Over the weekend, for the third (!) time this year, we took a little run out to the desert for some hard-earned R&R. The desert in winter is bizarre place - a toasty sun-soaked day that fades early and fast into a chilly, quiet night. On Saturday, all of us piled into one car and drove from Palm Springs out to the Joshua Tree National Park, in search of natural wonders and wide open spaces. We entered the park and set down our useless phones (no service for miles) and picked a spot on the paper map provided by the park ranger. We parked and wandered through sprawling rocky landscapes with boulders as high as buildings, splitting up as we picked our way through the maze of barely marked paths, watching carefully for tarantulas scurrying out of crevasses. It was quiet, breathtaking. Dusk found us at a breezy scenic overlook, taking in a valley of smog and haze that swallowed the Salton Sea, barely visible almost 30 miles away. Lucky enough to be driving back through the park at sunset, we were treated to a technicolor display of deep purple and pinks in one direction, cool blue and yellows in the other. It was a great day.