jumping with cabazon dinosaurs
Day 97 (Christmas Eve) Upland, Cabazon Dinosaurs, Palm Springs
On our road trip to Palm Springs, we pass by Upland High School, site of Rob's early Californian high school days. He recounts the Taco Bell inside the cafeteria, the skateboard he bought from a friend which he brought all the way to New Zealand only to have it stolen, and the good grades he used to get because there was nothing else to do. Honestly, the scale and size of this high school is something else. I'm getting used to feeling incredibly provincial in America. Everything is B.I.G. Big. Sometimes, necessarily so. Other times? Questionable.
He lived across the road in a compound with a pool in the middle that nobody used. On the sidewalk outside the student parking lot, there's someone's clip-on hair at my feet. It's a trip to the site of my husband's history.
I should have paid better attention to the displays lining the stairways inside the belly tail of one of
. I should have looked for the fossilised boot; scientific Creationist evidence that humans existed at the same time as dinosaurs. Shoulda woulda coulda. Instead, I barely glanced at the dusty, outdated old models and info boards, making a beeline for the souvenir shop. There's also an innumerable amount of jumping photos in front of the dinosaurs and babbling to Rob about meeting my favourite Fallout New Vegas companion,
, inside these dinosaurs.
At the nearby In n Out, our card gets declined for US$7. We both freak out until we get to Palm Springs and breathe a sigh of relief that a back-up card has more money than we thought. It's Christmas Eve and only a couple of days before we head back home. We're skating close to $0. It's frightening but we have to ignore being frightened and just keeping ploughing on.
The main shopping drag of Palm Springs is full of plastic-looking chain restaurants, tacky art, dogs, retirees, and tourists. We join the promenade and puzzle over the unknown Palm Springs stars on the sidewalks. The prettiest part of the place is a collection of hacienda-style shops; most of which are empty.
The collection of mountains that surround this little valley city loom in the horizon. They're inscrutable and my favourite thing to look at. Also, they make me think I'm inside
Our last ever accommodation is courtesy of Air BnB. We're in someone's guesthouse and have full run of the heated hot tub and swimming pool. Our host is gregarious and funny, even when, within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him, he discloses that he's been diagnosed with cancer. He's obsessed with the hummingbirds in his backyard and gets puffed in the walk between his back door and our front door. I stew in the hot tub with my $3 copy of I Capture the Castle, brought all the way from Housing Works Bookstore in New York.
Later that night, we wander round in the dark and inspect the neighbour's night lights. I look up and the sky is a blanket above me, spattered with stars. It's the first time I've seen them in a long, long time.