February 6 - 9, 2009 – Visiting Family

On Friday (6th), we left the Slabs and went to Palm Desert to visit my cousins, Jim and Deb. First the stats:

Miles Traveled: 70 Miles
Routes Traveled:
CA: CA-111

Some views:

The Salton Sea (more later):

We arrived around noon and spent the day getting caught up with each other – it is so good to see them and I always like spending time with family and friends.

On Saturday (7th), we took a ride to Joshua Tree National Park. Check out the scenes:

Us in front of the Ocotillo:

The field of Teddy- Bear Cholla cactus:

This is the cactus that is sometimes called the “jumping cholla” because the joints appear to jump off the plant even if they are barely touched. According to the brochure: “The teddy-bear cholla has the reputation of being the most formidable. Not only do its long thin spines readily penetrate clothing, shoes, and flesh, but the tip of each spine is armed with tiny curved barbs that assure it remains anchored.” Yikees! We did not get too close.

The Joshua Tree(s):

Check out these rocks – it looked like they just appeared in the high desert:

Coming out of the park into the valley (wow!):

As we neared I-10, check out the rows and rows of windmills:

The weather was a little rainy and chilly and even some of the mountains had snow:

What a wonderful day – Thank you so much, Deb and Jim.

On Sunday (8th), we just hung out in the morning. Jim and Deb have such wonderful gardens. It is so unusual for us to see some many beautiful flowers in February.

We went out for lunch and then took a short drive around the area and Lake Cahuilla:

Our afternoon was spent just hanging out and taking it easy. We have had such a great weekend here. Thank you so much, Deb and Jim for making us feel welcome. We hope to see you again next winter.

Today, Monday (9th), we left Palm Desert and came back to the Slabs. On our way here, we passed the Salton Sea again. This sea is 227 feet below sea level and has no outlets and is saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Here is a great link for information:

Some pictures:

When we came into the Slabs, Cookie and Earl were putting a campsite occupied sign on our site – Cookie had just read my email about returning. Thanks Cookie and Earl! Chili Bob stopped by tonight and it was nice to get caught up.

We had some rain and then the wind started. It is still blowing pretty strong as I write this but hopefully tomorrow it will be gone. We are going to have some cooler temps for a few days – 60’s in the day and mid 40’s at night. (To my eastern friends and family – I know, I know, it is much better than 30’s in the day -:-))

So Andy fixed his bike tires – both tires went flat last week – and we found cactus daggers in them! And I am getting caught up with some computer work.

Until tomorrow!

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