Covered Wagon Tour

We went on a ride on a covered wagon with the Miata group. Of course that means you need to travel some twisty roads to get there. This beauty is called seven level hill. I had been wanting to travel this road anyway so it was a good enough reason for me. We started by having lunch at a winery in Temecula that we had read had a great place for a picnic. So, we bought sandwiches at their deli and had a picnic. It had wonderful views of the vineyards and rolling hills of the area. No pictures because the fog hadn't burned off yet. From there we met up with the group in Temeula. Then we took route 74 into Palm Desert. This view of seven level hill looked like a kids road race track stretched out below you.
The covered wagon tour started at 6:00 PM in the Coachella Valley Preserve just north of Palm Springs. This was the cook area. The smoker is going in the background. Later, after dinner,  they would build a fire in this pit to roast marshmallows.
Each wagon had a naturalist on board to tell you about the area you were traveling through. The wagons had pneumatic tires to make it easier for us and the mules pulling the wagon. Just like in the old days the wagons weren't pulled by horses but rather mules. The mule is a much heartier animal then the horse. Wagons to cross country were usually pulled by mules or oxen and not horses.
It was getting near sunset and was hard to find an angle to get a photo of the mules so this was the best I could do. Two mules could pull the wagon with 30 people on board up hill and it was hot. Probably right around 100 degrees. They would stop to let the mules cool down and rest a few times.
This was a palm oasis right in the middle of the desert. It was on the San Andreas fault. You see all the movement of the earth along the fault pushes water up to or near the surface and that allows these trees to grow.