Palm Springs

Palm Springs and around

Back in the USA!

I’m almost up to date with Mexico so its back to the USA, and we start off with our journey from San Diego to Las Vegas, via Palm Springs. I’ll “do” Las Vegas next.

You can get from San Diego to Las Vegas in one day but it would be a lot of driving and not much looking at things. It is 450 miles by the route we took, so we split it into a two day drive, stopping at Palm Springs on the way.

As usual I am surprised by the ruggedness of the terrain in the USA. To get to Palm Springs you cross (on our route) the San Jacinto Mountains which are impressively high. Once over the crest you are in the rain shadow and in desert conditions.

In the San Jacinto Mountains

In the San Jacinto Mountains

At one scenic lookout we met a guy who was looking forward to “vacationing in London” and had booked a train trip to Paris for lunch. Which is very nice but rather a contrast to the San Jacinto Mountains.

The ruggedness of the scenery is tempered by the beauty of the cacti.

Cactus flowers in the San Jacinto mountains

Cactus flowers in the San Jacinto mountains

But soon we were in the very well groomed town of Palm Springs where the green grass is cut and watered and palm trees grace the boulevards. There is not much to say about the place if all you do is stay overnight in a motel. The motel was good of its type and we ate at a very nice restaurant. (American restaurants, of all classes, always have good enthusiastic waiting staff).

But worth mentioning, and characteristically American was the car we saw parked in the motel the next morning. The next few photos speak for themselves!

"Personalised" car in Palm Springs

"Personalised" car in Palm Springs

Its from Texas

Decorated car

Decorated car

The decoration is yarn.

Close-up of decorated car

Close-up of decorated car

No doubt this will inspire some of our readers.

Palm Springs is in a valley through which runs a branch of the San Andreas Fault, and some distance south of the town a manifestation of the fault can be seen at the Coachella Valley Preseve.

Water in the desert at the Coachella Valley Preserve

Water in the desert at the Coachella Valley Preserve, with Washingtonia Palms

This oasis in the desert is caused by the fault forming an underground dam, forcing ground water to the surface. The Washingtonia Palms are wonderfully hirsute and are the home of many sorts of creepy crawly.

Chris among the Washingtonia

Chris among the Washingtonia

But you don’t need to go far to find yourself back in the desert.

Chris in the blooming desert

Chris in the blooming desert

After our stop at Coachella we continued via the Joshua Tree National Park. Not only was this worth while seeing, being National Park Week, entrance was free!!

A Joshua Tree

A Joshua Tree

Joshua Trees are so-called because they reminded the Mormons of Joshua raising his hands up to the heavens while praying in the desert.

We continued across California, into Nevada, where we wondered at the improvement in road quality, and onto Las Vegas. This is in the desert but not of it. And, while we saw many raising their hands up in prayer, I don’t think they were praying for the same things as Joshua.

But we will tell you about that in the next post.

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