Saturday, April 20, 2013

Desert Hot Springs

Miriam and our friend Yasmine
Recently, we went to the Desert Hot Springs. It was about a twenty minute drive from our hotel.  While driving, there was a sand storm, and we could hear sand hitting our car. We assumed it would be a warmer day, but it turned out to be on the cooler side. When we arrived to the hot spring,  it was very windy, but we still were tempted to go swimming. Right after our parents paid and got towels, we instantaneously jumped into the Jacuzzi. Our friends came with us. They came from Israel to stay with us for the week in Palm Springs.
There were eight pools, and one lifeguard that watched the largest pool. The smaller the pool the warmer it was. All the pools had fresh water non-chlorinated water, which meant we could open our eyes under water. We were very happy that the water didn’t have chlorine because we forgot to take goggles. The water temperature was 85-110 degrees Fahrenheit.  The water was very warm, and we first went into the warmest Jacuzzi to warm up from the cold wind. It felt very nice, and we wished we brought our books to read in the water.

Hannah and me playing in the pool

After staying in the Jacuzzi, we felt very hot, we went into the bigger pool which was very refreshing. In this pool we played numerous made up games such as horse training. We took turns giving each other piggyback rides, and we raced each other to the finish line. Then, we swam a few laps of the strokes until we were exhausted and famished and were ready for our lunch.

For lunch, we had sandwiches with salami, juicy and scrumptious fruits, and delicious yogurt.   Our repast was delicious, and when we finished, we jumped back into the pool.  I helped teach my friends little sister how to swim. She was only 6 and in one day, she learned how to swim without her floaties. It was very pretty at the Desert Hot Springs. When you looked out at the view you saw mammoth-sized boulders, hills, and mountains.  I felt and smelled the nice, fresh air of wind on my legs and arms, and heard the kids screaming and playing games in the pool. We played in the biggest pool for another 2 more hours until it was time to leave. We wiped ourselves, changed, and gave our towels back. I had a fun day, and thanked my mom for making it so entertaining. 

Have you ever swam in a hot spring?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Joshua Tree National Park

High on a tall rock
Recently, we drove to Palm Springs. It was about 130 miles, and while driving we saw some beautiful sights. We saw cows up at the top of the hill, and horses in barns. When we were near to Palm Springs, we saw numerous wind mills. They were in straight rows and were spinning. The wind mills produce electricity.

Joshua tree
While in Palm Springs, we went to Joshua Tree National park. It was about an hour drive from Palm Springs. We went with our friends from Israel. They came to stay with us for the week in Palm Springs. They were good climbers, and they climbed  tall rocks with us. We went to four hiking places within this National Park. We first went to Skull Rock where we climbed mammoth sized rocks and looked out at the view of the mountains. It was hard to climb and there were many sharp branches. After that, we went to Keys View. It was a beautiful sight overlooking the entire valley. It resembled the Grand Canyon, but was much smaller  The overlook at Keys View had a fault line called the San Andre’s Fault. This was were many earthquakes took place. As a result of the fault line, the nearby mountains move one and a half inches every two years, and in 3,000,000 years the San Andre’s Fault will result in the mountains moving 100 miles away. 

Next, we went to the Barker Dam. It was an endangered park, and there were many lizards and birds. We hiked a 1 mile loop to the Dam. While walking we saw an abundant number of Joshua Trees and cacti. The cacti were very prickly and we made sure not to touch them.  The tallest Joshua tree in the park is 40 feet tall, and is about 100 years old! Joshua trees don’t grow more than about 45 feet tall. The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert. It's shape reminded these settlers about the biblical story, when Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky to say a prayer.   One of the Joshua trees was flowering a very large cluster of white petals.

When we neared the end of the hike, we went to see a dried out dam. It was built by comboys to gather water in the desert. We also saw petroglphys in a small cave. These were written by American Indians that lived a long time ago. The writings were in all different colors. We didn’t know what it meant, but they probably wrote it to tell others where to find water and food.  This walk was challenging and was complicated because we walked on rocks and it was very hot.

The last hiking trail was hidden valley. It was a 1 mile loop, and we saw and climbed big rocks. We also saw the most Joshua trees and cacti in this part of the park. It was extremely hot so we hurried up to finish before we would burn. As we exited the park, we went to the Ranger Station. By filling filled out a small booklet about what we learned in the park, we became junior rangers. The park rangers checked our books, and then made us say an oath to protect nature. After that, we received junior ranger badges.  I was very sad when we left, and hoped we would come back next year. 

Michael climbing a tree

What interesting park have you visited?