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Joshua Tree glamping & the Integratron

Yurt glamping, sound bathing and stargazing 2.5 hours north of San Diego.

Ufologist George Van Tassel built the Integratron in Landers, CA (near Joshua Tree), supposedly following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.
Ufologist George Van Tassel built the Integratron in Landers, CA (near Joshua Tree), supposedly following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.

Oh, Joshua Tree. You are unique, far-flung and downright bizarre....

Outside of the yurt.

I first visited the quirky desert town several years ago and took to the creative community. While brainstorming road trip ideas one weekend, I settled on heading back to Joshua Tree. I also decided that it would be the perfect place to check an item off of my bucket list: camping in a yurt! I had been camping before, but glamping was new to me.

Yurt inside.

Yurt glamping

I booked an Airbnb yurt that was close to town. I arrived early in the evening to find a well-furnished yurt with a spacious bed, heater, towels, electric lanterns, and firewood.

I started a fire and cooked a foil packet of squash over the coals; an open flame does wonders for food! I spent the next few hours reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and watching the sun set from the hammock. Most of the stars were brightly shining by the time I got into bed. Stargazing in the desert is breathtaking: you can see the Milky Way, comets, satellites, and even planets. It is a Joshua Tree must-do.

The Integratron

After a restful night, I packed my bags and cashed in on my reservation for a sound bath at the Integratron. I am not usually one for pseudo-science approaches to health. However, participating in a sound bath was one of the coolest things that I've ever experienced.

I arrived at the geodesic dome with a group of other tourists. We ascended a set of stairs to a circular set of yoga mats. As we each settled on to a mat, a "sound healer" explained the building's history and what to expect during a sound bath. The healer played the largest bowl, and a deep echo reverberated throughout my body. I panicked at the sensation — my chakras felt anything but aligned. As an individual with sensory processing issues, did I make a big mistake by coming here?

Thankfully, the session started with a relaxation sequence, and I was able to calm my nerves. I reminded myself that I came to the Integratron to challenge my body and to achieve clarity of mind. With that reminder, I was able to enjoy the remaining minutes. I left the dome feeling rejuvenated and proud of myself.

Map

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

More Joshua Tree

For those looking for a more active vacation, I recommend spending your weekend in Joshua Tree National Park. There are trails for every type of hiker and plenty of rocks to climb; the park is a naturalist's playground.

Joshua Tree sunset.

More into the arts scene? Check out the vintage stores, funky shops, and art galleries in downtown. If you are hungry, La Copine is worth the quick drive. Also, Pappy and Harriet's serves American/Tex Mex dishes. The establishment is best known for hosting live bands most nights. My Airbnb host recommends the Joshua Tree Saloon for socializing and a game of pool.

As I experienced, the Joshua Tree area knows how to keep its culture fresh, curious, and hip. Each trip brings new experiences, and not one is the same as the last.

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Ufologist George Van Tassel built the Integratron in Landers, CA (near Joshua Tree), supposedly following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.
Ufologist George Van Tassel built the Integratron in Landers, CA (near Joshua Tree), supposedly following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.

Oh, Joshua Tree. You are unique, far-flung and downright bizarre....

Outside of the yurt.

I first visited the quirky desert town several years ago and took to the creative community. While brainstorming road trip ideas one weekend, I settled on heading back to Joshua Tree. I also decided that it would be the perfect place to check an item off of my bucket list: camping in a yurt! I had been camping before, but glamping was new to me.

Yurt inside.

Yurt glamping

I booked an Airbnb yurt that was close to town. I arrived early in the evening to find a well-furnished yurt with a spacious bed, heater, towels, electric lanterns, and firewood.

I started a fire and cooked a foil packet of squash over the coals; an open flame does wonders for food! I spent the next few hours reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and watching the sun set from the hammock. Most of the stars were brightly shining by the time I got into bed. Stargazing in the desert is breathtaking: you can see the Milky Way, comets, satellites, and even planets. It is a Joshua Tree must-do.

The Integratron

After a restful night, I packed my bags and cashed in on my reservation for a sound bath at the Integratron. I am not usually one for pseudo-science approaches to health. However, participating in a sound bath was one of the coolest things that I've ever experienced.

I arrived at the geodesic dome with a group of other tourists. We ascended a set of stairs to a circular set of yoga mats. As we each settled on to a mat, a "sound healer" explained the building's history and what to expect during a sound bath. The healer played the largest bowl, and a deep echo reverberated throughout my body. I panicked at the sensation — my chakras felt anything but aligned. As an individual with sensory processing issues, did I make a big mistake by coming here?

Thankfully, the session started with a relaxation sequence, and I was able to calm my nerves. I reminded myself that I came to the Integratron to challenge my body and to achieve clarity of mind. With that reminder, I was able to enjoy the remaining minutes. I left the dome feeling rejuvenated and proud of myself.

Map

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

More Joshua Tree

For those looking for a more active vacation, I recommend spending your weekend in Joshua Tree National Park. There are trails for every type of hiker and plenty of rocks to climb; the park is a naturalist's playground.

Joshua Tree sunset.

More into the arts scene? Check out the vintage stores, funky shops, and art galleries in downtown. If you are hungry, La Copine is worth the quick drive. Also, Pappy and Harriet's serves American/Tex Mex dishes. The establishment is best known for hosting live bands most nights. My Airbnb host recommends the Joshua Tree Saloon for socializing and a game of pool.

As I experienced, the Joshua Tree area knows how to keep its culture fresh, curious, and hip. Each trip brings new experiences, and not one is the same as the last.

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Comments
4

So Van Tessel said: "...according to George, in August of that year, a saucer landed from the planet Venus, woke Van Tassel up and invited him onto the ship. There the aliens gave him a formula for a proprietary frequency for rejuvenating living cell tissues." My question is this? Why wasn't he sent to an insane asylum? He was obviously a certifiable nutjob who had no grasp of reality anymore. Mental hospitals most likely have others who have boarded spaceships from other planets, and for some reason many complain about an "anal probe." Our learned scientists have warned us of the dangers of pseudoscience.

Aug. 25, 2018

"certifiable nutjob" Yeah, you sure know how to speak 1950s, don't you? At least he built something instead of condemning people via a public posting board. You're a nutjob or are you, dwbat, a dingwitted bat?

Sept. 12, 2018

In the pantheon of saints, I don't remember any called "Jerry"; please explain the screen name. ;-)

Sept. 12, 2018

Perhaps a more informal reference to Gerald of Mayo.

Sept. 12, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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