Devil’s Chair

California is getting out of the drought quickly this winter.  We have more rain on the way for the coming weekend so we wanted to get out for another good hike before we get cooped up in the RV.  The mountains are covered with snow down to the 6000 foot mark so it limits what we can hike without snow shoes.  We did some reading in our “Best Hikes With Dogs: Southern California” book and decided on a hike in the Angeles National Forest.  This is an area that we had not been to before.  We had an early start so we figured we had enough time to do this hike even with a 250 mile round trip drive.  screenshot-2017-01-18-11-57-48 Continue reading

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Pumpkin Rock Hike

We got up early on Sunday so we decided we would find a hike.  We had been reading about a hike in the Norco Hills located less than 1.5 hours (83 miles) west of Palm Desert.    pumpkin-rock

The hike brings you up to a giant rock painted like a pumpkin.  What we didn’t know about the hike is that in addition to the pumpkin rock there is great 360 degree views for the whole hike.  This was our first drive into this area and we were both impressed with the beautiful views as we drove up to Norco Hills.  We have been in the desert for several weeks now so it was a treat to see the lush green grass and the beginnings of a spring bloom.  We parked on the side of the street and started our hike at a sign for “Norco Continue reading

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Amboy Crater on Route 66

Yesterday was one of those perfect days when you are surprised with a great adventure.  We had planned on going to the FMCA show in Indio but at the last minute found out that not all the exhibits would be open on day one.  We decided we would drive up to Idyllwild for some cold mountain hiking.  We packed coats, hats, gloves and our microspikes and headed west on the I-10.  We did not go far when we noticed the entire San Jacinto mountain area was encased with clouds.  It was obviously raining/snowing in the area and we needed to come up with a new plan.  I had been studying the Delorme map earlier in the day and noticed an “interesting geologic feature” called Amboy Crater. We plugged it into GPS and we were on our way.  We were treated to some of the best horizon to horizon rainbows we have ever seen as we exited the I-10 and headed on Rte 62 up the Morongo Valley.  img_7942 Continue reading

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Cheesecake in the Micro/Convection

Last week we had 2 rainy days back to back over the New Years holiday.  What better to do on a rainy day than cook?  I had some cream cheese in the refrigerator and decided it was time to make a leap with my Sharp micro/convection oven and try to make a cheesecake.  I must admit that I was quite intimidated using this oven for the first year.  There are some things that are easy to make, like pizza, or anything else that bakes for less than 20 minutes.  The instructions that came with the microwave indicated that up to 20 minutes you can use the convection setting.  Once you get past 20 minutes you will dry out your food.  This is where the combination settings come into play.  In the first year I made great use of the “low mix” setting.  You use this setting for “low density” foods like cakes.  When I make a cake I use low mix with the same temperature setting I normally would and decrease the time to 1/2.  It’s pretty sweet when you can cook a full size bundt cake in 30 minutes.


Lemon Bundt Cake- someone was giving away free lemons in the campground!

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A Bit of Route 66

The weather had been less than optimal for the past few days so we decided it was time for a short road trip to explore some Route 66 spots.  We had already driven to San Bernadino for some shopping at Camping world so we decided to drive another 45 minutes north to Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch.  We did some reading and discovered there were a few sites along this section of route 66 that we wanted to check out.  Our first stop was at the Route 66 museum in Victorville.  Unfortunately the museum was not open when we arrived but we got some good pictures of the full wall mural on the side of the building.  img_4547

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Grotto Overlook-2nd Times a Charm

We woke to clearing skies on Christmas morning so we decided it was a great time to take a hike.  The surrounding mountains had been encased in clouds for 2-days while snow piled up on them.  We wanted to take a short hike that would take us up just high enough for views of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. img_7751 SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Continue reading

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Dinosaurs in the Desert and Robots in the City

We spent 4 months in Palm Springs last year and somehow we missed two really great adventures, Robolights and the metal sculptures in Borrego Springs.  They are both definitely worth seeing.

The metal sculptures of Borrego Springs takes about 4 hours if you try to see most of them.img_7402 There are 130 sculptures located on the Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs.  The full size steel welded sculptures were created by Ricardo Breceda.  The bulk of the sculptures are of prehistoric creatures that once roamed here.img_7426   Continue reading

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Homestead Hiking Trail- To “The Cross”

Yesterday was a rare cool overcast day in Palm Springs so we decided to take advantage of the weather and hike up to “the cross”.  This is a great dog friendly hike in Palm Springs  that starts in the Caps Homme and Ralph Adams Park located on Thrush Road.Palm Desert / CA / United States - 12/23/16  This area contains an off leash dog area as well as the Homestead Trail that leads to “the cross”. Continue reading

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Slab City, East Jesus and Bubbling Mud Pots

John and I were ready for a day full of quirky adventures so we headed toward the Salton Sea.  Last year when we went to see Salvation Mountain, we did not travel out further to Slab City and East Jesus.  We were told by fellow campers we should check it out.  Our first stop of the day was to revisit Salvation mountain. dsc_0153 We had read online about water towers located out behind Salvation Mountain that have some interesting paintings on them.  Unfortunately we could not figure out how to get out to them.  All routes from Salvation Mountain were blocked with signs indicating not to hike on.  We abandoned our attempts to get out to these and decided to drive on to Slab City which is literally right behind Salvation Mountain.   Continue reading

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Big Utah Canyon in California


Taking time to enjoy the colors in this canyon

Today we decided to take a break from Pickleball and get a hike in.  It is a bit more of a challenge to find a “dog friendly” hike here in Palm Springs than it was in Las Vegas or Cottonwood.  We chose a canyon hike in the Mecca hills for our first adventure.  The canyon hikes here are very different than the mountain hikes we are accustomed to back home.  The hike today had no “official trail” meaning there were no official cairns or markers.  You need to follow directions found in a guidebook or online that use landmarks (like trees) to take you through the canyons.  It took us a while last year to get used to this type of hiking.  We prefer to hike in canyons vs up exposed hills/mountains when it is warm and sunny.  Gizmo cannot tolerate the sun beating down on him for miles, and the canyon walls provide at least intermittent shade. Continue reading

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