The Cool House: Desert Air

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Desert Air


What can you say about Palm Springs that hasn't been said before? Driving from Los Angeles on I -10 the desert air hits you full force as you drive through the San Gorgonio Pass that divides the San Bernadino and San Jacinto Mountains, the temperature climbs 10, 15 degrees in a matter of minutes and the wind almost knocks the steering while right out of your hands.


The scenery changes from coastal scrub and urban scrawl to barren mountains, home only to battalions of windmills. This is the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, located in one of the windiest places in California, it powers Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley.


Half an hour further on and you enter the outskirts of the city. You've passed the turbines, steel megaliths have been replaced by Desert Fan Palms; stony outcrops by resort developments - manicured lawns interspersed with native Barrel cactus and yuccas.


You spot your first iconic mid-century building, The Tramway Gas Station. This is where you pull over, lower the top on the bright red convertible hire car and the vacation begins...

5 comments:

Why S? said...

Did you stop for the dinosaurs at Cabazon? or the outlets?

And please say you'll have a martini at Johnny Costa's. http://www.johnnycostaristorante.com/

modernemama said...

We waved at the dinosaurs but whizzed past the outlets. And I drank Virgin Marys at Hamburger Mary's and black pepper Bloody Marys elsewhere but no martinis at Johnny Costa's - next time!

Maya said...

Nicely described. I'd love to experience that sudden temperature climb and the wind -really all of it! The palm trees are pretty fantastic too.

House things I like said...

It's just beautiful, isn't it?

Charlie said...

I've never visited Palm Springs, but that gas station alone would be worth the visit. O.K. maybe not just the gas station, but that building is an immediate giveaway that there is more great architecture to come.