We enjoyed the campground in Indio. The people there were friendly and we would have started using more of the facilities once we were done running around being tourists. We would have been happy to stay there for the ten nights we requested, but they mistakenly only gave us nine nights and the lousy internet there made us look for alternatives. So we are spending our tenth night in the Coachella Valley in North Palm Springs on the edge of a wind turbine farm at a campground where all the sites have been purchased by folks such as ourselves. We are renting our site from an owner just like someone else is renting a site from us in Florida. It’s hard not to make comparisons. Because it rarely rains here, people have packed their sites with outdoor furniture, huge grills, fountains, hammocks, and rocking benches. In Florida we don’t leave much out because it could mildew and be buried by falling vegetation. This park is old just like the one where we bought, but the sites are smaller and closer together. The pool has been redone and is spectacular with an island in the middle, but the park is small and cannot offer many activities. And the going rate for the sites here is $25,000 more than we paid in Florida. No deal.
We took the aerial tram up 8,000 feet to San Jacinto State Park. In the parking lot it was almost 90º, but at the top there was still lots of snow, especially in the shade. In terms of vegetation change, it was like going from Mexico to Alaska in ten minutes. The views were great, because the sky is so clear and humidity so low. We could see almost the entire Coachella Valley all the way to the Salton Sea and could identify many of the spots we’ve visited during our stay here. The western end of the valley is full of wind turbines and solar farms in a spot where Pacific winds make their way through the mountains. From the ground they look like a forest, but from above they were widely spaced. The tram car rotated as it went up and down the mountain, disorienting some of the tourists who did not speak English who wondered why the floor turned, but the walls were stationery. Folks who live around here can play golf in the warm sunshine in the morning and cross country ski in the afternoon. What a nice place to live.
In the evening we went to downtown Palm Springs for their weekly street fair. Five blocks were closed to traffic and vendors sold all sorts of tempting stuff we’ve never seen before. Ken will be wearing a necktie made out of wood on our next cruise. The crowds were so thick, it felt a little like Christmas shopping. It took us three hours to wander around and see it all. There’s lots of free parking around here and the roads never seem crowded. Every major road is at least five lanes wide, so it never feels congested.
It’s clear that this area is a hit with us and we hope that we can return some winter soon. Area campgrounds are all pretty pricey, but there’s so much to do and enjoy, it’s worth it. The weather has been phenomenal. Temperatures in the 80º’s and low 90º’s are pleasant when there’s no humidity. You can do something outdoors anytime the mood strikes. The sun is always out. Now that the price of gas is so low, even California has affordable prices.
But it’s time to move on. Next stop: a very affordable campground with not much to do as far as we know.