Palm Springs
 

Palm Springs

If you build it, they will come. The San Andreas fault isn't a smooth crack in the ground - it is actually a (very elongated) volume of ground up rock. The porousness of that volume allows water to somtimes emerge from underground flows to a point close enough to the surface to be reached by plants.

Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Mirage and Indio are four towns that have grown up around one of these points. They (and some other towns that I can't remember the name of), have grown together into a continuous mass in the desert valley they are situated in. (As you come in from the east on the I-10, the sight of a desert valley filled with light is quite a sight. When I saw it I begun to suspect that I had missed Palm Springs completely and hit a suburb of LA.)

So, how did three towns pretty much right smack in the middle of nowhere grow large enough to "grow together" at all? Entertainment, of course! Palm Springs is a hugely popular resort. The fact that it is only about 80 miles from Los Angeles probably helps too by making it the ideal weekend getaway.

But all that doesn't make for good photography.

Palm Springs is also located near a mountain range that goes up to a couple thousand feet. So high, in fact, that you have a couple of inches of snow on top and blistering heat at the base of the range.

There's also a tramway going up there. Wih a rotating gondola. (Actually, the gondola shell is fixed, the floor inside rotates.)

And ladies and gentlemen, that makes for good photography.

2006-04-10 13:01

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

The gondola. The only one of its kind in the western hemisphere.

View down on the way up.

2006-04-10 13:06

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

2006-04-10 13:12

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

View from the top. Palm Springs can be seen spread out on the desert valley floor.

The national park on the top. Note the snow-covered ground and pine trees. The temperature was about 3 degrees Celcius (40 degrees F).

2006-04-10 13:13

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

2006-04-10 13:22

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

A little stream running right next to the top station.

Another view of the valley.

2006-04-10 13:31

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

2006-04-10 13:44

Mount San Jacinto, USA Grand Tour 2006

An outcrop of the mountain's granite core.