I rented a nice 2BR condo in a nice little apartment complex. The complex had several heated pools, jacuzzis and a nice walkway that ran along a golf course that was perfect for walks with Nova. Palm Springs is a desert city covered with palm trees but the snow-capped mountains aren’t far away, actually it seems that snow capped mountains where in every direction.

I rang in the New Year in Palm Springs, CA, deciding to treat myself to this ritzy locale after it came strongly recommended from a friend from California.

I spent most of the first weekend in Palm Springs, driving to a couple different hikes. Palm Springs is located just under an hour drive away from Joshua Tree National Park. I did a couple of Hikes at Joshua Tree: 

  1. Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail is a 3.1 moderate out and back trail that’s located on the northern end of Joshua Tree National Park. It leads to mini forest to palm trees. I will say the only warning to this trail is there aren’t many Joshua Trees along the way. It’s a great accessory to other hikes but if you could only hike one trail in Joshua Tree I wouldn’t recommend this one.
  2. Black Rock Canyon to Panorama Loop Trail was a great trail. 6.7 miles of moderate hiking but nothing really technical, just some rocks and some steep inclines. I brought my treking poles with me and I was happy I had them It leads to incredible views and there’s some great trees along the way.
Incredible Joshua Tree with snowcapped mountains in the background during the Black Rock Canyon to Panorama Loop

Since Dogs aren’t allowed in Joshua Tree National Park and Nova had to stay home for my hikes in the park. I decided to make one of my days over the weekend a Nova day. We drove up into the San Bernardino National Forest and we did some snow hiking. She was really excited to see snow, something I thought we were going to go the whole winter avoiding. It was a little icy so I had to put on my micro spikes which can be a little exhausting to hike with, so we did a much shorter hike than we expected at just under 2.8 miles. Despite the snow I was really comfortable warm in just a light jacket and leggings.

Wrestling Nova into a photo during our hike in San Bernardino National Forest.

I injured my ankle back around Atlanta (October) and it’s still nagging me especially after a busy weekend so I had to spend the next couple of days recovering and stayed local while I worked in the morning/afternoons. The time difference had taken me a bit of getting used to. I love getting up early in the morning and going for runs and working out but lately I’ve been just getting up and working since 7:00am on the west coast is already 10:00am in New York so I can’t really start much later than that. It had been nice to be able to wrap up my days at 3:00pm and still have a couple of hours of sunlight to work with it.

After one of my workdays, I took Nova for a walk around the downtown area of Palm Springs and ended the walk with a date shake which I’ve never heard of before but there were signs for them all over town so I had to try one. They seem to be milkshakes sweetened with dates. There are a number of date farms just outside of Palm Springs. I saw a few of them at Villagefest, Palm Springs weekly Thursday Night Market where I managed to pick up some local produce including fresh Dates.

I started my new year on a hike and I came up with the start a story during my time on the trail. Instead of letting the idea just come and go I decided to hop on the computer and start writing. I spent many of my evenings writing and left Palm Springs with forty-four pages written in a developing story that was still not complete.

I don’t talk about it much but I originally went to college to major in psychology and minor in creative writing until the housing market crashed and I was suddenly at one of the most expensive schools in the country and mounting student loan debt. I decided to change my major to something that was a little more guaranteed to get me a job outside of school, computer science. 

Majoring in Computer Science was quite the pivot. I stopped writing long essays by my junior year and instead my mid-terms were long complicated programs or working circuits. 

I’ve already found writing relaxing and rewarding. I started writing a lot when my mother was sick in high school and there was just something about getting lost in a story, in your own story that’s just really exciting. I don’t entirely have a plan for this story but I’m still working on it and I’m going to see where it takes me.

I left Palm Springs after a very short week, heading back east towards Las Vegas, NV where I was going to meet with some New York City Friends for a softball tournament, more on that later. But first I had to checkout another popular desert park.