|Our site at Cathedral City|
|Out Welcoming Bear all decked out!|
Our first impression of this area is that there are a lot of people who live here that have money (both new$$ and old$$). The streets throughout Palm Springs and of the surrounding desert communities are all well-manicured, very lush with beautiful palm trees and splashes of color from the flowering trees and literally no type of litter anywhere. For us, “It’s a nice place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live here.” There is definitely a wide variety of places to go to for eating, shopping or just sightseeing. Anyway, Jill needed to be pampered while she was here – and it was even a little pampering for us too after coming off boondocking at the gravel pits – so we hope that you will enjoy our adventures here in the Coachella Valley, California.We all were in agreement that we wanted to see Joshua Tree National Park. The Park protects 794 acres – nearly three-quarters of its designated wilderness – where the Mojave and Colorado deserts converge. It is very interesting to learn that the eastern half of the park (below 3,000 ft.) lies within the Colorado Desert. The western half of the park (above 3,000 feet in elevation) is Mojave Desert Habitat.
|Literally, a sea of wind turbines - EVERYWHERE!|
|Stopped for some coffee at the café outside of Joshua Tree NP|
|Pretty spectacular rock formations|
Known as the park namesake, the Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia, is a member of the Agave family. The tallest Joshua tree in the park looms a whopping 40 feet high and is estimated to be over 100 years old and resides in the Queen Valley Forest. Since these trees do not have growth rings like you would find in an oak or pine, it does make aging difficult.
|Joshua Tree's everywhere!|
A must see destination within the Park (and only on a clear day, we’ve read) is to see the vista from Keys View, perched on the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains which extends beyond Salton Sea to Mexico. It was definitely worth the extra 20 minutes drive from the Park entrance. From an elevation of 5,185 ft. you can overlook a breathtaking expanse of valley, mountain, and desert. The highlight is to look for the San Andreas Fault in this valley. You definitely will remember this experience . . . stunning!
|The Fault lies between the dark ridged mountains|
|Jill & Kay trying to stay warm at this elevation.|
|You don't take a picture like this everyday.|
|We'll toast to that!|
|This is what Kay had!|
|Jeff's looked equally delicious, don't you think?|
|Jill's, sweet corn tortillas. . .yummy!|
The following day we took in one of the most unique adventures – an engineering marvel featuring the world’s largest rotating tram cars – which transported us on an exciting excursion into nature. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway took us on a spectacular 10-minuite, 2-1/2 mile trip which began at the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 ft.) and transports you to the Mountain Station (elevation (8,516 ft.)
|Entrance to the Tramway|
|A total of 5 Towers to get us up and back down.|
|While we were going up - this car was going down|
|What a stunning view. . .WOW!|
|Looking into the San Jacinto Mtns|
|Just us "snuggling"!|
|I had to close my eyes.....didn't want to see snow!|
|Jeff & Jill enjoying a cup of java at the top|
The ride to the top was incredible. Up top we were able to view the scenic Mt. San Jacinto State Park (pronounced “hacinto”). It would really be awesome to come back prepared to hike any of the 54 miles of trails available within these 14,000 acres of pristine wilderness. We did learn that there is a specific tree here called the “Jeffrey Pine”. How about!
|Jeff is on top of the world!|
Dinner back at the RV was Italian Spaghetti, fresh French bread, salad and some delicious wine, before we headed out to catch a movie, “American Hustle” – funny and very entertaining. We both highly recommend it.
|We had to get Jill in this pic for our grandson!|
|It's movie time! Where's the snacks?|
Another day of fun found us at the College of the Desert Street Fair. (Note: Known by the locals as “COD”) For more than 25 years, the Street Fair has been a desert cities weekend institution, where locals and visitors alike start their day with an open-air shopping experience which can house more than 300 vendors, arts & crafts, a farmer’s market, live entertainment and refreshment stands. The funds raised provide student scholarships and financial aid. The weather was perfect and we did come away with a few unique purchases. Great fun!
|New jewelry called, Steam Punk|
|More food to taste!|
Now we are down to Jill’s last day with us. It was a Sunday and what better way than to go out for breakfast to a very popular restaurant, the Sunshine Café. The food was absolutely delicious and well worth the 15 minute wait, especially for the freshly squeezed orange juice that is served. So with tummies full we took in a stroll through a small street fair, stopped at a very delightful park and then headed in the car to check out a 1930’s General Store Museum and, of course, take our picture at the Marilyn Monroe statue.
|You stand in line to take your turn at a picture!|
Then back to the RV so Jill could get ready for her trip back to Minneapolis that evening. Our next step was to pack up and leave the Palm Springs area the following day.
Besides being sad that Jill was no longer here, we were also sad to leave our little friends - the Costa’s Hummingbirds - that frequented our feeder that we had set out, but our next destination on the open road was calling us . . . the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. Who knows what we’ll find there?
|Take a good look at his beautiful "helmeted" head.|
Hugs to all . . .