Here on a peak in La Quinta Cove, I hear the call of the raven in the background and a gentle warm breeze caressing my face and I realize I have found the voice of the desert. I came to Palm Springs hoping to experience more than poolside lounging and general golf banter and here, atop a mountain, I have gained that sincere connection to the desert I so desperately sought. I have never been able to resist the draw of an unknown mountainous trail and here I can see the spidery paths weaving their way across and up the mountainsides and I feel each one calling my name, beckoning me to discover it’s own unique quality. I am captivated.
I have travelled many times to the Palm Springs area but the intention this year was, most importantly, to connect with nature and the spirit of the desert. To understand where and how this landscape, which differs so drastically from my home, speaks to me, so, I decided to change it up and explore new spaces in Palm Desert followed by a short stay in the La Quinta area.
The journey to the desert commences with the organization of needs. I plotted a rental car organized through Enterprise Rent-a-car in Palm Desert (Highway 111), which was more economical than leasing for pickup at the airport. My cycling needs were met by Big Wheel Tours, where they drop off and pick up my two-wheeled mode of transportation. The accommodation possibilities are numerous, for those planning on longer stays there is of course VRBO.com, but I would also suggest Realtor.com as they also offer wonderful rental properties.
Palm Desert has always been a favourite for rest and relaxation in the past and the endless amenities in this area cater to all types of travellers. There were the usual outings on this trip: shopping on El Paseo in Palm Desert, the lunch time fish tacos at Tommy Bahamas and a trip to the Cabazon Outlet Mall being just a few. The days are filled with early morning hikes up the Bump-n-Grind or a road ride with the Desert Bicycle Club. The afternoon might consist of yoga practice at Go With The Flow Yoga.
There were some delightful new discoveries in this area. A full moon hike with Roger Johnson, the owner at The Trainer Connection, was a highlight as was the discovery of Clementine Gourmet Marketplace & Cafe. Post hike and beat-the-heat treats were found at Beach House Yogurt.
The environs of La Quinta certainly stole the show for this visit. There is a relaxed, easy, warm, community feeling about the village of La Quinta and the trails at La Quinta Cove were brilliant for early morning hikes. Boo Hoff and Lookout were a pleasure and provided some much needed cardio. Coffee and treats were enjoyed at the extremely popular Old Town Coffee Shop – a popular gathering place in the village for cyclists. When my dietary needs were met, I would saunter over to H2O Closet, where there would be vibrant discussion about all sorts of events both local and global. There was enthusiasm and genuine pleasure expressed by the owners in being a part of this engaging community.
The intention to find something deeper and more meaningful in this adult playground of Palm Springs proved fruitful. With the shift in my perspective of this place came a shift in what I ended up finding. The energy of this somewhat barren landscape spoke to me as I ventured into quiet, remote areas and it was as though all this rock, sand and brush was breathing warmth into my being.