The RV park was actually located in Desert Hot Springs – aptly named! Temps of 100 to 110 were everyday occurrences. But the KOA had the benefit of the nearby hot springs – they had a beautiful big pool and three spa pools filled with curative mineral waters naturally heated. Great for all that ails you – we made good use of them – great for arthritis etc. This park was basically empty but it fills up during winter with snowbirds. The air in the desert was so dry and had so few allergens that I suspended talking allegro meds. Our reason for being there was to visit Joshua Tree desert and enjoy its peculiar trees and landscape. We spent most of a day there – without dogs – way too hot. It's a wonderland that amazes you and startles you with odd and unusual trees, shrubs and rock formations. Below is the rock called The Cap surrounded by the yucca tree called Joshua Tree.
Teddy bear or cholla cactus garden
This is Skull Rock – for obvious reasons. It's a big selfie attraction but we were astounded by its size and structure. There are hundreds more equally beautiful. In the next photo – the rocks below are in one of the campgrounds where you can rent a site to experience the desert overnight. We hope to do that next year – by renting a much smaller RV and spending the night star gazing.
As long as they don't fall in the night……
A Joshua Tree forest…….
We learned that the desert is a complex unique environment – sand dunes, rock formations and rugged mountains, and empty dry river beds that fill briefly in spring with water from melting snows. There are several oasis areas with tall indigent palms and cottonwood trees formed where the faults rupture the earth's crust allowing water from deep below to rise. The next day we took the Palm Springs Tramway up to the top of Mount Jacinto for great views of Palm Springs, the San Andreas fault and even the Salton Sea off in the distance.
Also there is a huge wind turbine farm located here too – people told us that it is always windy. We toured Palm Springs – an interesting place – saw Bob Hope's house on the ridge above and drove by the Annenburg Estate. Had a great lunch at "Manhattan in the desert" – a transplanted New York deli. Interesting desert architecture is exemplified by sandy colors and adobe style homes. There is a large native peoples casino operated by the Agua Caliente tribe who have lived here for thousands of years. That they made such a harsh environment their home is a tribute to their tenacity and respect for Mother Earth. This visit exceeded our expectations bigly! Now we travel through another desert – Mojave Desert – on our way to Las Vegas baby!