Thursday, May 29, 2008

Palm Springs- Wagon's Ho

Thousand Palms Oasis
She told me the only way to get to the oasis was a two hour, covered wagon ride. “Come on, we’ll be like the pioneers.”

My mom was always doing this- forcing insurmountable feats of sightseeing, commonly off the beaten path and ending amongst a menagerie of forgotten rest stops. I had to remind her of the OK Corral incident of 94’ where she insisted that, “Since we’re right here,” we could watch the “performance” of “actors”. Let’s just say all the saloon girls were probably from original saloons- nothing like a ninety year old hooker to give you a hankering for history.

I winced each time she questioned a clerk or picked up a pamphlet in search of her wagon train. The fact that no one knew about it was another great sign. We finally got our hands on a sun bleached flyer depicting sweaty tourists wedged on two hard planks beneath a dirtied canvas. Woefully she studied it, “Oh, I thought it would be just us, listening to the driver’s stories.”

But that wouldn’t make sense for an attraction of this magnitude, now would it?

So on our last day in Palm Springs, my mom “discovered” that we could get there ourselves. Sprung from arid dust and heat, palm trees became evident about 20 minutes out- a preview of sorts. Moments later, we trampled a trail reminiscent of King Kong's native island with enough prehistoric-sized vegetation to make me wary of pterodactyls swooping down to grab me. Only a short walk (15 minutes) to the oasis, I would have surely bludgeoned myself in a wagon that took two hours for this portion of the trip-why?!

The slight of hand that had placed this lush sanctuary here amongst nothingness was like nature’s Las Vegas. It was a thing of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves or a Bugs Bunny cartoon (“Open sez-me”) - a real oasis, and though it was only a pool of water, its position deigned it surreal and precious- worth the walk (yes Mom, worth it OK- but not as in OK Corral OK.)

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