The Palm Springs Area

First, the email list has grown. Welcome Sasha and Chris. Time for the disclaimer again. Andrea’s Facebook page usually has better pictures. That’s good enough, right? Y’all know the drill. If the commentary sucks or you are offended by words that rhyme with suck, stop reading. Like that last email. That was boring. I know what you’re thinking -Where are the mind spinners (god, did that take restraint from saying mind-fuckers) from last winter/spring where you had no idea what I was talking about and thought I was ripped on something. Drunk? Smokin’ dope? Whacked out on tramadols? Sleep writing on ambien? Well, if you didn’t check all of the above…. Ah, but I digress. So, having lulled you into a minor coma, let’s get on with it.

Last week I complained about how windy this place is, directly across the street from about 2700 windmills.

A wind warning was in place when we arrived. It blew hard for three days and it was pretty awful inside the RV. By Christmas Eve morning thing’s calmed down to 10-15mph, but still enough to shake us up. Then another NOAA wind warning rattled our phones. This time they forecast 20-25mph steady wind for Christmas Eve and the next 48 hours with local gusts up to 40-50 but as high as 70-80 through the mountain pass. That night we inflated swimming tubes and placed them under the awning covering the big slide and then tied the awning down. The concept was to keep it from flapping under the massive gusts. The storm hit with full force that evening as Andrea was texting with nephew Sasha, who, with wife Chris, own a magnificent estate way up on a hill in Joshua Tree, the town next to the national park.

Their property literally backs up to the national park. Andrea begged and pleaded to let us stay at their house for a night, or two. (Well, maybe they graciously offered).

Christmas morning, before running away from the crazy windstorm, we noticed water on the rug around the fridge. Since it rained during 60mph winds overnight, we assumed it had gotten up under the outside fridge vent. With no more rain in the forecast we figured it would dry up in a day. It was never wet there before.

So, off we went for a night in Joshua Tree, about 40 minutes away, in a solid house that didn’t roar and shriek, for a lovely Christmas dinner. The wind was relentless but we managed a quick ride into the park

and a short walk off trail to get a flavor for the park before dark.

The wind was just as bad or worse on Saturday. We went back into the park via dirt, side roads

up to Eureka Peak

where the wind was ripping at 50-70. Luna was in danger up there, as were we. We let her out of the car and she almost became a flying dog. The wind chill was ridiculous as well. We put our freezing asses in the Jeep and headed back to the house on the hill to gather around the wood burning stove. We had a great time with family.

The wind finally faded on Sunday as we returned to the RV. The windmills turned south with reduced rotations. But the wetness of the rug around the RV fridge got worse. After a little investigation, I found that the connection of water to the ice maker was one strong twist short. Must have loosened up with the shaking and wild wind. Shop vac and space heater to the rescue. All is well, no repair cost. After a day of dry calm, the sun lit up the clouds over the windmill farm like a wave of fire.

We bolted six miles east on Monday. It’s nicer here at Caliente Springs RV Resort. The wind doesn’t knock you over. And they have real hot springs pumping into their pool with no sulpher smell. The people are nice and Luna found a playful boyfriend, Willie. Ok, go ahead and make your jokes about her playing with her Willie.

Wednesday we visited a date farm down the road. There were little signs for the ‘farm’ along the way to the RV park so we took a look. We arrive at what looks like somebody’s yard sale. As we sit in the car wondering whether we should get out, a young guy comes out of the house to greet us. So we do a five minute tour of a date farm – you know they grow on date palm trees? – and buy a two pound box. I forgot how good they are. And how sweet. Kind of like sugar wrapped around a nut.

But that wasn’t the most exciting stop of the day. From Desert Hot Springs to Memorial Park in Cathedral City where Francis Albert Sinatra is buried.

Just like all the other gravesites in the park, except for the Jack Daniels and Camel cigarette pack. Simple gravesite, no mausoleum.We didn’t stay long. A bunch of drunken zombies were headed to the bottle of Jack.

Wednesday we tried to go to the zoo. We brought Luna, figuring to leave her in the car. Temps were around 50. But big signs said no pets and if pets are left unattended in cars, animal control will be notified. Went right to a pet smart and got her a crate (pink). She was not afraid of it so we’ll try again tomorrow(the zoo). If that doesn’t work, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are at a local casino. Cool Happy New Year.

Thursday, New Years Eve, we had planned to go to the multi-million light show at the zoo, but my back ruined those plans. Time for another shot. Instead, Andrea made macaroni in a crock pot with cream and cheddar cheeses. It was crazy rich. The ball dropped in NY at 9pst and my sorry ass was in bed by 10. Sometimes pain is exhausting.

And sometimes, the best thing for a bad back is getting off your ass and walking. So on Friday we planned an easy hike in the Coachella Preserve. The website/app ‘All-Trails’ said it was dog friendly. Not! Plan B, find a dog friendly hike. Andrea finds Cap Homme/Ralph Adams Park in Desert Palm. Not exactly the easy, level hike I was hoping for. Instead, after a hundred flat yards to the trailhead it was up, up and away. The goal? The big cross at the top of the hill – zoom in and look to the left of the contrails. There’s a whole lot of people up there. Hey, it’s New Years Day.

To the top it’s 1.1 miles and 680 ft of vertical ascent.

The pano function worked ok:

And at the top

This little, easy hike was more a moderate to difficult for us, only because of the steepness. Back pain left side gone, right side calf, s1 nerve outside knee.

I’d go on to today’s (Saturday) hike but with 14 pics already, this might not get out of my outbox.

Really late and I made up some rules last summer when I sent out an email very late under the influence of, you guessed it, all of the above. Pretty close to that mix now. We’ll work on Painted Canyon tomorrow.

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