We're settled in to our nice big site (#168) at Sam's Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs for a month and our first week has flown by. It's still pretty warm, most days this past week have hit the mid 90's, way too hot for us to enjoy hiking, so we've spent a lot of time both exercising and relaxing in the various pools here at the spa resort.
|What a way to start the day!|
Sam's is unique among the many hot springs resorts in Desert Hot Springs; their four hot mineral pools are emptied every night and the water is recycled into a lagoon, then used to water the oasis-like plantings around the property. There are also two non-mineral pools, with cooler temperatures, that have just a touch of chlorine added to keep them fresh.
|At the lagoon.|
One warm day we ventured out early to Sunnylands. Once the estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, former US Ambassadors and philanthropists, the property is now a meeting/retreat space used by world leaders plus a lovely desert garden and hospitality center which is free for the general public to enjoy and learn about the Annenbergs. One can also tour the original estate for a fee.
|Modern formal native gardens at Sunnylands.|
One afternoon we had the great pleasure of meeting blog readers, Zsuzsa and Tom. They live in Palm Springs and as soon as they sell their condo they will hit the road full time too. We had fun hanging out in the pools at our park followed up by happy hour; sharing the many little tidbits we've learned in our two years on the road. It was great to see their enthusiasm for this lifestyle!
|Sorry "Z", I caught you with your mouth full!|
|David and his moped cave!|
|Hans and David flying around the track!|
We finally had a cloudy and breezy morning, bringing the temperature down just enough so we wanted to hike. Just a few miles from our park is the Thousand Palms Oasis Reserve. Part of the Coachella Valley Preserve System, this site has miles of trails taking you through palm oases and the rather stark desert surrounding them.
|Several faults that make up the San Andreas Fault flow through this area |
and are the cause of the springs that allow the oases to grow.
|Into the palm forest!|
|I had never visited a palm oasis that held so much water!|
|Which gave way to a wash, still heavy with plant life.|
|The next palm garden held a substantial pond!|
|Leaving the oasis, the trail continued into the desert.|
|We crested a small hill and looked back at the palm garden.|
So you can see we're getting into the swing of the desert, the heat was an adjustment after our relatively cool and comfortable temps of the summer in the Pacific Northwest but we're hitting our stride and doing some exploring and a lot of hot springs soaking!
|With this fabulous sunset we knew we were back in the desert South West.|