"The heat got to me" Cathedral City by RCollins1205

Cathedral City Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 39 photos

Dry but strangely green in places

Cathedral City has to be the strangest place I have ever visited or lived in. I spent time with friends who recently moved there this yeat (2003) and was fascinated, curious, but ultimately bored. The heat is intense. The days start like an oven and by midday are like a blast furnace. During June and July the temperature most days exceeds 100 degrees F, and often reaches to 110 or 115. It is suffocating.

As incredible as it may seem, much of the Coachella valley is green and lush thanks to an extensive water project. It is said there are over 100 golf courses! I believe it.

Many people have pools and in the business districts misters spray water on willing people. Since California prohibits smoking in business establishments there are many al fesco eating places that take over the sidewalks. The same conditions prevail in San Diego where I live now and I am amazed at the population that smokes. Northern California is much different in this regard.

A welcome oasis in the desert

In the new city hall complex in Cathedral City there is a unique and beautiful water fountain. I spotted this attraction one evening on my way to the Mary Pickford theater just as the sun was setting. I resolved to return with my camera.

I was very pleased with the results. Facing the setting sun made for some dramatic shots.

Lest you be concerned the children would fall and injure themselves, fear not. The floor of the fountain is padded with dense foam so people (children) could walk or even run around on the floor of the fountain, which they do with great abandon. I was concerned to see them climb up the columns of the fountain since I could not examine the surfaces of these items, but they looked like semi-smooth finished concrete. Perhaps some sort of rough surface covered them.

I kept waiting for a disaster, but none occured. At the time I was photographing I would say from 20 to 25 children were at play. They ran, they jumped, they threw water on each other with no regard or hesitation.

The fountain is named "La Fuente de Vida" and I suspect one would find similar fountains in Mexico, but I don't know that for sure. Many of the art objects in and around the fountain are covered with brilliant colored tile set in mosaic patterns.

A much smaller fountain of similar design graces a small courtyard in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. Perhaps it is the work of the same artist.

Besides being a welcome oasis, "The Fountain of Life" is truly a work of art, and a playground for sweltering children. My hat is off to the city fathers in Cathedral City, CA. I just hope they never get sued by injured children.

I have to add as an afterthought that there is a sign prohibiting running in the fountain. I don't remember if it said anything about climbing or suing the city fathers.

An iguana masterpiece

I think this is an iguana. The water spouts cleverly represent the fin on the back of the reptile. Or at least I interpret the work this way. What do you think?

What is the correct name for that thing that sticks up on the back of a lizard? You can tell I am not a zoologist.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:You can forget long pants, you don't need them anymore.
  • Cons:Heat is intense in the summer, but winters are very nice
  • In a nutshell:Facinating and worth exploring, but you may not wish to live here in the summertime.
  • Last visit to Cathedral City: Jun 2003
  • Intro Updated Oct 25, 2003
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RCollins1205

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