There are two different definitions of the word "desert" that came to mind when I first laid eyes on the name of this park and decided that I needed to go see it. One is, "any area in which few forms of life can exist due to lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil" and the other, "to leave or run away from without the intention of return." I mean, I know the park is located in the desert and all but it's fair to say that you could also interpret it as a park that is dedicated to the idea of leaving the church, time to tell Jesus to kick rocks, right?. Just one of the many deep thoughts that popped up on the 2.5 hour drive out from San Diego.
I paid my first visit to this park in Yucca Valley, California last April (right after the super bloom). If you're familiar with the area, it's not far off the road you take to get to Pioneertown. Dispersed amongst the Joshua trees, next to a church are 40-something, bright white statues depicting different stages of Jesus' life. As I explored the property I noticed that many of the sculptures were showing their age and time spent in the unforgiving desert climate, cracked and crumbling apart, some even missing limbs. However, I also noticed the donation box next to the wooden informational display, asking for help to fund the restoration of the park.
I came back for my second visit at the end of July (2017). This time around there were less missing limbs, less decomposition and it was apparent that some of the donations had been put to use. Good for them but I'll miss watching it decay.
For more information on the park visit www.desertchristpark.org
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