Wednesday, November 26, 2008

View from the living room
View of the valley

Canyon view

Neato dragonfly
Aren't we just the most adventurous folks!!! Last Sunday we hiked the trail back to Moon Country. This is another mile and a half behind the McCallum Oasis. It's called Moon Country because the canyon is all rocky and not much grows there. When we got there we followed the flags up hill. We were picking out the proposed connector trail between Moon Country and Willis Palms. It leads up the side of the tallest of the Indio Hills. We toiled up the side of the hill and proudly stood on the highest point 1,308' above sea level. (We started from 650'.) The first view is to the north east. Sun City is to the far left and the mountains are the Little San Bernadinos and the southwest boundry of Josua Tree National Park. The other view is of a mud canyon. The fault action grinds the earth and rock upward. A chemical reaction changes some of this into mud. When we were done rubbernecking we followed the flags to the Willis Palm connection then struck off for home. We simply picked our direction and followed the easiest (?) way down. This involved zigzagging and following the downhill runoffs. Four hours after we started we arrived safe and very tired back home. The dragonfly was just waiting along the trail for a photo op. The quail are daily visitors outside our window. There is a fruiting palm there that attracts them. (Remember you can click on the photos to enlarge them.) We hope you enjoy living vicariously through our wonderful adventures.
Enough for now, Louise and Duane

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's been a while

Western Diamond Back
The Pond

View from the trail

View Across the Valley

View From the Top
We're back!!!! We finally got both problems fixed on the computer and are in back in business. While we were down we made a couple of excursions around us. One day we went to Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve. This is north and west of us, outside the western boundry of Josua Tree. This area is made up of the same mud, sand, and gravel as our area, but has defined areas of canyon, mesquite valley and boggy area. Very interesting. No pix from there, though. The pix above are, from the top my first rattlesnake sighting in the wild! I was so excited I hoofed it 10 min. back to the house to get my cameraman to record the historic experience for all the world to see. Actually I heard it first, and had to really look to see it. The next pic is of McCallum Pond at our oasis. The next three are the result of another of our excursions. This one was to the top of the San Jacinto Mts. via the tram. The whole trip was awsome! The tram was $22 apiece, but it went up about 8000'. The tram floor revolved twice around on each trip so everyone got a full view. On top was a different world--there was still gravel, mud, and sand, but there were trees. Mostly pines. There were a couple of paved walks around the buildings, but we opted for a wilderness hike. The hike took us down the side of the mountain to a valley, up the other side, along the top, down the side again and back up to the ranger station. From there was a short level walk then up the pavement to the buildings again. Total hike--about 5 mi. We of course were unprepared for the 40 d. temp change, and stayed chilly in spite of our exertions. But we survived, and had a great time. We saw one scrub jay and some other birds, but no other wildlife. Our third excursion was to the Salton Sea, but we took no pix this year. We were there last year, but not at migration time. This time the sea was full of white pelicans, blue herons, white egrets, all kinds of ducks. The shores were alive with waders like the stilts. We didn't think to bring the camera. Duh!! In the middle pic of the mountain top, if you look at the top of the rock (on the left) you can just make out the tram station. The station is a large complex of tram station and waiting room, two restaurants, a couple of gift shops, several viewing patios, and a theater. In the bottom picture, the white vertical lines are huge wind turbines (hundreds of them) at the wind farm down on the valley floor.
If you want to view these beauties for yourself, feel free to visit us. You can stay with us or there are several hotels/motels close by. We will be glad to play tour guide for you!
Basta por hoy!
Louise and Duane

Friday, November 21, 2008

On line again

We just got the computer back from the shop tonight. It seems to be working fine, I hope it stays working. I will do some picture editing tomorrow and post again tomorrow night if all goes well. We have been without the computer for over a week. The fan went out and I took it in the repair shop, they fixed it, brought it home, it just shut it's self down. Took it back to the repair shop, they had trouble finding what was causeing it to shut down. So far, so good, keeping my fingers crossed.
That's it for now
Duane and Louise

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Computer trouble

Sorry about not posting much lately. The fan went out on the computer and it will only run about 15 minutes and then shuts off because of overheating. I have ordered a fan and should have it any day now. I am going to install it myself, so, providing I don't destroy the computer, we should be back to publishing pictures soon. We have had a few days off and have been site seening the area. I have a lot of pictures to go through if only the computer would run long enough. I better get off here before it shuts off.

Till next time
Duane and Louise