I had the pleasure of planning, coordinating and participating in Inspire’s all day field trip to Palm Springs.
Our group of 43 met at the Windmill Farm for a two-hour tour of the famous Palm Springs windmills. It included a class presentation on the history of windmills with a walking and bus tour of their 2,100 machines. It was very informative and I learned a lot.
Four reasons windmills aren’t spinning: - Old machines - Down for maintenance - Wind not high enough (needs to be 8-10 mph to turn the blades) - Stopped by operator if there is no requirement for the energy. They do not store energy in “batteries”.
Their tallest windmills are 28 stories and contain an elevator. The concrete base takes 17 cement trucks to fill and 17’ rebar is used to hold it in place. They cost $1.5 million and are owned by private investors. The break even point is 3-6 years with the machines lasting over 20.
For any of us who like heights and being outside, the department of labor identified Wind Turbine Service Technician as the fastest growing occupation in 2016.
After a catered pizza lunch, many of us headed over to the Moorten Botanical Garden about 20 minutes away.
Chester Moorten was one of the original “keystone cops” and later retreated with his wife Patricia to Palm Springs to start the nursery. In addition, Chester and Patricia designed and installed landscapes for Frank Sinatra and were friends of Walt Disney. They helped design the western themed Frontierland at Disneyland. Today it is run by his son Clark and Clark’s son, Jason. The docents were all very knowledgeable and took their time going through all the plants on the property.
My car and kid-load continued to one last stop before heading out of Palm Springs. We had to see what Ruddy’s General Store was all about. Although it’s a small place, you can easily get the feel of what living during the 30’s-40’s would have been like. I found the cash register, with attached customer accounts in a sort of filing system, fascinating.