Sorry for the absence my friends! Let’s just say that last week kicked my butt and I was feeling less than motivated to write a post or two.
But, with the weather warming up and me being back on schedule, here I am with many more journeys to share.
The first, is something that will hopefully warm all of you up from this dreadful weather we have been having.
A couple weeks ago, Cole & I hopped on a plane and jetted down to Palm Springs for a little sunlight. Even though we were there for my work retreat, we managed to schedule a few adventures of our own so we could get out and explore.
I’ve been to Palm Springs twice before, and to be honest, I didn’t think there was much to do besides lay by a pool or throw on some hippie-gear and sway in the crowds at Coachella.
But, since the weather was just above 20 and it was a little too cool for bathing suits & swimming, it really forced us to see what else Palm Springs had to offer.
Starting with a Jeep Tour adventure.
We woke up early the next morning, put on our warm yet able-to-get-dirty duds, and headed out to meet our ride: an old Classic Jeep Scrambler.
Unfortunately, our adventure started quite early as our cab driver took us to the wrong location, dropped us off, and we were left stranded. You would think that when there is a GPS sitting right beside you, you would use it … but I guess not. Luckily, we both had our phones and quickly sent out an e-mail to our guide and we requested an Uber only 5 minutes away. Our saving grace, the Uber driver rushed us across the city to the correct location and we were only ten minutes late!
We hopped into the back seat under the canopy, said hello to our fellow companions (also from Calgary!) threw on a blanket (like I said, it was a little chilly) and headed off down the dirt road!
Wind in our hair, bouncing in our seats, and specks of dirt flying around us, we were on our way to the San Andreas Fault.
Now, at this point you might be asking – what is the San Andreas fault? All throughout Palm Springs you’ll see towering mountains from each angle. These mountains were made from years and years of earthquakes, all stemming from the fault where the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate meet. Now, because there have been SO many earthquakes over the centuries, it’s more of a zone rather than one examinable line.
Our guide took us up and around the dirt road, describing the mountains and what we could expect for the next 4 hours.
When all of a sudden, we happened upon a huge oasis tucked into the mountains.
Because the fault zone is so warm, giant palm trees and all kinds of desert plants pop up through the sand and mill around a little stream of cool water. Giant berries hang from the trees themselves, while other plants develop defence-tactics such as teeth to keep away predators.
We weaved in and out, and even through, the trees examining each one and learning about their many uses.
There were bushes with beans that could be used to make wheat, bread, and even honey, bushes that acted as antiseptics and even birth control, and bushes with salty leaves that resembled the taste of chips. With the help of our guide we quickly started to realize that the desert was not just a bunch of boring old dead-looking plants.
After a thorough examination of the oasis and a few Nature Valley granola bars, it was time to get a move on.
Beep, Beep! We had a schedule to keep!
Back into the Jeep we went, continuing up the hill and through an old village site of the Cahuilla Indians – some of the first inhabitants in the area.
Utterly resourceful, they learned the many uses of each of these plants and found the perfect spot to settle in. Old artifacts were set up as well as some examples of their huts, for us to walk through and learn from.
Not without taking a necessary “first time home buyer” shot, because in these markets, this is probably all I could afford…
Although the weather was a bit cloudy that day, it was just perfect for our activities. I could imagine how hot you might get wandering around in the blistering desert sun!
And then again, after a quick rest, it was on to the next stop.
Driving through layers and layers of rock sediment, crushed and stacked over many years, and weaving in and out of the mountain range. It was neat to see how the stones had been carved over time, each making unique patterns and combinations of dirt and rock.
Once our guide found the perfect spot to park the Jeep, we headed into the fault zone and hiked around.
Looking at the formations a little more closely.
But, as we headed deeper and deeper into the fault zone, the rocks became closer and closer together.
Requiring us to become body contortionists just to get through a little further.
I figured my Lara Croft inspired leggings would help me climb my way up, but unfortunately, they didn’t channel any special abilities.
Until finally, none of us were tiny enough to make it past.
When we reached this point, we turned around and did it all over again on our way back to the Jeep.
This stop was perhaps the most fun of the entire trip!
Not without taking in some epic scenery such as this “tidal wave” rock. The hypothesized location where both plates meet. If you look closely, each of the two rocks looks like it is being pushed up and in a different direction.
Thankfully, our guide whizzed us all the way back to the hotel in our Jeep – so we didn’t have to try and deal with another taxi – which provided us with lots of time to get to know the friendly people in our group.
Then, it was time to wash off all that dust and hit the hot tub for a bit!
If you’re in the area, I would highly recommend a Desert Adventure to the fault zone, it was such a unique experience and a complete blast! Plus, our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and cheerful, bringing a whole new side to our thoughts about Palm Springs.
The making of this post was sponsored by Desert Adventures, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. The tour was such a fun out-of-the-ordinary experience and I absolutely enjoyed it. It was not only engaging, but I feel like I learned so much about the history of Palm Springs and desert-life. Jeeps fit about seven people, which makes it perfect for couples, a group of friends, or even a family adventure.