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Palm Springs, CA and the Salton Sea

The park in Blythe was getting pretty deserted as the temperature began to creep up and winter was coming to a close. Time for me to leave too rather than be the last one out and have to turn the lights out. A brief stop along the way for a little sightseeing was called for. I must say there is some definite culture shock between laid-back Blythe on the California border and the Palm Springs area with it’s hustle and bustle. Right off it became apparent that driving around the Palm Springs area is a dangerous undertaking. The drivers there wait for no one. If you hesitate even a second, they drive right around you with no care that they may be cutting you off or that you may have stopped for a darn good reason like someone crossing the road. They just ZOOOOOM! right around you. It happened to me numerous times during the short time I was there and with a couple of near misses. They must have very good car insurance there and be very important people since clearly no one else matters. Granted us strangers to the area do tend to go a little slower and stop now and then to find what we are looking for but GEEZ! people. You are supposed to smell the roses not run them over!

Another thing I noticed is everyone lives behind walls and gates there. Is crime that bad there? Do those make them feel safe? Of course, you are more likely to get hurt by family and acquaintances than strangers and getting around walls and gates is not that hard but I guess the thought of any protection from the cold bad world makes them happy.

This being a desert area, it can get quite windy and to their credit, they don’t waste it. Around Palm Springs are hordes of massive wind turbines rotating in the breeze to generate electricity naturally. I know some consider them eyesores but I find them comforting and interesting. Inside them are ladders to the top compartments where maintenance and control can be done. I do find the older abandoned ones in various shades of disrepair a bit sad.

Winf turbines

I went up to the aerial tramway for a looksee. I had ridden it once as a child and still remember it well. Unfortunately, I found it far too expensive now just to ride up to look down and come back. I’m sure it is fine if you hike or bike or even perhaps go for dinner with friends. Still, it was nice to hangout at the station and watch the trams come and go. They have a very nice misted patio below it that looked very cool and inviting. There is a little bit of a trail to go up for better pictures. The tram goes up to the top of the mountain on a very steep incline. In the summertime, it is considerably cooler on top.

Aerial tramway stationPalm Springs Aerial TramPalm Springs Aerial Tramway patio

Seeing the Salton Sea nearby, a quick jaunt out that way was also called for. Once upon a time, it was a real estate investor’s mecca with many of the well-to-do buying up resort property out there. Alas, the boom busted as the incredibly salted sea became more and more toxic to aquatic life. The shore is dotted with dead fish and picnic tables no longer used and slowly being consumed by the water.

Salton Sea

Nearby is also Joshua Tree National Park. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to see that too. Perhaps next year or the following year. Who knows where the road will take me then.

For more pics click here.

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