We took a drive up to Lake Elsinore - it sounded like a place we might be able to take Kona swimming. It was; there was a large deserted beach. In fact the whole town looked a bit deserted and down at the heels. It's kind of a strange area; surrounded by wealth and beauty, and yet around this lake, the only fresh water lake in southern CA, it is run down and kind of junky. We did a little research and it turns out that the history, and I guess the present situation is very much determined by the erratic rise and fall of the lake level. Tourism just can't get a dependable foothold because it alternates flooding with a disappearing lake. This is our best take on the situation, but we could be off. It's not a place I'd go back to, exempt that Kona may insist.
A few days ago we ventured over the mountains down twisting and turning route 74 into the Palm Desert area. Had lunch at Tyler's, a small place in old Palm Springs, famous for their burgers, surrounded by the old style Spanish architecture of the plaza. Sat outside and got a little sun with my veggie burger.
The Coachella Valley, which is an agricultural, commercial and residential oasis in the desert, is very heavily developed with malls and golf courses. Palm Springs looks like it's seen better days. I think the recession has hit it hard. It's a wealthy area still, but the retail establishments have suffered. Palm Desert is doing a little better.
At the northwest end of the valley there is a huge wind farm, with the turbines echoing the palm trees that are everywhere.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is also at that end of town. There's nothing harder than taking good pictures from a tram. The experience offers grand vistas of the valley and the canyon that just look blah in photographs. The contrast between the shadows of the canyon and the distant brightness of the desert is almost impossible to balance for an amateur like me. Here are two examples.
Once at the top, the light balanced out into a beautiful bright winter day. Our first taste of anything like winter since we've been here in the south.
It's a crystal clear, breezy day today, probably will be in the 70's. I'm going to the farmers market in Temecula today while Rick watches tennis in Australia.