Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

5 Bucks Gets You 7 Minutes

Here I am, camping in Joshua Tree National Park out in the Mojave Desert, and who'd have thought the campgrounds have no showers?  If you want a proper shower, you have to "come down to town" to the Joshua Tree General Store....

It was 82 dgs at 3pm when I went to take my shower at the General Store. Getting out of the van with 5 Bucks in my back jeans pocket, I walked up the wooden porch to the general store. The sound of wooden planks under my feet was familiar, as if I had lived in the Old West before and had walked down wooden porches that connected one shop to another in some dusty Western town.  One step inside the store, though, and I was back to the Year 2013 instantly.  A "new generation" girl was at the cash register, with a shop full of gifts, tokens, clothes, everything for the hiker, rock climber and weekend urban escapee.  I knew what I came for, having been here several times already. I came for the Shower key and Token.  I marched right up and traded my $5 bill for a wooden duck with a key attached.  It was painted orange.

I trotted off, back down the wooden walkway and around the wood  building to the back.  A wooden sign with a finger pointed toward the showers.  There were two of them sided by side in a wooden out building.  One had an Orange Duck on the door, the other had a Purple Moon.  I got lucky. I was the Duck today, the larger of the two shower rooms.

I stopped to look at a Pear Cactus, full of vibrant yellow blooms standing against a wood wall.  This plant was clearly loving where it was living, in all the desert sun with a water spigot nearby.

The Shower was coin operated.  Once you put that token in, you had 7-1/2 minutes, so you better be ready!  The water was nice and hot, and washed the sandy desert winds right off of me.  Feeling much refreshed, I went to return the key, pausing to look at a colorful upright piano sitting right outside!  It was painted all different colors.  I lifted the keyboard cover to try it.

As I expected, it sounded horrible: tinny and neglected... perhaps from sitting outside in the desert heat.  A sign on it said "Play Me I'm Yours."  I had seen two pianos like this before: one in Monterey and one in Pacific Grove, CA.  But, those two had been playable.  Why wasn't this desert piano being maintained then?  Perhaps on my next shower stop I will have to "Inquire Within."


  1. How fun Kathy!

    Interesting the different ways of life when you travel.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Loret. I have to tell you it was quite an odd sensation going to a Western Bathhouse out in the Desert for the first time. But, it's amazing what you get used to.. and look forward to after a dusty day out on the Range.

  3. I've always wanted to visit Joshua Tree...definitely not in my neck of the woods, but I'm sure I'll make it there someday:) What a beautiful place, great pictures!

  4. Thanks, Kerry. Joshua Tree is definitely worth a visit :-)


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns