On the second day of the tour, Rina took the wheel south on CA-1 through Cambria and then east on CA-46 to Lost Hills, where i’d planned one of the high points (for me) of the trip, introducing Rina to a real oil field similar to the ones i’d grown up in sixty years earlier in Texas. The field at Lost Hills is an old, shallow one dating from 1910, and the wells are very closely spaced. Rina was slackjawed at the sight, and my only regret was that owing to modern technology there was very little of the traditional oilfield smell to which i’d hoped to treat her. I understand that that smell stinks to most people, but since i grew up with it, to me it smells like home.
Still, i at least got a photograph of Rina that should make her the envy of her neighbors in Amsterdam, standing beside a gas well with a field of pumping jacks (for oil) in the background.
Then we got onto I-5 south and gave Rina the experience of driving the spectacular grade up the Tehachapis to Gorham, where we stopped for lunch and i took over the wheel to get us through LA and the spectacular fields of windmills east of Banning Pass to Palm Springs, where the GPS led us directly to the Caliente Tropics hotel with its comfortable rooms and large swimming pool.
Brunch the next day at Manhattan in the Desert, a delicatessen that’s almost as good as Max’s in San Francisco. Palm Springs is a good place to visit during the late fall, winter, and early spring, and Palm Canyon Drive is a delightful stroll full of convivial crowds and interesting places to eat and drink, the high points for me this time being a frozen yogurt stand that was just plain delicious and a superb goat cheesecake.
The other Palm Springs high point is their new palm tree treatment, sort of an upside down flattop: