On a hot summer evening, we climbed into a rugged 8-seater Jeep at the hotel. Our host drove us to a quiet location along the SAN ANDREAS FAULT LINE. As you may know, this particular area of California spans approximately 1300 km and is a well-known earthquake zone. At that moment, I could recall hearing about how everyone is bracing themselves here for “the big one”. I clenched my teeth and wrapped my arms around the seatbelt several times. As we entered the crevices of this deserted area, we held on tightly to the Jeep’s handle bars as the sun began to set over the crests of the mountain ridges. It’s completely quiet and incredibly peaceful.
We stopped the Jeep in the middle of NOWHERE. This is where our guide, and owner of the company DESERT ADVENTURES ECO-TOURS, lead us on a hike through the fault line cracks. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced (remember I’m a city chic). I had emailed photos home to hubby who couldn’t believe his eyes!
I began to wonder, “if there actually was an earthquake would we get squished between the rocks?” Never mind. I LOVED every moment of this experience! It was totally out of my comfort zone but not out of my league. Thank goodness. But I’m sure our guide sized some of us up and realized what we were capable of doing clearly on the way we dressed. Haha!
But it was a truly unique moment to be standing in one of the most fragile parts of the earth — yet feel so secure.
We hopped back into the Jeep with our cameras full of photos and were driven to a private area within in the Fault Zone. They’ve recreated a Western town as an event and learning space that transports you back to the days of old saloons, chuckwagons and the old general store. It’s picturesque especially with the sunset. Visitors on the DESERT ADVENTURES ECO-TOURS, as well as school groups, Girl Guides and Boys Scouts, can relive the past and poke in and out of the various buildings in this well maintained set. It’s also used for events like proms, corporate outings, and celebrations. The tour company sets up an amazing meal of traditional south-western fare that will leave you wanting more. I may have had two servings of chicken fajitas and possibly three homemade cookies.
As soon as night began to settle in, this wide open space was perfect for star-gazing. Our host pointed out various constellations and satellites while telling us great stories. A great way to wind down after a few days of travelling around Souther California. I remember thinking, “It’s so tranquil and I could just fall asleep here.” I think I actually laid down on one of the benches and drifted off for a couple of minutes. It was a perfect night and I knew it was a place I would someday like to bring the family. My boys would love this experience!
You may already have been to PALM SPRINGS in Southern California perhaps on a conference or on a golf and spa getaway. It’s a sprawling desert oasis that offers many sights and experiences that would keep you busy for days! Here are a few other suggestions of what to see and do in the GREATER PALM SPRINGS area…
THE LIVING DESERT is not your typical zoo experience. With over 1200 protected acres and desert environment, this zoo and botanical garden hosts 450 wild animals on it’s site, a working animal hospital and learning centre, a carousel, cooling stations and a miniature train village.
PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY is a breathtaking trip way above sea level up into the incredible Mt. San Jacinto State Park in the Chino Canyon. Visitors are transported via a rotating tramcar starting at 2643 ft and ending up top at a refreshing 8516 ft. It is one of the steepest ascents in the world and it’s incredible to think about how this attraction was first engineered. Once you’ve reached the summit, you can experience the vistas, take in part of the 86 km hiking trail perfect for beginners or expert hikers. It’s beautiful! Bring up a picnic or enjoy one of the restaurants. Camping grounds are also available.
PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM is home to one of the world’s largest collections of WWII aircrafts. In addition to the many aircrafts, exhibits and activities including historical defining moments are on display. The planes are housed in hangars as well as outdoors for visitors to see and touch.
SHIELDS DATE GARDEN is famous for their date shakes and um… sex movie? You’ll have to see for yourself! But this attraction has the most addictive date shake ever! Trust me, they are sooo gooood! In 1924, Floyd and Bess Shields went to California and started the Shields Date Garden to educate customers about the date culture. I had no idea there were so many varieties and here you will be able to sample as many as you like! Here they’ve even started breeding their own varieties. But exit through the gift shop and you’ll discover a perfect spot for brunch in their garden area. With date palms on the premises you’ll gain a whole new admiration for this fruit. I’ve been hooked on Medjool dates ever since! This Famed TV & Celebrity Chef Anthony Bordain apparently also made a pit stop here. No pun intended. Get it? Dates? Pits?
HYATT REGENCY INDIAN WELLS RESORT & SPA was home base for me during a couple of days in the Palm Springs area. It was a perfectly MASSIVE room with a sunken living space for little me complete with complimentary WiFi and a Starbucks cafe located on the premises. With little shopping time I manage to find lots of souvenirs (okay, a few for me) in the hotel. The pool areas were popular retreats in the desert heat — if it wasn’t for the comfy bed that kept me glued there I probably would have ventured there!
For more information on what to see, do, eat, and stay in PALM SPRINGS visit the official website at www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com
Here are more beautiful photos from Palm Springs….
This post is not sponsored nor was I compensated. All opinions are my own.