a breakfast serial

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

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!]


  Jorie wrote @

HAHA, Jill, I can sooo relate to this. They sent me to San Antonio, Vegas, and Scottsdale in August. I did a 3-mile hike in 110 degrees in Scottsdale at like, 3 p.m. I’ve never sweated so much in my life. You and I have discussed this — we are not built for heat! It’s our northern European ancestry.

  Larry Who wrote @

When I sold construction equipment in Kentucky, I drew the short straw and ended up in Minneapolis in the wintertime, 10 below zero. Give me heat any day.

  bravesmartbold wrote @

On my fourth glass of water….

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