The original plan was to leave Quartzsite and head to a week of some relaxation, full hookups, long hot showers and mineral tub soaks at Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs, California. While most of that came to be, our one week turned into one month. Not because we loved hanging out at Sams Family Spa, (which we did) but work kept us there way longer than anticipated. One thing we have learned over the last 4 month of being on the road is to be flexible. Plans change like the weather and sometimes you just have to roll with it.
Sam’s Family Spa
If you’re going to be “stuck” someplace for a month Sam’s is not a bad place to be!! In fact it’s pretty awesome. All the palm trees, the mineral tubs, the private lake with all the birds and the location made it ideal. They also have wonderful laundry facilities and a super friendly staff.
We also took advantage of having an address for a while and could catch up on having some of our favorite Amazon items shipped to us. Like our 5 pound bag of coffee beans, kitty litter and why not get a drone!! It was also time to renew our South Dakota licence plates. Thankfully our daughter was able to get our new plates and mail them out to us. Not sure we really like the new plates, in fact they are causing quite the stir from what we’ve been reading. We kind of have to agree that they almost look “dirty”. I even caught myself wanting to wipe them off a couple times only to realize it wasn’t dirt, it’s just how they are.
Sam’s has a nice quiet country setting, yet you’re close to several communities and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back. We took a ton of pictures all around Sam’s if you want to see them all click here.
Out and About
As it had been a couple weeks since we last did any grocery shopping it was time to restock a bit. We hit up Cardenas Market in Cathedral City. They have an awesome produce section, fresh tortillas and our favorite eggs!! All our friends and family back in South Dakota should recognize that smiling egg!! Rosemary Farm is one of our IT clients and it’s the reason we are in this area.
We also had to make a Lowes and Walmart run in Palm Springs. This is where we learned about the “bag ban”. There are no single use plastic bags in Palm Springs. A few other cities in the area have also implement the California Bag Ban. Restaurants and convenience stores are exempt. If you want a bag you either buy one, 10 cents a piece, or bring your own reusable bag.
Palms Springs is home to the oldest wind farms in the US and you can’t miss it as there are several thousand wind turbines. There are even tours dedicated to it. When the wind isn’t blowing there are massive solar farms to take up the slack.
If you’re into geocaching there are a ton of stashes in the area. We found our very first one while we were here. It was a lot of fun hearing Rod yelling like a little kid, “I found it, I found it”. He then proceeded to use the find as mistletoe and I of course obliged, what a great day.
Our other first is we found out we really enjoy walking and hiking the trails. Since there are so many of them out here we actually bought some decent hiking boots. They really do make a difference!
As you leave Sam’s heading west on Dillon Road you end up going by the small town of North Palm Springs. However, there’s a little place their called the Windmill Market. They claim to have the best date shake, and it was pretty darn good. In the back they also have a really pretty little sitting area to enjoy a meal and your shake.
Palm Springs Aerial Tram
This is a 10 minute, 2.5 mile ride, which begins at the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet) and ends at the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet.) The floor of the tram car actually rotates 360 degrees while your moving up and down the mountain. The views are spectacular to say the least!!!! Once at the top you can enjoy the views from many different vantage points and enjoy a little lunch at 8500 feet.
From here you are also within The Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area and there are over 54 miles of hiking trails. Due to all the snow on the ground yet we didn’t hit any hiking trails and the upper viewing center was closed. Kind of a bummer, but it was still worth taking the trip!
This was really a neat area and if you didn’t know it existed you would drive right by it. We only found out about it from other bloggers. Mission Creek Preserve is part of the 33,000 acre Sand to Snow Preserve System and just a few weeks ago became a National Monument. As you are driving Highway 62 towards the Morongo Valley there is a sign that says, Mission Creek Road. Nothing indicates it’s a preserve until you are at least 3 miles in on a dirt road. There’s a small area to park your vehicle then there’s the gate. I don’t think they had enough locks on it!!! You can walk around the gate, however if you want to drive in you must call and reserve at least a week in advance.
Just up the road a ways are 4 stone structures with stone picnic tables in them. There’s also remnants of a swimming pool and fireplace. I read online somewhere (so it must be true) that many years ago this was a get-away for Hollywood Stars.
It was later in the day when we arrived and there was only one other person here. We had the drone with us and decided it would be a great place to get some more flying time in and test out some of the auto-pilot features. Specifically, the follow me feature. One thing to keep in mind, the follow me feature needs good cell signal to work. It relies on the cell GPS and not the 2.4 wireless of the remote control. We have read stories about people losing their drones not realizing it needed cell signal!!
The sun was starting to sink down and we could here the singing of lots of coyotes in the distance. We packed it up and walked “briskly” back to the car!!
We put ourselves in this area so we could drive into Ontario, California without having to stay in or near the city and all the traffic. It’s 75 miles each way and there really weren’t any great options much closer. Originally we thought this was going to be a routine visit to our IT client, but it turned in to much more. Due to upgrades they are implementing we ended up extending our stay, planning and deploying a wireless system for their cold storage warehouse area. See, we really do work on the road and when duty calls you answer!!
Where To Next
We got a gig to get to!!! Heading south to Winterhaven, California just outside of Yuma, Arizona where we are the entertainment for a Leap Year Party. We’ll break the drive up with some boondocking along the Salton Sea and wherever else we found along the way.