Our second trip to JT was in January. Another lovely warm day for hiking. After visiting Keys View (a must for every visit), we took the Hidden Valley trail. Hidden Valley was inaccessible until 1936 when rancher Bill Keys dynamited an opening so his cattle could graze. Now it is a beautiful 2-mile hike traversing the rocks and dry stream beds, surrounded by massive rock formations. After our walk, we left the park to get some dinner at the Panda Express, then return to see the stars. It was a beautiful night sky to behold.
Finally, we were drawn to the park to see the blooming Joshua Trees and the profusion of wildflowers brought on by the heavy winter rains. (More on the storm later). The Joshua blooms resemble enormous white hyacinths at the end of the branch. Really very amazing. Proceeding on towards the 29 Palms Oasis entrance we encounter mountainside turned orange with California Poppies, a little yellow, and other wildflowers. The sides of the road hosted a profusion purple lupine, babies breath, and other flowers I did not recognize. Backtracking we took the turnoff to the Cottonwood entrance from I 10. A long wash, flooding during the winter rains, was now a profusion of wildflowers climbing across the hills. Also along this road is the Cholla Garden, an extensive collection of this spiny cactus that look fluffy until you get close and realize the fluff is spines.
We also went on several short hikes in and around Palm Springs.
Casinos and Shows
Much of the land in and around Palm Spring and its surrounding towns belongs to the Agua Caliente band of Native Americans. They lease the ground that many of the buildings reside on and have built several large casinos in the area. Tom and I don’t gamble often but sometimes like to play a few slot machines. What we really enjoyed about the casinos was the food and the shows. We attended several shows during our stay, our favorites were Penn and Teller, magicians, Purple Reign, a Prince tribute show, and the Beach Boys. They were all great fun.
One day Lory and I went shopping on El Paseo drive, where all the expensive stores reside. While in a jewelry shop, the owner mentioned their Poodle Parade. Sponsored by the Poodle Club of the Desert, each month the local poodles gather in the early morning to march up and down the boulevard. Gracie, of course, insisted we attend. She and we had a great time meeting and greeting the 50 or so poodles that participated in. Breakfast after in a doggie friendly restaurant was a must.