Photograph courtesy nps.gov
When L.A. proves too much, recalibrate your soul in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park. A mile from the entrance of Sacred Sands bed-and-breakfast, the straw-bale structure’s thick, adobe-like walls blend the modern and the monastic, while terraces with spa tubs let you bask under crystalline desert skies. Down the hill, the vegan Natural Sisters Cafe serves an eggless egg salad sandwich that any protein eater could appreciate; get one to go before taking the meditative 6.2-mile round-trip through the Wonderland of Rocks to Willow Hole. The desert has long beckoned seekers, but few like George Van Tassel. Employing technology he credited in part to space aliens, the aeronautical engineer built The Integratron, an acoustically perfect dome in Landers, to provide sonic healing sessions known as “sound baths.” Near Joshua Tree, stroll among the works in assemblage artist Noah Purifoy’s sculpture garden, which has an energy all its own.