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Posts for October 2018:


Big Wheel Tours Palm Springs

CHECK OUT THE BIG ONE

It’s one of the best known, and most menacing geological features in North America.  The San Andreas Fault is the oft-blamed continental rift responsible for plenty of earthquakes in California.  While the science of this tear in the earth’s crust is fascinating, did you know you can actually get up close with this amazing force of nature, just a few miles away from Palm Springs?

Visiting the San Andreas Fault line

Visiting the San Andreas Fault is easy. All it takes is a decent car. 4WD is not necessary unless you want to get to a few difficult places, and most of those are just a short hike from a public road. In some places like the Morongo Indian Reservation or the San Bernardino Mountains, you are not permitted entry or there simply are no public roads (but you can back pack in or day hike). Otherwise, access is a breeze. Many sections of the fault are in National Parks, National Forests or on BLM land. With hundreds of miles of mostly quiet, scenic roads, you’ll see dramatic land forms, horribly twisted rock, and lots of wildlife and flowers.

Finding the fault is relatively easy. Seeing the fault is another matter. The SAF has not had a major ground-rupturing earthquake since 1906. Learn more from the USGS here. Much of the “giant crack in the ground” people imagine has been erased. The surface trace of the fault is subtle. What one has to look for are the land forms the plate motion has created. This is why we recommend taking a guided tour.  Guides familiar with the fault know the best areas to view it from.  Most tours are 2-4 hours and many include lunch.  Pricing varies from $139-$169 per person.

Below are a few of the more popular tours available:

Big Wheel Tours

https://bwbtours.com/tours/

760.548.0500

Come see where earthquakes are born! You will see first hand what geologists have called “the most tortured landscape on earth” as you visit the backcountry trails of a Bureau of Land Management Wilderness zone.
Clients will also get an up close look at the Coachella Valley’s $500 million+ agriculture industry on the drive to and from the backcountry. Sheer canyon walls, fascinating geology, and abundant native desert plant and animal life are highlights of this tour. This is the most colorful portion of the San Andreas Fault in all of California. The spectrum of layers and colors will dazzle you. We try to cater the hiking and nature walking to each group. If clients want to hike more, we will. If clients want to keep it a strictly driving tour we will.

Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours

https://red-jeep.com/

760-324-5337

Extraordinary scenery abounds as your Big Red Jeep winds its way through the labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone as your naturalist guide entertains you with stories about the plants, animals, geology, and history of the California desert. On this exciting 4WD adventure to our private Metate Ranch preserve on the San Andreas Fault you will: Experience the twisted and tortured landscape of an active earthquake fault system as your guide describes the geology of the area and you explore the skeleton of the earth. Walk between the steep walls of deep canyons created by the powerful forces of plate tectonics, water, wind, and time. Explore a natural palm oasis where crystal clear water bubbles up from the underground aquifer. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. Learn about the plants and animals of the California desert. Discover the fascinating history of the Coachella Valley. Enjoy spectacular views as your guide describes the geologic forces and local history that shaped the Coachella Valley.

Private Tours – Private tours are sold by the vehicle. Each Jeep holds up to 7 guests.

Adventure Hummer Tours

https://www.adventurehummer.com/

760-285-0876

Start your 3-hour tour by making your way to the meeting point in Palm Desert, or request hotel pickup in Palm Springs. Jump in the open-air Hummer and enjoy the dry desert wind in your face.
After arriving at the San Andreas Fault, walk right over it on a bridge that spans the ravine. Your expert guide will regale you with amazing geological facts about the fault and speak of its interesting history. Some of the oldest canyons in the planet are here. Gawk at the strange rock formations and keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, particularly when the tour moves on to Berdoo Canyon, also known as the Big Game Corridor.
Visit Thousand Palms Oasis, the third-largest oasis in the world. Expect to be dazzled by the sight, as you take a 30-minute eco walk here. Learn the fascinating history of the local Cahuilla Indians and visit the cabin of the first settler who resided in the area.
For more information, check out these sites:

 

 

It’s one of the best known, and most menacing geological features in North America.  The San Andreas Fault is the oft-blamed continental rift responsible for plenty of earthquakes in California.  While the... Read More »


Art in the Desert

ART IN THE HIGH DESERT

Art is often viewed in isolated settings:  museums or the walls of our homes and offices. But if viewed within the context of the creative process, there is potential for a deeper understanding.  This is precisely what the yearly, self-guided Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours allows viewers to do.

Now in its 17th year, the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours, is a one-of-a-kind experience for art lovers to self-guide through 90 plus studios.  There you can meet directly with over 150 artists, speaking about their work and creative endeavors’ in the intimacy of their private studios.  And you’ll have the opportunity to purchase works directly from the artist that created them.

Presented over two weekends, the studio tour is often referred to as a “desert treasure hunt!” The “East End Weekend” covers studios in TwentyNine Palms, Wonder Valley, and East Joshua Tree.  The “West End Weekend” tour covers studios in Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Pioneertown, Landers and West Joshua Tree.

Catalogs and maps for the Hwy 62 Art Tours are available at area galleries, Chambers of Commerce, the TwentyNine Palms Visitor Center, and the MBCAC.  You’ll want to be sure to bring water and be prepared to drive on desert dirt roads to some studios.

The annual Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours is sponsored by the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council (MBCAC).

And while you’re exploring, be sure to check out the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s new Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center presenting Desert Icons – a collection of works from 36 esteemed and renowned Hi-Desert artists spanning many mediums and a broad spectrum – from direct representation, to abstraction, and everything in-between.  Desert Icons closes October 21st.

More information can be found on the Palm Springs Life Blog and High Desert Test Sites.

Check out this Hwy 62 Art Tours Video and Follow them on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Art is often viewed in isolated settings:  museums or the walls of our homes and offices. But if viewed within the context of the creative process, there is potential for a deeper... Read More »