Monday, February 21, 2011

Palms and Snowy Mountains

By Claudia Ricci

I guess most people come out to Palm Springs for golfing, as there is said to be 100 golf courses.

But I've only seen one, as we drove to Palm Canyon, one of many of the so-called "Indian Canyons," part of the reservation where the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians lives. We hiked Palm Canyon first, and saw 3,000 native California fan palms. Of 2,800 species of palm world-wide, this is the only species of palm native to California.

Then, yesterday, we went back to hike Andreas Canyon. Everyone on the trail was smiling. It is one of the most astonishing places I've ever been. It's like hiking in the Garden of Eden. It is the sort of place you wish you could airlift every single person you love in for a few hours.

Bubbling streams.
Gigantic pink and rose-colored rock. Waving palms. Cactus as high as your shoulders. And tiny desert flowers.

Clear air. Blue skies. Mountains powdered with snow. And so much rock.

We were having so much fun that when we reached the end of the hike, we turned around and hiked back in the other direction.

The ocotillo cactus, with their thin limbs sprawling 10 or 12 feet high, had red flowers that attracted hummingbirds! So too did the tiny red chuparosa, a desert flower that resembles honeysuckle. And yes, the blossoms are sweet and taste a little like cucumber! People here put them in salad!


No wonder the Hollywood stars came here.

Clear air. Blue skies. Mountains powdered with snow.

And blood red bougainvillea. And purple too.

And palm trees. Everywhere.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Arrived in San Diego last night in the wind and rain, but this morning the sun came out and we saw a rainbow over the city. We are staying on Coronado Island.

And then we saw the fluffy PINK FLAMINGOS striding through the water, balanced on thin legs with those tiny pink knees.

All the bird of paradise.

And the palm trees.