August 24th, 2011

Bianca, Laure and I wandered into the desert to pick our way through the Joshua Tree landscape to enjoy the vast rocky outcroppings during what turned out to be a perfectly temperate evening. We ended up at Pappy and Harriet’s for pulled pork and cold beers and at some point while sitting under the clear stars and breathing that particularly fresh tangy air, I renewed a promise to build a modest homestead somewhere on this quietly calm and beautiful slab of California.


It would be amazing, this I promise.

For now, I’m looking to put together a modern retreat for a weekend of celebration, relaxing and desert exploration. I’ve been researching around for the perfect Joshua Tree pad for a few people stay at and enjoy. Preferably with a cowboy hot tub. And modernisim. And boulders.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Cassie on 08/24/2011:

    I’ve never been, but these photos are stunning.

  2. Casey on 08/24/2011:

    I went to a wedding in Joshua Tree a few years ago. It consisted of 5 people (guests and wedding party) and was amazing. You don’t need much to make that place feel special.

  3. Mr. Modtomic on 08/24/2011:


    I’ve decided that after I’m gone, it will be the sunsets that I will miss the most.

  4. Florian on 08/24/2011:

    Oh my! So beautiful.

    You don’t ever stop, do you? Last time I looked, you wanted to do some landscaping in the garden you already own. In between you had the blog blues and squeezed in a fauxdenza for good measure. I’m just glad, when I make it to the gym twice a week.

    There are quite a few really good looking designs of micro architecture or tiny houses, some are prefabricated some are not. The subject really is fascinating and quite old. If you’d like to go really starkly modernist, I suggest starting your research with Buckminster Fuller.

    Wouldn’t that be grand – that landscape and a translucent geodesic dome?

  5. Julia on 08/24/2011:

    I know it’s not what you are looking for, but my favourite place in the world is 29 Palms Inn. It’s like a home from home for me (even though I have only been twice) and I instantly feel relaxed whilst I’m there. And of course, it’s not too far from the Joshua Tree Park. Absolutely stunning photos – wish I was there now. x

  6. jellyfishheart on 08/24/2011:

    29 Palms is cool. I also read about this place

  7. Amanda on 08/24/2011:

    I’ve been bookmarking this place to stay at when I finally make my first trip to Joshua Tree. Looks incredible

  8. Amanda on 08/24/2011:

    oops, I wasn’t done….anyway….hot tub check, boulders check, modernism check.

  9. jamie on 08/24/2011:

    hmph. what were my emails for then.

  10. Ariel on 08/24/2011:

    My husband and I stay at the Sacred Sands at least twice a year.
    It’s a tiny B&B (only 2 rooms). Last time we went we rented one room and some friends rented the other. Each comes with a hot tub. Heaven…

  11. Melissa on 08/24/2011:

    Check out

  12. TX Sarah on 08/24/2011:
  13. Jon Wasson on 08/24/2011:

    My [wife] and I will be honeymooning here in a few weeks. We’re pretty excited.

  14. Karen on 08/24/2011:

    After years of enjoying the desert and 29 Palms Inn, my husband and I took the plunge and bought a deserted house and re-habbed it ourselves. I call it country modern. We now rent it out through VRBO. You can check out photos here: – 20 acres w/ two house and a pool. We love it out there!

  15. Sonya Yu on 08/24/2011:

    An amazing and beautiful off the grid place:

    Just stayed there for my birthday weekend. Perfect place for a small group (4-5) retreat.

    It’s completely off the grid, so kiss internet and other similar distractions good-bye. It has beautiful, wonderful construction, and comfortable to boot.

    Disconnect from the anonymous, chatty internet, and connect with your loved ones.

  16. jen on 08/24/2011:

    You have great readers! Just saw Pappy and Harriets yesterday on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

  17. Danica on 08/24/2011:

    Ever since reading about this home on NYT I’ve been dying to take a vacation here: If nothing else the feature in the NYT is worth a read.

  18. hillary on 08/24/2011:
  19. airika on 08/24/2011:

    Your camera is amazing!

  20. big-dewey on 08/24/2011:

    three mid-mod-hotties out in the desert all alone? My Mind races….

    Dear Penthouse:

    I never thought this could happen to me. I was alone in the desert enjoying the evening sunset when three young kittens came upon my secret spot…. After what seemed like endless hours of pleasure discussing case study houses, Eames, Bertoia, Milo Baughman, George Nelson, Cliff May, Noguchi,… DIY cabinetry projects….

    as quickly as they appeared they were gone. Lying there on the desert floor feelingtotally spent it was as though I had awakened from a dream…

  21. esme on 08/25/2011:

    your photos are so beautiful!

  22. Andrea on 08/25/2011:

    “Preferably with a cowboy hot tub. And modernisim. And boulders.” << You pretty much just described the Rock Reach House exactly. I read about it on A Desert Fete, and had the chance to stay there about a month ago for my birthday weekend (visual evidence: Equipped with Heath Ceramics, a great sound system, and even an outdoor shower. Needless to say, I've been scheming my way back there ever since.

  23. Sarah on 08/25/2011:

    Last month I stayed at this place, which is sort of between Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree:

    The style is more retro/novelty, but they have a pool and a hot tub (plus archery, if that’s your thing). We had a great time, even though it was way too hot for me to actually enjoy the park–however, the pool and air-conditioned trailer were pretty comfortable.

  24. Blissing on 08/25/2011:

    I rented one of their houses and it was wonderful.

  25. erika on 08/25/2011:

    Love the photos! What kind of camera / lens do you use??

  26. THE BRICK HOUSE on 08/25/2011:

    It’s a Sony with a wide angle Sigma lens. And Photoshop. For sure.

  27. Maida on 08/26/2011:

    Hi Morgan!
    Long time…

    I stayed at one of these places and it was very cool. Super nice owners, too:

    Can’t wait to see where you end up – lots of great suggestions here.

  28. Jason on 08/29/2011:

    Cowboy Hot Tub? Witt’s End has a perfect one.

  29. Anna of [green gable] on 09/06/2011:

    What wonderful photos! I live about 3 hours away from Joshua Tree but have never been. These photos make me want to go asap!

    xo, Anna of [green gable]

  30. Anna of [green gable] on 09/06/2011:

    What wonderful photos! I live about 3 hours away from Joshua Tree but have never been. These photos make me want to go asap!

    xo, Anna of [green gable]

  31. Tamara on 09/07/2011:

    I echo Maida – my husband and dog and I stayed at Luna Mesa from the Highlands Houses guys, and loved it:

    Have fun!

  32. modernhaus on 09/08/2011:

    You, Laure, Bianca, as the proprietresses of your own Marfa-style desert modernist hostel. Yes. Do it.

Comment It Up!