Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scaling New Heights - Day 5

First, let me reiterate my fear of heights. I mean, we're talking sweaty-palm, phobia level fear here. And what does Shira suggest we do? Take the world's largest rotating tram car up 2 1/2 miles, to an elevation of 8,500 or so feet.

To put it mildly, I was nervous about the whole proposition. But, I put my fear aside and stepped into the tram car - the same one that grandparents and small children were in. And up we went.

The view, of course, was fantastic, and my fear was totally overblown - the ride was no more scary than going up a glass enclosed elevator would have been.

At the top of the tram is Mount San Jacinto State Park, with excellent hiking. We did about 2 miles of hiking.

Not surprisingly, at 8,500 feet there's a nice blanket of snow waiting for you when you get off the tram. It was strange enough to be hiking in snow after wearing shorts earlier in the day, it was even more surreal when you consider that were were hiking in the desert yesterday.

Turns out, the tramway is a real gem. And when you combine the hiking here with that of Joshua Tree, it makes Palm Springs one of the best locations you could choose for a hiking friendly getaway.

Some photos - you'll notice that I'm not in many of them. Yeah, it was kind of a defense mechanism for me to snap lots of photos. If I was busy taking photos, I couldn't think about the tram (and its 2 backup systems) failing...


  1. The systems aren't going to fail. Remember: they were likely all constructed by the lowest cost bidder using imported parts that were assembled off-site.

    [I don't like sky trams either]

  2. Oy, don't even get me thinking about it!

    As we descended on the tram, Shira looked down and remarked: "Look at that, the towers holding the cable are just sitting in the rock." - I didn't appreciate that comment either.