More than one million fossils and artifacts were unearthed during the construction the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir in Hemet. These time-swept relics make their home in the Western Science Center's museum complex, creating a bridge between ancient eras and the scientific advances of the future. The campus itself is steeped in advanced design tactics, making it the first museum in California to earn a Platinum LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A rooftop covered with 3,000 solar panels provides more than half of the museum's power needs, and a combination of heat-resistant windows and forced-air circulation keeps the interior cool while spending less energy on air conditioning and ice sculpture maintenance.
A journey through the ages begins from the moment visitors step from the parking lot and under the Life on Earth Timelime, a 156-foot corridor of geologic time rings from Pre-Cambrian to Holocene that leads to the museum lobby. Inside, they explore permanent and temporary exhibits, including "Max," the largest mastodon skeleton found in the Western United States and the Discovery lab highlighting the tool contemporary architects use every day. Crowds can take a seat in the immersion theater with a 270-degree screen to watch a pair of short films about the time when giant creatures roamed California and how the region was excavated and preserved.
The Mission Galleria Cafe & Hideaway serves savory sandwiches, soups, and salads from its post at Mission Galleria Antique Mall, nestled in downtown Riverside. Classic appetizers such as hot wings and jalapeño poppers give way to café food including a barbecue-chicken salad and a BLT or french dip sandwich. Sweet desserts such as lemon bars, brownies, and slices of blackout cake punctuate meals, reminding guests of a home-cooked meal without having to dance for their food like in their real homes. Evening-time guests can also enjoy a drink of beer or wine, served at the café counter.
Castelli Art Framing's master craftsmen continue a more than 25-year tradition of conserving and displaying prized artwork of all shapes and sizes. Small photographs, large portraits, and record-breaking speeding tickets all earn wall-worthiness while donning custom frames assembled out of thousands of moldings and a variety of matting and mounting styles. Castelli's museum-quality conservation frames ensure delicate or valuable pieces can emerge from their protective casings undamaged. The multitalented staffers can also build unique frames for 3-D objects such as medals, sports jerseys, and a baby's first pair of shoes. Gilding and leafing services performed by artisans with more than 20 years of experience embellish plain wooden surfaces with thin sheets of gold or silver shinier than a freshly polished glass eye.
In 1913, Cabot Yerxa re-discovered Desert Hot Springs' eponymous springs while digging for water on his 160 acres of homesteaded land. In 1941, the pioneer decided to build a Hopi-inspired pueblo on this land using materials he reclaimed or found in the desert. The result is now known as Cabot's Pueblo Museum, and it encompasses 5,000 square feet.
The building, which rises four stories above the desert and utilizes the Venturi Effect for air conditioning, is constructed out of adobe-style sun-dried brick that Cabot made himself in his courtyard. Cabot also used materials from cabins abandoned in the 1930s. Visitors can wander through his pueblo's 35 rooms, peer out of the 150 windows, and stage elaborate Scooby-Doo chases through the 65 doors.
With a friendly crew of chopper operators, Holmes launches scenic tours and hands-on lessons from the open pads at Sportsman Airpark, which is about 40 minutes southwest of downtown Portland. No matter which flight path you choose, the comforts of a Hiller 12-D or 12-E helicopter will be the chopper chariot. The spherical sky-mobile is designed for smooth rides and spectacular views. In flight, feel free to nudge your fellow passenger lovingly as you both admire the patch-worked wine country of Dundee Hills or the water soaked river known as the wet Willamette, depending on your chosen tour.