I drove through Joshua Tree National Park on the way to Los Angeles on Tuesday. I can confidently say that thus far in my life I think that this place is my favorite National Park. Don't get me wrong the Grand Canyon was monumental, but I was also a sixteen year old brat stuck in dirty clothes hiking it. Long story, I will tell another time.
I drove in through the south entrance at Cottonwood Springs. I highly suggest if you plan to drive through the park with limited time, do it through the southern entrance. The views and landscape only get better as you progress through the north. I also suggest listening to Bela Fleck and the Flecktones "Live at the Quick" Album at full volume. If you don't necessarily like this type of music that is ok, but if you can handle about 5 minutes of it, listen to the song "Big Country." I turned this on and as I was driving through the areas with the largest rock formations I got goose bumps, and not because it was cold. This is going to sound very strange, but I really felt like my dad was giving me a huge high five.
Legacy of Gram Parsons
Gram Parsons was a singer/songwriter who once became obsessed with Joshua Tree. He would disappear to the desert to get high on morphine or trip out on LSD for days searching for UFOs. On September 19,1973, before an upcoming tour, Parsons died of a lethal combination of alcohol and morphine. Though it was planned for his body to be sent back to his family in Louisiana, while en route, friends commandeered the corpse and took it back to the desert where they cremated it and scattered his ashes.