The Jurupa Cultural Center is one hour and twenty minutes from where we are staying. The pool heater is not working right now and we have been to the local park many many times. So it seemed to be time for a field trip to see the dinosaurs at the cultural center.
We had a busy weekend with Joey and family and the girls went to bed late Sunday and, of course, woke up early Monday. We got through school with only a spattering of whining. Then we packed our lunches and headed out. Anna disliked the drive immediately. She was tired and let me know she was bored several times. I had no desire to drive an hour and twenty minutes with her in this state. So I pulled off the freeway and looked on my phone map app for a park. Did I mention I think smart phones are one of the greatest inventions ever???
First I found the Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge. I went to their website and there was no visitors info at all. So I assumed you cannot visit. There was a link though, to something called the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve which seemed to be in or next to the refuge. This never came up on TripAdvisor when I was checking for things to do. Nevertheless, I decided this would be our field trip for the day.
From the highway you can see these clusters of palm trees which are fed by springs, literally oases.
My camera was doing it's not working thing half the time we were there so I have half the pictures I wanted to take. This land was originally owned by Louis Wilhelm. He lived here until he died and the land was donated to the government. His house still stands as the Visitor Center with the original fireplace. It is a log cabin made of palm tree logs!
We first went on a short hike to one of the palm groves to have lunch.
Then we took a hike up to the top of a hill.
View from the top...
The girls thought it was sooo cool. They were so excited to see all the little cars down below.
After the hikes we went to the Visitor Center. Here we learned about the California palm fruit and even ate some.
And then my camera died. So I have no pictures of Wilhelm's house except for the one of the girls eating the fruit. We next went out 100 yards to where the San Andreas fault lies. Again, no camera. If you don't know what the fault is you were not raised in California in the 60's and 70's when we were told that the next big earthquake would be on that fault and California would fall into the ocean. This bothered me a bit as a child!
The preserve was quite a learning experience and I'm glad we happened upon it by accident. I decided we would go to the cultural center the next day.