I’ve always loved birthdays. They’re a time of celebration and closure for the past year, and a time for rejuvenation and inspiration for what’s to come in the next journey around the sun. I’ve been fortunate to celebrate my birthday in some magical places. I reigned in my 20th coasteering in Wales, meandered the streets of Sydney for number 22, and soaked in the sequoias last year on my 28th. As my quadruple prime birthday (29 on 11/13/2017!) approached, I wondered where I’d be called to celebrate.

I heard the whisper of Joshua Tree several months prior. I wasn’t sure why, but I trusted it and my hubby and I penciled in the plans. In retrospect, the weekend in Joshua Tree was just what I needed: a delicious birthday cocktail of clearing, grounding, and energizing.

 

Clearing

We’ve wanted to visit the Integratron for a while. Entrenched in mystique and extraterrestrial-folklore, the Integratron had us curious. I didn’t communicate with aliens nor travel in time during our sound bath, but I did have a resonant experience. During the sound journey, my mind was removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life; I heard, and saw, and felt the sound as we lay in a circle around the powerful singing bowls. My mind became quiet and my body was both heavy and light. They say it lasted an hour; I would have guessed 5 minutes. We left the Integratron feeling lighter and clear.

 

 

 

 

Grounding

After the Integratron we headed to our accommodation, the Bonita Domes. We’d stayed here once before and were stoked to return. The domes are glamping at its finest. They offer the earthy connection of camping with the comforts of a cozy bed and clean bathroom.

On my birthday I crawled out of our dome and was met with a warm cup of joe and a stunning sunrise. Turning our phones off, we soaked in the slower pace, quiet space, and beautiful landscape.

I felt grounded.

 

 

 

 

Energizing

We wrapped up a quick breakfast and headed into the park to climb. As always, the beauty and magic of the park had me like whoa. We parked at Wonderland, walked for about 20 minutes, and landed on Bear Island. This crag was fantastic! It was both sunny and shaded, and, besides us, uninhabited. We climbed every route on the crag, pausing only for peanut butter sandwiches and swigs of gatorade.

After Bear Island we moseyed over to Mustang Ranch and climbed one more route to finish the day. It was a bit more challenging than the earlier routes; Keegan made it up with ease and I tried hard a couple times before reaching the top. As we wrapped up the day I felt physically tired and also stoked and energized—both for the day we had and for what’s to come next.

 

I am so thankful to be just a few hours away from this beautiful place. Thanks for the hospitality, Joshua Tree, and see you soon!