When you find yourself in Los Angeles for a second time in a month what do you do but take a sojourn to Palm Springs!

The drive was just over 2 hours and a relatively easy one considering that I left at 7:00 am to get a head start on the notorious LA traffic.

I’ve been to Palm Springs before, but that was nine years ago when I took Zach to Coachella.  We stayed in Palm Springs and had a blast as we got to see a raft of our favourite musicians play.

Clearly, going to a concert weekend with a teenager at the time we had far different tastes.  We split up and met up at the end of the night.

I still remember Zach murmuring in the shuttle back to the hotel at 2:00am as he fell asleep on my shoulder that this had been the “best day of my life”.

Pretty amazing experience for us both!

This visit to Palm Springs I really had no expectations apart from seeing the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The weather was a balmy 18C (67F) and sunny and I was a little annoyed that I hadn’t worn shorts…

Feeling a little peckish I decided on a quick breakfast as I waited for the museum to open at 10:00.

My visit to the Art Museum didn’t disappoint as it had several very cool exhibitions.

Of course, my favourite was the photography exhibit of “Kali“.

Joan Archibald as she was known prior to moving to Southern California in 1962 to escape her hum drum life in Long Island decided to reinvent herself as a photographer.

Near the end of her life in 2019 her daughter discovered a treasure trove of her work.

Her distinct avant garde style was like nothing I’d seen before as she overlayed patterns and images on her photographs, while mixing chemicals to soak and create quite unusual works.

After soaking up her exhibition and the other great galleries I wandered around the Art precinct before noticing a number of people hiking down a path behind the museum

This, as you can imagine piqued my interest, so I wandered over.

I discovered a hiking trail that took between five and eight hours, although interpreting the map there seemed to be a shorter trail that would take me to the top of the peak overlooking Palm Springs without having the make the entire trek.

Although not totally prepared for a steep climb I was up for the challenge and set out on the trail.

I encountered only a handful of other hikers (much better prepared than me) making their way up or down.

Admittedly there were a few very steep parts that I had to use my hands to pull myself up but overall, a great little five-kilometre round trip hike.

The views from the top were spectacular as Palm Springs spread out before me.  Surrounded by mountains in every direction including snow-capped peaks.

I sat for a few minutes enjoying the incredible views and soaking up the soft desert air.

Above me in the jet streams that came up the mountains from the plains I noticed a number of Grackles and Blackbirds soaring high overhead to look for game on the mountainside.

To be honest I felt like I was in a David Attenborough documentary as lizards and skinks flitted around my feet while I watched the spectacle unfold above me.

I had expected a rattlesnake or two to cross my path and kept a sharp lookout and listened intently for its distinctive sound.

Although likely it’s still not hot enough for them to be out and about.

I think the hike was slightly more difficult on the way down as the sandy soil and loose rocks made for less steady footings.

In all it took me about two hours to hike, observe and hike back down, but was the perfect way to enjoy my day in Palm Springs.

For those that don’t know much about Palm Springs it has a long and storied past.  Home to a thriving arts community it also has some of the best mid-century architecture in the world.

Street after street of these gems have been gorgeously renovated to their former beauty.   Just take a look at some of the real estate opportunities.

With a near perfect desert climate, it would be on my list to live if I had the opportunity and funds!

After a good drive around a host of neighbourhoods admiring the homes, I headed back to Los Angeles.

Given that it was Sunday afternoon it only took me just over 2.5 hours to get back to the hotel albeit on a convoluted route via my iPhone route guidance.

If you’re in Los Angeles and have a day or two to spare, it’s worth considering a road trip to Palm Springs to explore.

Next time I plan to stay at least overnight and enjoy a day spa (yes, there are many).

Until next week.