We spent yesterday checking out wildflowers in Henderson Canyon, then driving up to Font’s Point, over to the Salton Sea, and back through Ocatillo Wells. Today we hiked up Palm Canyon, saw a lot more flowers, birds, and desert bighorn sheep (just a couple ewes, not rams). We also discovered how out of shape we were. Recuperating now, heading back to LA tomorrow. We clearly need to do this more often.
What strikes me about these desert communities, like Borrego Springs, Salton City (also Cal City up north of Mojave) is the boundless optimism of the founders. They’re huge, with lots of roads laid out ready for building, perhaps decades out. The optimism in Salton City was expressed in the street names — Marina Blvd, Sea Isle Lane, Ocean Avenue, you get the picture. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the lake level has receded a hundred yards from the planned shoreline. It was a depressing place.
In Borrego Springs, there are a lot of wealthy new estates, with little oases of palms and and palo verde. Most of the street names are ranch brands — Tilting T, Double O, Frying Pan…
It was interesting to see a part of California I’d never explored for thirty-five years, only a couple hours away.
We’re heading down to Borrego Springs for a long weekend of wildflower viewing and star gazing. I’ll take the laptop, but blogging may be light.
It seems to have arrived, but it’s unlikely to help break the drought.
Finally, after a dry February, it’s coming down (though not a downpour) in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Too bad about the Oscars, but we need it.
It may be a great year for wild flowers. Maybe at the California Poppy Reserve, too.
I’m flying there tomorrow on business, back next Saturday. I’m thinking about renting a car. The rates seem pretty good (though I don’t know what the surcharges will be), and I can get supplemental insurance for $40 for the week. Anyone have any experience?
OK, gotten a lot of useful feedback. Sounds like it would be manageable for me if it’s really no worse than south Florida with all the Haitians, but my new info is that they have a pretty good train system. If I were on vacation and wanting to explore, and into a terrifyingly entertaining experience, I’d definitely rent the car, but I’m there on business, and not moving around much. It looks to me like the best bet is to take a train from Ben-Gurion to Hertzlia, then a short cab to my hotel, and get around locally with cabs (and colleagues with whom I’m there on business). On Friday, my main day off, I could take train to airport to drop bag, then another to Jerusalem for sightseeing, then back to airport for flight home.
Hope it’s a good one for all. There seems to be a consensus that 2014 sucked (though I thought the first Tuesday in November went pretty well). In any event, let’s hope 2015 improves on it.
[Update a few minutes later]
Why 2015 may be the best year in history.
The good news. We got some, finally.
The bad news. It revealed a new leak in the roof, that’s showing up on a downstairs ceiling and back wall of the master closet.
Sounds like they had a pretty good shake up in Napa. apparently the biggest one in the Bay Area since Loma Prieta, a quarter of a century ago. Have an in-law in Vallejo, but she’s currently in Missouri, so we’re more likely to have felt it here in LA than she was. Of course, I’ll get calls from relatives who don’t know how California is, wondering if we’re all right.
In our seats, waiting to hear him play banjo with a bluegrass band and Edie Brickell. Then, the fireworks.
What a great show. I hadn’t realized how seriously Martin had gotten into his music in the last few years. He’s equally adept at both bluegrass fingerpicking and clawhammer, and he and Brickell did some beautifully spooky songs in the latter style. He also hasn’t lost his comedic touch. “It’s always been my dream to play the Hollywood Bowl on the 4th of July. Call me crazy, but I feel that, as I step on this stage, I’ve taken a big step in that direction.” (Paraphrase).
Only disappointment was that the show wasn’t long enough, and the fireworks (accompanied by a medley of Sousa tunes from the Air Force Band of the Golden West, ending with the classic Stars and Stripes Forever) less spectacular than I’ve gotten used to in recent years, but still well worth the money and effort to attend.
[Update a while later]
One other thing. Paul Simon made a guest appearance, and sat in for a song.