Amanda Miller and Mark Schwartzbard make their dog Beans legitimate

Amanda Miller and Mark Schwartzbard make their dog Beans legitimate

Over Memorial Day weekend we celebrated the union of Aaron’s brother Mark and his lovely bride Amanda in Joshua Tree, California. It was a bit of an ordeal driving through LA traffic to Pioneertown (I don’t know how people endure LA), but we were amply rewarded with a weekend of relaxation, adventure, and celebration in one of the most beautiful and other-wordly parts of America.


the happy couple

The wedding was a small (<60 guests), no-frills event, with none of the usual wedding fanfare of bridesmaids, toasts, wedding gifts, etc.

Aaron's very happy parents

and Aaron’s very happy parents

Part of the wedding involved going to the ‘Integratron‘. I will let you explore the link here yourself to learn about this ‘fusion of science, art, and magic.’

The Integratron is an acoustically perfect tabernacle

and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex

in the magical Mojave Desert

getting our shakras aligned at the integratron

getting our chakras aligned at the integratron

Aaron and I had plenty of time to explore the surrounds. I hadn’t done any desert running since my college days in New Mexico. It was very good to be back.

at one with the joshua tree universe

at one with the joshua tree universe

Our first run took us into a land of hippies and drug use and what turned out to be an event called Storytellers Fest that also drew some interesting personalities.


thanks mark and amanda for having a wedding in a location with lots of cool running trails!

The next day we ran the Boyscout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park. I really dug the lizards, particularly the zebra-tailed lizard (I’m not making this up:

soooo many lizards!

soooo many lizards!

The sun was INTENSE. I cannot emphasize enough the need for sun protection out there. I can get away with not putting sunblock on my legs when I run in DC, even in the heat of summer. The desert will punish such oversights. Fortunately, Mark and Amanda overlooked no creature comforts and all guests were provided with desert parasols.

aaron appreciates the shade of the parasol

aaron appreciates the shade of the parasol

Finally, I would like to give a shout-out to Ruby’s Diner. The drive from LA that was supposed to take 2-2.5 hours took us over 4 in traffic. We were driving through the middle of nowhere and it was 10pm EST and I was turning into a pumpkin for want of dinner. In desperation I had finally agreed to turn off at a road stop that appeared to have a McDonalds and what we thought was a Ruby Tuesdays. Just as I was drowning in existential doubt over which option was less likely to make me vomit: McDonald’s or Ruby Tuesday, we came across Ruby’s Diner. Now THAT is a desert oasis.


when in doubt...Ruby's!

when in doubt…Ruby’s!





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