Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 9 - Enjoying the Valley

Day 9 – The Valley Experience

On Day 8 we started slowing down the pace and just enjoying the peace and beauty of the Coachella Valley.  Day 9 is more of that.

One of many beautiful sidewalks
Okay...some caches can be a little...
The day started out cold, 68 degrees, and with a 20% possibility of rain.  With that forecast in mind, we put on our winter clothes and headed out for geocaching in the area around our resort.  We spent  2 ½ hours walking through nearby desert and neighborhoods, geocaching and enjoying the mountain views.  We love geocaching because we learn so much about the world around us as well as spending time outdoors.

Can you see the hummer?
We can't either!!!
On our walk we saw two more hummingbirds.  We probably took 50 pictures of which only 3 three actually had birds in them. (Damn, er, cute little flitters just won’t stay in one place for the pics!)  We love the fact that the valley is home to a huge number of birds, including four different species of hummingbirds.  (13 different species of hummingbirds have been sighted here.

In the afternoon, we zipped west to visit one of our favorite places in the valley, Indian Canyons.  This Agua Caliente reservation is immediately south of Palm Springs, within walking distance.  There are numerous walking trails and oases to visit…including our favorite, Andreas Canyon.

View of the valley floor
Indian Canyon
First stop was the Trading Post high up on the mountain.  From here you get a wonderful view of the valley floor, plus you learn what’s going on in the canyons.  Several signs around here, helping you learn proper etiquette for desert hiking.  One says to keep your small dogs on a short leash, because of the mountain lions.  Over here, another says to beware of rattlesnakes.  These signs really give you a warm fuzzy before you begin your hike!

As said above, Andreas Canyon is our favorite.  The trail is beside a mountain stream which has created an oasis though the canyon floor.  The stream is from melting snow from the San Jacinto Mountains above and so it’s quite cold.  The stream rushes and gurgles through the rocks and simply gives you a feeling of peace and harmony.  This particular stream was one of the key inspirations for the stream and pond in our back yard in Decatur.

Around us are steep canyon walls, with rocks of every hue and color perfectly balanced along the cliff sides.  Yes, they are beautiful…but since this is earthquake country, one can’t help to wonder just how well balanced these rocks really are!  You always have to have quakes in mind when in the canyons.

We come to our reading rock.  This is a huge rock in the middle of the stream with water rushing beside it.  (video is the view from the rock) We love to sit on this rock and read and just be.  This is what the Indians loved about this valley. This is happy. This is contentment.  This is peace.  (Just so long as those dern earthquakes don’t drop a boulder on our noggins!)

Here are some pictures of hummingbirds at the Trading Post feeders.  We've been there when they've had 40 or 50 hummers at a time, but today there were only a few.  None of these are the ruby-throated hummingbirds we see back east.

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