This Palm Desert girls trip includes a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park and a second day doing the Mecca Hills Painted Canyon Ladder Canyon Hike. This hidden gem cannot be missed and we have the details for how to get there and what to expect on this very unique trail.
Palm Desert, California is a very weird place. In addition to doing the best hike in Joshua Tree and the Ladder Canyon, we also make several stops to see the weird attractions in the desert. You can’t take this Palm Springs girls trip without visiting the Salton Sea, the International Banana Museum, and Salvation Mountain.
Everyone loves a good girls getaway! You’ve probably heard of Palm Springs and Coachella Valley, but there is so much more to this area than music festivals. Desert life is different, definitely a place to be seen and experienced!
In episode 30 we talk about:
- Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park
- Digging our own $0.59 cacti at Cactus Mart
- A sketchy stay at Red Roof Inn in Palm Desert
- Hiking the Painted Canyon Ladder Trail (so cool!!)
- International Banana Museum
- Salton Sea
- Salvation Mountain
- Slab City, East Jesus
Palm Springs Girls Trip – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are taking you with us for a weekend getaway to Palm desert for a girls trip girls
3 (1m 6s):
6 (1m 7s):
3 (1m 8s):
So we had been eyeballing this specific hike in Palm desert for a while. I think we might’ve found an Instagram or just Googling different blogs and stuff. So we finally decided to make a weekend trip out of it. And we added in adventures in Joshua tree, national park as well. The hike that I’m talking about is painted canyons and we were able to explore the Salton Sea and other strange things that you can find in Palm desert,
6 (1m 32s):
Lots of strange things in the desert.
4 (1m 34s):
It sounds like a perfect, we can get away for you girls and due to the fact that you’re labeling it as a girl’s trip and took it as a girl’s trip. Clearly, I was excluded from this little adventure. However, I did have a nice weekend all by myself. Brittany left me here all home alone. I was so long.
3 (1m 50s):
4 (1m 50s):
2 (1m 51s):
Oh, I didn’t go on this trip either. Jamal. So don’t feel too bad. I had to pull out last minute, but it was taken by brick Kim Dasia, Brittany’s niece Che, and Chelsea also known as the Chelsea’s. And I can’t wait to hear all the details about this trip because from what I hear, it was a real hoot.
6 (2m 9s):
It was. So we’re going to start this episode off with a few tips and right away, the biggest tip we learned is pack a lunch. There was not a lot of places to eat at around Joshua tree, which is our first day,
3 (2m 25s):
As you can imagine, the desert is pretty deserted. Yes.
2 (2m 29s):
Is this a tip you learned or implemented
3 (2m 31s):
2 (2m 32s):
6 (2m 33s):
This was pretty early in our travel days and this was our first girls trip and road trip together. So I think we learned a lot in general about road tripping and prepping for a road trip on this trip.
3 (2m 45s):
Yeah. And I would also say have a plan kind of like know the route that you’re trying to take. There were several things that we kind of did spur the moment, which was fun, but you can always have a plan and kind of plan for those things too.
6 (2m 56s):
Yeah. And because we were in the desert and things are deserted download maps on Google maps beforehand, because there are areas that you’re going to go through that may not have service and being able to route to your next destination is necessary. So I do recommend downloading Google maps and downloading an offline map to access later is crucial.
4 (3m 17s):
Yeah. I mean, you’re telling us, this is one of the first ones you guys did built the foundation for a lot of road tripping advice. But this, what Britney just said is something that we do all the time now is download Google maps because you never know when you’re going to run out of service. And if you download it, you can access it like as if you have service and you’ll never be lost that way. Very important.
3 (3m 39s):
Another tip last tip before we get into it is you probably don’t want to do this kind of a trip in the summer because it’s very, very hot in the desert. It can be over 110 degrees. So we went, I believe it
6 (3m 50s):
3 (3m 51s):
Oh, okay. It was October, October. So it was actually getting pretty chilly at night. And so this was a great time to go in the day. It wasn’t too cold, but we did have some layers on so we can shed them if we need it or put it back on if we need it. And it was perfect.
6 (4m 4s):
Yes, it was. So let’s start our day off on Saturday. We’re going to walk you through this trip. We packed up our car, five girls, no MTC. It’s myself, Kim Dasia, Che and Chelsea. And we drove to Joshua tree.
3 (4m 18s):
Yeah. I think we left at like 5:00 AM. Yeah. I drove because when Jamal’s not around, I’m usually the one that drives
4 (4m 24s):
Through windy roads.
6 (4m 25s):
I was gonna say,
3 (4m 27s):
That’s my new roads. In which case you don’t want me behind the wheel. And
6 (4m 29s):
Who do you default to drive that
3 (4m 32s):
4 (4m 33s):
Which is so funny because when we road trip, just even Brittanie and I alone, like she’s not fucking getting behind the driver’s seat. So just imagining her road tripping and being the pilot for you ladies, I just find that to be in another,
3 (4m 46s):
I know for sure. On the way back we came from east San Diego into San Diego and you had to drive because we were on windy roads.
6 (4m 54s):
Well, you started the drive and then you couldn’t
3 (4m 57s):
6 (4m 57s):
It. Kim had a freak out. I
3 (4m 59s):
Didn’t have a freak out. I wouldn’t call it a freak out.
6 (5m 3s):
And she pulled over and I drove, but our drive to Joshua tree was about three, three and a half hours. And because we left so early, we hadn’t had breakfast yet. So we did stop before we hit the national park and had breakfast at a little mom and pop shop on the way, take
5 (5m 20s):
Us through the spread. I’m
3 (5m 21s):
Just basic diner, food,
6 (5m 22s):
4 (5m 24s):
Pop desert food.
6 (5m 25s):
Yeah, there wasn’t anything that stands out to me from the menu, but I know we enjoyed it. And we moved on through our little trip.
4 (5m 33s):
So what did you ladies do in Joshua tree?
6 (5m 35s):
So our goal for Joshua tree was to do a hike. We love hiking. This was kind of a Hiking weekend getaway trip. So we wanted to hike a specific trail called the last horse mine loop trail.
4 (5m 46s):
Oh, that’s a mouthful.
3 (5m 48s):
Say that four times
6 (5m 49s):
Fast. Where’s my loop trail loop trail, lost horse,
5 (5m 53s):
Mine loop trail.
4 (5m 54s):
I couldn’t even get through to for Brittanie and you stuttered at, I don’t even want to attempt it. It sounded like I said, it sounds like a mouthful,
6 (6m 1s):
But before you get to the entrance to the national park, you do go through a little town. And on the way we did see a 59 set dig your own cactus sign. And we’re like, oh, we want to go back after we do the, so we kept that in mind. So we headed on over to the trail head and the highlight of the trail is viewing the old mine that was in the area.
3 (6m 21s):
Mine once used to produce more than 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver. That was probably back in the 19 hundreds. It doesn’t produce anything anymore, but it’s still there.
4 (6m 33s):
It’s abandoned. Take it. Then. Yes.
3 (6m 35s):
They moved along.
4 (6m 36s):
Did you look for gold on the floor? Nope,
3 (6m 38s):
But we did see a dead rabbit. We did.
2 (6m 44s):
I guess if you’re an animal looking for breakfast, that’s gold.
3 (6m 48s):
It was about a six and a half mile loop. There weren’t many people on it at all. So we were out in the vast desert kind of by ourselves for most of it, which was pretty cool.
2 (6m 56s):
I have a question for you guys. We get asked this a lot, right? How do you choose your trail? So like what made you choose the lost horse? Mine loop trail?
3 (7m 6s):
Any, anytime I see a hike that’s less than six miles. I’m kind of not into it. So that’s usually
6 (7m 11s):
You have been as of late,
4 (7m 14s):
Hey, Hey, Hey,
3 (7m 16s):
Hey, I can still track it. Okay. So six miles is about like where I like to see, and I like to do moderate hikes. I don’t want to do a fucking walk in the park because it’s a waste of my time, unless it’s a really beautiful walk in the park. So that’s usually where I start. I mean, we’ll go down to four or up higher, whatever. So that’s where we started. This one was six and a half. It wasn’t a strenuous. It probably wasn’t even a moderate hike. No, there were a couple of parts maybe, but for the most part, it’s pretty light. And that’s what most of the hikes are like in Joshua tree. There’s not big mountains. You’re climbing up and down, right?
6 (7m 47s):
But this hike, we also chose because of the history. You know, we learned that minors were moving from the Sierras into the desert. And this last horse, mine was an exception of the mines that produced in the area. A lot of them went out of business very quickly and this one produced so much silver and so much gold in the early 19 hundreds. It was the exception of the minds. And I know you said that this was just a moderate hike, but on the national park website, it says in summer, this was a very strenuous hike due to the heat.
3 (8m 17s):
And there’s no shade,
6 (8m 18s):
There’s no shade at all whatsoever. And so it’s not recommended to do this trail in the middle of summer because there’s so much risk for sun exposure and dehydration.
3 (8m 27s):
There are a lot of Joshua trees along this hike, which are cute
4 (8m 32s):
Green and Joshua tree.
2 (8m 33s):
3 (8m 34s):
You know, when you think of hiking, sometimes you think of like forested mountain hikes and this just wasn’t that the desert is the desert and it was a desert. So there’s trees, there’s CAC di Joshua trees and that’s about it.
4 (8m 47s):
Yeah. And you know, I know I didn’t go on this one with you ladies, but Brittanie, and I alone have been to Joshua tree national park. And when you say Josh wood trees, they pretty much look like cactuses with pine needles, not like real needles that you would have imagined from a cactus, but they’re not very thick tree trunk style trees. So they don’t even give you any shade. So when you say Joshua tree and just keep in mind, you’re really in the desert, there is no shade. They pretty much almost look like cactuses, even though they’re not cacti at
6 (9m 18s):
Right. No shade at all from the Joshua trees. But we finished up this floop. And because, you know, we, again, we went in October, it wasn’t very hot. We’re like, all right, we can do some more Hiking, more exploring in the area. And we headed over to a different area of the park. And we went on a, another trail called the hidden valley trail.
3 (9m 36s):
It’s only a mile loop, so it’s nothing hardcore. But one of the other defining characteristics of Joshua tree national park are the boulders. It’s a big rock climbing destination. And this loop trail had a lot of boulders, so you could kind of park or around and see the boulders. And they’re just, they’re massive. They can be very tall. So it is kind of a sight to see, I know we say boulders and you’re thinking like, okay, but it actually is a pretty sight to see.
6 (10m 2s):
Yeah. As we were driving over from the lost horse mine trail to this area, we did see people bouldering along the way. And we were like, oh wow, that looks really cool. And then once we were at this trail, we saw them up close because they were bouldering on the rocks that was making this hidden valley. And the hidden valley is rock and closed. And it rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers to like interrupt cattle in the area.
4 (10m 27s):
You know, speaking of the bouldering, it reminds me again Brittanie of when we were there and we saw that and I had no clue of that when we went to the park that this is a very big destination for people to do bouldering or climbing. And when people are bouldering, they’re pretty much free climbing on these big stones high up. So, you know, they fall, they fall, but there was a lot of people doing it,
2 (10m 49s):
Correct term for that is free solo. So, wow. That’s really cool that you saw that out there.
6 (10m 54s):
Yeah. So like I was saying, we did the two hikes in Joshua tree, national park. I just want to interject that Jamal and I did do Joshua tree on our own later. And we did a hike called 49 palms Oasis. And it was about three miles round trip. And this was probably the most elevation gain and loss that we saw. It’s about 300 feet down into a fan Palm Oasis. And this Oasis does have shade at the bottom. Do you remember that hike, Jamal?
4 (11m 21s):
Yeah, I remember it a little bit. I remember that it was actually quite popular. A lot of people were on it and it was really cool to go down in there because the little Oasis area that Brittany was talking about, you know, you get down there. And for the most part, like Kim was saying, it is flat. I mean, we are talking about the bouldering, but there aren’t trails to go up there unless you’re actually like climbing it yourself or doing something. But yet this trail led you in to be between like two little small cliff. So it was almost, again, its own hidden Oasis of sorts. And it was actually having vegetation and shaded. It was really, really pretty.
6 (11m 56s):
And although there were Joshua trees in that area, there was a lot of Palm trees and that was like the fan Palm that was providing the shade for us. And just a little tip if you don’t want to pay an entrance fee into the national park, that specific hike it’s on the edge of the park. So you don’t have to pay the entrance fee to go hike this specific hype squad
3 (12m 14s):
4 (12m 14s):
6 (12m 16s):
3 (12m 17s):
So back to the girl’s trip. So we finished our time in Joshua tree, national park, and we were driving back to where we were going to be staying that night further into civilization, but on the way back, we’re cruising down the road and we see the sign for the 59 cent dig around cactuses. So I pull into the driveway.
4 (12m 36s):
I love your sound effect that. Okay. That’s good. Do it again for me. I can just imagine you driving, hearing that noise.
3 (12m 42s):
Exactly what we did actually. So we drive in there, we parked, we walk in truly CAC diet everywhere and they have little baby ones. You can dig out yourself. They give you a little planter to put it in and they’re 59 cents. You can buy as many as you want.
4 (12m 56s):
I think we have a few of those cacti planted with our succulents sitting on our portrait.
3 (13m 2s):
Now, are they any bigger? Yeah,
6 (13m 3s):
3 (13m 4s):
Oh, well I killed mine.
6 (13m 7s):
Killed your cat.
4 (13m 8s):
You don’t have the green thumb. Like Brittanie, you know, I, I hate to keep referring, but like Britney said, we had gone together as well. And she made sure specifically we went back there and we did our own cacti planting and brought those back just as well, too. So. Oh
3 (13m 23s):
4 (13m 23s):
But there was no, there was no, you know, I was doing safe driving.
3 (13m 29s):
You had a, you were four warned of where you were going. I was just like, there it is,
4 (13m 35s):
Right. This is a fair assessment. I’ll accept it.
6 (13m 38s):
So after we dug our own CAC dye, we headed into downtown Palm Springs to head up a restaurant for dinner.
3 (13m 45s):
And we went downtown Palm Springs, but we weren’t staying in downtown Palm Springs. So we had to drive there.
6 (13m 50s):
Weren’t we staying in downtown
3 (13m 51s):
Because we were going cheap. I think Brittanie asked me like, how much do you want to spend on a hotel? And I said, as little as possible.
6 (13m 57s):
Yes you did. And so we spent as little as possible and our hotel showed it.
4 (14m 3s):
I guess you get what you paid for. You know, I’ve heard stories of this red roof Inn. What it’s almost like, no, we did not stay at that red roof Inn because you learned your lesson, but I’ve heard numerous stories about this red roof Inn. At any time, we’re looking at hotels in the future when the squads booking places or go in somewhere, whenever it’s a red roof in that we see, they always make reference to how janky and shady this one is. And is the one that we’re looking at now going to be like,
3 (14m 30s):
I mean, inside, wasn’t the worst. We had two beds, five girls and we made it work and that was fine. It wasn’t like anything nice inside, but it wasn’t the worst.
6 (14m 39s):
Describe the outside
3 (14m 41s):
A lot of congregations of questionable people that may or may not have been living there. They did have continental breakfast for free though.
4 (14m 51s):
3 (14m 53s):
Yes. We had a lot of mini muffins and coffee.
2 (14m 56s):
Huh? How was the coffee? It was
3 (14m 57s):
Okay. Okay. Not memory, not memorable, but yeah. So anyway, we went to downtown Palm Springs, which is about a 20 minute drive from where we’re staying for dinner. And if you’re in this area, highly recommend doing that downtown Palm Springs is so lively. It’s got such a retro vibe. There’s a lot of good restaurants. There’s good nightlife. I can’t remember exactly what restaurant we went to, but any restaurant you choose, there’s going to be a lot of good options to choose from.
2 (15m 22s):
Did you guys hit a Pakistan? Oh, you
3 (15m 23s):
Know it, Brittany did it. Her and Dacia passed out me. And then Chelsea’s got a bottle of wine and watched TV and hung out. Okay. Is on, Is on red roof.
2 (15m 37s):
You’re taking it with you wherever you go.
6 (15m 39s):
Yes we are. So the next day we wanted to continue our adventure and we were headed out to the hike. We were telling you about painted canyon, ladder trail,
3 (15m 50s):
Such a cool trail.
6 (15m 52s):
This is the trail that inspired us to take this trip.
4 (15m 55s):
Is this trail in Joshua tree? Or is this outside? Okay.
3 (15m 58s):
Outside. It’s just in Palm desert somewhere. You can look it up. We drove there. It probably to go about 45 minutes to drive there. And when you get deep in you’re driving on gravel rocks, it’s not a paved road when it’s, once you get close enough and you lose cell phone service.
6 (16m 13s):
Yikes. This is another squad tip that we have for you
4 (16m 17s):
Tip coming in
2 (16m 18s):
6 (16m 18s):
So we looked up this hype beforehand and I’m so glad that we did that. We took pictures of what it said on the webpage, because we’re looking for like mile markers and we’re headed down this gravel road and we’re losing cell reception. And the hike itself is unmarked. There’s not a trail marker. So using the internet to take pictures of what it says online to find the Trailhead was essential. Really?
3 (16m 44s):
Yeah. We were kind of using it along the way, because like Brittany said, there are no mile markers or direction markers. There would be here and there. Arrows painted on the rocks that would tell you which way was the right way to go.
2 (16m 57s):
You know, what would have come in clutch wipe Runkeeper.
6 (17m 1s):
Yeah. We didn’t have Runkeeper that day.
3 (17m 3s):
The thing is though, it’s not a trail. The name painted canyon ladder trail. There are ladders that you have to climb up to get into the next elevated section where you may have to climb over rocks or down the ladders. So you’re going through these slot canyons that are just, you don’t know where the next turn is. It’s a loop, so you’re not coming out and back. So I don’t think the Runkeeper would have been too beneficial in this case.
4 (17m 27s):
Nonetheless, that really sounds like a fun trail though.
3 (17m 29s):
Oh my God. It was so much fun.
6 (17m 30s):
Yeah. So it looks like when we first got there, we were parked on the Scrabble road and we’re just walking on this bed of rocks and it’s on the valley floor. And we’re like, where is
3 (17m 40s):
On either side of us? It’s like 200 feet tall rocks and you’re walking into it. Right.
6 (17m 45s):
And so we’re like, how do we get into this trail? Like how are we going to find it? We’re just walking down. And all of a sudden we see this big ass arrow made of rocks and the arrow is pointing in the direction of where you start to enter the slot canyon.
3 (17m 58s):
And you really wouldn’t see the point you go into, if you weren’t looking, it just looks like piles of rocks. Cause
6 (18m 4s):
It’s not, it’s not a mark Trailhead.
4 (18m 6s):
So you gotta really get lucky and make sure you see that.
3 (18m 9s):
Yeah. And once you get into it, there’s really only one way to go. You just keep going until you get through it.
4 (18m 15s):
Now are the ladders built by wood or they steal that’s bolted into the rock just out of general curiosity.
3 (18m 24s):
I think they were mostly steel, but they weren’t bolted into anything in most cases. Right.
6 (18m 28s):
Right. I think so. And
3 (18m 30s):
The ladders were probably like six feet tall ladder. So you’re not like laddering up huge spaces, but you do have to ladder up a bit many times.
6 (18m 40s):
Yeah. When we first entered the slot canyon right away, we had to climb up some ladders
3 (18m 45s):
And we have pictures that we’ll post. But like you just look like a tiny speck. There’s no like definition of walls. So it was just, it’s really crazy. I can’t even describe what it looks like, but it’s, it’s such a cool hype.
6 (18m 56s):
Like we have mentioned in our episode for doing the American Southwest, we’ve been in slot canyons before antelope canyon was a slot canyon in this painted canyon trails was a slot canyon as well. So we were hiking from the valley up to the top of where the slot is, then we’re looping around and then we’re hiking back down into it. And the along the way we’re following these arrows, cause there’s not really a specific trail.
3 (19m 20s):
And then so once you pop out of the slot canyon, you pop out into a vast open mountain range area. And then you can see the trail there. And we walked along the trail there, but it’s just like miles and miles of vast desert mountain area, which was really cool. There was a couple other people on the trail at that point that we saw actually at all the points, a couple of people.
6 (19m 41s):
Yeah. And I think we were talking to one lady who was like, oh, continue to follow the arrows. There’s going to be arrows all the way around the trail because she had done that before.
3 (19m 48s):
So you do slot canyon, pop-out mountain range walk, and then you pop back into the slot canyon on another side.
6 (19m 54s):
And when you pop back into the slot canyon, one of the ways to get back in, you had to take a rope down. Do you remember that before you
3 (20m 0s):
Can repel down and
6 (20m 1s):
Repel down before we got to the ladder? That was really cool.
3 (20m 5s):
We were building so much character.
4 (20m 6s):
Why have you ladies not said, let’s go back and do this as a squad.
3 (20m 10s):
I would love to go back and do it. This one. I haven’t really,
4 (20m 13s):
I mean, I always go on the hikes and they’re fun, but I very rarely am intrigued by someone just verbally describing a hike to me. And I’m very intrigued by this one.
3 (20m 23s):
I would say, this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. Top five. It’s similar, but very different from the one we did in death valley. The one where we had to crawl through tiny city.
4 (20m 34s):
Yeah. Well, when you guys were saying that you were on the ladders and crawling over and under stuff, I was even going to say that it kind of reminded me of death valley a little bit minus the ladder itself.
2 (20m 45s):
All right, guys, let’s make a tier. Is it March, April, October, or November, 2020.
3 (20m 51s):
This is an easy one. We can just, we can even do a day trip, honestly, trip
2 (20m 55s):
For this. Yeah. All right guys, wait for that future episode, it’ll be coming. Can’t
3 (20m 60s):
Meet us out there. We’ll do a group hike After the hike, which took, how long would you say about three, a shower
6 (21m 9s):
Probably three-ish hours. I don’t know if we talked about how long the loop was, but it was a five mile loop. Approximately.
3 (21m 14s):
Usually a hike is about 30 minutes per mile, but this one maybe was a little bit more just because of how you have to climb. And we took so many pictures
4 (21m 23s):
Real quick question. Before we move on off of this one just came to my mind right now. I know you’re saying you’re climbing in and out of the slot canyon, but was the majority of it shaded or were you sun exposed for the majority of it?
3 (21m 35s):
Everything in the slot canyon is shaded by the rocks. But then for that portion that you’re walking along the mountain range, it is sun exposed,
4 (21m 42s):
But so majority exposed or not exposed.
3 (21m 47s):
6 (21m 48s):
I would say 50 50, because you would do have to walk along the canyon bed to which.
3 (21m 52s):
Yeah. And even though we were there in October, we shed our sweaters. We weren’t wearing sweaters. So yeah, it wasn’t bad.
6 (21m 59s):
I’d love to go back and do the painted canyon trail again, we’re going to do it as a squad
3 (22m 4s):
2 (22m 5s):
3 (22m 6s):
So then after the hike, it was still fairly early in the day. And we wanted to see the Salton Sea, which is an interesting place if you’ve never heard of it because this lake is known for its dead fish, which normally it wouldn’t be a tourist attraction to want to go see a lake with dead fish. But it’s pretty cool. So picture this a deserted lake, literally deserted, there are pieces of wood and an old ancient boat on the shore. It just looks gray and deserted and there’s dead fish bones in the shape of the fish still scattered across the shore
6 (22m 44s):
3 (22m 44s):
And it stinks.
6 (22m 45s):
It’s a little stinky. And the reason why there’s a whole bunch of dead fish is because once a year, this certain algae blooms and kills all of the fish. And because of Salton Sea is so salty. I mean, it’s saltier than seawater. So the fish die and then they’re preserved due to the amount of salt that’s in the water and they wash up on shore completely preserved.
2 (23m 9s):
That’s crazy. So here’s my question though. Okay. So let’s say the algae comes and kills off all the fish, but then how do new fish get in so they can die next year.
6 (23m 18s):
It doesn’t kill them all off. It kills off a majority.
3 (23m 21s):
And we also saw a bunch of weird stuff when we were there. We saw these people like get out of their car and these weird costumes.
6 (23m 27s):
Yeah. I do a photo
3 (23m 28s):
Shoot photo shoot. There’s a bunch of hipsters out there, like super into it. And yeah, the, the abandoned boat was pretty cool too.
6 (23m 35s):
I was able to pick up a, one of the dead carcasses by the tail fully intact and pick it up and take a picture that looked like I was trying to lick it.
3 (23m 45s):
So this was kind of what we had planned. And I think Brittany knew a little bit more about what was in the area, but we hadn’t really planned anything, but she was like, you guys, I saw something let’s go to it. And I don’t even think you’ve told us what it was, but you were like, just drive to this address. It’s right up the road.
6 (24m 1s):
Yep. Something I would
3 (24m 2s):
Do. So we get there and it’s a gas station with a big banana stuffed animal outside, like life-sized six feet banana. And the gas station is attached to the International Banana Museum.
2 (24m 15s):
Stop the press
3 (24m 19s):
4 (24m 21s):
3 (24m 22s):
2 (24m 23s):
This is like the only part of the trip that I’ve heard about. And this is like my favorite part.
3 (24m 27s):
So I thought it was going to be a bunch of bananas. Different types of International Banana is, but that’s not what it was.
6 (24m 33s):
No, it’s a collection of 25,000 banana related items. And by banana related items, we mean like figurines pictures with bananas incorporated into it.
3 (24m 45s):
4 (24m 46s):
6 (24m 49s):
3 (24m 50s):
I wouldn’t eat a
6 (24m 51s):
Banana flavored foods. So they had banana bread, banana ice cream.
3 (24m 56s):
Oh yeah. There’s a bar in there. It used to be a bar. Then they turned it into a banana museum. And so the bar is still there, but they have all these banana foods for sale.
4 (25m 4s):
You know, you guys always talk it up, but at the same time, I can’t help. But think to myself like this is something that would for sure, just be in the desert. Yeah,
3 (25m 12s):
Absolutely. It’s a desert attraction. Typical desert attraction.
6 (25m 16s):
So it costs a $1 to get inside. Okay.
3 (25m 19s):
We were like, damn, we really want to pay the dollar.
2 (25m 23s):
How about you had a banana? Do you think that you could exchange it? Well,
3 (25m 27s):
It’s not necessary because you get your dollar back. If you buy food, which we did, we bought milkshakes. The bananas fosters milkshake was so
4 (25m 37s):
Good. I was going to say it has to be a banana milkshake, right. To help me. They
3 (25m 40s):
4 (25m 40s):
I’m sure they did. But if you walked out of the banana museum and didn’t get a banana milkshake, if that’s an option, you guys failed the
3 (25m 47s):
Banana. The fosters was so good.
6 (25m 49s):
Yeah. And I got the skewer and on the skewer, it was rotating pieces of banana dipped in chocolate with a piece of banana bread. So it was like a piece of banana dipped in chocolate, then banana bread. And then again, the banana banana bread all down a skewer, they took the whole skewer. They dipped in chocolate and then they sprinkled walnuts on top of it to eat.
3 (26m 11s):
It was gourmet. And the people that worked there were so into it. They kept having all these banana jokes. Oh God, I wish I could remember one. Do you remember? I
6 (26m 19s):
Don’t remember any, but she was just
3 (26m 21s):
Going like literally everything she said was a banana joke.
6 (26m 25s):
You could tell, like, not a lot of people come here.
3 (26m 28s):
She did say Michael, Sarah came and he bought a banana museum. T-shirts
4 (26m 33s):
And you know, that seems like something, Michael, Sarah would just say that. And it’s like, Michael, Sarah, why does that not surprise me? That he went to the banana museum?
2 (26m 40s):
I think my favorite thing is the fact that you guys took Shot in banana year. Oh,
3 (26m 46s):
Okay. So we’re walking around the museum, checking out all the banana stuff and we stumble upon a barrel of costumes, banana costumes. And we’re like, oh my God, did they even say, was there a sign saying you can try it on. Yeah, there
6 (26m 58s):
3 (26m 59s):
A fine, we were like, oh my God, we can try these on. And so we all quickly put on banana costumes. I think we had three people wearing banana costumes. We had two people just wearing like big yellow clothing and hats. And then we had to life-size banana stuffed animals in this picture. And the lady who was telling all of the banana jokes is also our photographer. Who’s super into this photo shoe. So we do some poses. And then she’s like, he’s
6 (27m 27s):
Telling us what poses together.
3 (27m 29s):
She’s like, okay, do the boy band pose where you look this way, you kneel, you do this. And then taking our photos. I’m like, hell yeah, we got some good shots
6 (27m 40s):
In the International Banana Museum.
4 (27m 42s):
They’re coming up on Instagram. Everyone be sure to chill. I’m
3 (27m 45s):
Sure they’re on
4 (27m 46s):
Instagram. No, I know they are. But for this episode,
2 (27m 49s):
Right. I remember Brittany even had a patient whose lifelong dream was to go to the banana museum. And
6 (27m 54s):
Yeah. So you guys know that I’m an hospice nurse. So I do make patient visits and I was at a patient’s house once and I asked him, you know, what goals do you have? Because these are hospice patients. And we’re trying to make sure that they’re achieving the goals that they’re setting out before they under the life. And he mentioned to me that he wants to go visit the International Banana Museum. And I say to him, the one next to the Salton Sea and his head whipped so fast in my direction and was like, you know it, I said, yeah, I’ve been to it. And I whip out my phone and I show him a photo to prove it. And let me tell you guys, he did get to go visit the International Banana Museum before he passed.
2 (28m 35s):
Oh, that’s nice. That’s such a sweet story.
3 (28m 37s):
So to continue on with this desert wildness, just up the road from the banana museum is a place called Salvation Mountain, which is quite the site to see.
6 (28m 47s):
Yeah. In fact, it’s labeled a hillside visionary environment and it was created by a gentleman named Leonard Knight. And it’s a huge, colorful monument that honors his love for God. And there’s big paintings on it that says like, God is love. There’s a big cross on the top.
3 (29m 6s):
It’s this huge mountain that’s completely painted. And there’s like a yellow brick road that’s painted that you can walk up. There’s just weird rooms you can go into to. Yeah.
4 (29m 15s):
I haven’t been there. I’ve heard about it even before you ladies went, but it almost looks like it’s made out of clay, at least from the photos, just the type of bright colors. I don’t want to say clay. I should say Play-Doh because it has different colors of like green, yellow. And it looks like he’s made this on the top of the mountain.
6 (29m 34s):
It is actually creative clay, straw and hay and paint.
4 (29m 38s):
It looks like Play-Doh from the photos. It may look different in person, but from the photos, it looks like Play-Doh.
3 (29m 43s):
Yeah. So the mountain is the biggest straw, but then to the side of it, there’s these rooms that you can go into and just like, there’s just so much to see inside of there so much weird stuff.
6 (29m 52s):
I did some research after we went and did you know, one of the rooms that we went into, it was one of the dome shaped rooms. He was actually intending to live in it and he never ended up living there because he decided to live out of his truck and stead.
3 (30m 3s):
Ah, but this is also a place we’re going to see a ton of hipsters, a ton of people they’re just taking pictures and
6 (30m 10s):
3 (30m 10s):
Draw. For sure. There was tons of people there, but yeah, it’s pretty interesting.
4 (30m 15s):
Which time did you spend at Salvation Mountain? And does it cost anything to go to it?
6 (30m 19s):
It doesn’t cost anything to go. Cause the gentleman is dead. People have contributed to the preservation of it and people have donated lots of paint, but I would say we were there for maybe an hour.
3 (30m 29s):
Yeah. You can see it all in that amount of time. For sure. And then just up the road from here is a place called East Jesus or Slab City, which is another very interesting desert place.
6 (30m 41s):
The desert is weird. Y’all I don’t
3 (30m 43s):
4 (30m 45s):
You want to know an interesting thing again? Girls’ trip. Haven’t been here, but after they told me about Slab City, I did a little bit of research and it’s the only place in California where law enforcement doesn’t go on patrol or do anything in that area. It’s almost like a lazy, fair attitude of just like, let it be, their hands are off of it. They don’t mess with anything that goes on over there
6 (31m 8s):
Because they would be busy all day. If they were patrolling the area.
4 (31m 14s):
I mean, they’re going to go investigate, but they are not. They’re patrolling, looking for things going on. I mean, the girls will get into it. I’m sure. But there’s squatters. There’s just,
3 (31m 24s):
There’s a lot of abandoned RVs or that look like they would be abandoned, but perhaps they have people there. There was a hostel.
6 (31m 32s):
Yeah, that would be scary.
3 (31m 34s):
It was just, it was scary. Very deserted. A lot of what you would imagine abandoned areas would have like tires and broken windows and wood and just like random shit everywhere.
4 (31m 46s):
Two ladies say part of it is an RV community of people having stuff they’re living there like little shanty, sheds, whatever you want to call it. Right. But don’t people put signs up where it’ll say occupied. So no one then comes in and chooses to squat there. You know, it’s like, let it be known. Like if it’s listed as occupied, somebody here, just not here at this moment, like, don’t take it.
6 (32m 6s):
Yeah. So literally this town is a town of squatters
3 (32m 10s):
And it’s not a small town. We were driving through. They have dirt roads that we were driving through. So it’s not like a small, just like a block. It’s a big area.
6 (32m 17s):
Yeah. And it used to be a Marine Corps training base. And when the Marine Corps stopped using it as a training base, they deconstructed and tore down the buildings and all they left was the concrete slabs. So hence the name Slab City. And that’s why it does look like a destructed town and has that feel. And so people have built up on those slabs and like made little shacks that they live in, or it’s a big RV community. They’ll park their trailer next to it. And you can tell kind of which areas are occupied by some of the squatters. There,
3 (32m 48s):
There was one house we passed or there might’ve been more, but like signs up that would say weird things about God or anti-government or like aliens. It just had weird signs that added to those creepy vibe. And then in East Jesus, they had all this like Desert art. So when I say Desert art, it’d be like, chandelier’s made of beer bottles. Or there was a tree, the soul tree that had, what was it?
6 (33m 15s):
It was shoes hanging from the tree and surrounding the trunk base. And it was called the soul tree. It was very interesting.
3 (33m 24s):
There was a badass old truck had rhinestones and bottle caps and other shiny knickknacks plastered all over it.
6 (33m 30s):
And that was literally the name of the truck, the bedazzled truck.
2 (33m 33s):
This is such an interesting episode.
4 (33m 35s):
You know, they have a vice news. You ladies ever heard of vice news. They have a vice news series talking about Slab City.
3 (33m 43s):
I bet. It’s very interesting
4 (33m 44s):
As interesting. I I’ve watched it. It’s actually really unique.
3 (33m 48s):
You can absolutely type in East Jesus Slab, City, Salvation Mountain, all of these places into YouTube and see it for yourself. They’re just wild. You have to see it to believe it
4 (33m 58s):
3 (33m 59s):
The desert man.
6 (34m 0s):
We’re driving up this road and we’ve already seen the soul tree. We’ve already seen the bedazzled truck. And we hear that there is an art sculpture garden in East Jesus. And that’s what we wanted to go and do next. And so we’re driving along the road. And like Kim said, there are interesting signs plastered in front of people’s homes. And there was a really interesting sign. I’m not quite sure what it said that Chelsea wanted to take a picture of. So tell us what happened. Okay.
3 (34m 24s):
So we stopped the car right in front of the fence so she can get out and take a picture and she gets out and she’s ready to snap the photo. And a guy from behind the fence pops up and scares her. And he’s all, we don’t like pictures around here.
4 (34m 40s):
I would not want to make I, you know, being there and seeing the other tourists would be one thing, but actually coming across a resident and there would freak the shit out of me or Chelsea.
6 (34m 52s):
It scared us. And like, I would have not wanted to be in just like a one or two person group. I am so glad that there was five of us. So we were like, okay, this place is a little creepy. Maybe we won’t go inside the art garden and maybe we’ll just drive by it. So that’s what we did. We drove by the East Jesus art sculpture garden. But apparently there’s like a whole bunch of things made out of junk. They’re using like plastic bottles, glass bottles, wood scraps, broken mannequins, doll faces. Like that was like the weird thing. Like there is like deconstructed dolls.
3 (35m 26s):
Yeah. Like just creepy shit. Like Hills have eyes kind of weird stuff.
2 (35m 31s):
I hated that movie. That movie was terrible.
6 (35m 33s):
So we only drove by that section. And while we were on our way to Jesus, we hit a split in the road and there was a sign saying to the left is East Jesus and to the right it’s west Satan.
2 (35m 46s):
So which sport did you choose?
6 (35m 50s):
We actually drove them Bo.
4 (35m 52s):
It could be a trick. You would think Jesus would be safe, but it’s the dangerous one. And Satan would be a dangerous one. And it’s the safe one. I don’t know.
6 (35m 59s):
Well, apparently west Seton was previously called a west Jesus, but the people that lived in that area, I got into a fight about the city. And so they renamed themselves west Satan instead of west Jesus. Oh
4 (36m 12s):
The desert. I don’t know what to say other than the desert man. Awesome. Like, I’m really jealous of this trip that you ladies took because as creepy as it sounds in this area specifically of Slab City, it sounds super, super fun. Yeah.
3 (36m 24s):
Yeah. It was, it was just a fun day of exploring and seeing things that we didn’t plan to see, but that were a sight to be seen.
2 (36m 32s):
I would have liked to see Chelsea space.
4 (36m 36s):
Anybody’s face to be scared for that matter in that area.
2 (36m 38s):
Even like when you’re saying that I’m sitting here and I’m just like, Hm, I definitely would.
4 (36m 43s):
I’m going to make a squad suggestion. Everybody’s ready for it. Give it to us. We go camping out there,
6 (36m 48s):
3 (36m 49s):
Stay in the hostel.
2 (36m 51s):
I don’t feel safe for a camping than in a hospital.
4 (36m 55s):
I’d rather camp out there.
6 (36m 56s):
So from the Salton Sea, that pretty much summed up our trip. We were closer to home and that’s why we planned our trip this way. And so from East Jesus, it took us about two and a half hours to drive home to San Diego. Like we previously mentioned, Kim started off the drive and once we hit
3 (37m 12s):
Those whiny scary roads
6 (37m 15s):
In San Diego, she pulled off to the side. I jumped in to the driver’s spot and I drove us home safely.
4 (37m 23s):
Kim, this is telling me all I need to know about your driving skills.
3 (37m 26s):
Take note. I can tell when you’re tired and want to trade.
2 (37m 29s):
So question for you going back to west Satan, is there anything specific that like stuck out to you guys there or just like, it was just super weird,
6 (37m 37s):
Nothing particular like that portion seemed to be more closed off to the public so we could only drive the area and kind of do a loop.
3 (37m 47s):
Oh, we do not as much art to take in on that side,
4 (37m 50s):
But let me ask you something. So I know you were saying Slab City, East Jesus, west Satan is East Jesus in west Satan, different areas of Slab City or these different, okay. So all of it Slab City, but these are just their own little communal things. Yeah.
6 (38m 5s):
So just imagine driving through a town on a road and you’re seeing all like all of this art, the soul tree, the bedazzled truck. And then when you’re down the end of the main street, it splits into these two communities.
4 (38m 17s):
It’s on the other side of the tracks, except it’s on the other side of the desert or the road or whatever you want to say. Yeah.
3 (38m 23s):
Anything you guys want to know about this trip seeing is how we’re going to take it ourselves come pretty soon,
4 (38m 28s):
Two and a half hours away. I mean, it sounds like a real easy one to do. I want to do it. I want to go, it
2 (38m 34s):
Sounds like a great day trip.
4 (38m 35s):
Yes, it does.
3 (38m 37s):
Excellent. All right. That sums up this week’s episode. Thank you so much for tuning in to keep the adventure going. Please be sure to follow us on Instagram and tag us in all of your adventures and send us in those questions of the week.
2 (38m 49s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or just thought we were playing funny, please share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.
4 (38m 57s):
Please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast and tune in every Travel Tuesday for new episodes.
6 (39m 3s):
Make sure to pack your bags and grab your passports. Because next week we were taking with us to Lebanon.
4 (39m 12s):
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