Solbit’s Sort of Tour de Palm Springs

Dear Nicalai,

Guess what Papa did after we got settled into our rental place in Palm Springs?  He rented a bicycle, a good one, too.  Nona and I went with him to the rental place, because he was determined to rent a really good bike and she was determined to not spend too much money on it.

On the way, Papa told me that his friend Dale — they both went to Miami University, a long time ago — would come down the next week from Sacramento, and they would go on long rides around Palm Springs.  That sounded like fun, so I piped up, “Great, can I go with you?”  Nona jumped in, “Solbit, it’s a guys only thing.  You’ll keep me company.”

I guess Papa could feel the disappointment coming off me, and he said just the right thing, “Nona, if you would let Solbit go on our bike rides, Dale and I will watch our language, and Solbit will set a new record: first iguanodon ever to bike Palm Springs, sort of a Jurassic Tour de Palm Springs.”   So, that’s how I got to help Papa take this panorama photo.

The views Dale and Papa get on long bike rides reward them for their pedaling efforts.

The views Dale and Papa get on long bike rides reward them for their pedaling efforts.

Hey, did you know that Dale and Papa have biked the Trans-America Bike Trail?  They did that in 1997, but they only went from Missoula MT to Washington DC.  Both of them had more hair then, I’m pretty sure. If I remember right, it took them 54 days.  That’s a long way. I wonder: what’s the purpose in doing that?  Seems like a big waste of time, doesn’t it?

Papa liked the rental bike and Nona said it was affordable.

Papa liked the rental bike and Nona said it was affordable.

Papa’s rental bike had a big problem though: flat tires.  Four of them in two days is too much.  Papa learned that something called “goat head thorns” were puncturing the tires.  He needed to have something called “liners” in the tires.  Don’t ask me. I have no idea what those are, but now I do have a pretty good idea how to fix a bike’s flat tire on the road.

After a few days with Papa and Dale, I realized that they like to go on long bike rides for something more than the good views and the healthy exercise.

Here’s what I think Dale and Papa love most about biking: the reward at the end! Me, too!

Here’s what I think Dale and Papa love most about biking: the reward at the end! Me, too!

If more bakeries had been way out in the desert, I think we might have made many more stops along the way.  Hey, Nona says she can find me some photos of Dale and Papa on one of their long bike rides.  If she does, I’m gonna share those with you. I gotta send this and go.  Nona and Papa are taking me for a hike to something they call a “Palm Oasis.”  I can’t wait to see what that is!  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

January 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Horn With A View

Dear Nicalai,

When we stopped in Rancho Mirage — on our way to Palm Springs — and saw this big guy, I asked Papa, “What’s that?” He shrugged and said, “Must be a big horned something or other.”

Nona, as usual, had done her research and knew the answer, “Solbit, that’s an imperiled species, called a Desert Bighorn Sheep. Do you know that by 1985, only about 280 of these sheep remained in southern California?”  I said,  “Quick, Nona, get a picture of  me with him, before he goes the way of my iguanodon ancestors!”

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Can you find me on the tip of the horn? Quite a view up here!

Don’t worry, this Desert Bighorn Sheep isn’t real, or, well, it’s real, but it’s a sculpture, not a living breathing mountain beast. (Hey, it’s sort of like me only bigger!) I hope we get to see the real one’s when we go hiking this month in the mountains.  Nona says that, thanks to conservation efforts, the Big Horn Sheep population here has grown in recent years, so we have a chance of seeing them this month.

Yeah, we’re here for a month, and wait until you see our AirBnB here in Palm Springs.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Nice, huh.  I plan to spend my afternoons poolside snoozing.  Nona and Papa’s friends and family back on the east coast are freezing and nearly shoulder deep in snow, but I’m in wonderful Jurassic-appropriate 80F temperatures and clear blue skies!

Why’s it so warm here?  Desert.  You might think desert means just hot sand, but the desert has a lot of life in it.  Look at these beautiful plants.  They’re called cactus plants.

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Watch out, these pretty little things have sharp stickers!

Don’t get too close to them though.  The spines on them are like needles and they can give a girl reason to yell, “OUCH!”

Anza-Borrego State Park

Girl, take my advice, don’t try this. Take my word for it. My word for it is “ouch.”

I overheard this mom tell her little one, “Now, sweetie, look but don’t touch the cactus.”

Mom's know best, but kids will test.

Mom’s know best, but kids will test.

As soon as she turned her back, the innocent little kid was running over to one of those cactus plants, hand stretched out to feel it.  The next thing that mom heard was …you guessed it…screaming.  “Ouch!”  That’s what I like to call “learning by doing.”  Fortunately, no permanent harm was done.

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These flower have eye popping color, don’t they. I wonder, is that why they’re called poppies?

Not all the plants in the desert are prickly.  These poppies and flowers are, as Nona told me, “…pleasing to the eye.”  Papa said that our world is full of beauty, and we just need to look for it wherever we are.  I said, “OK, Papa, but this desert is also full of rocks, gravel, snakes, and spiders, and I’m going to look out for them too.”

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”