Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 2 - Palm Springs Tour

We started off this morning boarding a luxury motorcoach at 8:00 a.m. for a tour of Palm Springs and surrounds, with our guide Ed.  He was very informative and entertaining.  We learned that the Palm Springs area, aka the Coachella Valley consists of 7 cities in just a 30 mile area.  It is a desert; however there is abundant water in the form of deep aquifers.  They are able to obtain sufficient water using wells and pumps.  It is amazing how lush and green the developed parts of the valley are.  They never have a water shortage here because of the snow run off from the nearby mountains, which ends up in this aquifer.

We drove through downtown Palm Springs, had a surprise visit to the Palm Springs Holocaust Memorial which was an interesting place in a park setting; went on a tour through the older homes which were once homes of the rich and famous.  Movie stars and presidents all lived in this area.  Ed took us by the former homes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few.

We then drove to the Shields Date Farm, where our wagonmasters, John and Sally, treated us all to a date shake.  We were able to taste a vast variety of dates and date breads as well.  The grounds are beautiful.  Dates are not native to this area but were imported here from the middle east.  Over 95 percent of the world's dates come from here.  The desert is the best place for this tasty fruit to flourish.

Our next stop was the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  From just over 2600 ft elevation we ascended in 10 minutes to the 8500+ foot elevation at the top.  The view from up there was spectacular.  However, the ascent was a little rockier than some of us anticipated, and there was a lot of screaming and laughing going on.

Although we were all very tired, we made our last stop for the day at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  Since I am writing this blog, I am giving you a woman's perspective of the place.  It had a lot of old planes.  Some interesting.  I took a few pictures of the things that interested me most.  I am sure Spence and some others had quite a different opinion, since they disappeared for some time.

Submitted by:
#2 Spence and Madi Schaaf, Tailgunners

p.s.  snow?  I thought this was supposed to be a WARM trip!

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