Field Trip to Palm Springs, or, No, I Really Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Trip 2 – Day 21

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today we all bounded out of bed early, got ready, and headed out to Palm Springs.  We wanted to check out the next potential RV park, and see if it was going to be somewhere that we wanted to stay.  The farmer’s market comes to FOY on Tuesday’s and Friday’s, and the plan was to leave after shopping, sometime after 9:00 or so.  The farmer’s market folks were delayed, so we headed north a little earlier than planned, knowing that we would be stopping at a grocery sometime during our travels.  We hopped in the Jeep, with our water’s, small ziplock snack bags of peanuts, Wiley and his dog food and water dishes, and left FOY for what became a very long day.

On the road with the Fountain of Youth in the background

On the road with the Fountain of Youth in the background

As a side note, I will add, that once again, Wiley engaged in Morning Prayer, a task that seems to be an almost daily event.  Not that this is in any way a bad thing.  For us, it usually means that things will happen that might warrant serious prayer and divine intervention.

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer

Our journey took us up the east side of the Salton Sea.  It is beautiful, and full of birds.

The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea

We stopped at a state park to look at the lake and the birds.  There was a slight “hint of the ocean” smell, and a sandy beach with a lot of dead fish.

Lots of dead fish at what looks like a "high tide mark," about 20 from the water's edge

Lots of dead fish at what looks like a “high tide mark,” about 20 from the water’s edge

I’m not sure what that was all about, but I have heard that this body of water is incredibly polluted from pesticide/fertilizer runoff from farming.  It is a shame, as it is truly a wonder.  A beautiful salt lake/bird sanctuary, 100 feet+ below sea level, located in the middle of the desert.

This area is known for fruit and produce including dates.

Beautiful date palm trees

Beautiful date palm trees

We stopped at Oasis Date Gardens to sample the crop and have a delicious date shake.  Dad and I split one, and, contrary to what you might think, it was really good.  Craig, doesn’t like dates, so he ate his bag of goodies instead.

Dad at the Oasis Date Growers store

Dad at the Oasis Date Growers store

The boy(s) indulged me, and we stopped at a wonderful quilting shop in Palm Desert.  “The Quilters Faire” is a great shop, with the most helpful salesperson, possibly ever.  I needed a backing fabric and binding for my next set of placemats, etc, and she combed the store and found exactly what I needed.  A group of 6 women came in when I was there, and they jumped right in and located material for another of my projects.  (Yes, I am set for the duration)  It was a great side trip for me, and I am eternally thankful for the opportunity, which also included a stop at JoAnn Fabrics to buy more thread and some Velcro for my “coffee cozy” for the French Press.  Such important and pressing matters.

Fabric shopping

Fabric shopping

While I was shopping, the boys found a new cap for Dad.  We think it’s a great addition to his wardrobe.

Dad with his new cap

Dad with his new cap

At this point, the day began to take a slight turn.  We found the RV park, went into the office, and were told that their insurance company wouldn’t allow sweet Wiley on the premises.  Dobermans are excluded along with Pit Bull’s, Rottweiler’s, Wolf and wolf mixes.  So sad for them.  We left, and I sighed knowing that I would not have the opportunity to dance with their little tap dancing group.  Really, my tap shoes are packed in the Hag and I was looking forward to some soft shoe or stomping, or whatever.

Before we left the RV park (that kicked us out before letting us stay) the front desk clerk gave us a map and directions to get to Palm Springs.  It was somewhat of a “boiler room tour” into the city.  We went past open spaces and some pretty seedy industrial area and the largest collection of windmills that we had EVER seen.  It was a HUGE farm of many different styles and sizes of windmills, some of them looked to be from the beginning of the wind, as an alternative energy, movement.

Older looking windmills

Older looking windmills

They are so cool, and so creepy all at the same time.

Windmill farm

Windmill farm

We headed into Palm Springs and saw the sights.  Dad looked up his old friend Marilyn.

Dad and Marilyn Monroe

Dad and Marilyn Monroe

I had a chat with Lucy.

I do love Lucy

I do love Lucy

Dad visited with Sonny.

Dad and Sonny Bono

Dad and Sonny Bono

And we paid homage to Marlene Dietrich and Liberace.

I think my Auntie Maude channeled her.  They could have been twins.

I think my Auntie Maude channeled her. They could have been twins.

Who doesn't love Liberace?  We should all have the courage to dress as we please.

Who doesn’t love Liberace? We should all have the courage to dress as we please.

And Wiley walked and picked up compliments as he pranced along.

Then, we left Palm Springs.  It was 2:30.  We hadn’t eaten.  As we drove, a smell began to permeate the Jeep.  I will add, the Jeep usually smells, but it is more of a smell of some fluid dripping on something hot and releasing an odor of bad fast food.  This smell was reminiscent of something about to catch fire.  I don’t think I mentioned this earlier, but on the fateful day when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, we watched a car, on the side of the road, produce smoke, and then burst into flames.  Upon looking out my backseat window, I saw smoke coming from the rear, driver’s-side wheel.  Not wanting to be part of a mobile cremation, I strongly suggested that we pull off the road.  I had the dog leashed, my purse in hand, and as we pulled to a stop, I shouted an order of “Dad, get out of the car,” to my dear Father, who does not always hear everything that is said.  We abandoned ship, so to speak, and the boys took a look at the wheel.  It was hot.  Craig did some stopping and starting, and backing up and going forward maneuvers, as he felt that something was sticking.  Fortunately, we were out of the car for this whiplash-invoking trick.  And then, we got back in the car and drove on.

Looking at the Jeep

Looking at the Jeep

This, of course, didn’t actually “fix” things.  We don’t have that kind of good luck.  We got to the outskirts of Indio and Craig asked me if I still smelled it.  I did.  He muttered some choice words, and pulled off the road.  We happened to be very close to an auto repair shop, and circled the block to see if they could make things better.

These were da boyz for us

These were da boyz for us

The “Baja Boyz” replaced the caliper that was “frozen” on the disc brake drum.  They took us in and immediately began work.  They let us come into their very large waiting room, with Wiley, and watch TV.  I have never watched an entire soap opera in Spanish, but it was incredibly entertaining.  The actors were impeccably well dressed and groomed, and all gorgeous.   We were in and out in about 45 minutes.  All in all, it was well worth the price.

Our afternoon entertainment

Our afternoon entertainment

And then, at 4:30 or so, we were back on the road, with no more smoke or odor.  We stopped at a market and bought some produce.  By this time, it was getting dark.  We drove on, and the sights were not familiar from our morning drive.  We had taken a wrong turn, and were on the west side of the Salton Sea.  Not wanting to add another two hours to this fateful trip, we turned the Jeep around and headed back to a road leading to Hwy 111.  We came to a stoplight and across the intersection was a truck stop with a Subway.  As it was now 6:00, and only the driver was conversant and mostly to himself, I suggested that we STOP and eat.  And we did.  This improved things, and by 7:30, we were back home to the Hag.

Today’s weather:  Warm and sunny, windy in the Palm Springs area

Daytime temperature:  Low 70’s

Nighttime temperature:  Low 40’s

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Field Trip to Palm Springs, or, No, I Really Can’t Make This Stuff Up

  1. Greg says:

    Jan-
    Love your writings. Remember this is a family show…….there was something disturbing about your dad and Marilyn. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s