Friday, January 22, 2010

White Knuckle Drive


So far we'd avoided nasty road conditions pretty much. There were a few washouts, but nothing insurmountable until today. Holy @#$@#!

Anza Borrego






The rain just didn't stop. I don't know what to say. The lack of sun was really sad. So, after sending the camping stuff we never used it. When i say rain, I mean biblical, torrential, 30 days and 30 nights kinda stuff. Stepping outside was like stepping into a high end shower. There is nothing to do indoors in Borrego Springs. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Desert Rain

So the question now is; 'where do we go'. The entire southwest of California, parts of Arizona and on east are socked in, subject to extreme rain. Or as they put it in the desert; 'an 80% chance of measurable rain'. That @#$@# is supposed to go on until we fly back to Whitehorse. Don't get me wrong, I'm no shrinking violet. A little rain won't deter me. However, when it rains in the desert, it pours. There is so much rain just stepping outside is litle stepping into a shower. Stay tuned gentle readers... who knows where we'll end up...

Joshua Tree








We had a restful night at the 29 Palms Inn. The coyotes here are lippy buggers though. They were having some sort of hootenanny last night. You just had to know their celebration was bad news for someone else.

We we woken with the desert dawn by a huge flock of California Quails (also called Gambrel's Quail I believe). They were amazingly cute with little dangling feathers on their heads running around, bobbing, weaving and generally making a racket. we figured since we were up, we might as well get going, seeing as the sun was actually shining. We ate and drove into Joshua Tree National Park looking for a hike. Yesterday I bought a Joshua Tree hiking map and today it paid for itself. It's funny, there are lots of hiking trails on the map, but none of them seem to be sign posted at the road. We had a fabulous hike. We just walked up a wash into the mountains, looking for the mine that was the genesis of the hike. We never did find the mine site, but we had a fabulous hike. We even saw a Bobcat. My first ever Bobcat sighting. I also saw a Jackrabbit and a few Antelope Ground Squirrels.

By the time we turned around an headed back we we kind of amazed at how far we went and how long we were gone. It was just so pleasant hiking along the wash looking at the flora and trying to see the fauna. Keep in mind the whole time there is spotty sunshine. Not too bad we thought. We drove through part of the park between 29 Palms and Joshua Tree (the town, not the park). There were fields of Joshua Trees some of which actually looked like trees once they got big enough. We also did a short interpreted trail that disclosed the existence of a desert oak and the pine tree from whence pine nuts fall. The landscape here is beautiful and surreal. My DH and I find we actually like it, unlike our previous desert experience which was Mojave/ Chihuahua in Texas.

Monday, January 18, 2010

29 Palms

If you read the last post you know we got rained on. We are hard core, but didn't bring camping gear suitable for the rain. Thinking; 'we are going to the desert, it won't rain there'. We stayed at a nice place and had some good times.
video

Rain in the Desert









We arrived in Palm Springs, actually Thousand Palms at a friend's place just after dark and just as the rain started. We arrived back from our cruise to news of a week of rain predicted for the entire south of the USA. We hoped for the best. This morning we had cloudy breaks and a little rain. We drove into Joshua Tree National Park and checked out all the camp sites at Indian Cove. If you are ever in the neighbourhood you should check it out. You might want to reseve a site as it is obviously popular despite having no water and only pit toilets. Anway, we headed out into Rattlesnake Canyon for a hike. About 20 minutes into the scramble the heavens opened. We futzed along a bit longer trying to decide if we should turn back. We did turn back and are happy we did. The rain made the rocks very slick. There were torrents of water sliding down the rocks. Chris took a photo of me taste testing the desert rain. It was amazing.

When we later stopped in at the Visitor Reception Centre it was confirmed that we were wise to turn back as those types of washes are very dangerous in this amount of rain.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

San Diego - Farmer's Market & Balboa Park






Today, Saturday is the Little Italy Farmer's Market. Fabulous food, I can't even say how awesome the food was. Then we took our lovely repast out to Balboa Park. We rented a surrey (4 wheeled, 6 seater bike) and pedaled around. Good times were had by all.

The Cruise






Our first cruise was really fun. If only the sun had come out more it would have been perfect. We were upgraded because my inlaws had cruised with Carnival before. That was nice because we got a window. day one we sat out at sea. Kinda weird, but fine for relaxing. Day 2 we went to Catalina island. I'd go back there. I love little islands. it was mountainous and totally beautiful. We did a very entertaining kayak. Day 3 was Ensenada Mexico. We did a really enjoyable wine tour. Who knew Mexico had wineries? we caught an organic place and an industrial place. Both enjoyable. Then Day 4 back in San Diego. Nice.

San Diego Little Italy




When we first arrived in San Diego (after what was my first pleasant experience with Air Canada in many weeks) we had no idea how close the airport is to town. Not only is it close, but the planes practically touch the top of the homes at one end of Little Italy, where we were staying. We loved Little Italy here in San Diego. There are chairs and tables for sitting everywhere, on all the street corner enticing you to stay and enjoy the sun.