We have not run out of things to explore in the Palm Desert area — quite the opposite! Our week began by us celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with a home-made turkey dinner (cooked by friends). Throughout the week, we again managed to keep ourselves quite busy — without really trying. We browsed the Farmers’ Market, ate some amazing food, relaxed around the pool and hung out with friends some more! I continued daily aerobics and yoga classes (with Sundays off). Below are some of our activity highlights.
The Art Smith Trail
Highway 74. Across from the Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center, Palm Desert.
Up until the day of his death, Art Smith possessed a steadfast devotion to the betterment of trails in the Palm Springs area. The Art Smith Trail is 12.2 miles out and back. The beginning elevation is 1000′ with a gain of 1,300′. This trail boasts multiple palm oases.
This past Wednesday, a few of us decided to give this trail a try. We hiked for 75 minutes out and 60 minutes back, only reaching the first oasis. Big Horn Sheep and other wildlife are frequently cited as appearing in this area, but none made their presence known to us during our visit. There was a noticeable ascent at the beginning and no shade throughout. Dogs are not allowed, and the trail is closed at certain times of the year. Hiking in the early morning is ideal. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and extra water are essential.
The scenery, panoramic views, and great workout made this hike extremely worthwhile. Although it is rated as ‘difficult’ (likely due to its length), I would rate the section that we completed as ‘moderate.’ I would definitely do this hike again (hopefully for even longer next time)!
Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert
72-567 Highway 111, Palm Desert.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm. The Sculpture Garden is always open.
Due to the generosity of local philanthropist, Helene Galene, admission to Palm Springs Art Gallery in Palm Desert is currently free.
This facility is relatively small. The staff are extremely personal and friendly. These features combine to enhance the sense of community and intimacy. Currently, the gallery features early 20th century photographs of the desert area by Stephen Willard and others. The outside sculpture garden boasts 15 sculptures and over 56 types of plants. It is a peaceful place to stroll, admire and wonder.
The small size of this gallery also allows those with limited time to enjoy a visit without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
Don’t Forget the Free Concerts!
The Coachella Valley offers a wide variety of shows and entertainment to fit all different tastes and budgets. This week, we took in two free concerts that were both phenomenal. On Thursday, we went back to Civic Center Park) (again with Kathy and Thom) and watched The Dreamboats, a Canadian band (from Mississauga). Chan Romero, the original songwriter of ‘Hippy Hippy Shake,’ joined the band for the performance of his song. If you will be in, or anywhere near, Palm Springs this October, The Dreamboats are performing at The Draughtsman, each Sunday from 8 – 11 pm. Unbelievably, admission is free!
On Saturday, we went to The Rockyard at Fantasy Springs to watch Queen Nation and the warm-up group, World Tour Band. Five hours of quality live music, with no admission fee and no cover charge — you just can’t beat that!
Here is a clip from The Dream Boats. I encourage you to have a listen.
Day Trip to Los Angeles – The Dream Center and San Pedro Beach
Friends of ours regularly volunteer at The Dream Center in Los Angeles, a faith-based charitable organization led by Pastor Matthew Barnett. Our friends offered to take us on a tour of both the Center and its affiliated church, Angelus Temple. Both Angelus Temple and The Dream Center are like no other church or community support program that I’ve seen before. What began (in 1994) as serving homeless on the sidewalks of Echo Park, has become a remarkable community resource that reaches more than 50,000 people each week. When we attended, Danny Gokey, church member, singer, and American Idol finalist, sang and shared his story. Regardless of your beliefs, what Matthew Barnett has achieved is truly remarkable. I encourage you to read more.
That experience alone was well worth the drive to Los Angeles. On our return trip home we stopped for not one but two seafood platters at San Pedro Beach. As there is no way to adequately describe this meal, I will leave you with a photo of just one of the platters. We also had another platter with baked chicken on top…and a side order of ribs (shared by six of us). Seven hours later, I am still full. Very, VERY full!
As it is currently early morning on October 15, 2018, I am about to officially begin my first day as a sixty-year-old. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes!