Back from vacation in the desert...and record amounts of rain!
by Iris Harrison,posted Dec 15 2009 8:27AM
Headline from The Desert Sun on Tuesday December 8, 2009- "Record rainfall soaks desert. Power outages, street closures reported across Coachella Valley." Leave it to Oregonians to bring the rain on vacation. I thought I had packed well. The first sign that we were going to be missing things was when we were at the airport and discovered that we had the iPod dock, but not the iPod itself. Then I remembered that I had forgotten a stack of DVD's that I was going to bring. Oh yeah, and a sweatshirt. Hey, we were going to the desert where it's usually in the low 70's this time of year. How bad could it be?
"According to the National Weather Service, 1.12 inches of rain was recorded at the Palm Springs International Airport as of 8pm, surpassing the previous 1992 record of 0.90 inches on the same day. Monday's precipitation almost doubled the total amount of rain the valley has received all year." Did you get that? On one day it absolutely poured, and we were there. We were not only just there, we were out in it. Hey, just a little rain, let's go somewhere! Like shopping. We discovered very quickly that we also forgot to pack an umbrella. Being Northwest people, not a big deal. Being in the American Southwest, a very big deal since they also don't believe in rain gutters on their buildings. Going in and out of stores, we were soaked as the waterfalls poured off the tile roofs. Okay, enough of this we thought. Let's go back to the place where we were staying.
When it rains this much in the desert, there really isn't a lot of places for the water to go. That's why there are washout areas left vacant all over the place. Before it reaches the washouts, it floods the streets, where we were driving. In fact we had just gone down Ramon Road right before they closed it due to high water. It also snowed in the upper elevations, and then at night, the rain stopped, and the wind started blowing. That whistling, howling, blowing sound that you hear in scary movies about haunted houses. I put in ear plugs and went to sleep.
The next morning we woke up to sunshine, and snow on the mountains. It was beautiful. I resumed swimming for the rest of the vacation. Read three books. Lounged. Rented movies since I had forgot the ones I was going to bring along, and drove around the Coachella Valley in an amazing rented luxury car pretending I could actually afford to live there. I know, not very green, but boy, it was fun!
I think vacations are about pretending. Relaxing of course, but pretending is part of the experience for me. Wherever we go, I always get those local real estate pamphlets and look longingly at the pretty pictures of modestly huge estates (there is such a thing as too big...really) and pretend I've just won the lottery. I have a very fertile imagination. Not very original I know, but fertile. I also buy them mentally for friends and family. My fantasies are generous. Isn't that what drives us to buy the dollar ticket on the way out of the grocery store, or to the casino? The idea that it could happen. My dad says that the fantasy is worth the dollar a week. Investment companies tell you that the $52 per year invested and compounded would help when you're old and don't give a crap about going on vacation anymore. Thank you Suze Orman. Go bust someone else's bubble.
So, we're back now and missed the record cold here in the Portland area. For that I'm very grateful. And the rain is back, which is par for the course.