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Joshua Tree Journeys: Ricardo Vidana

Long Beach, California

@U2, March 06, 2017
By: Ricardo Vidana



[Ed. note: This is the twenty fourth in our series, which highlights visits to the U2 Joshua Tree, as shared by our readers.]

A breakup was the driving force that made me finally take on 200-plus miles of blacktop to find a dead tree in the middle of a desert. 

I was 26 and trying my best to get back on track. Through it all, The Joshua Tree was in heavy rotation. I've been a U2 fan since I was a child, looking at photographs from the record and daydreaming about the place where they were taken. With my 27th birthday coming up, I decided a visit to the desert would be my present to myself. 

A friend and I headed out early in the morning and drove the next couple of hours into nowhere. The vast expanse of desert on the drive gave the songs new meaning. When I saw the tree, with a silver case resting on it made to look like the symbol for the song “Walk On,” heart and all — the same symbol I've had tattooed on my right arm since I was 18 — I got a bit teary-eyed. 

Joshua Tree Journeys: Ricardo Vidana

Opening the case, I saw all the things left by others like me who have been compelled to make the drive, including pictures, LPs and thank-you notes. A little zip-close bag read “Take what you need,” but what I needed was to leave something behind — things that lifted some weight off and gave me a bit of closure. 

Oddly, the song that played in my mind then was not from The Joshua Tree. It was “The Wanderer,” and its final line, “Yeah I left with nothing, nothing but the thought of you. I went wandering.” 

Joshua Tree Journeys: Ricardo Vidana

I've visited the tree twice since then, but no journey has been like the first time I found myself out there a little bit broken but a little less lost. 

Everything is somewhere. Even when it is lost, it is somewhere.

(c) @U2/Vidana, 2017.

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