Yesterday we took the 2 1/2 hour drive inland from Los Angeles to our new Airbnb in Desert Hot Springs. We were told to pick up the keys from the apartments partner hotel, the Aqua Soleil Hotel and mineral spa, which was a short 2 min drive from the apartment. We are allowed to use the hotel facilities so decided to quickly drop our bags at our new home and come back for the afternoon.
We were so pleased when we opened the door, our apartment is just so lovely! We feel so lucky, and at an amazing price of £29 a night it’s a complete and utter bargain! It’s all fluffy white towels, and bed sheets. Designer toiletries and most importantly (as we’ve now discovered) has a fab dining table and chairs and lovely kitchen! It’s amazing how much we missed not having these at our last stop!
So we dropped bags grabbed swimming costumes and drove back to the hotel for a very relaxing afternoon in the pool and mineral spa hot tubs. We spent the afternoon swimming, hot tubing, generally chilling, and reading by the pool! Just what we needed after all our time in the car recently.
So today we awoke very refreshed and ready to face the Joshua national park desert. The appartment is about 30 mins drive from the entrance and on the way in we stopped at the visitors centre to pick up suggestions from the ranger, warnings on tarantulas 😳 and pick up some great rangers packs for the girls! We also double checked water supplies before entering!
Wow oh wow what can I say! Stunning! I will admit I was a little nervous about visiting the desert before arriving, think all the creepy crawly talk had me jumpy…but it’s just so beautiful! So quiet and well just gorgeous!
Joshua’s park lies along the San Andreas fault line and and as a result of the pacific and North American plates overlapping 250 million years ago these amazing rock formations have surfaced! ( look who payed attention in class today! 😉) and with wind and rain erosion all these amazing shapes have formed. Add a lot of bright sun and all these amazing shadows form.
We spent a lot of time walking the sandy trails, looking at all the plants and wildlife and climbing the amazing boulders talking about how they came to be that shape and more importantly which animal we thought they looked like! It’s funny how you start to see elephants, faces and other animal shapes…perhaps it’s the sun but hope you can spot some in our pictures! Check out the skull!
We also found the jumping cholla cactus! I kid you not! Very beautiful but if you get too close the spikes fly out at you! Of course we had to test it with a branch and yep…it sure did!
On the way out from the park we stopped at the visitors centre again to hand in the girls activity packs and they were quite surprised to be given their junior ranger badges after chatting to the head ranger and making their pledge to do their bit to keep the parks safe! They even got a signed book, hat and round of applause from everyone in there! Two happy girls!
Well after leaving the park we stopped by pioneer town on the way home, which is a purpose build movie set where they filmed over 400 western movies, we went to the famous Pappy and Harriet’s bar for a dinner of hamburgers and chips in the saloon! And huge jars of ice cold drink!
Finally feeling worn out and a little dusty we stopped by the hotel again for one more swim in the pools! Perfect!
Here’s a little poem Molly wrote today in her ranger booklet, she agreed I could share it!
Sun lit sky
Rest in the shade