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Howard Johnson
SoCal Close-Ups: A date with the Coachella Valley
SoCal Close-Ups: A date with the Coachella Valley

Sure, you could go to the beach again. Or you could turn your back on the Pacific and head instead for a desert land of date shakes and camel races, jumbo windmills and creationist dinosaurs, native palms and gay parties, mountain views and midcentury buildings. We'll get to those details later, but by now you know we're talking about the Coachella Valley. It's about 110 miles from Los Angeles City Hall to Palm Springs — a few miles longer than the drive to downtown Santa Barbara, a few miles shorter than the drive to downtown San Diego. But the light here is different from that on the coast. The pace is different. The entire man/landscape relationship seems to change as you slip through...

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