Exploring Our New Town in the High Desert with Uber


The desert has become a landscape that I've come to know and love. A few months back, I made the daunting task of leaving everything I know behind and moved to the desert town of Palm Springs. I know what you're thinking... Palm Springs? Daunting? Well, for me it was a big move. For the first time ever I would be living in a town that I had only spent a few days in prior to my move. Not only that, but I would also be leaving friends and family behind. 

This decision was initially conceived on a trip to Joshua Tree just a year before. It was a chilly night, one spent lounging around what has now become one of our favorite desert retreats – Serenity Escape. My partner and I were sitting in the jacuzzi, looking up at the stars in absolute amazement thinking, "how incredible would it be to own our own piece of desert bliss." And just like that, our minds were made up. 


After a few months past, and a brief stint in Downtown Palm Springs; we were finally able to achieve our goal. We purchased our first home in what is known as the Yucca Mesa area of Yucca Valley. A relatively small town neighboring the increasingly popular Joshua Tree National Park, and just a short drive "up the hill" from Palm Springs. As the days go by, and as we settle in more and more every day, we are reminded of why we made this decision and couldn't be happier.

After only our second week, we were approached by Uber about collaborating together on their newest campaign geared around safety. So what better way to get to know our new hometown than by exploring it in the safety and comfort of an Uber. We woke up "early" Saturday morning, excited to know that yes there are Uber's driving around a town in what most might consider to be the middle-of-nowhere. 


Eager to know some of the restaurants around town, we took an Uber to Frontier Cafe. A restaurant known around town for serving both delicious breakfast meals, and mouthwatering sandwiches. The Cuban sandwich was one of the best we've had. It's an eclectic place, where locals and tourist both collide. The vibe is relaxed, like everything else in the desert. We foresee a lot of mornings being spent here, munching on freshly-baked bagels and sipping on cappuccinos.  

After eating one of the best sandwiches we've had, we walked around the neighboring antique stores for a bit. Getting lost in aisles filled with old cookbooks and magazines. We also discovered a recently opened antique shop, Desert Curious – who's owners shared a similar story to ours. They, too, were seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and were pulled by the magic of the high desert.


Their shop was still new so only a few items had price-tags on them, but we managed to pick out a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook. Unfortunately, we were out of cash and remembered that our debit card was left at home. So one of us had to hop in an Uber to go pick it up, while the other got to continue scavenging through the many antiques. 


In a funny twist of fate, we got to utilize Uber's new priority feature – Trusted Contacts firsthand. This feature allowed me to share my trip details on my way back home in real-time with my partner and (up to five contacts), while she stayed back racking up the tab. On my way back, she noticed that I had taken a different route. Which for her, and anyone else using Uber's Trusted Contacts feature for that matter, insures a peace of mind knowing that you are able to see what goes on during an Uber ride from beginning to end and know when I arrived safely.  

After arriving back to the store, we decided to continue exploring and headed up towards nearby Pioneertown. A place that we had been to before, only this time it would be as a "local." Visiting Pioneertown is like traveling back in time. Our Uber driver filled us in on some of the history, which dates back to the late-40's. Just getting up there from Yucca Valley is incredible. In fact, it was even dedicated a California Scenic Drive. 

Words and images ©  PAUL MARTINEZ

Words and images © PAUL MARTINEZ

After strolling through the many historic movie-set buildings, we ending the night at Pappy & Harriet's. A place known for barbecue and live music. Luckily for us, a band was playing on this particular night. So we spent a few hours enjoying some live music and drinks. As soon as we knew it, it was dark outside. We called an Uber and finally made our way back home.