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Tim Robbins
Southern California Close-Ups: Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs
Southern California Close-Ups: Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs

It's a dry heat – a boulder-studded, wind-raked Mojave heat, in which rock stars lie low, artists think big, marines train, weird plants jut toward the sun like beseeching biblical figures, and climbers cling to granite walls like insects stuck to flypaper, except the climbers are way happier. That's a notable thing about Joshua Tree National Park and the towns around it. While legions of Californians keep their faces to the beach, no matter the season, a certain stripe of traveler is powerless to resist the desert, especially in cooler months. They come for the wide-open spaces and quirky lodgings you see in the park-adjacent towns of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. They come for...

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