Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mount San Jacinto State Park and Tram Ride

2 days of chilly days with crazy winds and this morning we wake up to HOT AND HUMID.  Seems like a good day to go up 8500 feet in a tram to play in the fresh snow from yesterday :).  So once again I put on a t-shirt, sweater, hoodie and jacket and off we set.  Our tummies were all getting a little nervous as we approached Mt San Jacinto but we were doing it.  Parked our car, out we jumped not realizing that the parking lot was on a hill steeper than most of the ones at Horseshoe Valley.  We could barely stand and then we started the relatively short walk up to the tram.  Honestly we were huffing and puffing like 4 old goats.  Mutter, mutter, I think we were hoping it was going to be closed.

In the tram we get.  The tram holds 80 people, our trip up only had about 16 people in it.  The best part and scariest part was that the floor revolved very slowly so you didn't have to move from side to side.  (I can assure you I was not going to do that).  The awkward thing was that the railing didn't move so I would be gripping the railing quite tightly and realize that my arm and body were at their limits.  :)  This tramway was made in Switzerland and is one of a kind in North America.

I can't imagine how they managed to build these towers and hook up the wires, they must be engineering acrobats.  Whenever the tram approached the towers, the captain told us to hold on as they have quite the swing, especially tower 3.  At tower 3 I am pretty sure my face went a wee bit white and I was wondering how on earth I was going to get back down.  lol

There are windmill farms everywhere.  Palm Springs is pretty cool in that they seem to get most of their water from acquifers and most of their electricity from windmills or solar panels.  The town itself is 45,000 people, around the same size as Aurora.

Whew we arrived safely, next stop playing in the snow and a hike around the top of the mountain.

From the visitors station there is a huge ramp down to the level part of the mountain.  Everyone going down was laughing at everyone coming up as they were huffing and puffing, our turn would come.

Walking was a wee bit precarious, lots of ice and rocks under the snow, but we weren't turning back.

We did 5 of the 10 notches, which took you out to lovely views of the valley.  You could perch right over the edge of the mountain.  There were kids up there with toboggans, not on the edge :) and you could rent cross country skies and snowshoes.  Luckily there wasn't that much snow for us.  Think how magical it would be for someone who had never seen snow before.  

Another successful adventure with lots of laughter and good memories with good friends.

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