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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Palm Springs eternal

March 2 2024 (Sat)

We set a new record for not doing anything today!


We didn’t even leave our lovely camping spot (#204). It was pretty windy, so we used that as an excuse to stay inside and read. And eat.


Every day Robert puts this gadget on his forehead and it electrocutes him and scares away any migraines that might be lurking nearby


Day 18 Travel


Our travel on Day 18 (Sat)





March 3, 2024 (Sun)

Compared to yesterday, we were a whirlwind of activity—partway through the day we drove into town and went to a different grocery store. It sold basically the same stuff as the other grocery store (there are two of them in town), only they spread it out in more space.


We haven’t talked much about the retail environment of Borrego Springs, so here goes: there are no chain stores. No McDonald’s, no Target, not even a Starbucks (!). Every single store here is a small owner-run store.


There’s about six restaurants (three Mexican, a burger joint, a steakhouse, and one that looks closed). Several thrift stores. Some other touristy type shops including a fascinating Frederick’s store which

Gini says used to be called Tumble Weeds 20 some years ago. It has a variety of stuff from other countries mixed with ancient artifact finds. It’s a small desert town kind of environment.


After our excursion to the other grocery store, we headed to Carmelita’s, because Gini saw somebody eating flautas the last time we went and she wants to try them.

Gini anxiously awaits her flautas at Carmelita’s


Day 19 Travel

Our travel on Day 19 (Sun)




March 4, 2024 (Mon)

Gini used to live here where the sheep spring about, so she knows that the closest place with Action is Palm Springs, so we’re off to there but we’re getting a late start!


10:00 am Lamb Springs

We head off to the big Palm—even though it only takes about 90 minutes to drive there, it feels like about three hours, because it all looks the same. Desert, desert, and some more desert.


There are two ways into Borrego Springs—the twisty turny can’t go over 40 mph downhill way (Gini says 30 mph and she used to drive it!) that we came in on. And the pretty straight but up and down and dull way towards the Salton Sea. We’re not sure which one we prefer (or rather, detest the least), but this is the shortest way to Palm Springs, so we take it.

Robert driving along, not keeping his eyes on the road. A date palm orchard is in the background.


11:00 am Desert Cities

After an hour or so of driving and getting past the Salton Sea, we start driving past the Desert Cities. Gini explains that these are a series of cities that all kind of run into each other.


From our point of view, it’s one long strip shopping mall with lots of stores and car dealerships. At least it’s a change from the desert.


12:00 pm Palm Springs

We arrive at Palm Springs, which is famous for—well, we’re not sure. It’s kind of famous for being Palm Springs. We can tell you that there’s a lot of dust everywhere, and wind to help spread it around.


Many of the “streets” have speed limits of 55 mph (about the time you get up to speed, you hit a red light, so it’s a bit of a roller coaster).


We finally hit “downtown,” which has a speed limit of 25 mph, and the street is littered with signs advising you to avoid hitting the pedestrians because they can all afford very good lawyers. The signs are literally in the street, poking up from the asphalt, distracting you from seeing anybody in a crosswalk.


12:30 pm Palm Springs Art Museum

Whew! We made it, without crippling any pedestrians (or signs!). We start with the Picasso installation (which wasn’t supposed to open until Wednesday).

Gini really liked this one: A series of drawings where Picasso starts with a detailed picture of a bull and gradually simplifies it until he ends up with a bull hieroglyph (the original has 12 drawings)


Even Picasso had trouble with hands—note the two three-fingered people in this “Salome” drawing


Then we head outside to a “Sculpture Garden,” where a bunch of statues and big art is stashed. We wonder if the artists knew that their hard work would be exposed to the elements. Maybe they’re just happy that they sold it (and maybe their spouses are happy that it’s not cluttering up the garage any longer).

One of the blades from a wind turbine, turned into art


Gini wants to tell the man that his shoes are untied

(“Man With World At Feet” by Viola Frey)


There was this one piece (below) that really messes with your mind (which, we think, good art should do). It’s a life-like looking couple sitting on a bench. For the first five minutes, we thought they were real until Gini noticed the “museum exhibit” line around them.


Even then, we kept thinking, “Wow, those guys are always hogging that bench! Oh wait…” Salutes to Mr. Hanson, the artist, for getting in our skulls.


These guys hogged the bench the entire time we were there

(“Old Couple on a Bench” by Duane Hanson)


2:00 pm Palm Springs

We are full of art, but our tummies are empty. Fortunately, there are a lot of restaurants in this area. So many that we’re forced to use Yelp to distinguish between the wheat and the chaff (do people even know what “chaff” is anymore?).


Robert drops Gini off in front of where Yelp swears this fabulous restaurant is, while Robert tries to find a parking space for Harvey. Most of the parking here is parallel parking, and Robert has enough trouble parallel parking his tiny Kia Soul, so the idea of trying to parallel park Harvey is pretty ludicrous.


Fortunately, he finds a pair of nearby spots, so he can pull straight in and back up, just like he actually parallel parked.


By this point, Gini has given up on finding the Yelp-praised place due to the lack of signage (after approaching a number of dining strangers and asking them what restaurant they are eating at).


But, Harvey is parked right in front of Fisherman’s Market & Grill, and surely being only 100 miles from the ocean is close enough for good seafood, yes?


It turns out, Yes, indeed. It’s a lovely mid-afternoon meal and from now on, we’re going to consult Harvey for restaurant recommendations and see what restaurant he settles in front of!

Gini enjoys her Salmon Caesar Salad at Fisherman’s Market & Grill


5:15 pm Little Sheep Springs

Although Gini has exciting but harrowing tales of  her driving this route in the rain, during a flash flood warning, and at night, our plan is to get back before dark so we head out and  make our way back without incident. We are happy to sit in one warm, non-dusty place for a while…


Day 20 Travel

Our travel on Day 20 (Mon) [We drove this path twice—once going there, once coming back]




Gini & Robert                                                                                

Harvey Staff

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1 Comment

Stephen E. Moore
Stephen E. Moore
Mar 05

Four hundred and fifty bucks just to tingle your frontalis muscle!?

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