Desert Trippin’ With Joe Bui – A Creative Guide To So Cal Deserts

Joe Bui of Desert Trippin
Joe Bui of Desert Trippin’

Contrary to the bleak image the word ‘desert’ conjures up, the reality is that the deserts in and around in Southern California are laden with inspiration. They’ve been known to evoke everything from the spiritual to the creative. From Robert Plant’s 29 Palms to the art installations in Coachella Valley’s Desert X, these deserts are also the subject of videographer Joe Bui’s Desert Trippin’, a non-typical look at the magnificent and the mundane in Southern California’s deserts.

Desert Trippin’ With Joe Bui

Rock-a-Hoola Water Park Barstow, California
An old billboard for the Rock-a-Hoola Water Park Barstow, California

Joe Bui is attracted to the bizarre and beautiful. About a year ago, he began using his keen eye and sense of humor to expose viewers to fun and unexpected finds in places like Barstow, the Mojave Desert, Yermo, Antelope Valley, Lancaster and Bombay Beach.

desert trippin with joe bui

Sometimes accompanied by his son or his wife, Joe’s videos are not your typical travel videos. Loaded with silly supers and imaginative composites, they are far less boring – and surprisingly informative – than a traditional visit. However, he does sprinkle expletives throughout his videos, so consider yourself forewarned.

Joe takes Tequila shots with an alien during his travels

His Desert Trippin’ videos and photos introduce you to places and sights such as an abandoned Water Park in the Mojave Desert, Hunting Dinosaurs in Cabazon, visiting the the psychedelic rock formations of artist Ugo Rondinone outside Vegas, the California Poppy Preserve and the abandoned art in Bombay Beach.

The Abandoned Rock-a-hoola Indian Water Park
Dinosaur hunting in Cabazon
Dinosaur hunting in Cabazon
At the 7 Magic Mountains art installation by Ugo Rondinone
The poppy preserve in Antelope Valley
The poppy preserve in Antelope Valley
At Bombay Beach

He even shares an alien encounter in the area around Baker and Zzyzx, CA.

Joe encountered some Yoga girls during his visit to Vasquez Rocks

As you might expect, the Coronavirus Pandemic put a damper on his travels, but that didn’t stop him from taking his viewers on a virtual version of Desert Trippin’ with a green screen as you can see in the video below:

Basically, I believe life is a journey and the desert is a giant metaphor. You never know what you’ll find around the next otherworldly rock formation. But one thing’s for sure. I will never post a video on this channel where we go out to explore the beach, mountains or majestic California redwood forests. (That would be a whole different channel, wouldn’t it?) Rather, I will focus my search for fun, beautiful or unexpected things here in the expansive Southern California deserts. These videos are designed to be “free-form” in a way, because that’s how life is. Ultimately, it’s what the desert gives ME that will shape the direction of every story. Everything else is a work-in-progress. So join me as I venture out into the great unknown, with camera in hand and a general idea of what I’d like to find. I’m glad to have you along for the ride! —Joe Bui

Until you can venture out and explore the deserts for yourself, I recommend you let Joe be your tour guide.

creative travel guide to southern california deserts

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