Twentynine Palms to Thousand Oaks…

This morning, I went back to Wonder Garden Café – the same place that refused to allow Max to sit with me at lunch yesterday – for breakfast. It’s a funky little place on the main drag in Twentynine Palms, and the service, coffee, and eggs were all excellent.

However… could somebody PLEASE overnight some Scratch bagels to me?! These people out here just don’t know how to make a bagel. I tried one the other morning in Prescott when I got my coffee, and it was so forgettable (as a bagel) that I forgot to mention it in the blog! Today’s “bagel” was equally as forgettable. Note: I AM NOT forgetting either of them!

Seriously, Scratch Bakery in South Portland, Maine has probably the best bagels I’ve ever had (outside of New York City, that is). It was one of my several times a week early morning rituals when I had my Portland apartment. A five minute drive across the bridge to Bagel Nirvana! Otherwise known as Scratch! It’s one of my great laments on leaving Portland to return to Deer Isle. The other – and by far bigger – lament was leaving my sweet granddaughter and her mom and dad!

Am I sounding homesick?? Naw. I JUST WANT SOME SCRATCH BAGELS!!!

Anyway, we needed to get more of Max’s great dog food and the only way I’ve done it in the past is through mail order. I’m down to maybe a week’s worth of food, so I decided to Google it to see if there was a retailer of SOJOS close by to anywhere I was even remotely thinking of heading.

Luck of luck, there was Cold Nose Warm Heart in Palm Springs – which I was vacillating about visiting. I called after breakfast, and Rob – the owner – told me he had the food in stock, so we headed off to Palm Springs.

Aside from being able to stock up on food, I’m so glad we went. The town is a lovely oasis in the middle of all that desert that I was grumbling about yesterday. Of course, I realize that oasis is costing other places lots of water. You cannot maintain 100 golf courses in one town – yes! (I read it on the web so it must be true!) One hundred golf courses in Palm Springs. You cannot maintain all that green grass, flowers, trees, etc. without a lot of water, and deserts are not notorious for lots of water. So, as much as I appreciated all the verdant beauty, I also gave some guilty thought to all the water usage to produce it for my own, and other people’s pleasure.

We arrived about 11 AM, and had a nice chat with Rob at Cold Nose Warm Heart – what a great name for a dog store! The conversation was some of the usual: what a beautiful boy Max is, how smart poodles are, Rob’s dog, the Sojos food I was buying, where to eat in town, and finally, the wind farm at the north end of the valley.

We drove through the pass from Yucca Valley to Palm Desert and I was immediately blown away by the scope of this wind farm! (no pun intended!) Hundreds and hundreds of giant windmills were slowly turning in the Santa Ana winds – or whatever wind was blowing through the mountain pass and into the valley.

Another day in the desert, but this sight made my heart soar.

The windmills take up every available space for miles – on the desert floor as well as up on the tops of hills. Way to go, California!

Rob told me it’s the largest wind farm in the US, and they are planning one for around Joshua Tree that will be even bigger. It makes so much sense to me – there’s a lot of wind coming through those valleys, and what better way to make use of it than to generate power? I’ve never been put off by windmills anywhere I’ve traveled. On the contrary, I love seeing them and appreciating the fact that they are using such a simple, sustainable method of creating electric power.

After purchasing the food and a nice new “jacket” for Max, we went out and strolled the streets around the Plaza, then settled into Maracas – a Mexican restaurant right on Palm Canyon Way – for a lunch of guacamole, chips, and a Mojito. Max had a great time “Hoovering” around the table, and greeting anyone who passed close enough to touch.

Lunch in Palm Springs…

After lunch, we had a little more walkabout, a Ben and Jerry’s cone for me, and we were set to drive through the mountains to Thousand Oaks, where I had made a reservation for tonight.

This bougainvillea was in a side alley by Cold Nose Warm Heart. Doesn’t it look great below that blue sky?

On the way out of Palm Springs, I stopped at the visitor center to see if dogs were allowed on the tram – NO. So, we did not get to go to the top and view the valley…

Spotted this car repair place on the way out of town. Note the name: Secret Service of Palm Springs!

Vanessa was a good guide today, and took us through the mountains, to the 10, as they call it here, then routes 60, 71, and finally the 101 – all the while skirting Los Angeles off to our left. At one point, I caught a glimpse of skyline with Pacific Ocean behind! But, traffic was heavy and I really needed to stay focused on the mostly six lanes of traffic on our side of the divider.

At the end, Vanessa fell down on the job, telling me we had arrived at our destination, when we were still a mile away! I had to re-program her to get here to our really, really wonderful La Quinta Inn! We are on the third floor overlooking the pool, and I am sorely tempted to put my suit on, take the pup with me, and go for either a soak in the hot tub or an evening swim. Sorry all you snowbound northerners…

Who’s out there, pup? Max looking out the window of our room in Thousand Oaks, CA just around dusk.

Does this dog have the good life or what??

Tomorrow, we are backtracking a bit to go to Topanga Canyon – and maybe to the Santa Monica pier. My friend Katy’s good friend Claire owns the Mimosa Café in Topanga Canyon, and I’d like to stop in and say “Hi.”

From there, it’s on to San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles – recommended by Johnnie at the Black Dog Bar in Cedar Key all those weeks ago!


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in California, California desert, Coffee, Eating out on a road trip, On the Road, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Twentynine Palms to Thousand Oaks…

  1. Wow!!!! I can’t believe you’ve really made it all the way across the country! Loved the pictures, particularly of the wind farm–awesome! Kudos CA!!!!

    Also the Mexican restaurant looked so pretty and that looked like some holy guacamole! Yum! Is guacamole much better on the other coast?

    Hope you went for a swIm or a soak–enjoy it while you’re out there! Xoxo cin

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Guacamole is guacamole anywhere you go some are good, some are great, and some are not either!! this one was great. I had it last night again, and there’s still enough for lunch today! didn’t go for a swim or soak as it got too late by the time I posted, etc…

  2. hank says:

    someone recommended you visit paso robles? if i may ask, why? then over to san louis obisbo, where i once spent a lovely 3 days in jail. but, morro bay and you know, hearst castle and on up one, that will be good.

    • Maureen Farr says:

      I don’t remember why – I think it was because of the wineries?? Maybe they weren’t there when you spent your lovely 3 days in jail… Skipped by Hearst Castle. In San Luis Obispo – or SLO, as it’s called around here. Spent a lazy hour sitting by the pool this afternoon – throwing a tennis ball for Max and trying to read!

  3. Janet-Marie says:

    Hi Momo, Kids and I are re-visiting some of your travels so we can accompany you. I have almost caught them up to real time. Really love your lunch this day. BEAUTIFUL! They are both sick, so I have their rapt attention….and so does the so photogenic Max! We are “enjoying” our 2nd or is that 3rd storm in 4 days….icy rain mixed with rainy ice this time. Happy Trails, Love, Janet and the Kiddos.

  4. Maureen Farr says:

    Hi Janet and Kiddos! Thanks for taking me back to this post – I forgot that lunch completely!! So glad you are all enjoying it. I look forward to seeing you all when I return.

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