California 2021:
Day 12 - Palm Springs, CA [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Thursday, November 11, 2021: We awoke to a beautiful sunrise peeking out from behind the Hilton Hotel.
Roadside America told us that the Chemosphere house was over there on the hill somewhere.
After a bit of looking, Debbie found the house on the left in this photo and then Tom noted that it looked like a Futuro House.
It was! So clearly it wasn't the Chemosphere.
Here's the Chemosphere! We found it just a bit to the right. Both are visible in both photos above.
We were packed up and on the road just before 9 AM.
Debbie got this great photo of Capitol Records (on purpose this time!) as we made our through Hollywood on US 101 South.
We got a good view of the buildings along the Harbor Freeway, including the Korean Airlines logo on the Wilshire Grand Center.
We passed over the Los Angeles River, which many will recognize from the iconic scene in "Grease!" where Danny drives Greased Lightnin' in a race against the Scorpions.
There was little traffic on the road, which was a very pleasant change from the previous few days.
Debbie got this shot of the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, which was the hospital shown in the old opening credits of the ABC soap opera, "General Hospital."
We were surprised to drive through West Covina, used as the setting for the show, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," which ran for four seasons from 2015 to 2019.
We stopped at the Wienersnitzel in Montclair, getting two bratwursts, two corn dogs, and fries.
The Morongo Casino, Resort, and Spa looked out of place in Cabazon, California, which otherwise seemed like a sleepy small town.
Right down the road at the Wheel Inn Restaurant is where a scene from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" with Large Marge was filmed. The sign still stands but all that remains of the restaurant is rubble.
Right behind it are the Cabazon dinosaurs, two enormous concrete and steel dinosaurs that were built in the 1970s and 1980s. This is Dinny, who was started in 1964 from left over materials from the construction of nearby I-10.
 This is Mr. Rex, who was constructed in 1981. A scene from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" was filmed in Mr. Rex's mouth.
As we neared Palm Springs, we saw this billboard for Modernism Week, which was mentioned by one of the other participants on our Stahl house tour the day before.
We were in Palm Springs just before noon, ...
... and headed toward the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
We could see the tramway up ahead on the side of the mountain.
When we got to the entrance, a sign said that the current wait time for a tram was 90 minutes. When we confirmed that the notice was indeed accurate, ...
... we turned around and headed back down the mountain. We have other things we can do besides wait 90 minutes for a tram.
We had hours to kill before we could check into our hotel, and the little bit of sightseeing that we had planned wouldn't take up nearly enough time, so we decided to head to the Salton Sea, which was scheduled for tomorrow but would be a much better fit today.
We passed the town of Indio on our way south, ...
... through the Coachella Valley, ...
... toward Mecca, California, where we turned east to drive around the northern shore of the Salton Sea.
There were signs of farming through the area, ...
... and huge groves of palm trees, which were really cool to see.
This banana robot stands outside the International Banana Museum, which is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. In 1999, the museum set a Guinness World Record for the largest museum devoted to a single fruit.
The historic North Shore Service Station was abandoned and covered with grafitti, but there were two functioning cell phone towers behind the buildings, which was nice.
The Salton Sea State Recreation Area was along the north shore, ...
... and had what looked like a really lovely beach area.
Bombay Beach is the lowest elevation community in the United States at 223 feet below sea level.
Bombay Beach was a popular beach destination until the 1980s, when the Salton Sea began to drain and increase in salinity. Bombay Beach became a ghost town until 2018, when it began to experience an influx of people, mostly artists and hipsters.
An art billboard as we entered the town proclaimed the last stop for the Bombay Beach Resort, which no longer exists.
There was a single grocery store in town, and it was open.
The town consists of a lot of campers in various states of disrepair, ...
... and a few trailer homes and other dilapidated houses, interestingly enough with satellite dishes on them.
We drove out onto the beach to see the Bombay Beach Ruins, ...
... including these towers, ...
... and this star.
There were more ruins visible in the distance, but Tom was hesitant to drive our minivan out on what appeared to be a dune buggy track.
We continued our drive around the perimeter of the town, ...
... seeing the current state of this once-thriving resort town.
Whatever this was, it was closed.
Did we mention that the town has had an influx of artists? That may explain this scaffolding welded to a school bus to which mannequins have been tied and spray painted. It's art, babe.
This yard featured a boat with a waterskiing mannequin.
This art piece is titled Lodestar, and features a flying saucer-like basket at the top of a bent airplane fuselage.
Want to see it from a different angle? You're welcome.
We weren't the only tourists doing the circuit. There were several cars driving through the town taking photographs, just like us.
Just east of Bombay Beach we passed this water tower made from an airplane drop tank.
We took a short detour east through Niland, California, ...
... to get a closer look at Salvation Mountain, a hillside that a man named Leonard Knight transformed into a paint-covered billboard carrying messages of religous salvation.
He painted it and re-painted it for 27 years, and after he died in 2014, groups of volunteers and like minded followers have maintained it.
We passed some sort of industrial works just before arriving at ...
... the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
They had a boardwalk and a raised viewing platform, so we went up to take a look at the surrounding area.
We could see a huge flock of some white birds off in the distance, ...
... and ducks and other birds in a pond near the Salton Sea.
A time capsule! There was a time capsule that was buried here in 2003 and will be opened in 2103.
We headed around the southernmost end of the Salton Sea, and headed back north along the western shore.
We were apparently on the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail, which is a 1,200-mile long trail from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay area. In 1775, he led 240 colonists from Mexico to establish the first non-Native settlement at San Gabriel, California.
As we headed north, we were required to stop at a Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint. We were, after all, only 30 or so miles from the Mexican border.
At about the mid-point of the lake, we arrived at Salton City, but we didn't stop.
We continued to drive north, keeping the lake in sight, ...
... which had more palm tree groves near the shore.
As we left the Salton Sea and drove back through Mecca, we stopped at Del Taco for an early dinner, getting our usual Macho Burrito (Tom) and Crispy Chicken and Guac minus Guac Burrito (Debbie).
We started to pass date palm plantations, which had large bags covering the ripening dates to catch them.
We drove back through the beautiful mountains of the Coachella Valley, ...
... watching the sun sink behind the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.
Back in Palm Springs, we made our way north toward downtown, ...
... passing golf courses that stood out as green spaces in the desert.
We arrived at our hotel for the evening, the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel, which is known for its very colorful decor. This is the lobby area, featuring bikes to use, a ping pong table, ...
... and several places to sit, ...
... all in different, bright colors.
We drove to an entrance that was near to our room, made our way to the second floor, ...
... to our beautiful pool view king room.
Everything was brightly colored, ...
... including the bathroom.
Our balcony overlooked the pool area, and we could see all of the other colorful rooms around the interior courtyard.
We were also near the on-site restaurant, which had lots of seating, including an area with picnic tables.
There was a View-Master in our room, with a reel custom-made for the Saguaro featuring the sights of the Palm Springs area. Let's take a look!
Here is Salvation Mountain, where we were a few hours ago, ...
... the Cabazon dinosaurs, which we saw on our way to Palm Springs, ...
... the Aerial Tramway, which we bailed on to go to the Salton Sea, ...
... windmills, which we saw leaving the tramway, ...
... modernist architecture, ...
... the Integratron, which is about an hour north of Palm Springs, in Landers, California, ...
... and the Moorten Botanical Garden, which is nearby in Palm Springs.
We sat out on our balcony and drank some ciders as it started to get dark.
After it was fully dark, we heard fireworks being set off nearby, and only after a while realized that it must be to celebrate Veterans Day. 

Day 13 >

California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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