This morning I slipped out of bed in the pitch black, pulled on my walking gear and pushed out the front door. Mocking birds were beginning to salute the dawn. In the far distance a dog yelped his glee. Otherwise the cool dark quiet of the pre-dawn morn enveloped me and as always, I looked to the sky to greet her. Full and radiant, the moon’s grace illuminated the landscape. A perfect orb she hung suspended above the Santa Rosa Mountains. Her everlasting splendor filled me with peacefulness and a sense of connection to all of Mother Natures wonders. Palm trees swayed ever so slightly in the morning breeze capturing her silver light in their fronds. I walked toward her contemplating her purity; shaking the sleepiness from my head.

I quickened my pace on the mile stretch from my home on Country Club Drive to Highway 111. A few trucks raced by carrying contractors to work, but otherwise the only stirring was in the gate-houses of exclusive communities where night watchmen filled out their reports, ending their shifts. I glanced down a side lane to see if the Secret Service is still securing the home of President Ford. Betty resides there. As always I silently sent her my best wishes. The road dips down into the Whitewater Wash. The air cooled considerably. Lush green fairways extend both east and west at the bottom of the wash. A narrow channel of water reflected the moonlight creating a silver ribbon that one morning captured for me a glimpse of coyotes jumping the stream and heading home from a night skulking around the homes of millionaires. Just before turning east, I passed Thunderbird Country Club that provided the inspiration for the moniker of the classic Ford automobile. In the 1960’s it was at Thunderbird that the likes of Lucy, the Marx Brothers and Frank Sinatra partied the nights away out of the Hollywood media limelight.

A two mile stretch along Highway 111 took me by the Rancho Mirage Public Library, the desert’s cultural center, where on any given day free lectures and concerts are presented. And where Carol Channing is sometimes seen checking out the latest best seller. I passed Desert European Motorcars, the number one Bentley outlet in the United States, as always, tried to decide if I like the white or silver blue model. In high gear I sped by Lord Fletcher’s, Wally’s Desert Turtle and Crosby’s, three of Rancho Mirage;s favorite fine dining establishments. Passing through The River, Rancho Mirage’s city square, I waved to the hard working guy that cleans the water ways meandering through the property. Stopped at Starbucks and ordered a coffee to go. Then, at a slower pace, sipping my coffee and with the sunshine now sparkling on the snow capped San Jacinto Mountain, I headed north on Bob Hope Drive for my last mile home stretch.

Each morning the moon, the sunrise and my five miles help me remember how lucky I am to live in Rancho Mirage located in the heart of the exquisite Palm Springs Valley. Plus a five mile walk burns over 350 calories erasing evidence of the previous night’s two glasses of wine!

RM