Posts Tagged With: bicyclers

THIRTY THOUSAND GEARS AND CHEERS.

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My friend Pam Munn recently moved to Thousand Palms and came by the park and picked me up so we could go to lunch and hob-nob around town. She warned me that an event called the Tour de Palm Springs was being hosted this weekend.

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On the highway, it was disconcerting to be driving among sweeping globs of hundreds of bicyclers. In town, it seemed more controlled.

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Ten thousand bikers registered for this 16th annual event. They were friendly, of all ages, and seemed to be having a grand time. They ride to support and raise money for 150 charities in the Coachella Valley.

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I noticed a couple of bikers stopped to cool their feet in a fountain outside of this gated golf course. Pam told me the area has 106 golf courses, all watered with used grey water. I wanted to join them because my feet and one ankle were sore after the power walk of the day before. I walked with this group without a problem before the accident. I have to re-coop slowly.

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She took me around the lower side of town which is surrounded by a mountain range. The land beneath the mountains is owned by the water company. It is their water shed and is protected but with access to mountain climbing and picnicking on water company property.

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Pam spotted this pretty bird. I took the picture from the window. The minute we opened the door, it was gone.

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In town, the event was in full swing, with bands and cheer leaders urging the bikers on to the finish line. I have no clue the distance nor route they ride for this event.

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Families cheered on their favorite biker and watched and waited to take pictures as they crossed the finish line.

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Once they crossed the finish line, they dispersed into the Tour de Palm Springs Street Faire as did we. Several blocks of streets downtown were closed to traffic and given over to the event. We enjoyed it very much. Had a great lunch, and still took time to do a bit of shopping. My swim suit turned into trash since the last time I used it. So, I bought another.

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I waited patiently for the line of people having their picture taken with this 27 foot tall statue of Marilyn. Pam says she is prettier at night because she is lit up and her dress is painted with a pearly, luminous paint.

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We stopped for a drink. The band was good but loud. It was impossible to talk without placing lip to ear. We didn’t stay long.

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At this shop, I think it was Canyon Rose Boutique, the clerk asked us, “Where you from?” I told her Murphys. She said, “Oh, just minutes ago someone from Murphys was in here, are you together.” No. I told her the shop reminded me of Reza’s Bags in Murphys. “That’s what she said, too.” What are the odds?

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I love kitschy stuff, so I took pictures of stuff and no one can have too many scarves doncha know. (I was only going to buy a swim suit, but…)

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This woman was photographing her friend trying on and modeling a beautiful hat.

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I believe this was Weitzmens Gallery. It has huge sculptures in front and massive paintings of good quality if you wanted to find it, it is easy to find.

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There was a lot to see in Palm Springs that Pam and I didn’t get to. I have friends coming on Wednesday that will spend a couple of days and we’ll get another look.

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My bike is practically frozen from being on the back of the bronco through so much changeable weather. It is about as mobile as this one. I’m planning to keep it at home from now on. After dinner in the motor home, Pam and I went to the recreation hall to hear some music, but it wasn’t much to our taste and she left at 8 p.m. This week she is going to give me painting lessons using acrylics.

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AMERICA’S BEST ROAD

From Mary’s Desk”

Someone may quarrel about what road is America’s best road, but for Jim and I,  its the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Dr.  Despite the rain and the mists and the haze (partly from air pollution), we hated to descend into the land of stoplights, sirens, traffic and, well, life in the fast lane.

Our last night, at Big Meadows Campground was bathed in light after the rain of the previous day. Wooded campsites, knee deep in wildflowers, spacious and comfortable. Our lovely temporary yard.

On the road, bicyclers and motor cycle enthusiasts were out in numbers. We never heard loud motor cycles. Its as though their machines recognize the wonder of this peaceful drive.

We stopped at the Big Meadow Visitors Center. The Big Meadow is visible outside the window where 11 deer were grazing. When the Shenandoah National Park was under construction, the construction crews and one  CCC Camp set up in this big meadow. This park had five CCC Camps working here. The first CCC Camp was nearby, as an experiment, to see how the project would work. It worked very well and gave some of the mountain people that lived in the park, employment as well. It was a time when hog cholera, the depression, and a horrible drought hit the area and many mountain people appreciated the work though not the eminent domain that eventually took their lands.

Shenandoah was built with more private funds from the states than government funds. A government parks commission, made up of movers and shakers, along with Virginia’s Governor Byrd, got the project moving when they invited President Hoover to visit the area. He was “hooked”. An avid trout fisherman, he loved the area and bought 165 acres and built a cabin on it. The cabin was a four mile hike in and we didn’t visit it although its available to visitors and is part of the park system now.


The Massanutten Resort, built in the late 1800’s, was one of the most popular places for the affluent people to escape the nearby cities where population was swelling and automobiles were everywhere. The first national parks were in the west, where nature was preserved and population was thin. It was a new concept to make a park so near the heavily  populated city areas. The ridge line road  was carved out of these Eastern mountain ranges, yet still preserves nature in all of its glory, quite a feat. The Appalachian Trail was realigned in some places to make way for the motor cars, and what we have is a grand place with over 500 miles in hiking trails, campgrounds, beautiful rivers, waterfalls, overlooks to horizon to horizon mountain views, and peace-giving nature not far from the cities.

We saw part of the Appalachian Trail and many backpack laden walkers using this great resource. The beauty of it is that you can walk it all or just a short part of it on a weekend.

We were saddened to see it come to an end. Back to the world of traffic and noise and all those things we can’t do without. A laundromat, a wonderful Martin’s Grocery Store in Front Royal where you can buy already prepared foods, and good bread. And, best of all, a visit with Glen and Karen Littlefield, with new grandbabies, I’ve never met.

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