Among the Palms in Palms Springs

img_3535To get to southern California, we could have continued on the Amtrak train from Eugene, Oregon to L.A. But the train arrives in downtown L.A. around 9 PM, if it is on time. We did not want to get there so late at night. Nor did we want to fly to L.A. and then have to drive somewhere in a rental car.

So, instead of flying to L.A. we opted to fly to Palm Springs. Flights from Eugene are easy and relatively cheap. We found an Air BnB offer online that sounded attractive: a private little house in a resort at a reasonable price. Picking up a rental car at the Palm Springs airport, we drove to Sky Valley, perhaps a 30 minute drive by the light of a gigantic moon hanging low over the desert. img_3544

Here we had a park model mobile home: small but with a kitchen, sitting area, bathroom and bedroom. Best of all, it is in a gated resort with several gorgeous swimming pools that are filled by mineral hot springs. One pool is almost as warm as our hot tub. You can rent units here for as long as you like. We see many license plates from Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia! (http://www.skyvalleyresorts.com/sky-valley-resort)

The Palm Springs valley is a strange place. Baren hills rise sharply against the blue sky. Endless scrub brush covers the valley floor. Towns like Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Sky Valley, Indio, Palm Desert, Cathedral City and many more have grown into almost one large urban sprawl. However, the sprawl is low and the same color as the desert. Even shopping malls must have a building code so that everything blends nicely into the natural environment. And there is lots of empty land left all around.

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The visitor centre at the Nature Reserve is a palm log cabin!

Towering palm trees are everywhere. Too bad that the Santa Anna winds come howling down the mountains regularly. But the clear blue skies, the sun sets, the wild flowers, all make for a wonderful stay in this desert environment. Snow birds and movie stars make this area their home. There are lots of retirement homes and elderly care facilities, and I can’t blame them for wanting to be in this great climate. img_3548

img_3549Kees goes hiking each day in desert trail areas and nature preserves. We’ve walked through amazing palm groves at Coachella Valley Preserve (http://coachellavalleypreserve.org) I have never seen palm trees this size! We walked to one grove where the palms formed a solid wall, towering high above us. The trail led to a pond surrounded by these California fan palms. You can buy fresh palm dates in road size stands! img_3537img_3554

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