We had a couple of friends from El Paso, who we ride tandems with at times, meet us there. We rode bikes in the morning and saw movies at the Palm Springs , at night. I'd like to tell you that the experience sucked. That we had a major problem with the truck on the road and only made it because of my skill of using a paper clip to clean fuel jets in the injector system, or that we were victims of a bike jacking in broad daylight by a couple of heavily armed senior citizens. Or that I suffered food poisoning by eating in one of those trendy, overpriced restaurants. Or that a major cold front came through ruining our riding and stranding us in the trailer and we only survived by chewing on the leather soles of our shoes. I'd like to tell you some neat story like that 'cause it would sound so much more exciting than we the truth, which is we had a completely trouble free time, riding every day in absolutely beautiful weather, enjoying good company, eating delicious food and watching interesting movies each night.
Palm Springs is just over that little hump of mountains that seem to stop a lot of moisture from the coast from pushing into the area. It is in a desert! Shhhh, they don't know that. If you get out of town it's dry, dry, dry, probably a little more desert than home and in the summer they get up there in the 100 + teens. But in the town it's all green, green lawns, green golf courses (a lot of them) and all those gated communities have huge fountains of flowing water. The sidewalks, curb and median areas are like a flourishing garden of bougainvilleas, roses, carpets of pansies, poppies, and all kinds of multicolored fall flowers abound. There are orange trees, lemon trees, various other citrus trees,plush green grass and, of course, hundreds of tall, majesticdate palms. It is, indeed, a beautiful sight in which we indulged our senses even as we recognized the disgustingly opulent waste of natural resources in the name of the god of luxury. Okay, okay, call us hypocrites. We enjoyed the experience, slept well at night and never once were we motivated to paint a big sign about condemning the waste of resources as sinful (which, of course, it was, but we'll let Mother Nature hand out that punishment when they run out of water probably sooner than later.).
If I was to identify the low point of the whole experience it would have to be the movie, TRANSMISSION, an Hungarian film which envisioned a world without TV or Computer monitors.
This very, very, very slow movie left me with memories of In-Service meetings back at good ole EPISD. My bones ached; it was so bad. However, out of 9 movies only one terrible movie, and one that was bad because I couldn't understand the language (it was an English movie). All the rest were okay with about 3 good ones and 2 great ones: The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and Bride Flight. Not bad. I had anticipated a bit of negativity rising up when I was informed that we would be standing in long lines, up to an hour, for each movie. But that Marine Corp training kicked in. I knew that one day all those hours standing in line in the Corp would one day pay off, and it did. Actually, what really made them bearable was that everyone was so damn friendly. There was a social tie that we "film festival aficionados" had in common so the conversation was lively. If you saw the same person at another movie, well, you were old friends.
Our tandem riding friends actually took a day off from riding because, as the stoker put it, "All these time tables and meeting dates are too much like a job." I didn't see it quite that way, but each day was full.