The View from our 11th floor room at the Aqua Caliente in Rancho Mirage was spectacular and changed every few minutes. The storm brought wind, rain and even snow to the desert.
ABOVE FLOWER PHOTOS WERE TAKEN JUST OFF I-10 AT THE COTTONWOOD EXIT. WE STOPPED JUST OUTSIDE THE PARK BOUNDARY TO SNIP A FEW FLOWERS TO PRESS. DRIVING THROUGH THE PARK WE WERE AWED AT THE PATCHES OF SNOW AND THE BEAUTY OF THE DESERT UNDER THE BLUEST OF SKIES AND PUFFY WHITE CLOUDS. PASSING THE CHOLLA GARDEN, OCOTILLO PATCHES, JOSHUA TREE FORESTS AND BOULDER STREWN CAMPGROUNDS, PATCHY SNOW WAS LIKE FROSTING.
A LITTLE SNOW IN YUCCA VALLEY, BUT PIONEER TOWN WAS IMPASSABLE FOR A WHILE AND APPEARED AS A WONDERLAND.
DINNER WITH WENDY & MARK AT BABE’S BBQ AT RIVER MALL IN RANCHO MIRAGE. ALAN TRIES TO PICK UP A PIG.
It has been an unusually wet winter in the Coachella Valley. Nearly a year’s worth of rain fell in the first six weeks of 2019, while a mega-storm crashed through on Valentine’s Day — the wettest desert day recorded in 76 years.
Apocalyptic flooding closed roads, blocked freeway exit ramps, shut down the aerial tram, clogged the washes with mud and shuttered businesses. The desert and foothills are now startlingly green, the mountain tops blanketed in lovely white snow.
Near the Palm Springs Visitors Center at the city’s entrance, a massive digital screen erected in the desert melds fossil fuels with state and national emblems as part of the second installment of Desert X, a valley-wide biennial exhibition of preexisting and commissioned public art. WE VISITED TWO DESERT X SITES IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS:
FIRST STOP GOING OUT AND LAST STOP COMING HOME – THE RED BARN IN BANNING! ALWAYS A GOOD WAY TO START AND END A TRIP.
TOP NEWS IS RAIN RAIN RAIN. RECORD RAIN. SNOW. SO WE HEAD OUT ANYWAY AND SPEND NIGHT ONE IN A FAVORITE SPOT – THE SALTON SEA. IT HAS ITS PROBLEMS, BUT WE LOVE CAMPING AT THE STATE RECREATION AREA. ALWAYS TREATED TO A PLETHORA OF BIRDS, COLORFUL SUNSETS AND PEACE.
NEXT STOP BEAUTIFUL BLYTHE. DON’T BELIEVE ME? OK, ITS PRETTY BAD BUT WE LIKE THE COVE CAMPGROUND ON THE RIVER.
AND IT PUTS IN GOOD PROXIMITY OF A STOP IN QUARTZSITE. AND BLYTHE HAS ONE OF THE PRETTIEST TREES EVER.
HEADED TOWARD PHOENIX THE NEWS WARNS OF RECORD RAINS, FLASH FLOODS, STRONG WINDS. WE DON’T SEE A DROP. WE ARRIVE IN CHANDLER TO VISIT A FRIEND WHO RECENTLY MOVED THERE. LESLIE AND NED AND THEIR DOGS WERE MOST HOSPITABLE.
OFF TO THE WILD WEST. WE TOURED SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN AND CAMPED AT THE LOST DUTCHMAN MINE CAMPGROUND. SNOW BIRDS EVERYWHERE AND THE CAMPGROUNDS AROUND HERE ARE ALL FULL.
WE LOVED OUR STOP AT CASA GRANDE. IT WOULD BE GONE BUT FOR THOSE WHO HAD THE ROOF BUILT TO SAVE THIS ANCIENT STRUCTURE:
NO CAMPGROUNDS WITH ROOM FOR US IN GILA BEND BUT WE SPY A DIRT ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 8 AND FOLLOW A SIGN TO PETROPGLYPH PARK. IT WAS VERY PRIMITIVE AND WE LOVED IT. A SHORT LITTLE HIKE TO THE PETROGLYPHS WAS WELL WORTH OUR TIME.
STILL, NO DOWNPOURS.
HEADED TOWARD YUMA WE STOPPED OFF AT FELICITY – REPORTEDLY THE “CENTER OF THE WORLD.” STRANGE PLACE AND WORTH A LOOK AROUND. THEY ARE STILL EXPANDING.
HEADED NORTH THE SKIES DARKEN AND FINALLY, JUST AS WE ENTER ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK, THEY OPEN UP AND WE GET OUR FIRST RAIN THIS TRIP. THROUGH OCOTILLO SPRINGS, DOWN TO CHRISTMAS CIRCLE, WE ARE HAPPY TO GET A SPOT AT PALM CANYON RV PARK IN TIME FOR A PRIME RIB DINNER. BORREGO SPRINGS IS A FUN TOWN, NICE SHOPS, ART GALLERY AND RESTAURANTS. WE ENJOYED SUN AND CLOUDS AND THE JACUZZI. SPRING FLOWERS ARE STARTING TO SPROUT.