|Indian Canyons & The Living Desert|
|Monday, 21 March 2005 16:00|
The cities and towns of Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella are all connected and located in the Coachella Valley. We are staying in Desert Hot Springs, the only community on the north side of Highway 10 and the one with all the natural hot mineral water pools. There are currently 119 golf courses in the valley with 6 more under construction. They are a pretty good indicator of the financial status of a lot of the folks who migrate to "the desert" every winter because a "cheap" round of golf starts at $65 per game. However, you don't have to be a wealthy golfer to love it here as there are plenty of other activities for the non-golfers with smaller incomes.
Today we drove through the downtown section of Palm Springs, the valley's oldest community, on our way to the Indian Canyons, our morning destination. Palm Springs still has the small town ambience in its picturesque downtown core, which is dotted with restaurants, cafes and shops. After stopping for a coffee at Koffi, a local establishment, we continued our drive into the canyons, which are preserved and maintained by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The trails through the canyons vary from easy to strenuous in their difficulty and wind along several creeks and through a few oasis's. We were fortunate to see so much greenery and there was an abundance of flowers, mostly yellow but upon closer inspection, we saw several other colours as well.
When we left there we decided to go to the Living Desert, a privately funded zoo and educational facility which houses an assortment of wildlife, many of them rescued. Besides the assortment of African and North American animals as well as a large variety of botanicals from around the world, there is a huge, very detailed miniature train display, which we found fascinating. There is also a state-of-the-art wildlife hospital where the resident animals as well as many others that are brought in from around the state are treated. The volunteer staff were very helpful and aside from giving us a tour of the facility, provided us with plenty of information. We had another great day today!