Desert - Palm Desert - Marriott's Desert Springs Resort
Touring * Fitness * Slalom * Artistic *
From Interstate 10 at Thousand Palms, take the Monterey Avenue exit and head south. Three miles down, turn left onto Country Club Drive and proceed 2.25 miles east until you see the Manor Care Nursing Center on the left, across the street from The Estates, a gated community. Make a U-turn at the next light and come back to park on the curb outside the nursing center. (Don't open your driver-side door too wide here, or an oncoming vehicle might hit it.) Carefully cross the street to get to the wide sidewalk encircling Marriott's. Skate around the resort in a counterclockwise direction.
Like so many of the resort oases in this desert, Desert Springs, the crown jewel of the Marriott chain, has a wide concrete sidewalk encircling its grounds. What makes the Marriott path so fun is the slope on Portola Avenue, a shaded section of sidewalk that forms an irresistible slalom course. As you start out, follow Country Club Drive west through the pine trees and past the Silver Sands Racquet Club until you reach the corner where Portola Avenue awaits. The half-mile downhill cruise, which is actually on Silver Sands property, ends at Silver Sands Parkway. Unfortunately, so does the shade. Cross Silver Sands Parkway to continue heading south on a short stretch of as-yet unadorned sidewalk until you reach the Marriott property line. A typical resort wall will border the path on your left for the rest of the loop. It does have barred gaps every 16 or so strokes, so as you skate you can peer inside and see the oasis of green. Passing Park Palms and Lago de Las Palmas on the right, you may find it hard not to chuckle at the local tendency to slip the word "palm" into so many of the names. Where Portola Avenue meets Hovley Lane, turn left. Try to concentrate your attention on the voluptuous silhouette of 1,952-foot-high Eisenhower Mountain, not on the post office and shopping centers on Hovley Lane. Turn left at Cook Street and skate up the east side of the Desert Springs Resort. The shade trees are decorated with violet blossoms in late spring; they are pretty but messy, leaving the sidewalk strewn with small twigs. Turn left at the Country Club Drive intersection to complete the last leg of the loop. Crossing the main entrance of Desert Springs is rather skater-unfriendly. The sidewalks curve in a few yards up the lane and then dump out onto the lane itself. Watch for cars and do your best.
Aug 1, 1995
Aug 1, 1995