United States California Orocopia Mountains
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We were headed to Palm Springs for an extended weekend in the sun, when we discovered check in was not until after three. The other guys were out on the golf course, so the ladies placed me in charge of finding a little hike in the area, but there were few options that allowed dogs. I decided to take the women and kids out to a spot near the Orocopia Mountains called Hotel California. I had never been there, but I was up for the adventure of trying to find it. After a call to my buddy Jeff and a search with google maps, I had enough information to find the rumored vacation spot.
We loaded the kids and dog into two SUVs and headed out. The drive eastbound on the I-10 was magnificent. The wild flowers and many of the cacti were in full bloom. The dessert was a brilliant blanket of yellow with splotches of bright pink and purple. Once we turned south of the I-10, we were on a long sandy road into the mountains for approximately four miles. The winding, sandy two track was easy to navigate. I Ignored the many turn offs and stayed on the most traveled trail headed south up the canyon. The road was unchallenging, but the sand became deep in a few areas and there were a few sharp, high banked turns around the Ocotillo bushes. As we pushed deeper into the wilderness area, I was a little concerned for Erica who was behind us in her two wheel drive SUV. My worrying was for nothing as she and her monstrous pavement queen sucked up everything the trail had to offer.
Once we arrived, the kids assaulted the structure in full force. They were having a great time until I tricked them into believing that we were staying in the structure for the weekend. Seth quickly informed me that his dad had told him we were staying in a hotel with a pool. I pointed to the sign and stated we were at “Hotel California” and the pool must have dried up. Seth replied with a scowl and something I will never forget, “this is not a hotel, this place is a dump!” The rest of the kids just looked concerned as they surveyed the ripped screens, dirt floors, and remote location. After a few moments of my grins and their sulking around, I let them in on the joke and we were back to the enjoyment of exploring the area and throwing rocks.
While the kids were climbing over everything they could find traction on, they discovered a geo cache box under a small pile of rocks. I held up the ammo can and explained how geo caching works. They looked on with amazement, as I opened the container. After they completed a thorough inventory of all the treasures, we all signed the log book and returned it to rest in the original location. I think there may be some geo caching in one of our future trips.