Saturday, December 31, 2011
A day at Anza Borrego…
This week has to be the best week for weather here this year as far as I am concerned! It was around 75 deg. F. and just sunny and warm and wow!!!!
This morning we were on the road by 9:15 for Anza Borrego State Park. We wanted to show Tom and Cheryl some of the sights out there, and what a day to do it. First off was a stop at the Borrego Air Field, no, not for me to fly… but we did get to catch a nice tour by Kelly, The Flying Ranger. She is the only Ranger in the State of California that flies, and what a program she put on for 1 hour. I had heard of this program from non other than Al from TRAVEL WITH THE BAYFIELD BUNCH)) He was in on the tour a year or so ago and raved about it. Ever since I read it in his blog I have wanted to go.
This airport is private, and used mainly by small aircraft, although you could land a medium sized jet here probably in a pinch.
That is Kelly below in the Ranger Uniform, and she ended up having quite a crowd today for her program, and she was quite pleased at the interest. She gives you a very good overview of the whole program, and all she does… a lot of patrol work from the air! She flies just about everyday, and logs about 400 + hours a year. She helps in all situations of search and rescue… patrol for illegal activities, lost people, stuck vehicles, you name it. She even locates and rounds up people entering the country illegally, as the park borders with Mexico. She is a Peace Officer, and firearms instructor for the park. She worked about 9 years on the ground as a Ranger, and then got her Pilot’s Licence and started to fly for the Park. She has been flying now for 8 years or so. What a great person she is, and she has an excellent storey!
This is the plane she flies below… it is almost an identical plane to my super cub! It is set up for her needs, and includes a PA system so she can talk to people on the ground, and she can also track long horned sheep from the air! She is in full communication with all the Park Rangers on the ground, and can lead them anywhere!
She showed us all the workings of the plane, and did a great job! The plane only weights 1,300 lbs., and can fly 110 mph at top speed, and only 44 mph at low speed, which is very slow for a plane! This allows her great flexibility in the air.
It has a few more dials and buttons than my super cub has… imagine that!
This plane can hold two people, and she does take other Rangers up in the air on occasion.
If you can imagine, this plane’s covering is made of a fabric material… it is very light. The plane can stay in the air about 5 1/2 hours, using 10 gallons of fuel an hour.
It has a 4 cylinder motor, with 180 h.p. Kelly does the oil changes herself!
All of us enjoyed this presentation, and she had great stories of her times in the air! We enjoyed!
Next we headed up to the visitor’s centre and checked it out. We also showed Tom and Cheryl the Clark Dry Lakebed where we like to boondock and a few other things…
This was as close as we got to the elusive long horned sheep today, we tried, but the visitor’s centre had the only ones…
The Rangers convinced us to take the Palm Canyon hike out to the Oasis… Judy and I did the hike two years ago and it was great then, and still is!
tom was overcoming the obstacles along the way.
This is an amazing hike and I recommend it to anyone!
Augh… at last the Oasis and Palm Trees… This hike is about 3 miles return trip.
As you get closer to the Oasis, you cross a spring running down the canyon… kind of cool out in the desert!
Just a great cluster of tall Palm Trees at the very end of the trail…
Lots of people come out on this hike!
There was lots of things we did not get to see, so Tom and Cheryl just have to come back!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Palm Springs Street Fair, and a visit to Gabby Hayes…
It seems someone got way too busy yesterday, and involved in too many things, and forgot to post a blog…. ooopppsss….
However I am back again today, and it was another great day here in the Coachella Valley. About 30 deg. C. and lots of sun! I was off to the flying field again this morning, as conditions were perfect. Judy was down at the pool exercise class, while Tom and Cheryl were out walking around the Resort.
After lunch we headed into Palm Springs area, and wanted to do and hike, and we choose the Gabby Hayes Trail. It is a 2.4 mile hike in the mountains, just off highway 74, near El Paseo where all the rich people shop… we could hear the cash registers ringing from the hills.
Oooopppsss, this first pic might be why there was no blog that hit cyberspace last night… distractions!
OK, here we head out to the Gabby Hayes trailhead. We learned of this trail from Rick and Paulette who did this one earlier this winter, and it is also in the hiking book we all use.
You no sooner start to climb up the trail, and you end up with some great views. This area is known as Palm Desert.
It is a great spot to hike and is full of mountains as you can see.
You can see where we parked in the distance, as we head out…
There are many different trails as you head up into the mountains…
The hike offered great views of the Coachella Valley as we climbed.
It is a nice dramatic series of trails and views as you make your way…
No this is not a picture of a race track below, it is a cemented wash to protect the houses behind from rain that comes out of the mountains.
After the hike we headed downtown Palm Springs and enjoyed a real nice dinner compliments of Tom and Cheryl at a local restaurant on North Palm Canyon, just can’t remember the name of the place. It served Mediterranean Foods. It was good!
The street fair was very well attended, and we gave the girl in this booth the prize for best hair at the show!
It is always hard to get good pictures of the fair, so I will only give you one, as we simply did not take anymore…
Simply another great day we all enjoyed.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Time for a run up to Joshua Tree…
Our plans called for a visit up to Joshua Tree National Park, and that is what happened today! The weather was perfect for it! Of course I took an hour at 8:00 this morning, and went over to the flying field and put in my stick time!
On the way up through Yucca Valley, we decided to make the left hand turn and show Tom and Cheryl Pioneer Town. This is the Town that Roy Rogers, and the Sons of the Pioneers built back in the 1940’s… plus help from a bunch of other movie stars at the time… it is kind of a neat spot and worthy of a visit.
We made this visit last year, so no need for a bunch of pictures I am sure…
One new grave though for this year…
Next on the list was Joshua Tree, and we started off by making a visit to the Natural Bridge, which is located at White Tank Campground.
There is a neat bunch of rocks in this area, formed by underground lava over the years…
Below is the rock arch, or natural bridge as I call it!
Judy was lost in the boulders…
Here is a better pic of the rock…
Lots of unusual rocks in this area…
Check out the pic below… do you see the rock climbers! If not, check the picture below it!
There, I cropped out the climbers in this pic below, from the one above… we could not believe they were doing this…it is a very popular sport in this Park.
You cannot come to Joshua Tree with making the drive out to Keyes View. After I made the turn on the road, I had to wait for this guy below to pass by… yup, that would be a coyote, and he was in no hurry at all today.
It was a bit foggy and misty at the lookout today, but you could see clear to Mexico, and of course the Salton Sea… Tom and Cheryl were impressed.
This lookout offers commanding views of the Coachella Valley… which includes Palm Springs, and DHS.
It was only about 63 deg. F. here, and a little windy at the lookout, which is at 5,300 feet of elevation… guess we were lucky there was no snow here! Lots of people today though. Holiday time!
Next we were off to Barker’s Dam, and to our surprise this year, no water! Last year, where Judy is standing in the picture below, was a full lake! Don’t have a clue where the water went, and someone told me it has not rained here since last October, a year ago, so who knows!
Check out the pic below… Tome is over 6 feet tall, and look where the watermark was on the rock!
Below is the dam, and the water was at the top last year!
We did a couple of other hikes today, until it got dark and cool, at 5:00. We made the 1 hour drive back to DHS, and stopped at Rocky’s Pizza, where Tom and Cheryl treated us to a real nice dinner… Thanks Guys!
Last night we had a great skype call with Shawn and Jenn, along with Emmie and Paige, who were opening some gifts. What a good time it was, and the kids loved this new sled… also, I hear they now have snow, so it should be put to good use soon!
The kids had a ball, and were kept pretty busy. They had just got home from Toronto and were road weary, so off to bed they went!
Great time had by all!