I’m always on the lookout for things that you can’t do just anywhere. I found a company in Palm Springs that gives tours of a wind farm. That sounded like something right up my alley. I made arrangements to take the tour and then started looking for other things to do in the area,
I hit up my HISTORY Here! app and saw that there were a couple of listings for the area around Palm Springs; Gerald Ford’s house and Sonny Bono’s grave. Well, I had nothing more pressing to do before the tour, so I put the addresses in my map and set out.
I saw roads named after famous people. Here’s Frank Sinatra Boulevard
and Gerald Ford Drive. There were others, but I didn’t want to slow the flow of traffic to take pictures. (And, truth be told, I didn’t want to try to find a place to park so I could get out and take pictures.)
I found the street sign that the app said his house was on.
Of course it was inside a gated community! What was I thinking? That I could just roll up and take a look?
Anyway, according to my map, his house would have been just around the bend to the right.
As long as I was parked and out of my truck, I decided to stroll around a little.
I smell money!
After a bit, I got back in the truck and headed out to find Sonny Bono’s grave. I didn’t get too far before something else caught my attention.
I saw a sign for an estate sale. Well, it’s not like I need anything, but I figured that it would be an opportunity to go take a “tour” of a mid-century modern house that was definitely out of my price range.
I mean, it was on the Rancho Mirage Register of Historic Places!
Quite the house, isn’t it?
I did buy a couple things.
One was a deck of playing cards from Japan Air Lines that I picked up for a friend who collects airline items.
I got myself a mug from The Torah Oasis in Rancho Mirage. I figured, it says “Rancho Mirage” and it cost a quarter. That’s a thrifty souvenir.
Then it was on to Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City to find Sonny Bono’s grave. This is what I was looking for:
This is what I found where the app lead me:
I didn’t find it his grave, but I walked around and saw some interesting graves.
I was there right after the anniversary of Nestor’s passing.
This is a larger view of their memorial.
I turned the photo so that the words are easier to read. I can just imagine the family getting together and making this tribute to him. He must have been greatly loved.
Not all the graves had large floral tributes, but I thought that this bunch of daffodils was a nice touch.
This marker with the woman’s nickname and a sketch of a bunny was sweet.
This tranquil fountain was a nice ending point to my search for Sonny’s grave. On to the windmill tour!
After a brief lecture about the history of windmills being used to generate electricity, we hopped into this big bus and set out to tour the wind farm, which is located between two mountain ranges. They serve to funnel and focus the wind, which makes this a great place for a wind farm.
There were different sizes and brands of wind turbines. The manufacturers are always seeking to improve the efficiency of the machines.
At one time, these hinged turbines were the state of the art.
Theses are the latest and the greatest. Can you imagine having to climb all the way up to work on this? I was kind of hoping that they would come up with some sort of an elevator or “belt man lift” by now.
Our guide told us that they are starting to secure the turbines. It turns out that a couple guys broke in to one to steal the copper wire out of them. It didn’t go well for them. They were electrocuted.
Tucked in between all the turbines, you can see solar panels generating more power.
Now, my father would rant on about how people thought that we could depend on alternative forms of energy. It turns out that they have this figured out.
Right there, along with the solar and wind, they have what they call a “peaker” generating plant that runs on compressed natural gas. When there isn’t sufficient power coming from the wind turbines or the solar panels, the peaker generating plant kicks in.
Our last stop on the tour was the Windmill Market, where we got to sample a date milkshake. Delicious!
And then it was time to head back to Flo and get packed up to hit the road.