The Coachella Valley

 

First, a few words about Arizona. Driving west from Sedona can be done in two ways: The easy route is all Interstate, south to Phoenix and west to California… Longer, faster, and boring. The other way is over mountain passes above Jerome into Prescott, and then over various ridge lines before hitting the desert near Blythe, CA.

The Coachella Valley is halfway across the State,  It is bounded on three sides by mountains and to the south by the Salton Sea, California’s version of the Great Salt Lake. The Valley is only 45 miles long and 15 miles wide…And normally it would be desert. Yesterday Southern California had a front and it tried to get over the mountains and rain here..,But most of the precip evaporated before it hit the ground. When it does rain, the ground is so hard that it runs into flash flood washes, along with rocks and sediment…This is how the basic layout of the valley was formed over time…Once again, water, rock, and time.

Above, I said “normally.” Because Mankind has found another use for this Valley…We have turned it into the Florida of the West…Lots of really old people, clogging the roads and living in zero lot line homes. Mrs Bear actually likened it specifically to the Palm Beach area of the Sunshine State There is also lots of money here…Porsches, little overgroomed dogs that look like their owners, and lots of golf cart stores. There is more land consumed by golf courses than even the high end stores…George Carlin is turning over in his grave!!!!

Enough with the sarcasm, because this Valley is extraordinarily beautiful. Much of the winter, snow is visable on the mountains while it can be 65 degrees in the valley. And unlike Arizona, there is a lot of lush vegetation here that mixes in with the cacti. This is because the water is from aquifers, rather than mountain snow. I wonder how long this seemingly endless supply of water will last, but I’m sure the residents don’t mind paying for the grsss irrigation in summer 100 plus degree weather.

One of pics above is from a golf course with the mountains in the background. The others were taken on a desert hike along the San Andreas Fault which curls inland after San Francisco and cuts through the valley. Hopefully, they display the stark beauty of the Coachella Valley.

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