And, of course, we've been hiking. One day we took the short drive over to Mission Creek Preserve. We hiked the 7 mile out and back to the Pacific Crest Trail junction. The first 1.5 miles is on a dirt road, then you hit the actual trail, a good, sometimes sandy, single track up a canyon. The big surprise on this hike was Mission Creek actually had water in it!
|Surprise! There's water in Mission Creek!|
This was a brief section along the trail...the rest was dry, dry, dry!
We've also done a couple of hikes right from the RV. Flag Mountain was a five mile round trip with substantial elevation gain, you'll want to do this exposed hike on a cooler day. Nina provides directions here. There are some steep, loose rock sections on this hike.
|See those two little, tiny people heading up the Flag Mountain Trail?|
|Great views from Flag Mountain!|
We also returned to Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve and did the seven mile loop: Herman's Hike. This hike should be done on a cooler day due to exposure and elevation gain. We enjoyed long desert views, a trek across dry, barren ridge tops, a lovely palm oasis, and the surprise of a creek flowing across the desert.
|Heading up hill on the Herman's Hike Loop at 1,000 Palms Preserve.|
|After miles of dry desert, Willis Palms Oasis comes into view on the hillside just below us.|
|Willis Palms is an oasis on a hillside!|
It last burnt in 2010, but palm trees are able to bounce back from fire due to their composition.
|Hard shelled mushroom in the desert.|
|Surprise creek flowing out of 1,000 Palms Preserve.|
Last Sunday we celebrated Equality along with thousands of other folks at the Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival. The parade happened to fall on the second Sunday of the month so we also enjoyed free entry to the Palm Springs Art Museum. And, topped the day off with a free concert by the Psychedelic Furs, taking us back to the early 1980's and the early days of New Wave Punk Rock.
|2nd Sundays are free at the Palm Springs Art Museum.|
|Psychedelic Furs rocked!|
We visited The Living Desert in Palm Desert on Veterans Day, where Hans got in for half price in thanks for his military service many years ago. This is a very well done zoo and gardens, half dedicated to Africa, and half to North America. Many of the animal enclosures were large and natural looking, giving the animals a decent home even though they are in captivity. The gardens were beautiful representations of various deserts near and far.
|It's a long way down for a drink!|
|Don't you just want to reach out and pet him? ;-)|
|This badger was all feisty, running around like our cat does when she has a wild explosion of energy!|
|I loved this tree from Madagascar.|
|There are even a few miles of desert hiking trails at The Living Desert.|
|We love gila monsters!|