21 Feb - Fri:
We spent a couple of enjoyable hours this evening with our new Japanese friends, Ken and Reiko (we had her name wrong before.) Ken likes to talk and we enjoy listening to his perspectives on Japanese culture, history, health care, discipline - the list goes on and on. We're going to miss them when they leave Sunday.
22 Feb - Sat: We needed a change of scene so elected the Palm Canyon in Palm Springs where we've been before but knew it would be a good place to be out in nature and hike. Centuries ago ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians settled in the Palm Springs area and developed complex communities including Palm Canyon which is 15 miles long. There's a moderately graded footpath winding down into the canyon which is perfect for hiking, picnicking and exploring. The palm trees growing along the stream offer great contrasts to the stark, rocky gorges. We walked about a mile into the canyon enjoying the peace and beauty, and although it was a hot day, the palm trees afforded welcome shade and a pleasant temperature.
We then drove a very short distance to Andreas Canyon to admire the rushing clear stream which results in another lush oasis. We'll return for more hiking here another year-it, too, is a very special place rich in Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indian history and culture.
23 Feb -- Sun. We've communicated with Cousin George Foss Williams re Foss genealogy off and on for over ten years. Just before we left home last fall, Cal responded to another of his queries by sending him more Foss data. When noting his address as Rancho Mirage, Cal mentioned that we'd be coming out his way this winter. George's response was that he'd like to know when we were in Coachella Valley so he could treat us to dinner in appreciation for the help we'd given him.
This afternoon we took George up on his offer. He lives in a magnificent house, elegantly furnished. The yard is entirely enclosed and in addition to beautiful flowers, includes lemon, orange and grapefruit trees, one of each. He gave us four shopping bags of fruit. We felt a bit overwhelmed, especially with two dozen very large lemons, but are sharing the excess with friends. After an interesting couple of hours visiting, we were off to the Yard House, a very nice restaurant at The Rivers. The latter is a special attraction here in the Valley with a river (not surprising!), pond and waterfalls surrounded by about six large restaurants, a theater, and a few swanky shops. The River had been recommended to us but we hadn't visited it yet, so George's selection for dinner was perfect. This "River" is of course man made.
24-25 Feb, Mon -Tue: Picked up the mail and dealt with it which included some data entry, signing forms, and mailing annual envelope to Uncle Sam - always a joy to communicate with him!
26 Feb, Wed: This is the day to terminate our month in the 'value lot' at Indian Wells RVP, otherwise referred to as WalMart with hookups. We've been very content here, and the great weather is largely responsible.
There was a bit of sun in Indio this morning, but it started raining shortly thereafter as we drove to North Palm Springs. The thousands of windmills on the farms here in the valley were a-whirling and are quite an impressive sight. As we left the San Gorgonio Pass north of the San Jacinto Mountains and turned south on Rt. 79 down into Hemet, green fields rolled before us - we haven't seen this much green (except for golf courses) in a long, long time.
27 Feb - 5 Mar, Wed to Wed: Golden Village Palms, Hemet, CA We'll sum up the weather for this week west of the San Jacinto's by saying it's better than NH - and we all know that's not saying much. We've had one day of sunshine, other than that it's been cool, cloudy, and some rain. We talked with folks who've been here in Hemet for the same month that we were in Indio, and they report it's been a cool, gray month. We'll bet we have second thoughts about Hemet another year.
We've had a good week at Golden Village Palms in spite of the weather; it's a superb park with more amenities and activities than most. The shopping is great - all the restaurants and stores that anyone could ask for are nearby and easily accessible. There's a Home Town Buffet, Starbuck's Coffee, In 'n Out Burger, and Health Food Store to name our favorites which don't exist everywhere. We even went to the movies - thought we should see 'Chicago'.
The Friday morning breakfast in the Park's ballroom was a winner as was the wine and cheese gathering that afternoon-the latter for new folks to tell us all what's going on in the activities dept. Monday night we returned to the ballroom for the Jack Jensen Show. Jack sings, plays guitar, tenor sax, harmonica, keyboards, does impersonations, and a little magic.
Gary recently shared some good news: our youngest granddaughter, Alecia, is engaged to Miguel. Congratulations! Alecia and Miguel - we're very happy for you.
5 March: Our week at Golden Village Palms was up today so we took County Rt. R3 south from Hemet and a most interesting trip it was to our destination in Aguanga. For most of the 18 miles the road twisted and turned up and down between hills of varying heights, all of them covered with rocks and boulders. Homes were tucked onto the hillsides, and all were surrounded by rocks, boulders and cacti.
We checked into Jojoba Hills SKP RV Resort in the boondocking area. Since we're members of Escapees (SKP), the first night is free. After settling into our space, we hiked up the hill to visit Nancy and Harry. The latter are friends whom we met at Quartzsite last year and saw there again this year. They invited us to visit them in this park which is their home for six months of the year.
6 Mar - Thu: We departed Jojoba Hills in Aguanga and on this beautiful, sunny day enjoyed our ride south on Rt 79 to County route S2. Anza Borrego Desert State Park where we spent a week last year is a favorite area and it's good to be back. It's rugged country with more hills covered with rocks and boulders, deep canyons, and then flattens out into Blair Valley where we spent the night boondocking in the Anza-Borrego State Park. It's quiet and peaceful all by ourselves. We're near the highway but very little traffic to break the tranquility.
After we got parked this afternoon we took a walk to revisit "Foot And Walker Pass", where the passengers had to get out and help the stagecoach up the hill. We stopped there last year but wanted to see it again and we needed a walk after the long hard run of 51 miles today.
7 Mar - Fri: Gold Rock Ranch RV Park, Winterhaven, CA, We continued south on S2 to I-8 this morning and Hey! This place is a real sleeper. Much more going on back here in the desert than we anticipated when we came in. Lots of RV's and nice facilities. There is even a pool and spa. It's 6 miles from the interstate and a mile off the paved highway, nice and quiet.
Dinner tomorrow night followed by Barbershop entertainment. We've signed in for three nights, and the good news is, it's Passport rates.
OH! This morning when we got up over there in Blair Valley it was 28 degrees outside, yikes! But warmed up to 65 by 9:30, and when we stopped for our mid-morning break, we put on shorts and sat outside to enjoy.
The next time you hear from us, we'll be heading for Florida-till then THINK SPRING. Cal and Connie