Exploring the Twentynine Palms Area

Today is our fourth day at Twentynine Palms. As soon as we arrived and got the RV set up, we went out exploring for the usual: grocery stores (we needed a few groceries), restaurants, gas stations, etc.

The next day we went to the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center to check out what interesting things there were to see and do around Twentynine Palms.  We got some really good inforomation and brochures about things to see and do in the area.

One of the places we learned about was the Oasis of Mara which we decided to go visit right after leaving the Visitor’s Center.  The Oasis is located at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center in town which is close to the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.


The Oasis has a rich history dating back to the Serrano people.  It was a true oasis in the desert, and the Serrano called it Mara, meaning “the place of little springs and much grass.”  Legend has it that the Serrano came to the oasis because a medicine man told them that it was a good place to live, and they would have many boy babies.  Legend also says that the medicine man told the Serrano to plant a palm tree for each boy born, so the first year they planted twenty-nine palms.

Things changed for the Serrano and other native peoples as time passed and the Spanish and other explorers came into the area.  When pioneers, gold miners, and cattlemen moved west, trees began to be cut down at the Oasis and water was siphoned away to support the growing mining and cattle operations.

Now the Oasis has a lovely concrete trail around it, and visitors can walk around it to observe the vegetation and small animals (if you’re lucky; we were not “lucky” THANK GOODNESS!).  I did take several pictures, though.


The Oasis doesn’t look like much from the distance. However, as you get closer, you realize how big these palm trees really are!



You can get a feel for the size with Jack and Zoey in this photo.



These are called California Fan Palm Trees (or Washingtonia filifera for my scienfically minded friends).

We have been trying to locate dog parks every place we have stayed.  Poor Zoey enjoys our walks, however, we can’t run with her when she is on the leash (I guess Jack and I are finally getting older more mature).  When we go to a dog park and she can be off the leash, so she gets SO excited.  The dog park we found here in Twentynine Palms is REALLY nice.


You can see Jack (in the black jacket) and Zoey by his left foot.


This dog park has two separate areas which I really like: one for dogs over 30 pounds and one for dogs under 30 pounds.  Although, a 30 pound dog chasing our 13 pound Zoey really scares her!

Yesterday we took a day trip to Palm Desert and Palm Springs, California.  We went west from Twentynine Palms on State Route 62.  This section of Route 62 is well populated and quite beautiful.  We stayed on 62 until it interesected with Interstate 10.  Then there were the wind turbines. Lots and LOTS AND LOTS of wind turbines!



Look closely for the wind turbines. This was just a “small” field of turbines.



You might need to zoom in to see all the turbines in the background.



Some of the turbines are HUGE and some are much smaller. Some have three blades; some have two blades. Some face one direction and others face in different directions (I guess to catch the winds no matter what direction they come from). I wish I understood more about how these things work and why they are different sizes, etc. 



These pictures represent just a FEW of the MANY fields of wind turbines we saw in the valley! I can’t even imagine the total number of these turbines!

We took Interstate 10 East for about 25 miles to the lovely town of Desert Palm.  I had googled “Things to do around Palm Springs.”  One of the things that was of interest to us was a Street Fair and Farmer’s Market at The College of the Desert in Desert Palm.  This is a lovely town with a lot to offer the residents (namely beautiful homes, many gold courses, and lots of stores).  This Street Fair had SO many booths of merchandise and farmer’s produce as well as food stands.


After spending an hour several hours at the street fair, we drove back to Palm Springs to explore the historic downtown area.  The outskirts of Palm Springs was full of new, large homes in gated communities and very “modern” looking.  It also had numerous golf courses and a lot of stores and shopping areas.  However, once we got close to the downtown area, it was exactly what I expected the “old” Palm Springs to look like (you know – the things that I saw in pictures as I was growing up in the 1960s and what I read about what the movie stars of that time were doing and where they were going).


Jack, myself, and our sweet Shih Tzu, Zoey, wandered up and down Palm Canyon Drive exploring the shops and a couple of unique museums (we take her with us everywhere we go; they are very “dog friendly” out west!).

One museum we went in was the MaCallum Adobe house.  The museum was in the original 1880’s house in which some early settlers lived.  They moved the house to the present location on Palm Canyon Drive.  The Palm Springs Historical Society turned the inside into a museum telling about some of the famous people that visited, lived in, and worked in Palm Springs (many Presidents, movie stars, film makers, and famous architects).  You wouldn’t believe the number of Hollywood movies that were filmed in Palm Springs!  We were not allowed to take photos in the museum or would have snapped a bunch.  😢  All the information in the museum was fascinating.


We went to Ruddy’s General Store (next to the MaCallum Adobe house) which is a museum of all ORIGINAL products in ORIGIANL containers with original PRICES from the 1930s.  It was a fascinating store to see.  Many of the products I remember seeing my grandmothers use!  If you are of my generation, you will recognize many of these products and their containers.  If you ever visit this “store” just remember:  NOTHING is actually for sale!!  It is a museum!




I remember both of my grandmothers using this shampoo.



I wonder if my older sister, Peggy, remembers this candy.  I do, but I was the one with the sweet tooth.



This is Jim Ruddy, the founder of this 1930’s General Store Museum. The museum includes his extensive 35 year collection of general store merchandise with another museum collection he purchased from a Depression-Era liquidator who had kept his fine store fixtures and merchandise in his basement for 40 years. As a result, this museum is one of the largest complete displays of UNUSED general store merchandise in the country. Mr. Ruddy passed away in April, 2017.

We ate an early, delicious supper at a sidewalk cafe.  While eating, we met a nice couple sitting at the table next to us.  They were from Michigan and had been coming to Palm Springs for the last 5 winters.  We bought a little souvenir at a “tourist trap,” took a selfie with Palm Canyon Drive in the background, and headed back home to the RV in Twentynine Palms.


So for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peggy Hines
    Mar 20, 2018 @ 08:39:24

    I love the area of the country where you’re in. You can see why it is so popular, especially during the winter. I don’t know your plans, but if you want a gorgeous day trip that will show you the incredible diversity of terrain in that area, you could go up to Big Bear Lake and explore the mountains and lakes. Silverwood Lake State Recreational Area and Heart Rock are gorgeous. Lake Arrowhead is ritzy but so beautiful. UCLA’s Conference Center is out in the woods around there and is such a peaceful place. I don’t know if they still do this, but…they have a lodge with meeting rooms AND they have these wonderful cabins that are off the path a bit. They used to rent them out by the night when the conference center wasn’t full for meetings. They are comfortable and they give you free firewood for your fireplace. One of the best nights ever was just sitting in that living room and watching the fire….then finally heading to bed and letting it lull me to sleep. Big Bear Lake is also incredibly beautiful and there are fabulous tiny towns all over the place.

    No matter what you decide to do in that part of the country, it’s all amazing! Have fun!! Love to you and Jack…and of course Miss Zoey! 🤗💕


  2. Wanda Johnson
    Mar 20, 2018 @ 19:15:32

    Looks like you are getting closer to the west coast. Keep coming. I understand that Marshall and Nancy are moving back to Palm Dessert. You might check that out if you have time. The desert is beautiful in its own way but I, like Peggy, also enjoy the mountains. Northern CA is diverse and beautiful. Of course, WA is even better. Thanks for these adventures and pictures.


    • Betty Huffman
      Mar 20, 2018 @ 23:28:15

      We talked about Marshall and where he was now. Jack thought he might still have a house in Palm Desert. We will probably do Northern California when we do Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The desert is beautiful in its own way, but since we were in the Phoenix area for two months before this, I’m kind of ready to see something besides desert!


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