All-Day Driver

We drove home today, leaving Palm Desert at 9am and getting home at 7:15pm. We made three charging stops along the way and got home with 25% left in the tank. I used A Better Route Planner to figure out where to plan to charge – I’m not sure if I’m happy with the results or not.

The first stop that the app suggested was 126 miles from the hotel; the app said I’d get there with about 30% left, but I arrived at 49% (there was a lot of uphill driving on this segment).

The second stop was 110 miles away, on the other side of the Grapevine; again, the app thought I’d arrive with a lot less charge than I did. The third stop was at Harris Ranch, 90 miles away, and the app was still wrong – but it was nearly perfect for the 140 mile run home.

I didn’t suffer any range anxiety, so I guess I’m learning how to work with the car, but I clearly have some learning to do. As does the app.

Palm Springs and Sunnylands

We started the day with a walk through downtown Palm Springs, beginning with a visit to the McCallum Adobe, the oldest building in town and one of the museums of the Palm Springs Historical Society.

The museum hosts several permanent exhibits about the history of Palm Springs, including the long-running land ownership disputes between the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the settlers, finally resolved in 1977 by a Supreme Court decision giving the Indians the right to control land use on their lands (lots of details in this article). I was especially interested in the temporary exhibition about Raymond Loewy and his designs.

We also visited the Cornelia White House, the second oldest building in town (also run by the Historical Society). And we spent a few minutes admiring the flowers and birds in the rest of the Village Green.

We continued our walk towards the Palm Springs Art Museum; the block in front of the museum is home to public art, like this “Fault Line Meditation” and, of course, “Forever Marilyn”.

We didn’t spend long in the Art Museum, though, because we had a date for a house tour at Sunnylands, the former home of Ambassadors Walter and Lee Annenberg. Diane and I had been to the visitor center and gardens at Sunnylands on a previous visit, but this was the first time we were able to get tour tickets and we didn’t want to be late.

The house is about a five-minute ride from the visitor center; there’s a half-scale replica of a fountain depicting Mexican history (the original is at the Museo Nacional de Antropolog√≠a in Mexico City) just outside the house.

The house itself is stunning, but we weren’t allowed to take photos inside for “security reasons” (the property is used for high-level retreats with Highly Placed Persons). We got to see the 6,000 square foot atrium (the Annenbergs threw parties there), the bedrooms, the kitchen, and some of the guest suites.

We did get to take photos outside the house; the grounds, too, are amazing.

After the tour, we went back to the visitor center and walked through its gardens, catching the cacti in late afternoon light.

And that was our day…except for dinner at Sherman’s Deli in Palm Desert. And packing to return home.

Short Shrift

We had a very busy day today. We did the first part of the Palm Springs Mid-Century Architecture Self-Guided Tour, then we took the San Andreas Fault Red Jeep Tour, and finished the day by visiting the Tribal Art Museum of Palm Desert for a private tour and dinner with its founder.

It’s very late, so I am going to skip the commentary tonight and just use a few images to illustrate what we saw today.

Kaptur Court
Franz Alexander Residence
Hollywood House
Kaufmann Residence
Cholla Skeleton
On the fault
Differential Erosion
Slot Canyon Portrait
Wall of Masks

Exploring the Inland Empire

We started the day with a walk around the property, venturing as far as the Desert Willows Golf Academy next door. It was cool and cloudy, but there were brilliant flowers to be enjoyed anyway.

We drove to Shields Date Garden in Indio for lunch and date shakes. I’d never noticed the sign over the door that said that their shake was the Official Date Shake of Riverside County, but it’s true.

After lunch, we took Jeff on The Walk through their gardens and picked up a couple of pounds of dates to bring home.

Then it was off to Redlands (where Jeff was meeting a friend for dinner) and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine.

The shrine was donated to the city by Robert and Alma Watchorn in memory of their son Emory Ewart and is now maintained by the Lincoln Memorial Association. We spent a couple of hours there; we even got a tour of their Civil War carbine exhibition from Ken Jolly who had donated the collection to the museum and is a docent there.

After we left the Lincoln Shrine, we took a little walk through downtown Redlands, which seemed to be a lively place, even in the rain.

We walked back to the Escape Craft Brewery Downtown Oasis and had dinner, then drove back to Palm Desert. This was my first time driving the EV-6 in rain, and I felt pretty comfortable in it, though I was happy when the rain stopped!

Facebook works its magic

Jeff posted a photo he took at the Mojave Air and Space Port to Facebook yesterday, mentioning that he was on the way to Palm Desert. His aunt Debbie replied that she and Pete (Diane’s brother) were in Palm Desert for a few days, and soon we had made plans to meet this morning and go up to Joshua Tree National Park together.

We stopped in Yucca Valley for lunch at Two Guys Pies (recommended!), then visited the official park visitor center to get some ideas, and finally reached the park itself around 1pm.

The ranger at the visitor center had suggested we take the Barker Dam trail, which includes petroglyphs (some of which, sadly, had been “enhanced” by a film crew). When we got there, we discovered that the National Park Service had put their own petroglyph in the parking lot.

Here are a few of the photos I took along the trail.

At one point, a kind passer-by asked if she could take a photo of our group, and we accepted.

Then it was back to the hike and onward to the petroglyphs.

And then we finished the trail and returned to the car.

I wanted to get to the Cholla Cactus Garden before sunset, so we piled into the car and headed down the road. Even though I was in a hurry, I couldn’t resist the late afternoon light on the rocks near Hidden Valley Campground.

I didn’t see the climber in the rocks at first, but others in the car did.

I may not have paid close attention to the speed limit on the way to the Cactus Garden – we reached it just in time to see the cholla lit by the last rays of the sun before it went behind the mountains for the night.

Some of the cholla was displaying its fruit.

We took one last Joshua Tree selfie and started the long drive back to Palm Desert.

You never know where a Facebook post might lead you!