Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A DAY TRIP UP THE EAST SIDE OF THE SALTON SEA TO MECCA & BACK

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LOOKING NORTHWEST ACROSS THE SALTON SEA

Ok so what things did I goof up last night.  Well I left our Sirius Satellite radio on & forgot to turn the outside light off when I came in after being outside with Pheebs.  Noticed it did put a drain on our batteries.  Now let me see, what do ya suppose I can screw up tonight……….

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SUNRISE AT OUR HOUSE THIS MORNING

Lots of room for morning walks here at the Slabs & where we are camped at the outer eastern edge beside the irrigation canal we can head right off out into the desert without having to go by hardly any other RV’s or Slabbers.  Bonus.  We did walk through the artsy EAST JESUS section again though.  Had walked through that area a couple years ago & there are definitely more pieces now.  I will post more photos from there over the next few days.

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BOTTLE WALL

Cold nights but the mornings warm up fast so we figured we had better crank up the Jeep & head off early for a little road trip up along the eastern side of the Sultan Sea before it gets too hot.  It’s an area we had not seen in daylight.  A year ago coming to Solar Mikes with the Winnie Wagon we came down this stretch of highway 111 from Mecca to Niland/Slab City at night.  I remember how beautiful the lights of Salton City were shimmering across the waters of the Salton Sea.  It’s one of those memories that will stick with me.

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It’s only maybe 3 miles from Slab City heading west into Niland.  Turned right onto highway 111 & headed north.  Nice to finally see this stretch of road in the daylight.  Had no destination but we did end up going all the way up to Mecca. Turns out BOMBAY BEACH was our first stop.  Well we never really stopped we just slowly drove through the place.  As with so many of the places surrounding the Salton Sea Bombay Beach was waaaaay passed it’s prime.  People still living here & some of the small homes & trailers were fixed up nice but overall it’s a very sad state of affairs with all it’s tumble down houses long ago abandoned & left in a state of dis-repair.  We have seen this on the west side of the Salton Sea as well in Salton City.  This whole area was once a very popular spot for movie stars & celebrities of all kinds.  Big Band orchestras played here for the rich & famous at one time but rather than me tell you about the Salton Sea’s sad history & how it fell on hard times you can just look all that up on Google.  I’ll just say that it gives me a feeling of sadness knowing what this whole area once was & what it is now.

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About 10 miles south of Mecca we stopped at several camp grounds bordering the Salton Sea.  Got out & took ourselves for a walk at the Salt Creek Campground.  Big parking areas & lots of room for big rigs.  Water taps, pit toilets, & picnic tables as well as showers at the southern most end.  Ten dollars a night & it’s a self serve pay system.  This is the spot I took all of tonight’s bird photos.  We were pretty well the only 2 people there & that made it extra nice.  The blue placid waters of the Salton Sea backgrounded by the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa & Vallecito Mountains shimmered in the late morning sun.  Pelicans & other water birds dotted the shoreline.  A much welcomed serene feeling after these past few stressful days with the inverter problems etc.

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A NICE DAY TO BE AT AN INLAND SEA

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We were both feeling the need for some lunch so headed on up to a familiar place at the northern end of the Salton Sea.   We have traveled through Mecca on our way to & from Borrego Springs & Slab City before so we knew where to find some eats near the intersections of highway 111 & 86S.  Gas station, Truck Travel Center Subway, Starbucks, Del-Taco & a couple other eateries all in a small plaza complex.  We have gassed up & grabbed a Starbuck’s here several times over the past few years.  Today we decided on Del-Taco for a Chicken Fajita & a Chicken Burrito.  I had the Burrito.  The Del-Taco building was undergoing a face lift so we watched that while eating our munchies.  Kelly slipped into Starbucks for a take-out ‘light blond’ coffee for me & one of those milkshake coffee’s for herself.  Topped up the Jeep’s gas tank & headed off back down highway 111 for Slab City.

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ONE FELLA SPRAY PAINTING & 2 FELLAS INSTALLING THE DEL-TACO SIGN

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KELLY’S FAJITA WAS GOOD BUT SHE JUST DIDN’T FEEL WELL ENOUGH TO EACH MUCH OF IT

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On the way we spotted what looked like a settlement of sorts a couple of miles off the road to the east over towards the Orocopia Mountains.  Big sign said Fountain Of Youth Spa & RV Resort so we took ourselves for a drive up that way to have us a look.   Nice places of course if you don’t mind living in a tight spaced community.  I know lots of folks like these kinds of places but it’s not the kind of living Kelly & could ever be a part off or get used to.  Maybe 10 feet between residences.  Lots of amenities though & it is a gated community.  Club House, pools, spa, lots of Palm Trees, an outdoor Café, etc. etc.  A very tight knit community I would think.

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We were back to the Big EEE sometime after 2.  Kelly wasn’t feeling well all day so I think tomorrow we’ll probably stick pretty close to the rig.  She is having difficulty knowing what to eat because of a stomach problem that has been bothering her for quite awhile now.  She still tires very easily so I think we’ll have to tone things down a bit. DSC_1838 DSC_0075 DSC_0063

AT THE SALT CREEK CAMPGROUND ABOUT 10 MILES OR SO SOUTH OF MECCA CALIFORNIA 

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TAKING OFF IN THE DIRECTION OF BORREGO SPRINGS

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Always enjoy the night sky here in the South-West not only for it’s star clarity but also for all the military activity going on overhead.  Have always enjoyed watching the aerial night combat maneuvers of jet pilots in training.  Easy to spot them with their single blinking white lights darting about amongst the stationary stars behind them.  Last night I again saw something strange as I watched two fighter pilots doing a slow circle overhead.  Watched as the second pilot slowly converged on the first pilot.  As his blinking lights came ever closer I watched the second blinking light merge with the first one.  No collision of course but no second blinking light either.  Only one blinking light in the sky now.  Where did the second aircraft go?  Did he switch his blinking light off?  And yes they were jet aircraft because I could hear the unmistakable sounds of their engines.  A few minutes later I saw a faint blinking light ahead of the brighter blinking light.  Again the lights closed on each other resulting in only one blinking light aircraft again.  I watched this all taking place overhead for about 5 minutes before the single blinking light headed off in an easterly direction possibly towards Yuma.  I have seen other things in the night sky here in the southwest but nothing I would call a UFO.  Not yet anyway but I keep watching because I know they are out there……

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Here’s one of the perks of an aging mind.  Reading Ivan’s post this morning I was reminded of Edward Abbey’s book ‘Desert Solitaire’.  I have this book & read it about 5 years ago.  Of course I haven’t a clue what it was about because my memory has of course lost all the information.  Think I might just make it my next Kindle read & enjoy the book all over again.  Well at least I think I enjoyed it.  Must have because I kept the book.

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We saw a border patrol vehicle speed by so fast this morning we figured for sure he must have been chasing Speedy Gonzales across the desert floor.

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OROCOPIA MOUNTAINS

GROANER’S CORNER:(( My High-School English teacher was well known for being a hard but fair grader. One day I received a B minus on a theme paper. In hopes of bettering my grade and in the spirit of the Valentine season, I sent her an extravagant heart-shaped box of chocolates with the pre- printed inscription, "Be Mine." The following day, I received in return a valentine from the teacher. It read: "Thank you, but it's still Be Mine-Us."

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An airline pilot was telling about a particular flight where he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline."  He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?"  "Why no Ma'am, what is it?"  "Did we land or were we shot down?"

10 comments:

  1. Edward Abbey’s book ‘Desert Solitaire’ is my favorite book and a must read for anyone visiting Utah

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  2. You know, another Ed Abbey book you might enjoy even more is "Beyond the Wall". It is your kind of desert book, a series of essays about his wanderings around the southwest deserts and canyon country. Written later in his life than "Desert Solitaire" and in my opinion, much more beautiful.

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  3. Desert Solitaire was the first Edward Abbey book I ever read, and I was hooked. I think maybe I should read it again after all these years.

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  4. Al, I saw the same blinking light thing while boondocking over near Sonoita last month. I think the lead plane's light goes out when being pursued. The object of the training is to use the radar; using the light would be cheating. The lights are so other aircraft can see them. They also didn't have the position lights (red, green, and white) on. It was a pretty entertaining way to spend the evening.

    Here's a youtube clip from the film Speed and Angels showing how they do it in daylight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkLzSH2kZbk When they are side-by-side, both lights are on. On the cutaway the "bad guys" turns his off.

    Enjoy!

    Pat

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  5. I remember that bus/boat thing from 15 years ago, just different colors. Bombay Beach is sad. Hope Kelly starts feeling better. Does she use probiotics? Helps my guts.

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  6. Your photos really make that sad little sea look lovely. Glad you're out taking in the sights in the area, hope Kelly feels better soon. Desert Solitaire is one of the few "real" books packed to take with us on the road.....a long time favorite.

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  7. awww poor Kelly, hope she feels better soon xo

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  8. We spent about a week this year at the end of march at the state park at Salton Sea. The smell was pretty strong, imagine dead fish baking in the hot sun. That was it. The bird population was phenomenal. If we were birders we would've been in pig heaven. 30 to 40 years ago, lots of development sprouted in the area with hopes of becoming a desert Mecca. Unfortunately, the salt content is getting so bad in the lake that only two species of fish are left, and they aren't doing well. Surprisingly one of them is Tilapia. Think about that the next time you are in a restaurant ordering fish.

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  9. If you are ordering tilapia think about this. It might make you think that some tilapia from the Salton Sea would be good.

    There's little to no commercial wild harvest of tilapia today; the tilapia we eat comes from aquaculture. China supplies most of the tilapia in our markets, followed by Ecuador, Indonesia, and Honduras.

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  10. Interesting and great photos of course. We are looking forward to getting back up that way the first week of Dec. Hope Kelly bounces back to feeling good soon.

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