We drove down Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. Just a week before, it was reported that a new fault line crossed directly below. I suspect this news to have little impact on the city.
We drove under a movie set; the same sterile gray and silver stretch filmed in the movie Heat. We left for LaVerne. People here wear plaid; and at the lunchtable across from us, a group of fortysomethings talked art and science. A sign that we are no longer in L.A. In a few hours, we were in the Mojave; Joshua Tree National Park.
We played Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Perhaps this was innapropriate. There are no seasons here. In fact, nothing seems to ever change in Joshua Tree. Everything here has the feeling of a lost relic from the prehistoric. Granite monoliths piled awkwardly, every plant gnarled or brown. In the case of the Mojave Yucca, or its cousin, the Joshua Tree, perennially green, but twisted and contorted and cartoonish. Dr. Suess has gone mad.
But the feeling that nothing has changed here is hardly true. Thousands of years before, people crossed from Mongolia into Alaska and settled here as the Pinto, collecting pinyon nuts along a gently flowing desert river. Before that, elephants crossed this range and reportedly swam the Pacific to Asia. Mammoths died among these rocks, and before that, dinosaurs and lizards ate along the Colorado River which at that time flowed nearby.