We inspected each other for a long minute, and then both burst into laughter. (My excuse is that I’ve been letting my hair grow out, aiming toward a different style. His excuse—well, he doesn’t have one.) I promised to not post the photos I took; suffice it to say that he looked remarkably like Albert Einstein with his finger stuck in an electrical socket.
We have one mirror in our trailer, above the bathroom sink in an inconvenient location in our tiny bathroom. We shower every day, brush teeth, put on sunscreen. But approximately one-third of the time when traveling, we’re in remote places (like Joshua Tree) without water or electrical hookups (which means very brief showers, and no hair dryers). Hairstyling is kind of pointless anyway, given that we spend much of our time wearing hats or bike helmets.
Despite these limitations, one does not want to let attention to personal appearance slide too far, lest you go feral. I’ve observed that the younger you are, the more you can get away with the grunge look. I see 20-something men and women who apparently just rolled out of bed, hair disheveled, unshaven, and in wrinkled baggy clothing, and they still manage to look attractive. After the age of 40, try that look, and someone will be offering you their spare change as they walk past.
Joshua Tree National Park continues to be one of our favorite places to camp. It was especially wonderful this year, given that there were only three sites occupied in the Cottonwood campground while we were there. We hiked trails from right out our door up into the boulder-strewn high desert; it becomes a magical golden landscape in the late afternoon light. Joshua Tree NP is enormous, and there’s a lot to explore; although we’ve visited at least a dozen times now, we’re hankering to return.