Dietary Austerity has no part in the Tuesday-morning roundup of the Palm Springs, Calif. group known as the Desert Riders—they leave that to track stars like Herb Elliott. Last week, even as the morning sun began to touch the hovering peak of Mt. San Jacinto, more than a score of them, men and women, set out on horseback to ambush a chuck wagon breakfast of eggs, chicken livers, mushrooms, cheese blintzes, hotcakes and coffee. By the time their energetic patrol had reached its down-trail rendezvous, appetites were every bit a match for the menu.
Founded a generation ago, Desert Riders draws its saddle pals from resident businessmen and special weekly guests from all over the country, devotes itself to building riding trails and maintaining them. This is a meaningful enterprise in the Palm Springs area, where the electric golf cart seems about to replace the horse.
Pursuit of breakfast begins at dawn as vanguard of Desert Riders club files past shaggy date palms on trail to desert and waiting chuck wagon. Habits on weekly rides range from members' wide-brimmed Stetsons and chaps to sport clothes of the citified guests.
Footgear of absolutely no use whatever in snowless Palm Springs is awarded after breakfast as a gag to Ed McCoubrey, the longtime roundup boss of the Desert Riders. Other times McCoubrey is an automobile dealer in Palm Springs.
Rendezvous attained and breakfast consumed, Desert Riders, appropriately facing west, gather at the base of a desert foothill to listen to a selection of plaintive cowboy songs. Later they remounted their horses and rode back to town.