Something a little different …

Spend the Afternoon at Polo
Empire Polo Club – Indio, CA

Polo games every Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

If you’re looking for something a little different to do this weekend and you live in the Coachella Valley area,  you may want to check out Sunday Polo at Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Opening Weekend is Jan. 4th – 6th, 2013.  There are two days of featured polo matches, and the games are open to the public.

Empire Polo Club is well known for the Coachella Music Festival and the Stagecoach Music Festival.  They’re also a polo club.  Every Sunday they offer polo games that are open to the public.  General Admission is free. They also have “Polo Under The Lights” games on Friday nights at 6:00 PM.  Be sure to check their game schedule online at to confirm Friday game times, which are weather permitting.

While all games are open to the public, you’ll want to attend their Sunday Polo event which is a “Traditional Day of Polo.”  There will be two featured polo matches with a halftime divot stomp during each game. The Sunday games are scheduled at 12:00 and 2:00 every Sunday January 6th through March 31st, 2013.

There will be food and beverage service available for purchase on site. The polo grounds are stunning and it’s a great way to spend the afternoon outdoors.

The dress code is very casual.  You can tailgate or sit in the fieldside bleachers.  The Club has one of the largest rose gardens on the west coast which is home to more than 8,000 rose bushes and includes 130 different varieties.  There are bronze sculptures of horses, fountains with angels and breathtaking views from all directions.

Check the schedule for Friday night games.

Sunday Polo Schedule for Jan. 6th – March 31st, 2013

12:00  First Game
2:00    Featured Game
2:30    Champagne Divot Stomp
3:45    Trophy & Award Presentation

The entrance for Sunday Polo is on Ave. 50 between Madison St.  and Monroe St.

Friday Night Under The Lights & Happy Hour Schedule
Game starts at 6:00 PM

The Friday Night game entrance is on Monroe St. between Ave. 50 and Ave. 52 by the Tack Room Tavern Restaurant.

For more info. call Tel. 760-393-7298 or visit their website:

Empire Polo Club Location
81800 Ave. 51, Indio, CA  92201



Jerome, AZ one of America’s most haunted ghost towns

Spend Halloween in a real ghost town  

Shops in Jerome.

Jerome, Arizona is a special place to be in October. There’s an annual Halloween celebration, with guided “Spirit Walks” that explore the local historic buildings accompanied by narratives of spooky tales.  Another annual event, the “Ghost Walk” at the Jerome Historical Society, features actors in period costumes dramatizing shootouts, murders, drownings and séances in a re-telling of Jerome’s bone-chilling history.  Every year new stories surface of eerie events that have taken place in Jerome’s history.

The Grand Hotel is considered the “most haunted” of all the buildings in Jerome. If that doesn’t scare you, consider that it used to be the Jerome Mining Hospital, where spirits of the lost souls who died there are rumored to still haunt the building.  The infamous “Death Rooms,” where former patients were once left to die, are now hotel rooms where  guests can stay.  The Grand Hotel often sells out their rooms a year in advance, reserved for Halloween celebrations, but there are other hotels where you can stay.

Located in Verde Valley, Jerome is a former mining town that sits on Cleopatra Hill. Today tourists visit Jerome to learn about its history and to shop at the local gift stores and galleries. Once labelled the “wickedest town in the west,” Jerome has turned into an artisanal community that embraces its colorful history.

The mining area in Jerome.

“In 1876, mining claims and a mill were located near the town,  These claims were puchased in 1882 by the United Verde Company, and the tent camp was named Jerome after Eugene Jerome, a major financier of the company.  Senator William Clark of Montana purchased the company in 1883.  By the mid-1920s the population had grown to almost 15,000 before it began to decline.”  Source: Historic Plaque in Jerome.

Back in 1950 the mine closure dropped the local population to below 100 residents, and Jerome became a ghost town.  Today there are a few hundred more residents keeping the history fresh in the minds of tourists and visitors.  If you take a walk through Jerome, it’s like walking back in time.  You’ll pass by old saloons and historic buildings that still hold their iconic southwestern character.  There are even remnants of a once bustling “Red Light District.”

If you go during Halloween …

There are three guided “Spirit Walks,” at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Each time slot can accommodate up to 200 people, who tour historic buildings in groups of 40 to 50 and listen to ghost stories.  The event begins at Spook Hall (260 Hull Avenue), where musicians set the mood.

Tickets are between $6 and $12, depending on age, and if they’re purchased in advance from the Jerome Historical Society (928) 634-1066. There’s no fee for children up to age 6.

While the Ghost Walk is on the streets of Jerome, the Halloween Dance Party takes place primarily in Spook Hall. For more than three decades, the costume ball has been a fundraiser for the town’s fire department.  “It’s quite an event,” says Fire Chief Terry Molloy, “the whole town has taken it up; even the bars are decorated, and people book rooms six to 12 months in advance.”

The Halloween Dance Party begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m.  It includes a full cash bar and a costume contest with different categories that vary from year to year. Jerome businesses donate prizes for the winners, including dinners, overnights and gift certificates. “The whole town celebrates.  It’s a very spooky night. Everybody has a great time,” says Molloy. Tickets are $10 at the door.

For more information about hotel reservations in Jerome, click here.



Fall Colors & Spooky Stories

Art found at Goldwell Open Air Museum.

A feature from last year …

October is the time of year to pull sweaters out of storage in preparation for fall weather, and cooler winter months.  In desert regions though, October is still a fairly warm month. The heat subsides enough to encourage travelers to begin journeys south to warmer climates, and the desert is a favorite destination.

Desert residents are all anxious to get out of their air-conditioned houses, after enduring the long hot summer.  They want to explore and hike in the park areas and along the desert trails.

October is a great time of year to visit the desert parks, ghost towns and numerous points of interest.  In the spirit of Halloween  we have gathered links to all things spooky that DesertUSA has published over the years.  Our links will include everything from ghost stories and ghost towns, to grave sites and pumpkin recipes. I’ve also included a few articles about where to see fall colors.

If you know of any other fun and spooky destinations to visit in October, please let us know and we can add them to the list!

Articles about where to see fall colors

While the desert is not known for its fall colors, there are a few spots where you can witness the leaves changing color.  I’ve linked to a few articles about where you can see fall colors.

Autumn Glimmer by Lara Hartley
Magic in the Mountains: Texas Fall Colors
Cottonwood Springs in Joshua Tree National Park

Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls …

Stories & Articles . . .
The Haunted Desert:  Ghosts of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
The Haunted Desert: More ghost stories
Ghosts, Phantoms and Apparitions: Tombstone’s Ghosts
The Superstition Mountains, AZ: The Lost Dutchman Mine
Legend of the Lady In Blue
The Loretto Chapel’s Miracle Staircase
Ghosts of Old Mesilla
Weep Not: Cemetery visitors celebrate life not death
Terlingua Celebrates Its Past – Day of the Dead Celebration

Art . .
Rhyolite, NV: Ghost Sculptures at Goldwell Open Air Museum

Flora and Fauna . . .
The Ghost Flower

Geology . . .
The Pumpkin Patch

Recipes . . .
Pumpkins, gourds and squash

Ghost Towns

Explore the links below to the various articles and stories about ghost towns in the American Southwest.

Arizona Ghost Towns

AZ – Ghost Towns of So. Arizona
AZ – Bisbee
AZ – Congress, Hillside and Bagdad

AZ – Tombstone

California Ghost Towns

CA – Ghost Towns of the Mojave
CA – Calico Ghost Town

CA – Bodie Ghost Town
CA- Bodie’s Windows To The Past
CA- Montgomery City Ghost Town
CA – Tumco, Hedges & Ogilby
CA – Randsburg Living Ghost Town
CA – Ludlow For Lunch, an almost ghost town

Nevada Ghost Towns

NV – Ballarat Ghost Town
NV – Ballarat Ghost Town VIDEO
NV – Beatty Ghost Town
NV – Beatty to Ballarat

Texas Ghost Towns

TX – Ghost Towns & Desert Dreams
TX – Terlingua Ghost Town

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Hatch Valley Chile Festival Sept. 3rd & 4th, 2011 in New Mexico

Hatch Valley Chile Festival
Sept. 3rd & 4th, 2011
Hatch Valley, NM

Hatch Valley Chile Festival

Every year as the temperatures start to cool down Hatch Valley starts to heat up with the annual Hatch Valley Chile Festival.  The Festival is a 2-day event that is scheduled over Labor Day weekend.  More than 30,000 visitors from across the U.S. travel to Hatch Valley to taste a variety of chile recipes that have made this Festival famous.  Visitors can participate in chile-eating contests, watch the parade, listen to live music or shop at the southwest craft booths.

Hatch Valley is located between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences.  With approximately 1600 residents, the Village of Hatch is a small-town built on agricultural businesses.  The location of Hatch is a convenient launching point to explore many of the local state parks including:  Leasburg State Park, Fort Seldon, Caballo Lake State Park, Percha Dam State Park and Elephant Butte Lake State Park.

Admission is $10.00 for a car load. Please visit the Hatch Valley Chile Festival website for more details. 


Bullhead City River Regatta This Weekend: Pirates of the Colorado

August. 11th – 13th, 2011
Bullhead City Community Park  to Rotary Park

Float down the Colorado River with a about 15,000 pirates!  The annual River Regatta is a great way to celebrate the heat of summer by plunging into the cool blue waters of the Colorado River.  The Bullhead City River Regatta takes the participating pirates on an 8-mile course from a launch point in Bullhead City Community Park to Rotary Park.

Photo source:

The theme this year is Pirates of the Colorado, so come in costume if you plan to enter your float in the contest and be sure to bring a life jacket.   All participates must be at least 8 years of age and there is an entry fee of $20.  The Bullhead City River Regatta is a non-profit event.  All participating pirates receive a t-shirt, hot dog and beverage as part of the entry fee.

For more information about this event visit the Bullhead City Regatta Website.