Sunday, April 11, 2021

We're in Windmill Country, and Got a Close Look

The Palm Springs area has A LOT of windmills, because the gap in the mountains here creates a lot of wind.
One day we went on a Windmill Tour. We first learned about some of the earlier, failed versions.
Because of Covid, there was no bus tour, but we drove ourselves around while learning about the windmills from an ipad we were given for the tour.
It was really cool to be able to stand right under the huge windmills. A short video of how fast these gigantic things turn.
We also drove by the power plant.
On another day, we drove the Palms to Pines National Scenic Byway on Highway 74. The road goes over the mountains through Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
We stopped to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, just so we could say we did.
It was beautiful!
On the way down the other side, we stopped at several quaint small towns.
You can see the beautiful mountains above the town.
Wait! What's that white stuff?

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Where the Hot Springs Began

One day we went to check out Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs. Because of Covid, we couldn't go inside, but we were welcome to walk around outside.
This was the home of Cabot Yerxa, who accidentally discovered the hot mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs in 1913.
Rosemary got pretty close to going inside!
The construction looked a little "iffy."
But the outside was really interesting, including this 43 foot tall statue, carved from a fallen redwood tree.
And I really enjoyed the Ancient Weather Rock, which is always right. The sign says "When rock is wet, it's raining. When rock is white, it's snowing. When rock is hard to see, it's foggy. When rock is moving, it's windy or there's an earthquake."
On another day, we hiked to the Mission Creek Stonehouse. These stone structures were near the trailhead, so we were a little confused.
But, after talking to some other hikers, we walked up the trail.
The trail goes uphill following a stream.
Made it! The stonehouse is a remnant of the area's ranch days.
The inside was a little bare, though...

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Just How Close Can You Get to a Giraffe?

Pretty close - especially if you have food in your hand!
Wow, that's one loooooong tongue you have there...
He stayed around for a little while after, but soon realized the food was gone. Rosemary and I took a trip to The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert, CA. Here are some of the interesting animals we saw.
The Ankole Longhorn had gigantic horns! I don't know how he can keep his head up!
This Bighorn sheep was way up on top of a rock pile, but fortunately, I had my camera with the big zoom with me.
The Island Fox was being fed while we were there. It looked like people food to me.
This couple were pretty upset because a zoo employee was trying to use a mirror to see what was in their nest.
The Laughing Kookaburra wasn't in a laughing mood.
The zoo has a gigantic model train display. This is only a very small part of it.
On another day, we went to the Coachella Valley Preserve and went on a hike -
To the McCallum Grove and Pond.

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Waterfall in the Desert?

Yes, there is! One day we went to do the hike up Tahquitz Canyon to Tahquitz Falls. This is the view up the canyon from where we started.
There are a couple places where you have to cross Tahquitz Creek, but fortunately, there are nice walkways.
Along the way, here were beautiful flowers and some very unique rocks.
And we found a rock where Native Americans ground their corn.
After more than a mile of uphill climb, we got to Tahquitz Falls! What a surprise - it was beautiful!
The downhill walk back to the parking lot was much easier.
On another day, we had lunch with a friend in La Quinta, and went to their Sunday Farmers Market.
I loved this sign!
After lunch we drove over to check out Lake Cahuilla - also quite a surprise.
Good night!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

Warning! Lots of rusty stuff here! At least on my very favorite hike in the park, Wall Street Mill.
If you do this hike, keep your eyes on each side of the trail - there's some interesting stuff along the way, including this old pink house.
And wow! An old rusty car!
Right along the trail is a plaque stating that this is the place where William Keys, the operator of the stamp mill, killed Worth Bagley in 1943.
As we got closer to the mill, we found another old car! You can see why this is my favorite hike in the park...
And here it is, the Wall Street Stamp Mill, which processed gold ore sporatically from 1930 to 1966.
If you're really sneaky, you can peek inside around the back-
And find yet another old rusty car! (I warned you, didn't I?)
I just love the old tires!
After our hike, we drove over to see Skull Rock. You have to use you imagination here...
But it's a very popular spot!