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The Journey Home Day 1: Mojave to Mountains

After checking out of my dorm room in Joshua Tree I hiked around the Cottonwood area for a little bit before heading out on the road.  I love the remote highways through this part of California.  So very desolate in places, it gives me a particular sense of calm and freedom.  Following the dark ribbon of road with an enormous sky overhead, the openness of the desert, the beauty of the exposed geology of the mountains, unmasked by plant life.  The land is open and unconcealed, like the world laid bare at your feet, open to exploration, encouraging a similar openness in the viewer, a freedom to be who you are.

Today is just a short four hour drive north and west to the mountains outside of Tehachapi where my aunt and uncle live.  The views from their place are incredible, perched at the top of a ridge, facing the Sierra Nevadas.  On clear days, you can see Mount Whitney.  Some days, fog below defines the ridges of the surrounding mountains, on others low clouds form a smooth surfaced lak…

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