Thursday, January 5, 2012

Desert Hot Springs

The sound of new year's football games emanates from neighboring campers. It's Jan 3 and astonishing to have awakened and walked out into 70-degree weather at 7 am.

We're here in Desert Hot Springs, just north of Palm Springs, for the healing waters. We both feel like a million bucks, but who's to say the waters won't boost us up a notch. Here's the pool.

And here are the natural spring-fed waters, three pools starting at about 105 degrees and dropping a degree or two down the line. They drain and clean these pools each night, refilling them with the natural spring water than bubbles up here in this starkly dry desert oasis.

When we soaked--at the very moment of sunset when the air temp cooled--the pools were nearly empty, but we had a fine conversation with a couple from Osoyoos, BC, at the southern part of the vineyard-infused Okanagon Valley where it meets Washington State, just north of our friends Kathy and Nancy's Duet Vineyards.

We did some housekeeping in the nice dry enviro. I feel unsettled in the desert, as if the lack of water were a constant threat. For campers without services, of course, it is. Time to dry out the produce bin and let it air dry.

Time, too, to take advantage of the robust laundry here. Good reading left behind.

Here's friendly Vi, who lives at a neighboring park and pops over to do her laundry. She showed me how to work the machines and we're laughing here because I had a little trouble figuring it out. At 84, laughter is her best medicine, she says. Her dear husband and travel partner now gone, she looks me straight in the eye and says: Enjoy it while you can, Heidi.

Thank you, Vi. People like you make travel an endlessly fascinating story.

What have we here? Looks just like the RV Wayne and Rob rented for our trip to Lake Superior (don't click unless you want to read yet another love note to travel), right down to the lunatic whitewater rafting family on the back. Fond memories...

Palm tree, up close. Such a radically different ecosystem.

The sun sets and it's a comfortable 62 degrees. Tonight we'll sleep with the windows open.

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