Friday, January 16, 2009

Desert sojourn

I am trying to plan my (gasp!!) 20-year high school reunion and figured a good way to get inspired and to get information on possible venues was to take a quick trip out to Twentynine Palms.
I left Sunday morning, planning on returning Monday afternoon.
There were a few places I had in mind for my stay. At the top of the list was Roughley Manor.
My 10-year reunion was here, and while I did not stay here then (all booked up!), I figured I could give it a try now. And see if they still did parties like that.
Turns out they don't.
But I was still very happy to be staying here.
The original part of the house is to the side of this. It was a small homestead that was added onto to create the beautiful stone house.

There is a separate entrance to the office area, which is in the old part of the house. This is the main entry. There are a few bedrooms upstairs.

There is a nice great room where breakfast is served. They also put out cookies or dessert and tea service in the afternoons. There is a sitting area, piano and fireplace. For a rather large room, it is very cozy.

A pair of great horned owls lives in the big tree out front. I wish the eyes had not gone screwy here. But he was high up in the tree, so I was just glad to see him at all. The other one was in a darker, higher spot.

Once I was checked in, I headed to my room to drop off my stuff before heading out for a little walk.

It was a good size room, with a big, fluffy bed. The bed was rather high, even for someone tall like me. But it was the kind of bed you sink into easily. Everything about the room was immaculate.

There was a little dining area and kitchenette with mini-fridge and microwave. There also was coffee and tea service provided if you wanted to make your own in the room.
The TV had satellite hookup and a VCR. They had a tape library in the main house.
There also was wireless Internet access.

I was in what they call the Pool Room. So there were French doors from my room right out onto the pool area. No one else used the pool the one day I was there. I don't think the pool was heated. But the hot tub was. Since no one else was interested, it was like having my own private retreat under the stars. Later that night I enjoyed a soak, watching the stars and having a beer.

That little building at the end of the pool was my room. I was a little worried about noise from the pool, but there was none. Now, if I was staying there in the summer, I may want a room farther from the pool since more people would be likely to use it then.

After I got settled in my room, I took my camera and wandered around the grounds. The property is several acres. There are a lot of little outdoor sitting areas all around the grounds. It was a perfect clear day, about 65-70 degrees.

This is the tower of an old windmill. The engine and windmill were damaged in a storm, so they were removed at some point.

There also is an old water tower on the grounds. Behind that you can see a couple of the out buildings. These buildings are all guest rooms.

These are more of the guest rooms. The one above is a building of three rooms.
The buildings look rustic from the outside, but the rooms are all done up very nicely.
There is one on the far end of that building that had all the drapes open. Being nosy I of course peeked in since no one was staying there. It was quite nice, all done in a pretty black and white color scheme. If I stay here again, I may request that room.

The three pictures above are of what is called the Museum Building. Apparently the original owners built is as part art gallery, part art studio. It now is divided into a couple guest rooms.
I did not get a look at those. But the inn's Web site has a lot of good photos of all the rooms.

Next to the Museum Building is an old pool/reservoir. This has not been used in quite a while as a swimming pool. But I guess they do still use it to hold water for irrigation around the grounds.

I find this thing fascinating. It is solid. The steps lead up to the edge, which is about a foot thick. I was not sure what I would find when I climbed the steps and looked inside.

Ha! More steps. I guess that was how you got in and out if you were using your reservoir as a swimming pool back in the day.

Of course, being nosy, I had to go all the way in. The angles in here where even more interesting. I also loved the colors and the dilapidated look of it.
By the way, the pool is about 6 feet deep. The top of my head just reached the top of the wall.
Just a couple more shots, below of the lovely steps inside the pool. These rank right up there with some of my favorite photos that I have ever taken.

I know it is not always at the top of everyone's list of vacation destinations, but if you happen to be going to Twentynine Palms and need a place to stay, this is a great place to try.
The owners, Jan and Gary Peters, are great hosts. And they run a top-rate place.
Oh yeah... and there was breakfast. Pecan-praline French toast with fresh berries. And it was divine.

Stay tuned for ... A funky stop on the way to Twentynine Palms, plus a drive through Joshua Tree National Park.