Driving to Palm Springs Rancho Mirage
Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, Investment Advisory, and Value Investing

After spending a day touring the breathtaking beaches of Southern California from Laguna to La Jolla, and two days going through wine country, we’re heading to the desert (in a rented car rather than on a horse with no name).  I’m not really a desert guy.  I get that a lot of folks love it, and I’m going to give this a go so I can definitively rule it in or out, but I find the monochromatic color scheme of the areas nature has forsaken depressing.  It’s taxing rather than rejuvenating.  Still, thoroughness requires a fair trail.  Not to mention, the median ages of some of these communities is much higher than the California state average, which is not exactly ideal for raising kids.  Ever onward …

Leaving Temecula California

We left Temecula and headed for Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and the surrounding area. As we drove out of town, the landscape began to change …

Driving to Palm Springs Rocks

The mountains began to break up from large, solid pieces of land into collections of big, then smaller, rocks …

Poverty and Desperation in Southern California

We began passing through towns that were a far cry from the beauty we had seen on the trip thus far. Trailer parks, run down schools, houses that barely looked like they could stand … all surrounded by these majestic mountains that looked pretty but hardly supported any life compared to their more fertile counterparts along the coast. There was one town, Winchester, where these children were playing at an outdoor school and it struck me how different their odds of success will be because of the conditions in which they are being raised versus families only 40-60 miles to the West.  They might as well be continents apart.  And it’s not because of the lack of opportunity, it’s because of the skill set with which they are being inculcated; the beliefs about how the world works, how capital formation works; etc.  It upset me.

Double Stacked Trains and Windmills Driving Into Palm Springs

The depressed areas gave into less depressed, old, rust-belt-like towns that looked like they were 20-25 years behind the rest of the country; the capital expenditure budget dried up and everything needing new paint. Double-stacked train cars barreled through the area alongside huge windmill farms.

Driving to Palm Springs Rancho Mirage

And then it was all gone … everything had faded away, only the mountains and sand remained.

Cathedral City California Near Palm Springs

Until, twenty minutes and several turns later, you find yourself surrounded by lush green trees, flowers, and fountains thank to the magic of science, agriculture, and irrigation. We spent a couple of hours driving through the Rancho Mirage / Cathedral City / Palm Springs / Palm Desert area.  At one point, we stopped off at a Costco and I picked up Timothy Geithner’s book Stress Test, about his time as the head of the Treasury Department.

Reading Stress Test By Timothy Geithner

Geithner is a much better writer (or, perhaps, has a ghostwriter?) than speaker. The book is going to be enjoyable.

Hyatt Palm Springs

We checked into the hotel, which is right off downtown Palm Springs so we could walk around and get a feel for the community.

Left View from Balcony Palm Springs

The view from our balcony looking over downtown Palm Springs …

View from Balcony of Hyatt Palm Springs

The view from the other direction of our balcony looking over downtown Palm Springs …

Downtown Palm Springs Walking Around with Aaron

Walking around downtown Palm Springs …

More Downtown Palm Springs

The road texture is interesting here …

We’re going to grab a bite to eat at a famous pizza place called Bill’s Pizza Palm Springs. We haven’t eaten in what seems like forever so we’re both starving and hoping it lives up to the hype.