We spent three months in Joshua Tree in late 2014, early 2015—the dark months, which meant we got more time with the night skies. The town and its starry nights are fairly well known, thanks to the National Park, the number of weekend visitors from LA, and, yes, that U2 album. But the place still holds a lot of surprises—like the gold miners keeping one of California’s origin stories alive, and the furore about plans to bring renewable-energy projects to the area.

JT is about two hours’ drive east of Los Angeles, at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert . . . CONTINUE READING