Friday, December 24, 2010

CHRISTMAS EVE: IT’S SUNNY, WARM, AND DRY!

Sunny dayFour o’clock in the afternoon, and the SUN has just slid down behind the western mountains. It is our second day of SUNSHINE! Can you tell how welcome this change of weather is?

We awoke to a beautiful day yesterday and headed outside earlier than usual, curious to look at the condition of the drainage washes that run through the park. The washes were in good shape, just a little sand and mud across the roads and a few puddles here and there.

The golf course, though, is a different story, and access to the course was totally blocked off with yellow “crime scene” tape (actually, “caution” tape, but it looked like a crime scene!). During the heavy rains on Wednesday, when Dillon Road, adjacent to the park, was running with mud, gravel and debris, a river of muddy runoff washed through the middle of the otherwise green, grassy, extremely popular golf course. At least a few of the fairways are now muddy ponds – a particularly sad sight on such a lovely and long-awaited day!

Wet FairwaysOutside the RV park, area roads are a mess! The White Water River runs from northwest to southeast through Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert and Indio, and every road through the urban area was closed at what is called “The Wash”. For those of us who don’t know the area well, it means poring over maps anytime we want to go anywhere, consulting online lists to see if roads on our route are blocked and how to get around the blockage (the answer: drive 20 miles out of your way).

We had planned to hike in Indian Canyons today, an area reputed to be some of the most beautiful hiking in the Palm Springs area. I called the visitor center there at 8 am to see if the trails were open (yes), then asked Ranger John for to suggest a route from Desert Hot Springs to Indian Canyon. A drive that normally would be around 12 miles turned into 30 miles because of the road closures – so we nixed that!

Happy Hikers, Sue and LaurieInstead, we picked up our friend Sue Malone from her RV park a few miles away and headed to the Coachella Desert Preserve for a hike to one of the palm oases protected in the preserve. We chatted as we hiked along the ridge tops and washes, getting to know each other better while enjoying the sunshine and 60-something degrees. We couldn’t help but stop frequently and exclaim about the perfection of the day, drinking in the sunshine and 360 degree views.

When we got home at 3 pm, delicious aromas from the crockpot filled Scoopy. I’d put lamb shanks in the crock pot before we left, using the Basque Lamb Shank recipe that I had forgotten is already in my recipe archive (thanks for reminding me, Sue!). The lamb shanks are cooked with white beans, tomatoes, and butternut squash, and we have a special red wine our friend Pat gave to us as an early Christmas present before we left Sacramento. My mouth is watering as I write…

We’ll be hitting the road tomorrow, driving 200 miles from Desert Hot Springs, CA, to Yuma, AZ. Our Boomer friends are holding a Christmas potluck in the desert near Yuma in the afternoon, but we’re not sure we’ll arrive in time for the meal (hence the special dinner tonight).

Pushwalla PalmsHey, remember my story from the other day, when my cell phone jumped into the swimming pool? A Boomer couple were among the many readers/friends who responded when I wondered about what I should do. They had two “retired” LG phones, along with all the cords and user guides, sitting in their rig. After a quick series of emails and little internet research, Jan put the phones and their accessories in a box and shipped them off to us yesterday – estimated date of arrival in Yuma (c/o General Delivery) 12/27. Isn’t that great?

Jan’s response to my comment about reimbursing her for the shipping expense and effort was “...let's just make it a Pay It Forward transaction”. Jan and Ken, thank you again. What a nice Christmas present!

Hey, a big group of carolers just passed by the front of our rig. Merry Christmas, every one of you and yours.

7 comments:

  1. I can't tell you how nice it is to see our 'home park' bathed in sunshine and blue skies again! I only wish it had been better weather for your stay there.

    Merry Christmas to you Laurie and Odell, and I sure hope our paths cross in the near future!!

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  2. Ah sun. It looks wonderful. Hope you both have a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2011!

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  3. 60 some degrees in the dessert? I'll take it :-) Have a very Merry Christmas.

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  4. Merry Christmas Laurie and Odel!

    John
    http://relaxedrush.blogspot.com

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  5. Glad to hear the rain stopped. It sure looks like a beautiful area!

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