A slice of heaven in a desert haven


After a sweaty morning of bouldering around the lumpy rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park in the triple-degree heat, the family was ready to tear up some grub. We were expecting the usual desert-town assortment of gas station roller hotdogs, Subway six-inchers, and meat patties on round, white discs from the Double Humps (also known by its more common name, McDonalds).

All three were available in the town of Joshua Tree, California, and as usual, Subway was about to win our business. But Margaret has downed one too many six inch sandwiches in the course of the past month, and she turned to Yelp for some relief.

The app revealed a surprising array of lip-smacking options, most within a mile of our covered wagon.  We usually know better than to hope for good pizza outside of the big cities, but with scores of glistening reviews, we decided to place a bet on a local favorite called Pizza for the People.

It didn’t particularly matter that the place happened to be perfectly quaint, with a sort of New-York-pizza-joint meets desert-REI-hippy-crunch-chic aesthetic. I wasn’t after a divinely shaded, potted-cacti-laden wooden porch upon which to lunch. Ravenous after a day in the hot California sun, I only craved the taste of perfect New York pizza — and I am pleased to inform that the hankering was indeed satisfied in the small town of Joshua Tree.

We ordered four slices to split between the three of us, and each one brought to our table could have doubled as a hang glider. The bubbly, crackly crust was paper thin, artfully charred, and sheathed by crunchy corn meal. The cheese went on thin — the key to an excellent pie — letting the delicate acidity of the sauce and freshly-cut toppings create the bulk of flavor in each satisfying bite. And those toppings were generously heaped atop the massive foldable pieces..

I could have sat on that wooden deck, under the shaded embrace of that droopy deciduous tree, for the rest of the afternoon — munching on those inspired pizzas and sipping hand-squeezed lemonade. But alas, the highway called our name, and it was time to ramble on. I contented myself with the promise that I would be back someday for longer and more daring hikes and rock climbs in Joshua Tree National Park, followed by the apt reward of heavenly slices from Pizza for the People.

Clockwise from top, left:
Greek veggie slice
Standard-issue cheese slice
Buffalo chicken reggiano slice
Tomato, basil, reggiano slice


My family is currently traveling around the USA in a 10 foot Shasta Compact travel trailer from 1969. We are currently camped in Mojave, California and headed up the pacific coast. Keep it right here for tales from the journey, and please also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nothing keeps us motivated more than the encouragement of hearing from our readers, so please keep in touch by commenting below. Thanks!

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