Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snowbirds For A Week

Our friends Irene and Randy invited us to spend a week with them in Palm Springs, California.  They didn't have to ask us twice!  We jumped at the chance to spend some quality time with people we don't see often enough.

This is what 42 years of friendship looks like.

BACK STORY:  Irene and I have been friends for a very long time.  We met in 1972 when we were Grade 9 students at Como Lake Junior High School.  We were BBFs then and remain so to this day.  Even though we don't see each other on a regular basis (we live almost 200 kilometres apart), when we are together those weeks and months seem to melt away and it feels as if we saw each other yesterday.

Hiking in White Water Canyon

We hiked every morning until mid-afternoon.  The hills that surround Palm Springs are perfect for it.

As someone who dwells in a rainforest, at first it seemed the desert would be lifeless.  Was I ever WRONG!  The desert is full of life.  Flora and fauna abound.  Everywhere we looked we saw beauty.

Hiking in White Water Canyon

Beaver Tail Cactus flower

Tahquitz Canyon Falls

Tahquitz Canyon oasis

Claret Cup Cactus flower

My favourite hiking day was spent in Joshua Tree National Park.  The Mojave Desert is a fascinating place.  Please go if you ever have the chance.

Fun facts:  Joshua trees are not trees.  They are a variety of yucca plant.  They grow only 1 inch per year.  The Joshua tree in the photo above is about 250 years old!

Walking in to see the Barker Dam.

The park is popular with rock climbers.  Can you see them?

Fun fact:  Joshua Tree National Park is 4,300 feet above sea level.

Hiking up Ryan Mountain

The view from the top of Ryan Mountain

Skeleton Rock

Cholla Cactus Garden

When we weren't hiking in the hills we were either lazing by the pool, strolling through our neighbourhood or downtown Palm Springs, scouring thrift stores for designer duds, eating great food and drinking margaritas.

Village Fest (Photo credit: Irene Thiessen)

Fun Fact:  There are no street lights in Palm Springs neighbourhoods.  Instead, every palm tree has a spotlight strapped to its trunk shining upwards.  The trees act as street lights!

Happy hikers

Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Irene and Randy all too soon.  We bid them adieu and headed north.

In a scant few hours, my view went from this:

To this:

Oh well, at least someone was happy we were home...

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