Pushing the Boundaries with Mary
Speaking of boundaries, this is the most confusing detail to get across to our guests! (And for me to understand as well.) The sign from the road says we are the Coachella Valley Preserve, but our RV is parked on the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. (And don’t get me started on the city of Coachella itself or the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival which is actually held in the city of Indio at the Empire Polo Club…)
I like this map of the area too…
The Coachella Valley Preserve is the bigger boundary.
The Coachella Valley Preserve is not owned or managed by any single entity. It is a model of cooperation between federal, state, and private conservation efforts for preserving sensitive natural areas:
- Bureau of Land Management
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service
- California Department of Parks and Recreation
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Friends of the Desert Mountains
- Center for Natural Lands Management
- Coachella Valley Conservation Commission
- Coachella Valley Water District
- The Coachella Valley Association of Governments
Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is the smaller boundary within the Coachella Valley Preserve. The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), founded in 1990 in California, is a nonprofit tax exempt organization that assures the perpetual protection of the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve by establishing stewardship endowments. CNLM protects sensitive biological resources through professional, science-based preservation. (coachellavalleypreserve.org)
Here’s what we look like on Google Maps:
Here’s what we look like on our map of trail systems:
So, with all this map stuff in mind, Mary, a tenured docent, took me, with our manager’s permission, on a trailblazing journey to the outer limits of the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.
At times we had to bushwhack our way through arrowweed and slide down a sandstone wall into the wash. But we had a blast as we giggled our way off trail. This is just one of the perks of volunteering here.
SO, PLEASE DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS AS A VISITOR! PLEASE RESPECT THAT WE ARE A WILDLIFE NATURE PRESERVE!
PLEASE STAY ON THE DESIGNATED TRAILS! WE HAVE OVER 28 MILES OF HIKING ON THE COACHELLA VALLEY PRESERVE.
Just enjoy the pics from 2 silly, senior, sassy-assed gals, former schoolteachers I might add, having fun and enjoying the dazzling sights of the Sonoran Desert.
Pure unadulterated desert…
A smoke tree in the wash…
We finally arrive at the end of our CNLM property. Note the stakes in the pictures below.
Ahead of us, to the northeast is Dillon Road and Sky Valley.
We head southeast now toward Thousand Palms Canyon Road.
We approach the hills commonly referred to as “The Indian Fort”. I’ve only ever seen them from the ridge of the Moon Country Trail.
And now I get a closeup view from the base of the hills.
We head back now, but first I take a pic of the other side of the road…
And slowly capture some more photos of Indian Fort as we retreat…
The palm grove surrounding the Simone Pond appears ahead of us.
But first we pass through a small cluster of palms
Just look at this tree “druping” with palm fruit!
It’s tough being a volunteer here. But somebody has to do it! 💜
And speaking of doing it… I am currently researching the history and life of the Native Americans who first lived in this magical sacred place that I now have the privilege to call “home” for the winter just as their tribe did centuries ago. I look forward to sharing what I learn.