We really lucked out on choosing the Caliente Springs Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA as our first stop after Christmas, and our first Passport America experience. In fact the 50% discount pays for our first year membership! If we hadn't had PA, we probably would not have stayed there because $50 per day is a bit rich for our budget. But $25 per day is not.
The resort was easy to find, had nice smooth paved roads and large spaces. It's mostly park models, which are simple structures that are common in sunbelt communities.
We could make a reservation with PA for only two nights. After January 1st, a one month stay is required because they primarily cater to Snow Birds who stay for the season.
The best feature of the resort is the hot water pools. They have four smaller pools ranging from warm to very hot. There is also a large warm pool for regular swimming, water aerobics, and what was going on Thursday night, water volleyball.
I am a firm believer in the restorative powers of hot water! In past years I had memberships at 24 Hour Fitness where I went for water aerobics and a hot tub soak at least three times a week for many years. I dropped that membership a few years ago, because the club was over 20 miles from the house, and I had gotten a treadmill at home. I got more exercise and it didn't take as long. But I miss the pool.
On Friday we went on our first desert hike. We went to the Whitewater Preserve and walked a four mile trail along a desert river bed. There were many different colors, all soft and muted.
The weather was very nice. I think it was close to 60 most of the day. No wind to speak of and brilliant sunshine. A perfect day for a walk.
Most of the walk was on the Pacific Crest Trail. Recently I read books about women hiking the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. I was excited to see this sign and realize we were walking the same path as the gal in the book did.
I didn't remember to take my hiking poles along, but most of the path was quite easy. We did have to cross the river, but it was easy.
In the afternoon we went over to Indio to the Shield Date Garden. I had read about it in one of my travel books and then again in Howard and Linda's blog.
We bought a couple of boxes of dates and a couple of date shakes. They were yummy!
We ended the day with another soak in the hot pools. Craig thinks it helped the pain in his toe, which I think is arthritis. It just made me feel good all over!
Saturday will be an easy drive of about 100 miles up to Barstow. We want to find some kind of optical shop that is open along the way, because Craig's glasses have lost a screw. We also need to get propane in the Alfa.
Our stopping point in Barstow is not exciting. It is just a place to overnight. We probably could just boondock somewhere, but we like hook ups.
Our reservation in Death Valley starts on Sunday night. Stay tuned for a post from there...