Expectations when we travel

One reason we travel is to visit a place different from where we have lived. We’re not necessarily looking for “exotic” or “foreign,” though those are welcome, too, but, with time and experience, we’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy beautiful sights, no matter how modest – even ordinary –  they might seem.

OK, the waterfall in Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs isn’t Niagra or Iguazu but remember this is a waterfall in a desert environment. After hiking up from the hot canyon with our friend, Carlie, we could appreciate how the cool waterfall must have been a special place for the Agua Caliente Indians who have lived here for hundreds of years.

OK, the waterfall in Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs isn’t Niagra or Iguazu but remember this is a waterfall in a desert environment. After hiking up from the hot canyon with our friend, Carlie, we could appreciate how the cool waterfall must have been a special place for the Agua Caliente Indians who have lived here for hundreds of years.

The walk in Tahquitz Canyon was a surprisingly monotone range of muted colors in the hot sun. A flash of color appeared.

A man was sitting quietly above us on a rock with a bright blue shirt. The rocky wall behind him was a little redder in the shade.   We called up to him, “Can we take your photo, please?”

A man was sitting quietly above us on a rock with a bright blue shirt. The rocky wall behind him was a little redder in the shade.   We called up to him, “Can we take your photo, please?”

His reply, “Will I make a lot of money?” We all laughed.

Another day, another hike… This time we headed for a palm oasis in the Coachella Nature Preserve.

No matter how many times we visit, this little oasis takes us by surprise with its serene beauty. We looked in the water for any outlying crayfish -- introduced some years ago, they have managed by now to almost wipe out the little fish and frogs native to the water. It was a good sign that no crayfish were spotted. Try as we might, we also didn’t see any fish or hear any frogs.

No matter how many times we visit, this little oasis takes us by surprise with its serene beauty. We looked in the water for any outlying crayfish — introduced some years ago, they have managed by now to almost wipe out the little fish and frogs native to the water. It was a good sign that no crayfish were spotted. Try as we might, we also didn’t see any fish or hear any frogs.

A few days later we found a hiking trail new to us. Or maybe we should have said we followed others up a trail we had never hiked. It was a perfect day for a walk, and, before we knew it, we were on a trail. Someone stopped to let us pass and told us it was still quite a ways till we reached the waterfall. Really? We had no idea that’s where we were headed!

No matter. It was an especially scenic trail for anyone who loves cactus.

No matter. It was an especially scenic trail for anyone who loves cactus.

Many varieties of cactus appeared and it looked strange to see them surrounded by lush green grass from the rains.

Many varieties of cactus appeared and it looked strange to see them surrounded by lush green grass from the rains.

We do a weekly walk at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, north of Palm Springs. Ahead of us a group had gathered, bent over to look at something on the ground.

This was the last thing we expected to see at a higher elevation in the arid desert. The temperature had dropped down to almost freezing the night before. We’d never seen anything quite this shape and weren’t sure if it was even a mushroom.

This was the last thing we expected to see at a higher elevation in the arid desert. The temperature had dropped down to almost freezing the night before. We’d never seen anything quite this shape and size – and weren’t sure if it was even a mushroom.

The walk at Morongo is to look at birds. Usually we looked in the sky, at the top of trees, on distant bushes.

It took us by surprise when a California scrub-jay flew in and landed on a branch only a few feet away from us. Then it sat and posed obligingly for a photo.

It took us by surprise when a California scrub-jay flew in and landed on a branch only a few feet away from us. Then it sat and posed obligingly for a photo.

Our trip to hike the desert around Palm Springs was filled with many little different wonders.   The whole trip was definitely greater than the sum of all those little sightings. When you take a trip to see that one great site, remember to look for all the little sights as well.

 

January 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in US - California and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Expectations when we travel

  1. Pat Bean says:

    This blog earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at: http://patbean.wordpress.com

  2. Your bird photo is beautiful. Did you ever find out what those white things are? Some sort of toadstool maybe??

  3. A Hearty Nomad says:

    Wonderful!

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