Fun in the Desert

Costa Mesa, Ca.

July 1, 2015

Dear Family & Friends:

On June 29, Mingma and I traveled out to the desert for a two-day stay at our condominium in Palm Desert.

The first day, we chilled out in the 110 degree heat. A lot of time was spent at the pool.

On June 30, we climbed Mt. San Jacinto in Palm Springs. San Jacinto mountain is 10,834 feet high and is usually accessed via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar. The tramcar moves directly up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon, starting at 2,643 feet and ending at the Mountain Station at 8,516 feet. The temperature change from the blistering heat at the base of the tram to the chill mountain air at the Mountain Station is dramatic. The round trip from the Mountain Station to the summit is a little over 11 miles, with an elevation gain of 2,318 feet. We kept up a brisk pace and enjoyed a good workout.

Until today, I felt pretty good about our journey to the summit of San Jacinto. Mingma posted a summit photo on Facebook. I don’t subscribe to Facebook, so I didn’t see his post. This morning, Mingma read me a response from one of his friends in Kathmandu: “that’s not a mountain.” I got a good laugh out of that deflater.

Tomorrow is a big day at the Pacific Ocean. Mingma is getting a surfing lesson!



Pool chair

Tram 1

Tram 2


Tram 3

Tram 4


Tram 7




6 thoughts on “Fun in the Desert

  1. You are the perfect host Mr. Burke! I bet Mingma is loving the USA! He is experiencing so many wonderful places! It’s great you climbed a mountain together too! Enjoy the rest of your time together!

  2. Having climbed San Jacinto with a dozen 13 year old Girl Scouts, was not so easy. We had to keep going back and fourth to encourage them along. They were very proud once the got on top. and made it. The next year we climbed San Gorgonio, which was tougher, but all but one made it. Much later. two of the Scout mothers and I hiked around the Tuolleme Loop several times and finally my daughter and I climbed Mt. Whitney. I am sure Migma would consider it just ” a walk in the park”.
    Have enjoyed reading about all you are doing while Migma is here. What a good friend and host you are.

    Barbara Sorenson

  3. When John Muir summited Mt. San Jacinto in the 1880’s he said, “There is no more sublime view in the whole world than at the summit of Mt.San Jacinto.” It has always been a favorite 4-season adventure to summit this one and the other two of our 3 southern California 10,000 ft. peaks.


  4. Dear Bill,
    What a lovely host you are , so tipical of you. Mingma must be having the time of his life. How is he taking the heat? May God bless your adventures! Love & hugs to you all, Betty.

  5. Mingma looks like he is having a wonderful time! He is truly seeing the best of California He certainly will be taking wonderful memories home to share with his family and friends.

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