Best of 2017

2017 wasn’t unkind to me. I had quite a few (mini) adventures and loved most of the year. Trying to pick a few “bests” and “favorites” wasn’t quite as easy as I expected. But here it goes:

Best unplanned adventure – a friend and I were waiting for the Lowest Glow on Earth balloon festival during the Salton Sea Seafest. Due to winds, no one knew whether the hot air balloons would even be able to start. So we took the car and drove to Salvation Mountain and Slab City, not quite knowing what to expect. Let me tell you it is weird and cool simultaneously.

Salvation Mountain

Favorite new activity I tried – acrylic painting. I needed some artwork for my bed room and guest room in a specific color, so I finally walked over to Michaels, got a canvas and paint and unleashed my inner artist. Thankful to my friend who encouraged me to give it a shot!

Best race – that’s a toss-up between the Huntington Beach SurfCity 10 and the Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge, a 6k with a 2,000 feet elevation gain.

Favorite new drink – Mexican Mocha coffee at Ernest Coffee in Palm Springs.

Best new addition to the world – my niece. She was born in January in Germany and I have been able to meet her in the summer and again over the holidays. I think she likes me.

Favorite newly found hike – this one is tricky as I did so many new hikes in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs areas. If pressed, I pick the Mastodon Peak Loop Trail in Joshua Tree National Park for its unique and varied landscape.

mastodon peak loop trail

Best non-moving activity – watching La La Land with an old friend on the beach during Beachfront Cinema in Huntington Beach.

Favorite regular hike Goats Trail to Araby Trail. This trail has become my regular hike whenever I am in Palm Springs. The first mile kicks my butt. And then the rolling hills and views over Coachella Valley make up for the first steep mile.

Best book I read – I have a soft spot for crime novels. This series caught my attention during a visit to Big Bend National Park a few years ago: Deputy Rigos Tales by Elizabeth A. Garcia. The series (6 books so far) centers around a young female deputy who lives just outside Big Bend National Park. I love the way Garcia describes the landscape and the tales Deputy Rigos tells…

Best concert – James Blunt

Favorite weird art – I kept this one for almost last as – oh my – did I find weird art in 2017.  If you consider Salvation Mountain art, that’s one contender. The Desert X Mirage House is definitely on the list. And then I came across Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum and now I can’t decide…

noah purifoy outdoor museum

Favorite photo taken – Salton Sea

Salton Sea

What are your best memories of 2017?



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