Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and San Jacinto

With the Santa Ana winds gusting at upwards of 30 miles per hour and a week’s worth of provisions exhausted, Gordon decided it was time to make a run of I-10 to civilization. The timing couldn’t have been better, too, with my finally having corrected all errors on my passport and visa forms and consulted the nearest UPS licensee regarding hours and services. Gordon and I hopped into his Corolla and made the hour-long trek to the posh desert shopping oasis of Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert.

With the day’s heat not having fully arrived, Gordon elected to show me a hike at the nearby San Jacinto National Monument. Together we climbed through a canyon and up a dry ravine to a wild grove of palms that grew so close together that the dead branches that hung from their trunks appeared to form an almost impenetrable wall. For a while we basked in the shade of nearby rocks while Gordon regaled me with descriptions of something called the Rainbow Gathering.

Back in town we navigated the circuitous thicket of retail the posh twin desert communities had to offer, passing by golf courses and stopping at an old experimental carob grove which had once been written up in the LA Times. At last it was off to Clark’s Nutrition and PostNet (think Postal Annex, or Mailboxes, Etc.) to get passport photos taken and go over the instructions for the eleventy-billionth time lest commit an error that would lead to the delay of my passport and visa processing and thus not get in to the Peace Corps.

Having meticulously followed every instruction to the letter and turned in my UPS package for delivery, I breathed a sigh of relief, satisfied that I had taken care of the last order of business required to see to it that I wouldn’t miss my opportunity to serve.

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