Saturday, January 23, 2016

Coachella Valley and Outdoor Resort Palm Springs

California Here We Come!      We left Quartzsite and drove west into the Coachella Valley of southern California headed to Outdoor Resort Palm Springs (ORPS) in Cathedral City. Our travel partners, Pam and Ernie went to San Bernadino for the last days of January and will meet us here for February.

We rounded a curve to first glimpse the desert floor and this view of snow capped Mount San Jacinto with a small stand of palm trees all in one view. Oh what a nice refreshing sight.

Parts of this Riverside County California desert valley is also known as the "Inland Empire" and is southern California's second largest metro area. The Coachella valley is about 45 miles long with the Little San Bernadino Mountains to the north and the Salton Sea to the south.  The valley is about 15 miles wide and bordered by the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains. Joshua Tree National Park is to the east.

Included along this string of desert towns is Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta Desert Palm Springs and Cathedral City, where we're scheduled to spend six weeks at ORPS.

Palm Springs, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, is the principal city of the Coachella Valley. It's the 1950s and '60s getaway place for many celebrities including Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned here. These days, the area is mecca for snowbirds, retirees and golfers. Here's a link for more  Palm Springs History and life.

Originally called Conchilla, meaning "Land of the Little Shells" the name change was forced when a printers error caused a brochure to contain to the misspelled word Coachella and the name stuck.

Palm trees and snow capped mountains one minute and arid desert floor the next.

Roadside sand looks like snow. 
Our travel day had been a good one and we would be at ORPS within minutes when we came upon a short string of stopped traffic along the road in the picture above. Turns out a gunman had shot someone near the high school ahead of us. The school was put on lockdown and the road was closed. Helicopters flew overhead and police cruisers blocked the intersections. ORPS entry was less than a mile ahead.  The vehicles ahead of us were easily turned around to find a detour.  We were too little large for a u-turn though, so several barricades and police cruisers had to be moved to allow our 66+ foot rig a large enough area to turn around.  Wayne drove to a nearby Flying J for fuel and a chance to find another route into ORPS.

It's always interesting to take the rig through the suburbs and today was no different. The streets here are quite wide and smooth.

A half-hour later, we arrived at our Outdoor Resort Palm Springs. From here, I'll  let the pictures talk.

Referred to by the residents merely as ORPS

Both sides of the entrance have nice fountain pools and colorful flowers.

La Paloma Club House at ORPS. There are two large clubhouses, a dozen swimming pools with hot tubs and an equal number of tennis courts. The property has 27 golf holes on a short par 3 course. 
Entry drive to ORPS 

Typical street scenes in ORPS 

Down this street and to the right is our street. 
While we are in the desert, ORPS allows unlimited use of water. It's one of the few places we've been that allows guests to water their lawns, wash RV's and cars and about anything else. I don't get it but it's nice to see everything so green and clean.

During any given day the streets here carry about an equal number of bicycles, walkers and golf carts as automobiles. Wayne and I would rent a golf cart for our time here and use the bicycles regularly too. It's the only way to get around as there are very few parking spaces for them. Lots of golf cart parking spaces though.

Across from the golf starters shack and the putting green.
To the right is El Saguaro Clubhouse. 

Outdoor Resort Palm Springs has over 1,200 privately owned sites. We rented through a real estate agent and pay $4 per day to the owners association as a resort fee. There is a daily pet fee of $2 per day too.

This resort is a walkers paradise with asphalt streets and pedestrian walkways everywhere.  The activities calendar is pack-jammed with everything from aerobics to zumba.  The property has a convenience store, a coffee shop and at least one restaurant open daily 6 - 8.

A few golf course shots....

We met many of neighbors the first day here. Most of the vehicles we see that aren't from California have license plates from Oregon, Washington, Utah and western provinces of Canada.

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