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Kirk and Marcy visit Palm Desert

Kirk and Marcy and “Jack” (their Rat Terrier) arrived for a visit to Palm Desert.  March 30, 2014.  Marcy is here to do spring riding on her bicycle.

Kirk and Marcy

Kirk and Marcy

"Jack" getting used to his new home

“Jack” getting used to new home in Palm Desert

Jack bored with the adults

Jack bored with the adults

Marcy and Red PJs

Marcy and Red PJs

Marcy joined the Sun City Cycling Club for their rides MWF mornings around the Coachella Valley.  The cyclists meet at 8 a.m. and usually return around noon, putting in 20-40 miles(the B+ riders).

Sun City cyclists getting ready for a ride

Sun City cyclists getting ready for a ride

Kirk wanted to visit Joshua Tree  Narional Monument.  After studying the maps the night before, we set out for Joshua Tree on a sunny, bright morning.  Kirk, Connie and Bill in the all-wheel drive Subaru headed down an unmarked dirt road that was the back way into Joshua Tree.  Over rocks, through ditches, around obstacles we drove.  Oops, in front of us lay an obstacle too difficult to surmount in the Subaru, not enough clearance.  Kirk said it was because of me we didn’t continue, which meant Kirk didn’t mind getting the Subaru stuck in the desert if it was he and Bill, but wasn’t about to get the Subaru stuck with his sister in the desert.  So around we turned and made our way back home, stopping at the Coachella Valley Preserve.  No dogs were allowed and we had “Jack” along so we were thwarted again.   Home to eat the lunch we had packed in the back yard, still a beautiful day.

Joshua Tree National Monument--the back road

Joshua Tree National Monument–the back road

Connie and Marcy tried the Sun City Pilates class in the Sunset View Clubhouse.  It was an hour and a half of deep stretches, rolling and keeping our balance on a ball, down-facing,dog, twisting in every imaginable position.

Pilates Class at Sun City

Pilates Class at Sun City

Kirk was willing to join Connie and Bill on the pickle ball courts to learn the fine art of Pickleball.

Pickleball Courts Sun City

Pickleball Courts Sun City

Bill and Kirk get up early to take a trip to the Salton Sea. They come home fascinated by the Sea. I learn the Sea is getting saltier and the only fish species that is surviving the salt is tilapia. I also learn the Sea is home to too many birds to count and is a stopping point on their migration.

Salton Sea Birds

Salton Sea Birds

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

While Marcy went on a solo ride on the back roads behind Sun City, Kirk and Connie headed out once again for Joshua Tree National monument.  Today we would join the Sun City Hiking Club for an “Easy” 3-mile hike, hiking boots and hiking sticks required.  This time we drove north of Sun City to the West Entrance to Joshua  Tree to the Split Rock picnic area, an hour and a half drive from Sun City, to begin our hike.

Hiking Split Rock

Hiking Split Rock

Kirk on Split Rock Trail

Kirk on Split Rock Trail

The weather was spectacular, crisp and sunny.  The hike was an easy loop in beautiful scenic boulders.

Split Rock, Joshua Tree National Monument

Split Rock, Joshua Tree National Monument

Kirk at the top of a split in rock

Kirk at the top of a split in rock

Kirk climbs a split in rock, Joshua Tree

Kirk climbs a split in rock

Kirk and I left the Hiking Club to continue to explore the Park.

Cholla Cactus, Joshua Tree

Cholla Cactus, Joshua Tree

Joshua Trees

Joshua Trees

Kirk taking in the view

Kirk taking in the view

We took a short detour to Keys View to view the Coachella Vallley at our feet, the Salton Sea to the far south and Mt. San Gregorio and Mt. San Jacinto to the west.  This was a sparkling, clear day to be able to see as far as we did without haze and smog.

Connie and Kirk at Keys View in Joshua Tree

Connie and Kirk at Keys View, Joshua Tree

For lunch we found the Natural Sisters Cafe in Joshua Tree.  Best homemade tomato soup and ginger carrot muffin to be found!  Kirk enjoyed their chopped salad, but probably enjoyed their Berry Pie and coffee more.

Totally Best Healthy Muffins

Totally Best Healthy Muffins

Apple Pie Organic Natural Delicious

Apple Pie Organic Natural Delicious

Natural Sisters Café Joshua Tree

Natural Sisters Café Joshua Tree

One evening we went out for a night on the town to Pacifica Seafood Restaurant overlooking El Paseo Blvd.  Everyone was pleased with the food and wine.  It was a leisurely two-hour dinner.

El Paseo Blvd. Palm Desert

El Paseo Blvd. Palm Desert

Looking up to the outdoor balcony of Pacifica Restaurant

Looking up to the outdoor balcony of Pacifica Restaurant

Kirk & Bill at Pacifica

Kirk & Bill at Pacifica

Jack also had fun taking walks to the Sun City Dog Parks where he met lots of new, furry friends.  Too short the visit, it was time for Kirk and Marcy to pack and head for the next stop in Phoenix.  Come back soon!

Happy dogs at the Dog Park in Sun City

Happy dogs at the Dog Park in Sun City