a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for July 15, 2013

Theme: Beat the Heat

< by Jill >

It was just an average 100-degree day in sunny Palm Desert, a town characterized by sand, red rock, and like two or three palms.  I had the keys to a white Hyundai Santa Fe, a 10-pound camera bag and an even weightier tripod, and an itinerary that ran the length of my iPhone’s screen:

  • Living Desert Zoo
  • ATV safari
  • Indian Ridge Canyon
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Art museum?

Heeding local advice, I organized my day in order of least to most air-conditioning. With my travel-writer gear in tow, I peeled out of the hotel’s parking lot and sped down Highway 111.

By the time I reached the zoo, the temperature had spiked to 103 degrees. Not bad, I’ve sat in hotter saunas, I thought to myself. This line of thinking persisted about 10 seconds. By the time I had strapped on all my camera gear and approached the ticket booth, my little red dress resembled a dishrag that had been soaked and wrung out a few too many times.

But I would not be deterred — I inherited a double-dose of muleish stubbornness from my parents. I dragged myself through the zoo, snapping pictures of iguanas, big horn sheep, and mountain lions. I boarded the ATV for a bumpy ride through the heat-streaked landscape. I hiked throughout Indian Ridge Canyon, where “CAUTION: RATTLESNAKES” signs are much much more prevalent than “SCENIC OUTLOOK AHEAD” signs.

Woozy and dehydrated, I returned to my Hyundai and drove to the nearest oasis: Walgreen’s.

There, I purchased two bottles of lemonade and pounded them while I stood at the register. When I returned to my car, I picked up my phone to check my itinerary, and this is what I saw:


Needless to say, I spent a good amount of time at the Art Museum that day.

[Visit again this week for Beat the Heat stories by Brennan, Annie, and Jorie!]