In need of some desert time, we take a Toddler Tour through the Coachella Valley from Palm Springs, by the Salton Sea, and on to Brawley and El Centro.
We needed some time in the desert. So,like, everyone else,we were off to Palm Springs. We took our trusty Puff Puller bike trailer setup.
While most journeys end in Palm Springs, we took a left outof the airport and headed south, into the deep desert, intent on crossing theentire Coachella Valley, all the way to the El Centro, near the Mexican border.
The vibe quickly changed as we traded the curated greenlawns, millennial playgrounds, and low density suburbia of Palm Desert and LaQuinta for a surprisingly authentic agricultural landscape.
Devoid of hotels, our rest for the night was a stunninglyunderwhelming AirBNB at a working farm that seemingly doubled as a dog kennel.
Day 2 started pre dawn as we had some serious ground tocover. First stop was to win a bet by eating a banana at the oddly specific International Banana Museum.
We then began our journey beside the surreal, abandonedfolly that is the Salton Sea.
Something about the Salton stirs the soul as you considerwhat series of mistakes, victories, or reevaluations could lead one to take upresidence in such a stark and foreboding landscape.
Energy was low as we gorged at the Niland diner, where aquick left would have taken us to the infamously lawless SlabCity communityoutside of town. But we still had miles to cover, so we kept plugging souththrough an endless array of watermelons plants and solar panels.
Now Weston and I once did almost 100 miles in a day on thebike while crossing the Cascades to Seattle, but that was a picturesque andexciting route, right out of an REI ad. These 85 miles were somehow harder- a searing, monotonous, windy slog –but they eventually ended in the hardscrabble agricultural town of Brawley.With limited food options, we somehow sourced ramen and jarritos for a rousing fiesta in our motel room.
Our final day was an easy 20 mile sail down to El Centrowhere we embodied a country ballad by catching a greyhound bus near the borderfor the ride over the mountains to San Diego and our flight home.