Located near Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs is indeed home to quite a few natural mineral hot springs. We stayed at Caliente Springs Resort which has a large pool, several spas and showers all of which are fed from the mineral springs. The water from the Desert Hot Springs Aquifer continues to be heated by ancient geothermal forces thousands of feet below the earth’s surface. Naturally heated to temperatures as high as 180 degrees, the waters are thought to have curative properties.
Twentynine Palms is a town of about 25,000 people located in the Mojave Desert on the north side of the Joshua Tree National Park. It was named for the palm trees found there in 1852 by Col. Henry Washington while surveying the area.
Joshua Tree National Park is the only national park that encompasses two distinct ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado. It was declared a national park in 1994 when the US Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act. The elevation in the park ranges from 1,900 feet above sea level to over 5,500 feet.
Greenfield is on Highway 101 south of Salinas. While here we visited the Monterey peninsula and Pinnacles National Park.
We have been to Monterey before on a road trip and it’s a beautiful place to visit. We checked out the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, Lovers Point Park, Point Pinos Lightstation and had a terrific lunch in Cannery Row at The Fish Hopper restaurant. We also stopped at the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pacific Grove. This is one of several wintering sites for these colorful butterflies along the Pacific coast. Temps were in the mid-50’s when we were there so they were not very active and we saw only a couple of them. We’re hoping to see more at the grove in Pismo Beach.
We all have our views about natural beauty but I can’t imagine that anyone would not agree that Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular places on earth. Yosemite Valley has majestic glacier carved granite walls with waterfalls and lush meadows. With Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome and Glacier Point the mind has difficulty coping with the sheer size and scope of what the eye sees.
Yosemite Falls, at 2,425 feet, is the tallest waterfall in North America when including all three portions, upper, middle and lower falls. Generally, at this time of year its water source would be mostly dried up but there was still a good stream tumbling down the sheer rock face.
We left our RV parked near Crowley Lake and made the drive to Lake Tahoe to visit with our friends Steve, Wende and Brady. It’s always fun to spend time with them but summer in Tahoe at their nice home is special.
Lake Tahoe is a truly beautiful place at any time but summer is especially nice with a pleasant climate, clean mountain air, the blue lake and the variety of colors in the snow topped mountains. We enjoyed lots of hiking, biking and took a ride up the Heavenly gondola and did a little hiking around the ski runs.