by Will Stabley, Stabley Times
(Originally posted March 1, 2013)
36.33088, -117.74527 marks the location of a dead tree and a metal suitcase. The inland California desert is sprinkled with countless Joshua Trees, but only one is singularly iconic. Made famous by U2 in 1987 in the photo sessions for the album of the same name, that one particular Joshua Tree has gone on to be immortalized in posters and banners for the past quarter century. U2 fans have pinned down its location over the years through trial and error, gradually determining that it's nowhere near Joshua Tree National Park, but instead hundreds of miles to the north, somewhere between Yosemite and Death Valley. It's located where the proverbial streets have no name, far enough out into the middle of nowhere that the only accurate way to convey its location is by the global coordinates above. So I head north out of Los Angeles into the desert the hopes of finding what I'm looking for.