree National Park, California
“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” – John Lennon
I’m a child of the 60’s. A baby boomer. A Boho hippie at heart, with vivid memories growing up in the days of Woodstock. That meant making your own macramé halter tops and pairing them with the widest bell bottom jeans and the largest hoop earrings around. The 60’s were a magical time. A time for lovers and dreamers. A bohemian time filled with hope and inspiration. What better place on earth than Joshua Tree National Park to connect to some 60’s inspiration? Joshua Tree has been referred to as a “hipster oasis” drawing outlaw artists and L.A. Castaways. It’s one of those special places on earth with a very unique vibe of it’s own. The feeling is one of starkness, expansiveness, freedom and peace. What better place on earth for a shoot in a Free People Boho maxi that let this gal channel her way back to the 60’s? And, what better Fashion Blogger to share this experience than one that grew up immersed in the Free People feeling of peace, joy and rock and roll?
Some of the biggest musical icons of all time such as Jim Morrison traveled to Joshua Tree to discover their own inspiration. I have to admit, my first time entering the massive 800,000 acre park, I was less than enthusiastic. With an ominous sign stating “Look out for tarantulas on the walkway,” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. At first glance, Joshua Tree seems stark, lifeless and desolate. In the brutal heat of summer, it can feel oppressive. Once you look a little deeper and spend some time immersed in the arid energy, the desert somehow grabs ahold of your soul and pulls you along with it. Returning to Joshua Tree was an entirely different experience this time around. Pulling into the park at sunrise, the quiet can completely envelop and overwhelm you. The silence is encompassing. The individuals that live there, both plant and animal, depend on one another in a beautifully coordinated ecosystem. The land is shaped by rough winds and rain that is sparse and yet can come in torrential downpours. At times, the desert almost seems cruel, cold, and lifeless; yet that’s so far from its true essence. Everywhere you turn, there is one more glorious vista after another. With it’s enormous expanse, you can go a very long time without seeing a soul. The quiet is a different kind of quiet. A meditative peaceful silence that permeates your very soul. It has a way of immediately changing your energy by connecting to its very essence. It’s a stark contrast to the bustling life in Los Angeles which is the draw for so many locals to take off for the beauty of Joshua Tree.
So, what does it mean to be a child of that generation? A generation long before cell phones and computers. A generation raised on black and white television with antennas and corded phones. Old fashioned typewriters were the technology of the day! It was a simpler time. A time where you disappeared in nature for hours on end, riding bikes with friends and hitting the local penny candy store or soda fountain at Woolworths, without a worry in the world. It was a time of dinner bells and TV dinners on the classic TV trays. It was a time of Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners. It was a time that we didn’t think twice about hitchhiking as people weren’t considered strangers. It was a more open and trusting time in our history.
Joshua Tree is home to two very distinctive deserts, the high desert and the low desert. The Colorado or “Sonoran” Desert is home to the creosote bush while the high desert or Mojave is home to the Joshua Tree. The name “Joshua” supposedly comes from the earliest Mormon pioneers who felt the trees were reminiscent of Joshua with his arms outstretched to the heavens. A fun fact is that the Joshua Tree only grows in one place on earth, the Mojave Desert. It’s amazing how a three hour drive from LA can let you venture out into the peace and quiet found just past Palm Springs. Many have actually fallen in love with the desert and left behind the bustling of the city for the silence and peacefulness of the area. I’m beginning to understand the allure as I’ve been dreaming of returning to the desert. With Teepees available to fully immerse yourself in the desert experience, it’s definitely on my bucket list to return for a well needed reboot.
I originally saw this maxi dress on a Free People model in their catalog and immediately tore it out and combed the internet to find one in my size. It had the perfect 60’s vibe with it’s Missoni like design. Pairing it with a Boho hat from Michael Stars, a turquoise pendant from Anthropologie and the perfect gladiators from Joie, it captured the bohemian essence of Free People and the 60’s. To me, Free People embodies a sense of freedom and finding your own unique style. It’s a brand that easily crosses multiple demographics and can be worn by millennials to women well past midlife. I know I’ll be living in Free People for many years, if not decades to come. Like many of you, I plan on staying young at heart. And, isn’t age just a number anyway? Cheers beauties. Make it a Free People day.