December 17, 2015

Tonight we took part in a "Hosted Dinner" for Christmas. Because most people in this park have limited space, and many friends, tables are set up in one of the halls and you can use one or more of these tables to host your dinner party and invite your friends. This works, as well, for those who are alone for Christmas. 
(l to r:  Wayne and Doris (Oregon), Caroline (Sky Valley), myself and Michel, Evelyn and Henry)

We were invited by Evelyn and Henry. who hail from Chilliwack, BC. They hosted our party and cooked the ham supplied by the park. Then we all brought the rest of the meal. And what a great meal it was!!  

There were 6-8 other parties who took advantage of this room, and as many again using the room the next night.

Gabe led the group in a few Christmas carols after dinner.


And there was even a visit from Santa.

December 8, 2015

Today we said good-bye to our friends Bob and Ann. We had a great visit and really enjoyed sharing this little park model with such good friends.

But, before they left we visited Joshua Tree National Park.

Known of course for the Joshua Trees, this place is a haven for hiking, climbing and camping. 

There are trails for everyone from wheel-chair-accessible trails to strenuous trails. 

First stop along the way was Hidden Valley Trail. Upon arriving we were witness to some very experienced climbers.... 

Hidden Valley is a one-mile loop trail. It starts in the picnic area and winds among massive boulders through this legendary cattle rustlers' hideout.

Joshua Tree's boulders may look like layers of sandstone, but they are actually a kind of granite. 

Across the way from Hidden Valley is Barker Dam, another one-mile loop trail, built around 1900 to hold water for cattle and mining use. 

Cattle ranching was short-lived in this area. When rainfall decreased in the early part of the century, grasses and springs dried up.

Today the dam is a reminder of the past. It forms a small rain-fed reservoir used by park wildlife.

Native Americans travelling through here in their search for food and water left behind evidence of their activities. Petroglyphs have been found carved into the canyon walls and boulders.

Keys View is the last of our stop today, although there was still very much more to see and explore. It was nice to end on that note. 

From an elevation of 5,185 feet you can overlook a stunning expanse of valley, mountain and desert. 

December 5, 2015

Monday was a trip to the Thousand Palms Oasis in the Coachella Valley. 

This is a delightful haven in the middle of the desert.  

I didn't go this time, so Michel, Bob and Ann enjoyed the walk into oasis without me....

Friday night was the "Dillon Roadhouse" experience. Two-for-one cheeseburgers, jugs of beer, and karaoke..... does it get any better than this??

Rich and Tina also came with us, joined a little later by Doug and Ginette.

We have to admit there were some pretty good singers on the karaoke stage.

Michel even got up and sang a Jimmy Buffet number....

Richard was on his game that night - lol

November 29, 2015

Our good friends Bob and Anne (from West Kelowna) arrived on Wednesday (Nov 25th) by air to visit us for a couple of weeks.  We picked them up at the Palm Springs Airport, loaded the car and, after a quick lunch and a short shopping trip to Costco, brought them back to our place in Sky Valley (thank you again to Steve and Doreen for the use of their park model). Needless to say the first night was an early night for them. But, the next day we took them to "Villagefest" in downtown Palm Springs. Had dinner at Las Consuelos (Mexican) then shopped the vendors.

Saturday morning we headed up to Yucca Valley, 25 miles north of Palm Springs, where we visited Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace.  

This western-style town was built in 1946 by a group of filmmakers and used for more than 50 films and TV programs through the 40's and 50's.

It was purchased in 1972 by Francis Aleba and her husband. They developed the property into a cantina until it shut down 10 years later. In 1982 Aleba's daughter Harriet and her husband Claude "Pappy" Allen bought the place and renamed it "Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace". The food there is wonderful, we are told. That is why it is so busy.......

On our way home we stopped to visit Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs. This carving behind us is called "Waokiye" meaning "traditional helper" in the Lakota language and was carved in 1978 by Hungarian-born sculptor Peter Toth. 

Cabot Yerxa built this masterpiece between 1941 and 1950 using mostly found materials and it was his home and personal museum until he died in 1965.  

The museum displays artifacts from his travels, his paintings and his collection of Native American crafts.

Sunday morning was a trip to the Open Air Market at College of the Desert. A trip to Palm Springs is not complete unless you've visited COD!!