We drove to the San Diego Rock n Roll expo with high expectations and aggressive projections for what we hoped to be our biggest sales event of the season. Boy would it have made for a Wall St Journal fairy tale if we had knocked it out of the park, but I’m afraid we did not. Not even close. And yet, even with our mediocre showing, we also received heaps of positive feedback on our product. Women told us they were thrilled to find something unique and beautiful to run in. Whether they stopped in or not, I heard them praising the designs and the brand concept. So why aren’t we selling like we need to? I suppose this is every new entrepreneurs’ dilemma and not what I plan to discuss here. I will tell you that by the time we left the convention center, Greg and I were two tired, bruised, disillusioned puppies.
Although we had already planned to explore a bit on the way home, I knew that it was now pretty much a necessity to get away from the bees nest in my brain and re-connect with each other and the natural world that so inspires us.
First stop was Joshua Tree National Park. My parents kindly offered to put us up in a timeshare, but my insides were screaming to get to some place remote. I wanted to be in a tent with hard ground and bright stars. I guess it was the brain’s way of asking for an antidote to the glossy, commercial veneer of a major corporate expo. That first night in the tent was cold and windy and absolute perfection.
At dawn we took an easy 4 mile hike and then packed up and drove over to the far side of the reserve to do a 16 mile desert mountain run. Again, it was just what I needed. Ridiculously hot, steep, rocky, sandy, secluded. There is something a bit threatening about the desert and I was ready to growl right back at it.
My favorite take away from our time in the desert, though, was not ominous at all, but actually quite delicate. When you drive through the desert, it’s hard to register much more than an expanse of brown and olive. You want to appreciate it, but at 60 miles an hour it becomes a camo colored blur that is easy to disregard. On foot, I expected to possibly see some red and orange cactus as well. However, what I saw in Joshua Tree is that deep inside each of those mean, angry cacti are shades of the palest pink, rose, blush, creamy yellows, and vintage lavenders. A faded romance story hiding in a dungaree world. The soft beauty of those colors is breathtaking if you were willing to slow down and carefully look into the heart of the cactus.
After re-fueling on $1 tacos and tequila, it was North for us to meet my long-time crush Yosemite.