Saturday, January 06, 2007

29 Palms

S and I decided we would take a one night, two day vacation for the holidays. Since we've done several travels to the beach in recent months, we decided this time we would go to the desert. Thursday night in preparation, I got out the swift and ball winder and took out the Manos del Uruguay.

S has been getting antsy about getting this scaft started. I think he really likes the yarn he picked out. So Thursday night I swatched, selected gauge, and confirmed he really wants a stockinette stich scarf.

Then supplies in hand, Friday morning we were off... destination Joshua Tree National Park.

This is a pretty amazing park; we've been out here to hike several times. The geology of the place is fascinating. Lot's of these interesting rock formations that are a result of teutonic plate movement and erosion.

Here's S huddled in a little cave. I say huddled because it was bitterly cold yesterday. We had expected 60 degree (F) weather and got 40s with a regularly paced 20-40 mph gusts. The wind was constant and it just ripped right through ya'.

We did at least have beautiful blue skies and had a great little hike. After exploring by ourselves, we did a naturalist guided tour of Key's/The Desert Queen Ranch. This is a little rickety house (probably 800 square foot max) where a guy named Key's lived with his family from the 20s until the 60s. Curled my hair. Just a few wooden boards nailed together. No insulation, no running water until the 60s. I don't think I could be described as having the pioneer spirit (crazy stubborness if you ask me).

Anyway, he spent his life there mining ores (with mercury no less... probably contaminated the whole area... laugh), looking for gold, and basically taking advantage of all the city folks who came out west looking to strike it rich. We had a great time, got to poke around and look at lots of old equipment, and the views were spectacular.

Then we drove from the park out to 29 Palms, a city just on the North edge of the park and checked into the 29 Palms Inn. This is a great little folksy, artisan, hangout type place. Each room is either in a freestanding building or in a building with just a couple of rooms. We stayed in the Apache Plume room which was an adobe cottage with it's own little fireplace.

Given the temperature outside we started up a fire right away. Fabulous! While S took a little nap, out came the knitting.

What a fabulous locale to knit. Wonder how I could get some of this at home?
We basically had a very low key evening, dinner at the Inn, and lots of relaxation.

This morning we were up bright and early to see the sunrise and then went on a tour of the grounds of the inn.

They have phenomenal gardens which serve the restaurant but I was most impressed with the palm dates that we growing on the property. See these tall palms?

See these dates?

They were amazing. Little pods of molassey sweetness. yum!

I'm blogging poolside now as we get ready for lunch. It's been a great break so far (and we've even had a brush with greatness. Chris Robinson of the Black Crows was staying in the room next to us and we got to hear him playing his guitar and singing quite a bit last night).

Ahh, California. Why live anywhere else?


Carol said...

You have some fabulous places to explore! We're having an eternal heat wave here.

*** hunzer *** said...

Sounds like a fun trip! I have a friend who used to work at the 29 Palms Inn. I've heard lots of fun stories about the place. :) Enjoy your trip!

Beth said...

Cold enough for you out there at Joshua Tree? My husband and I did a weekend camping trip out there last January. I've never been so cold in my life! There we were sleeping in our little tent and all the huge motor homes mocked us all night long with their heaters going on! Heehee I'd do it again though. Did you see the big horn sheep? They have a herd of them out there.

LizKnits said...

The trip was great... and crazy cold. We unfortunately didn't see the sheep this trip. They were probably somewhere out of wind's way keeping warm.