Whitewater Preserve

Located about 14 miles north east of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, the Whitewater Preserve is a perfect getaway from the southern California desert heat. At Coachella Valley, the sun is brutal all the time except for winter. Last summer it got up to 122ºF in Palm Springs.

Take exit 114 off the I-10, head north on Whitewater Canyon Dr and one can enjoy the stunning view of wildflowers blooming along the dusty winding road.

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Even though it’s already April but there’s still snow on Mt San Jacinto.

The surrounding area is windy all year round so you can also see a lot of windmills.

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Just as the road’s name suggest, the view of the canyons is spectacular:

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At the end of the road, roll down your car window to enjoy the refreshing air because there’s a river right there. Yes you heard it right, there is a small river flowing year round in the middle of the desert.

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Going into the preserve, the first thing that get my attention after parking my car (there’s a lot of parking spaces in the back even though the sign at the entrance says otherwise) is the pond. Lot of ponds.

They have fishes too. The water in the ponds looks ultra mega clear.

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After taking a walk around, this strange hut caught my attention:

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There are many areas with plenty of shade in case you got tired and wanna sit down. There’s even a picnic area with tables and chairs for families too.

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For those that wanna get adventurous, there are a few trails in the preserve to satisfy your hunger for hiking but be careful. There’s a sign that warns visitors of snakes and mountain lions. And the sun is brutal too.

On my way out I saw a large group of children, probably elementary students, jumping around and playing in one of the shallow ponds. Look like a fun place for families with small kids.

P/s:  Just right after entering the freeway, I saw a rest area with stunning view of the San Jacinto.

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P/s 2: The preserve opens daily from 8a.m. to 5p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/WhitewaterPreserve

Time to test the gear…

Yesterday I got so excited after receiving the D3300 that I canceled my plan for rest of the day and went out to shoot.

It was in the afternoon.

A little warm, humid and bright at Riverside.

Where to go… hmm… the UCR Botanic Garden again since it’s close by.

im ready

Look at him, he’s ready to fight!

(I used Auto mode, need time to get used to the camera and try out the M, A, S, P modes)

This one below was taken two weeks ago with Galaxy S6 Edge:

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hey buddy
Guy in front: Hey fatty, you’re too slow! I’m gonna leave u behind, u know?
say whaa
Guy in back: Say whaaa… Seriously!?
whats ur problem
Guy in front: I’m not kiddin. Hey yo, what’s ur problem? I’m talking to you. Yeah, you, the one behind the screen right now! Bug off!!

Guy in back: Chillax man!

lets go
Guy in front: Let’s go fatty! We wasted too much time here already. Need to get food for dinner!

Guy in back: Okay okay.

After the sun set, it rises again…

Well, as the title said, the sun set today and rises again the next day bringing light to life on Earth.

The Palm Desert Cross Trail is one of my favorite trails because it’s not too long and too steep. It’s only an hour round trip. It’s also near my place. You can work up some sweat and enjoy a panoramic view of the whole Coachella Valley in Southern California. Hiking early in the morning (5-6am) will give you something like this:

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It was worth the effort. Well, the air is fresher and you can burn some extra calories. Also, at this time of the year, there are the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament and Coachella Music and Arts Festival with lots of international tourists and Hollywood stars visiting the area. A perfect weekend getaway in the winter and spring.

P/s:

The pics is from one of my biweekly hiking trips last summer. During March, the scenery is greener with wildflowers blooming along the trail.

P/s 2:

If you want to get a better panorama (elevation 8,516 feet), take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway located only a couple of miles away from downtown Palm Springs.

Spring in Southern California

Hi everyone,

This past winter brought a lot of water to the decadelong drought in California. As a result, we Californians can see wildflowers blooming everywhere from hills to hills. They even bloom alongside the I-10 in the middle of the southern desert.

I went hiking on University of California Riverside’s Botanic Gardens (located right in the middle of the university campus) this past Monday (which was actually the first day of Spring – just googled it when I was writing this) and had a chance to witness those spectacular views.

If anyone lives near the area, you can pay a visit there. They have annual Spring and Fall Plant Sale events. Nice flowers and scenery with some steep hills. It can be a fun hiking trip on the weekends.

Website: http://gardens.ucr.edu/information.html

Open daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.