I love the random mess of this roadside stop for no other reason than it’s randomness.

Highway 62, the road between Joshua Tree National Park, and Parker, Arizona, is barren, boring and long. But at some point in time, weary travelers changed that. There used to be a shoe tree where people tossed old shoes with no history of why. When the tree died, or some say burned, the shoe art flourished at an abandoned gas station, and a nearby fence.

It’s a dump, at first glance. It is also art, much like creative roadside murals or graffiti. I find it interesting exploration, and we have stopped a few times over the years. Of course…I want to know who wore them, where they were traveling from, and what their purpose in their donation. There were heels, and sneakers, every brand and every size.

My husband was amazed that many had life left in them. Some looked like they had never been worn. Did people buy them for the art? Did people come to this place for this, donate good shoes because of this place? Or maybe they are repurposed for art’s sake. (and Marsha)

Across the street is another story. There is probably 10 miles of rock graffiti along the railroad tracks. It wasn’t safe to cross the street for photos on this day. Trust me when I say there are messages, affirmations of love, symbols, and just, I was here’s. History tells of the efforts of Kilroy who once paused along this road to bring delight to travelers, and it continued.

Is it true?

We move along with unanswered questions and a final stop to give us hope.

Hope, Arizona. No doubt the population is less than 100 people, maybe less than 25. They have an RV park for snowbirds, a mini-mart, and a church.

A gleam of hope in this long and curious road?



Wind Kisses, Donna