Robert Hull in and around Joshua Tree na­tional park

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The tree and the tor­toise

On a trip to swish Palm Springs, I also wanted to sam­ple the sights and spirit of the High Desert, so drove 50 min­utes to the town, and na­tional park, of Joshua Tree. The trees are re­ally plants, while the tor­toise art­work is a nod to one of the park’s many rep­tile species.

Rugged at the ranch

The park’s bound­ary in­cludes the Mo­jave and Colorado deserts and it has many epic views but for tales of dogged per­se­ver­ance tour Keys Ranch ($10) and find out how hardy Wil­liam Keys and his fam­ily carved out a life in this harsh­est of cli­mates from 1910 to 1969.

There’s no place like dome

In Lan­ders, sits the 38ft dome of the In­te­gra­tron. Built in 1959 by the UFOol­o­gist Ge­orge Van Tas­sel (from plans given to him by aliens!) to fa­cil­i­tate time travel, it’s now used for med­i­ta­tion.

• Fol­low Robert Hull at in­sta­ roberte­hull

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