Today is the third installment of my "Exploring Palm Springs" mini series. I've taken Monday and Tuesday off from work this week to "recharge my battery" and enjoy the peace and serenity of the desert that I love so much. It's also giving me time to get out and take all sorts of photos to share with you.
On Monday I went to the top of Mount San Jacinto (pronounced "San Huh-sin-toe"), using the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. In just 15 minutes or so, the rotating tram car ascended close to 9,000 feet, with temperatures 30 degrees cooler than that of the desert floor. Being that the Coachella Valley has been around 110 degrees lately (or 44 Celsius for my UK friends), it was quite refreshing to instantly be transported to cooler weather in just a few minutes.
Above: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. The tram boasts that it has the world's largest rotating tram cars.
Above: The journey two and a half miles up affords incredible views of the changing climate and eco-system that literally looks different as you ascend. The view of the desert floor is spectacular.
Once at the top, I went hiking in the Mount San Jacinto Park, along with friends and family who were visiting. I enjoyed the hike through these trails- so many beautiful rock formations. My camera doesn't do them justice.
Above left: Interesting contrast of texture along the trails. A beautiful tree bark, and above right: beautiful rock veining (OK I should have paid more attention to geology class)
Above: I call this the "ugly tree" because it seems like an "Ent" from Lord of the Rings, or perhaps something from the Enchanted Forest. The tree seemed to talk to me when I passed by. Above right: I was mesmerized by these wistful, light-fluffy clouds.
As we hiked the trails, close to 10,000 feet up, we found this incredible vista. Wow.
Above: Lots of lizards running around. This little guy said hello then went for cover. Above right: I just liked the rich gold and red colors in this rock.