A Drop in the Bucket


Windows down, dust obscuring my view and the Doors blasting from the speakers, I drove the dirt road for Holy Jim Falls in earnest.  I wouldn’t make the trailhead today with less than two hours from dropping off my son Jeff at soccer practice at Irvine Valley College until the moment I needed to pick up him. In thirty minutes I went from OC suburbia to Cook’s Corner, a biker bar with more than a hundred parked motorcycles out front this afternoon. I turned inland and drove under an oak canopy to Cleveland National Forest.

My goal was to get as far into nature as possible – away from overhead wires, technology and civilization – to sit or walk preferably without the sight of technology or people.

Recently stirrings that I was becoming overly attached to job performance and staying ahead of emails (ha!) had begun to surface. When tears of longing for the untamed welled up while watching the animated movie Rango, I realized I was in dire need of a dose of wilderness wherever or however I could get it.


The rocky road to Holy Jim Falls can seriously dent your underbelly and so no matter how fast or far you want to travel, you are limited by a certain reality. As I managed severe dips and huge rocks, I thought of a conversation I had with Jeff when I had suggested traveling up the coast to Oregon and he countered with a trip to Joshua Tree.

“The desert is another climate. You just want to drive longer to feel like you’re getting further away,” he said.


 Struck true, I thought as I parked the car and walked along the babbling brook to find my perfect little spot to rest.


Sitting next to a gurgling creek with my precious few minutes I contemplated. Both are important. Newness evokes curiosity. Separating from routine is imperative. Following the winding open road or river is life. Naked and free under the stars is my joy.

I looked at my watch. It was time to go. And so I began to plan for a trip to Joshua Tree.. and Oregon…

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