Having  churned your brains to mush with some heavy posts on health and medical, I figured I would allow you a reprieve with some light and easy stuff today. After all Paul is away, the mouse is all alone and you know what I’m like in these circumstances. Much to everyone’s disappointment (I’m sure) I’ve really been rather boring this past week. There have been no trips to the ER (despite this being one of my specialties when Paul is gone), no wardrobe malfunctions in the hot tub (in fact I’m not even on the radar. I’ve been rather outdone by a hot older lady with the body of a 25-year old who parades around in a bright pink bikini..even the local teenagers are riveted) and no crazy attempts to do weird RV repairs.

Nope, it’s just been me, the furry companions, twice-daily spa-time, running a bunch of errands, hiking and the wide open desert….the crazy wide, open desert. I use that particular adjective because it’s rather fitting. You see there’s something I can’t quite describe about the desert. In so many ways it’s completely alien,  so totally wacky. I mean WHO chooses to live in a spot where water is more precious than gold, cactus is considered greenery and temperatures & winds whiplash like a rodeo bull? You gotta be nuts, right?

But that’s also part of the charm. Desert dwellers are a little, shall we say, different which also makes them so very interesting. You get all types out here from the LA vacationers to the hard-core locals that claim a corner of god-forsaken sand, build their own concrete homes and sweat out the summer like a second breeze. Plus there’s the changing moods of the desert itself. It might wake you with pale colors and cool temps, easing you into the beauty, teasing you with it’s softness. Oh, the peacefulness of it all! Then the sun rises and the landscape changes. Within a mere 20 minutes the surface is baked by the desert oven and swept with winds that howl mercilessly across the barren sand. It becomes bleak and uninhabitable Oh, the horror, the horror! Then sunset arrives and the magic begins. All the barren air and wind-swept clouds combine to the perfect color storm, the ultimate sunset theater. You’re riveted by unimaginably deep reds, fluorescent pinks and mind-blowing oranges and you loose yourself completely in the show. Oh, the indescribable wonder, the overwhelming awe!

And that, finally, is when you understand the desert….crazy and all.

We’ve been basking in this perfect nuttiness for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been exploring the desert around the spa, but have also taken Polly for a longer outings in nearby Whitewater Preserve. This is a gem of a place with miles of hiking trails and a gorgeous, cool river running through the middle (a desert rarity!!). Plus it’s totally dog friendly. The last time we went we hiked for over 3 hours and never saw a single soul, starting at the desert floor (after a good splash in the river) and ascending 1,000 feet to the top of a portion of the PCT trail for some breath-taking views. Wow! My kinda place!

So that’s the story from me, my friends. We have forecasts of thunderstorms and rain coming our way, but this being the desert you just never know what you’ll get. It’s a little crazy out here, after all….

P.S. Turns out I’m not the only nut who likes it here. Rick and JoAnne are actually parked just across the way (we’ve already had a get-together) and the folks next to us are blog readers too. Who could imagine it?

49 Responses to The Wonderfully Crazy Desert…

  1. Sue says:

    Ooooh, you’re such a tease Nina. You know how we love it there and we haven’t seen a decent sunset since we left home in early October!
    Oh, and let me be the first to wish you an early Happy Birthday. Only one margarita to celebrate, right?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Can’t believe you remembered the date. Thank you, my dear! And yes, if it’s a Sue Banks margarita one is all it takes :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      By the way forgot to mention that our next-door neighbors have two adorable poodles that Polly is just crazy about. Whenever she sees a poodle these days she goes all gooey….it’s all thanks to Lewis, her very first poodle-love!

  2. Gunta says:

    Sissy doesn’t like desert any more than I do, so we’ll just wait until you come back to the wet side… :)

  3. RJRVtravels says:

    Whitewater Preserve was on my list…after reading your post, it is now at the top of my Must Do list when we return to Sam’s in January.

    • libertatemamo says:

      The place is wonderful! It’s around 35 mins drive from Sam’s, but it feels like a whole other world. This is the first year I’ve gone and it’s going to become a firm favorite, for sure.

  4. Bob Nuttmann says:

    I like your term “Perfect Color Storm”. I love that about the desert. Most of the year you get those colors every night. Here at the coast, not so much. Of course David Lean’s photography in LofArabia is gorgeous, as is the acting, and sound score. But Lawence’s comment about the desert being clean is not correct. Places like Seattle are clean as they are frequently washing. Palm Springs almost never gets a washing.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Of course when Lawrence makes that reply he’s already lost quite a bit of his mind. The “desert crazies” if you will. It’s true…not much washing ever goes on here.

  5. Hanna says:

    Lovely pictures, Nina. I love the cat, your hat and the clouds :-)
    All the best,

  6. MarciaGB says:

    Just a darn beautiful place, no crazy about it! And hot tub twice a day, sounds like heaven.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s a pretty special place. We’ve been drawn back to it every year since we started RVing…this is our 4th time here!

  7. Sherry says:

    You had me at the spa but then the sunset pictures and then the hike. It’s on my list. I think my trip out west may be totally made up of “the places Nina recommends.” I’m a water girl so having my desert with a dose of water fairly nearby would be perfect.

  8. Larry says:

    I hope to get out to the southwest in 2014 and spend some time in the dessert – a first. In the meantime will there be any bright pink bikini shots coming? :-)

  9. heyduke50 says:

    i will never understand why everyone doesn’t love the desert… but also eternally grateful they don’t…

    • libertatemamo says:

      You know it’s definitely a particular taste. Those that love the desert simply ADORE her, while those that don’t understand her can’t stand her. I’m somewhere in the middle. I LOVE the desert in winter, but probably couldn’t handle her in the summer. And yes, in a way that’s nice…sure keeps the crowds away.

  10. So exactly where are you? I will be traveling along Hwy 40 during June.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I always have our general location listed in the “where are we now” box by the top right of our blog. For the moment we’re staying at Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

  11. Sue Malone says:

    Dog friendly near DHS!?! So cool, Nina, I have to track it down for our visit next January. Also, you captured perfectly the heart of a desert rat. Love it! We will be at Catalina again, but this time I will definitely check out Sam’s for the next go round. Nice to read about your desert time.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup! It’s one of the few totally dog-friendly hiking areas here. Lots and lots of trails, plus it’s very rarely used. Polly loved it!
      Enjoy your trip to Catalina. It’s a wonderful park.

  12. Ralph says:

    We’re finally getting some sun up here in SW Washington. Gonna have sun for 7-10 days. Highs around 50…lows in the 20′s and 30′s. I’ll take it! Hope you get some rain..desert can always use it. I LOVE the smell of the desert after a rain. Enjoy and try to keep out of trouble!

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    Many people think nothing grows in the desert, but the desert grows on you the more time spent with it. Batten down for the storm. And try to stay out of trouble, please.

  14. Amanda says:

    Beautiful sentiments and photos. You did a great job of capturing that certain something that makes the desert so special. So glad you are enjoying the Whitewater Preserve. Such a great place for hiking and doggie time!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks Amanda! If I remember correctly you guys also went to Whitewater Preserve last year when you were in the area. I remember shots of Phineas in the river. So cute!

  15. Paul says:

    The Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is definitely worth a visit. Not too far from where you are. I’m unsure if dogs are allowed.

    • libertatemamo says:

      No dogs allowed sadly. It’s on Indian Reservation land and none of those areas around here allow dogs on the trails. We did go see it our first year and it is pretty.

      There are actually surprisingly few dog-friendly hiking spots around Desert Hot Springs/Palm Springs. That’s why I was so excited to find Whitewater Preserve.


    • Paul says:

      The web site for Thousand Palms Oasis says it is managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management so I don’t think it is on Indian land. I have been to the Oasis several times. It is free and a great walk through the natural palm trees. In any case. you are right that no dogs are allowed per the web site. The following link from the web site for Thousand Palms says there are dog friendly trails in La Quinta and Palm Desert:

      • libertatemamo says:

        Ah yes, thanks for the correction! I was confusing with Palm Canyon which is one of the three preserves on Indian land. It gets real confusing with all the “Palm’s” around here. But at least I remembered correctly about the dog part. We did a short hike in Thousand Palms (Coachella Valley) 2 years ago without doggie, but haven’t been back since.

        Regarding the 2 hiking areas in La Quinta/Palm Desert. They’re a bit of a longer drive for us from Desert Hot Springs, but I’ll see if we get around to them. Thanks for the tip!


  16. Jenni K says:

    I positively love the desert myself, but I’m the only one in this nomadic family of five. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’ve definitely got nomadic blood too. I think it gives me an extra appreciation of nature’s glory. I’m always able to see beauty wherever I go.

  17. Peter says:

    Nina…Curious if the park fills up fast. I think it might after you get through with it…..I mean, hot tub twice a day, pink bikinis…enjoyable as usual….

    • libertatemamo says:

      HA! Well I guess we’ll see. Word has it the resort gets pretty full Dec/Jan with snowbirds, but I don’t know if my blog has much to do with it. Then again, pink bikini IS a big draw :)

  18. Bill says:

    I’m new to RVing and recently discovered your blog. WOW! I’m a kid in a candy store! I’ve already learned so much from you. Thank you! I’m buying stuff through your links. Feel the love?

    • libertatemamo says:

      I sure do, I sure do. In fact I’m deeply thankful to everyone who uses my links. And glad you enjoy the blog! Happy to have ya along for the ride!

  19. Tommy Green says:

    Look forward to reading your post everyday. My wife and I are about 6 months away from going full time. Would you consider showing the inside of your home, to give us an idea how you have everything set up. We will be downsizing from a 5000 sq ft house….thanks

  20. LuAnn says:

    I am disappointed that there are no interesting stories about you having to fight off the old men! Sounds like an amazingly relaxing time you are having. No trips to the ER this time, ok?! :)

  21. ondroad77 says:

    Oh while, another series of great pictures, and play on words too… An old colleague once said about the desert (Borrego) ‘The vistas, sol, and essence – invades your body and sharpens your soul.’

    Looks like Nina is Desert Infected!!!

    Sure looks like that area may have had some fun weather the last week too… all part of the experience.

    Enjoy, and Paul travel safe,

  22. Now, how time flies! Wasn’t it not too long ago that you were posting about the near misses, the near accidents and moving the Beast and hot tubs and swimsuits? And here you are back again about a year later and still having so much fun, but no crazy stuff going on. Enjoy your desert!

    • libertatemamo says:

      It does seem like just yesterday doesn’t it. In fact it seems just a short time ago that I met you! How time flies!

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