We are not doing much travel this year due to family issues that require our attention in Texas. Since we are stationary and not moving much, I have been relating some of our previous travel adventures. I am sorry I did not start this blog sooner. It could have been a better travel record, but Kathi and I remember a lot of detail and Kathi keeps a journal to supplement our memories. Today I am continuing our 2005 travel year.
We returned to Twentynine Palms, CA on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 to be with our youngest son, Christopher when he and his friends departed for Iraq. We had been in 29 before and knew what to expect. The town is on California 62 in a high desert area in the southern portion of the Mojave Desert in southern California. Elevation is just shy of 2,000 feet above sea level. The two highlights of the area are the Joshua Tree National Park and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center. I suspect the town would not exist if the Marines left town.
Most of the restaurants in town are fast food type. I remember several pizza parlors, a McDonalds and a Taco bell. Chester’s Chicken and Subway are very popular with the Marines, because they will deliver to the Marine base. One Saturday afternoon while we were there, Kathi and I treated our son and a few of his friends to a meal at The Rib Factory – those boys could put away some ribs. I think Texas ribs are better, but it may be because I am more used to them. Kathi also enjoyed take out Chinese food from the Bamboo Garden. We also drove to the Sizzler restaurant in Yucca Valley a few times. Yucca Valley is a small town about twenty miles east of 29 on Highway 62.
Marines are required to have a fresh haircut before reporting to duty each Monday morning. There are an amazing number of $5 barber shops in town. The barbers treat the Marines like part of the family. A high and tight haircut takes about two minutes to cut, if you do it every week.
For more serious entertainment – meaning casinos you had to get off the high desert and move down to one of the towns along I-10. We spent a fun evening at the Morongo Casino and Spa near Cabazon in the Morongo Valley. One of the younger Marines had too much to drink and we left the casino earlier than planned to keep him out of trouble. Another night we spent a few hours at the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs. We did not have much luck in that casino, but the décor was nice. One weekend we booked a couple of rooms at the Red Roof Inn in Rancho Mirage. They had a shuttle bus to the Aqua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. We liked that accommodation, so the Marines could come and go as necessary. I wanted to go to the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, but we never made it to that one. Maybe we will get another chance someday.
We were staying at the 29 Palms Golf Resort and RV Park, so I guess I should mention that some of the Marines played golf on weekends. None of them had golf clubs, but somehow they managed. Kathi and I do not play golf – too bad, since we were living adjacent to the course. The only other activity I recall seeing was mudding. Some of the pickup trucks we saw were unrecognizable because of the mud. I think it was mostly local high school boys, but I am sure a few Marine participated. I am betting they had to wash their vehicles before returning to base.