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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Back among the living

Rick Morgan

By Thursday night JoAnne was feeling like she was going to live after all. To celebrate we headed back to Sherman’s Deli.  For those of you who might find yourself at Sherman’s someday, this is #12 on the menu.

On Friday we had planned on getting up early and heading out to the Southwest Arts Festival in Indio. A very overcast day and a steady rain spoiled our plans – now that is something you don’t hear very often in the desert. Instead, we stayed inside and watched movies, paid bills, and played on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +.

While it continued to rain much of Friday night by early Saturday morning there was enough blue in the sky as my grandfather used to say, “to make a pair of overalls”. So, it was off to the arts festival.

On our way to Indio and just a few miles down the road from where our RV is parked we saw a sign for the Coachella Valley Preserve. Hmmm… I wonder what that is all about? We decided to pull into the parking lot and check it out. Yes, this was another one of those “unexpected” gems. As luck would have it, docent (and retired Palm Desert High School English teacher) Harlan Walker was getting ready to take a walk down to McCallum Oasis and invited us to walk with him. The two and one-half hour walk flew by. The total hike is only 2.2 miles but Harlan turned out to be a wonderful guide and he gave us an amazing lesson on the area history, as well as an overview of the oasis plant, bird and animal life. One of the more unique features of this preserve is the stand of Fan Palms. The Fan Palm is the only native palm in California. The oasis also owes its existence to the fact that sits right on the San Andreas Fault. If you are in the area you owe it to yourself to check out this preserve.

Talk about a change in environment. Our next stop was the Southwest Art Festival, which featured over 300 artists and was located at the Empire Arts Festival in Indio. We had a fun time strolling between the booths and marveling at the wide range of creativity and talent. As far as art festivals go this was a very good one.

Today, we are getting ready for “levelers up” and our short trip to Anza Borrego State Park tomorrow. We have had a great time in the Coachella Valley. So, it is with mixed emotions that we leave. We are already looking forward to returning here again next year.

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