------------ Palm Desert - Mar, 2011 ------------

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------------ Joshua Tree National Park ------------

We drove through the park from south to north on the second day of our visit. The cactus had only just begun to bloom, this one not at all.

The highlight of our day was the hike to Barker Dam. The loop trail to the dam is 1.3 miles.

The rangers told us that this was the first time in many years that there had been enough rainfall to fill the dam.

This photo shows the top of the dam from the upper side.

The following two photos show the lower side view. The stone portion was built by Barker employees in 1902, the upper concrete portion was added in 1949 by Keys Ranch workers.

The additional concrete structure below the dam is a livestock watering trough.

Bill Keys replaced the original wooden trough with the concrete one in 1939. The inner ring was to protect a float valve, which conserved water. It's 3 feet high by 20 feet in length. Bill Keys was a Russian immigrant who in 1917 claimed land in Joshua Tree from his employer, the Queen Mining Co, in lieu of wages. He and family successfully homesteaded here for 50 years.

Signs directed us to petroglyphs along this side trail.

We found this wonderful lunch spot in Twenty Nine Palms, named "29 Palms Inn Restaurant." It is advertised as being in business since 1928. This is their Lunch Menu.

------------ Coachella Valley Preserve ------------

We were at the Thousand Palms section of the Coachella Valley Preserve which is cooperatively managed by federal, state and private groups. We enjoyed a nice walk through part of it named the McCallum Trail.

------------ Borrego Springs ------------

Our friends and former neighbors Bob and Susanne invited us for lunch at their current mobile home site near Font's Point. After lunch they took us two miles up this wash in their 4WD truck for the spectacular views.

In the photos below you can see trails on some of the ridges that serve as hiking trails.

Annamarie, Susanne, and Bob enjoying the view. That's our road back down, just beyond Bob.

This is a windshield view driving back down the wash.

Good video of Font's Point

This steel sculptures stands about 16 feet tall and is one of 54 in the Borrego Springs area. They were created by artist Ricardo Breceda, commissioned by Dennis Avery, land owner of Galleta Meadows Estate, just to share with the public. There is easy access so anyone can drive up close for a better view.

------------ Native Plants & Flowers ------------

Our trip was too early to catch most of the desert bloom but we did find a few. This first one we found at Borrego Springs. It's quite tiny.

These are blooms are from a Beaver Tail cactus:

The following five we found in our second trip through Joshua Tree:

The last three were from
The Living Desert Museum in Palm Springs.:

------------ Bunnies, Birds & Bees ------------

We saw lots of bunnies, this one below our balcony, next to the golf course.

This bird looks like a skinny crow but he had a very loud, high pitched call. I don't know what he was.

These two birds were in the aviary in
The Living Desert Museum. Apparently they migrate through this area seasonally.

This was a display of the Carpenter Bee's method of burrowing out the stem of a palm leaf in which to lay her eggs. We saw several of these bees flying about. They are larger than our local bumble bees.

------------ Wind Sculptures ------------

We first noticed this wind sculpture at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center. It weighs 800 lbs. and the two arms move randomly at about the same speeds in both gentle and strong breezes.

This one was located in a fountain in our hotel grounds.

We found this one at The Living Desert Museum.

All three of the above "wind activated geokinetic" art works are creations of Steven L. Rieman, Sculptor.

------------ Palm Springs Air Museum ------------

The museum is dedicated to WW II fighting aircraft, most of which are in flying condition and are taken up and flown. But there were a few WW I models on display...

This Gee Bee model was also in the library.

This Boeing built 1939 Navy trainer was the only full size biplane in the museum. It's of interest to me because my older sister's husband purchased a similar one after WW II. His had only a single lower wing, but otherwise it looked much the same. I was only 12 years old and it was not only my first time up in an airplane but I got to fly it from the trainer cockpit which was the most exciting thing I had ever done at that age. His plane didn't have the speaking tube so we communicated by other means since the radial engine was so noisy we could not hear each other.

These were a couple of the fighters: A Spitfire...

and a Cosair...

------------ Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort ------------

From our balcony, overlooking the 16th fairway:

View looking West:

Resort grounds:

We also visited The Coachella Valley Historical Museum in Indio:

On our way home on our last day we saw The Living Desert Museum in Palm Springs:

We spotted this name in a few places. Almost "Lavieri" but not quite.

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