California: Hemet, Idyllwild, Joshua
- We spent a month in southern California in February.
Along with visiting members of Larry's family, we also
explored the area. We decided to position ourselves in
Hemet for easy access to family and exploration. It was
only an hour to the Palm Springs airport for Annette's
flights around the US for work.
- A cute little mountain town, Idyllwild
is a nice place to explore both art and nature. The town
is located in the San
Bernadino National Forest.
- After a walk through town, we stopped at the San
Jacinto park office for hiking ideas and a hiking pass.
Between our guide books and the information in the
center, we choose a seven mile hike called Deer Springs
Trail to Suicide Rock.
San Bernadino National Forest
- We parked outside town and put on our hiking boots.
Before we left the car, we decided to take our jackets
and a snack. The guide said that it was a moderate hike,
but seemed pretty steep to our legs. The first part of
the hike is through a forest of manzanita and oak trees.
As we got higher, the cedar and pine trees took over.
Annette read that the Jeffery Pine trees were supposed to
smell like butterscotch. They're right!
At first it was warm, but as the hike progressed it
got windy and cool. Near the top we got great views of
Lily Rock (center above) and Tahquitz Peak. Lily's Peak
can also be seen from downtown in the picture above. When
we got to the top (Suicide Rock 7538 feet), we realized
that it was going to get dark early, so we ate our snack
and headed down.
- Joshua Tree
- Joshua Tree
National Park is one of our favorite parks. Having
been here a couple times before, we looked at the map and
tried to explore new areas. We chose an 8 mile hike to
the Lost Palms Oasis. The trail began at the Cottonwood
Spring Oasis. The hike includes walks through a number of
interesting washes before arriving at an overlook above a
hidden oasis filled with palms. After a hike down, we
enjoyed a snack on the huge rocks near the palms. Annette
particularly liked the trail because of its mile markers.
They give a sense of accomplishment after each mile.
- 29 Palms
- The little town of 29
Palms has an interesting history. The
major events in local history are described
in wall murals throughout the city. We
thought the bus mural looked like our
- Having visited the Keys Ranch in Joshua
Tree the last trip, we enjoyed the Keys Ranch
Mojave National Preserve
- After leaving 29 Palms, we headed north to Las Vegas
through the Mojave
National Preserve. It was a misty day giving the
Joshua Trees an interesting sheen.
- Updated 5/02.
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