|Wednesday, 16 March 2005 16:00|
This morning it was evident that rain is on its way and the glorious sun we have been enjoying is taking a break. We were packed up and on the road before 9:00 AM as our destination is Desert Hot Springs, outside of Palm Springs on the other side of Los Angeles. In his trucking days, Rick had been to LA before and knew what to expect with the traffic but for me it was to be a new experience and one I was apprehensive about.
Highway 101 from Pismo Beach winds through rolling hills with lush farmland where we saw dozens of orchards, vineyards and huge strawberry fields (where harvesting is in full progress). As the highway approaches Buellton, then Gaviota we were back on the ocean where in the distance we could see several oilrigs apparently also popular as great diving spots for underwater sea life viewing. Further south in Santa Barbara there were more vineyards as well as orchards of lemon trees and even more oilrigs offshore. As we were approaching LA, we encountered a couple of freeways still under reconstruction from the earthquake that hit here in 1994 and there was a pale yellow smog in the distance.
My apprehension was for nothing as we got through the traffic with no difficulties and soon we were driving into the Coachella Valley Desert surrounded by the white-capped San Bernardino Mountains. As we approached Banning Pass, we saw thousands and thousands of windmills on both sides of Interstate 10 used to generate electricity, a pretty amazing sight. Desert Hot Springs is just one of several cities in the desert built over a natural, hot, mineral-water aquifer and we are looking forward to exploring it and the many local attractions over the next few days. It feels "strange" being away from the ocean after spending almost a year near it but today after we settled into our site at the Desert Springs Spa RV Resort, we went for a swim in the 92F natural hot springs pool and then wallowed in the 105F hot tub. It was pretty awesome and a good way to start being "inland" again!