7 Hikes 7 Days~Day 7: Mission Creek Preserve, Desert Hot Springs

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Clementine Gourmet Marketplace & Cafe

I figured that for hike #7 (the final of our video series) we deserved a picnic! So I called my friends Jennifer and Christophe at Clementine Gourmet Marketplace and Cafe and asked them to surprise me with something delicious. Before heading out I stopped by their beautiful business and grabbed what may quite possibly be the most elegantly and thoughtfully  prepared picnic basket there ever was!

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Everything is SO cute inside Clementine and the food…DELICIOUS!

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Clementine owners, Jennifer and Christophe packing our picnic

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Cottonwood Tree in wetlands

Now to the hike. This 4,760 acre preserve owned by the Wildlands Conservancy, is located in the transition zone between the Sonoran and Mojave deserts.The flora and fauna represents both deserts. Here you will enjoy wetlands along with beautiful eroding painted hills, dry desert and a perennial stream.

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Cholla cactus

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Creosote seeds

Several animals roam these parts, deer, bear, bighorn sheep and mountain lions. In the spring, there is typically an explosion of wildflowers. It was a warm fall day when we set out…no water(which is really rare) and not many wildflowers this time of year. The creosote, which is one of my favorite desert plants, looked lush and was full of fluffy seed pods.

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It looks like fall in the picnic area near the stone cabin

There is a stone house at the end of the main trail with picnic tables inside. For those with a desire for more adventure, the main trail leads on to the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Anyone care to take a dip?

No, it’s not just a mirage, make sure to stop and check out the remains of an old pool and fireplace, still standing from when the preserve was an old dude ranch for celebrities looking to escape the limelight.

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Stone shade structures complete with picnic tables inside

Near the parking area there are more picnic opportunities in rustic stone shade structures. Now for the moment I’ve been waiting for…Thank you once again to the fine folks at Clementine for packing our delicious picnic! Let’s eat…

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Picnic time…finally!

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I’m more than ready to celebrate the final shoot of #7hikes7days!

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Cheers to a job well done man behind the camera!

Of note: 3.5 miles easy, time about 2 hours

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