Desert Diary (Abridged)

I had this great idea to keep a sort of daily diary of my vacation to Palm Springs and then posting it one day at a time on this very blog. I just bought a laptop from a friend and thought this would be a good way to put it to use. Well, after finishing the first couple day’s entry’s and rereading them it occured to me that they couldn’t be more boring. In the first place, who wants to read a weeks worth a vacation stories from someone who isn’t famous or likely to get arrested for swimming naked in the fountain of the town square or challenge a senior citizen to a game of high-stakes quarters at the local pub. I’m not suggesting anybody should participate in these activities, but at least they make for some interesting stories. In the second place, that’s a whole lot of writing and I didn’t have the energy to do it. Besides, I was tired of starting sentences with, “And so we hopped in the Jeep and headed to…” or some permutation thereof. Not exactly compelling writing.

Having said all that, Palm Springs was a lot of fun. The elderly appear to be on to something. Maybe they have more to offer than we give them credit for? Just maybe. And they’re great to vacation around. They’re quiet, clean, they go to bed early, they wear white shoes, what’s not to like? The only thing you do have to watch out for is the driving. That many senior citizens on the road in that small an area makes for some interesting vehicular hijinks. Especially since just about every main drag in Palm Springs has a speed limit of at least 50 MPH. No joke.

Speaking of vehicular hijinks, a brief sidebar on freeway etiquette, if I may. If you should find yourself in the left lane on one of our Interstates or highways and happen to notice that the vehicles to your right are passing you with any degree of regularity, that should be an indicator that you should probably be a lane or two over to the right. Or if on a two lane highway, I-5 for instance, you notice a vehicle rapidly approaching in your rear-view mirror, say, a white Jeep Cherokee, common decency should compel you to briefly move to the right hand lane, just long enough for the aforementioned Jeep to pass by. In case you havn’t seen them, there are some white road signs with black lettering every few miles or so that say, in English, Slower traffic keep right. That’s you. You are the slower traffic. But I’m driving 75 miles per hour, you say. But if everyone else is driving 80 miles per hour, guess what? You’re still the “slower traffic.” This applies especially if you are a truck, or van, or service vehicle, or anything pulling a trailer. Please, I implore you, for the good of society and the free flow of traffic, keep to the right. Thank you.

Jen and I are a bit like senior citizens I think. We aren’t big nightlife people. We don’t go to bed early, necessarily, but we aren’t the type to hit up all the bars and dance clubs when on vacation. We like to go to National Parks and see historical exhibits, go for walks, that kind of thing. And other than golf, which we don’t do, that’s mostly what there is to do in Palm Springs. We hit up Joshua Tree National Park, San Jacinto State Park, the Palm Springs Air Museum, we tried to go to the General Patton Museum located about 35 miles east of Palm Springs, and we walked around The River, which is basically an outdoor mall. Probably not things really high on a lot of twenty- and thirtysomethings list of Must See Attractions, but we had a blast.

I’ve never been a big fan of the desert, but there are parts that are actually very cool, uh, I mean neato. Joshua Tree is amazing and the San Jacinto mountains are cool because they just kind of rise up out of the sand. Palm Springs is below an elevation of 1000 feet, but in about 20 minutes you can get to and take a tram to over 8500 feet. It was about 70 degrees in town, and about 34 on the mountain, complete with snow and freezing winds. I was in shorts. But it was beautiful country. One thing that Jen and I both were struck by was just how beautiful God has made our world. To me, it’s not just the fact that nature functions so perfectly that proves that there is a Creator, but that He also took the effort, if speaking something into existence can be called effort, to make it look nice. Looking out over the mountains, with the green trees and white snow in front of a perfectly colored blue backdrop, and enjoying how amazing that looks, it struck me how God is so good. What if trees were grey, the sky was chartruse, and snow was puke yellow? He didn’t have to make it as beautiful as He did. And yet so many worship the creation rather than the Creator. Like I said, Joshua Tree is incredible. It’s desert, but there’s all kinds of interesting rock formations, fun for climbing, and canyons, and the Joshua tree itself is an interesting thing to look at.

So, if nature is your thing, Palm Springs is a good destination, though I would avoid the summer months. Those barrles on the side of I-10 labled “Radiator Water” would look pretty foreboding in July.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we spent the Saturday on the way down with Anna and Tim, my sister and her husband, in Hollywood. We did the touristy thing and went to Hollywood Blvd. and put our hands in the hand prints of the stars in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and looked at all the Stars on the Walk of Fame. For the record, Marilyn Monroe’s is in front of a McDonalds and Sly Stallone’s was in front of a restaurant called the Pig ‘n Whistle. The only “celebrity” we saw was that rapping guy from the old Blue Blockers sunglasses info-mercial. He caught me filming him and called Jen and Anna over and did a little rhyme about us. Well worth the two bucks I gave him. Come over some time, I’ll show you the tape.

All in all, we had a tremendous time. Except for the bad shrimp I ate at the Elephant Bar. But that’s a blog for another day.

(Just imagine how long this would have been if I had stuck with my original idea. Yikes!)


2 thoughts on “Desert Diary (Abridged)

  1. Chuck Norris

    Next time you decide to vacation, do it somewhere AWESOME, LIKE TEXAS!!! Old people will glad play high stakes quarter poker games, especially if it’s in a fountain and everyone’s naked. Plus, our horses go in excess of 55mph, and that’s awesome, and by awesome, I mean totally sweet. Just don’t let me catch you in that fountain naked, our I’ll beat up everyone, even the chinese guy with the camcorder.
    -Chuck Norris

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