Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Exploring Palm Springs: Aerial Tramway

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.

It was such a great day for me, I really enjoyed being with my friends. It was fun to spend time with their kids, who I rarely see since they live on the other side of our great nation. I hope this post shows you a different side of Palm Springs, one without cocktails, celebrities or Palm Trees. These mountains are not only beautiful, they are peaceful and help balance my soul. They are part of the reason I chose to live here.

Tomorrow will be a stark contrast to today's post. I'll be taking you to beautiful El Paseo Boulevard, just down the road a piece, in neighboring Palm Desert. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I truly appreciate you spending your valuable time here.
-Rick Rockhill


Canadian flake said...

Again the beautiful pics didn't disappoint...they are amazing. I have to say going up on one of those trams ...the idea of it has always made me nervous. I guess I have seen one too many action flicks where the cable snaps, sending the car plummeting..lmao. glad you had such a great day..we all need to recharge every now and again.

Ben Wu said...

I got so dizzy when I rode the tram. Don't look down!

karma lennon said...

Great pics as usual! Love the one of the clouds.

bunnygirl said...

I'm so jealous-- I wanna go hiking!

Lewis said...

I have yet to go "up the mountain." My brother in law was just up there a few weeks ago and talked about how odd it felt to be so cool in spite of the intense heat down below.

EBEZP said...

Wonderful pics Rick!
Lizards and an aerial tramway!!


looks like a lot of fun.
My favorite picture?
UNDERDOG!!! that shirt cracked me up-I LOVED THAT SHOW as a young girl..
enjoy your last day off from work reality!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

it truly looks lovely...

smiles, bee

Steven said...

The pictures look beautiful. Great pieces to share. But you should see Chicago in January! ;-)

HoosierGirl5 said...

Great pictures as usual.

Did I ever tell you you're a hunk? Man! Will you marry me? (wink)


rhodester said...

Rick, did the lizard REALLY say "hi" before scurrying under the rock, or did you take a flask of brandy to nip at on the way up?


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