Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway



We had never been on the famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, an engineering marvel from 1963 that takes one from the desert floor to 8,500 feet in the San Jacinto Mountains.



My mother (above), who we were hosting, insisted that the trip must be made...



...and since we had been driving each other insane most of the week, it seemed the path of least resistance.



I'm glad we went, however, and would gladly pay the $22 to go again...



...since the lodges at both bottom and top were mid-century modern architectural wonders...



...and the views in every direction were marvelous.



Plus, it was a serious relief to be in 75-degree weather when it was close to 110 degrees in the Coachella valley below.



Most of the other passengers took off on hikes around the mountains but after observing at least half of them looking as if they were about to have a heart attack as they climbed back up to the lodge...



...we spent most of the afternoon sitting on an observation deck drinking beers.



Though the trip is only 10 minutes long, it is definitely not for the fainthearted...



...as two sobbing-with-fear young girls in our downward car made clear.



Still, it's a tourist trip that is totally worth the effort.

7 comments:

greg said...

we always wanted to do that when we were filming out there but never had the time.

I like palm springs...its kinda like being on a colony on Mars or something (and being a sci fi nerd that translates into something cool).

janinsanfran said...

Those things scare me but it looks like fun. How feasible would it be to ride up and hike down?

Matty Boy said...

Great photos, Mike. Thanks.

Also, my mom wants you to know that of all my blog buddies, you are her favorite and she reads your blog regularly.

sfmike said...

Dear Jan: Not sure about feasibility of hiking down. People do try it, but you read about them getting lost all the time and having to be rescued by helicopters.

Dear Matt: Thanks for the nice words from your mom. For some reason, other people's mothers are easy. It's only my own who drives me batty.

zoo said...

uau, lucky you, it's beautiful

P

Joe Lynn said...

Your trips to the Palm Springs area are right down memory lane. My heart throb my freshman year (1963) at the University of Redlands was from Palm Springs (until recently, he taught English at the community college there). I think it was 1964 when we took the tram. My acrophobia is much stronger now and might force me into the clutch of the two folks having fright problems.

Monica said...

SFMike -- Can you believe the very last thing I did in Palm Springs before my husband drove me to the Ontario airport was ride the Aerial Tramway? You did a great job of documenting the journey, as always.
And since your Mom lives in Palm Springs, you know some of those trails around Mt. San Jacinto are very dangerous. It seemed as if every nearly every weekend the Desert Sun was running a story about someone who had been found, usually alive, after being missing for some time.
At least one time during my winter there, it was remains that were found.
Most of the victims were inexperienced hikers in for the weekend from LA, if I can be allowed to generalize. So spending the afternoon in the bar may have saved your life!