December 22, 2010

12/19/10 – Salton Sea

Next stop on the 1000 Trails tour was 1000 Trails Palm Springs, which is actually in Palm Desert, CA.  We were booked there through the 26th (11 days); after Christmas it was booked solid!  We got there the day before the heavy rains started on the other side of the mountains.  We heard later that where we’d been at Menifee Lakes got flooded (all those canals!) and a lot of folks came to Palm Springs to get away from the water.  It was getting close to Christmas, so we decorated the awning and the palm tree on our campsite.
Salton Sea is a California State Recreation Area.  It was caused by accidental flooding in the early 1900’s, and because “the place to go” in the ‘50s.  Parts of it haven’t changed since then at all.  I had seen a very interesting photo essay on the web, and thought I’d like to replicate some of those pictures.  We drove around the little town of Bombay Beach, but when George thought I was going to get us shot, we decided it would be better to leave...
 There are supposed to be gazillions of birds, and we saw some, but not nearly as many as I wanted.  Once again I realized that I hate taking pictures of water; that stupid horizon keeps tipping if you don’t hold the camera absolutely level!  And when there’s a glare on the water it’s hard to WHAT you’re shooting!  Mountains are much easier—no one expects them to be flat.
We drove down to the mud pots—a big hole that burps and gurgles like Yellowstone.  The really weird ones were the mud volcanoes. 
We also hiked out to the Dos Palmas Oasis.  (I didn’t know there were wild palm oases in California!)  They’re interesting, but certainly not beautiful.  I’m not big on palms with “beards”—the unclipped dead fronds that layer down the tree, which can house snakes and rats and other critters.  On the way back we stopped at a Date Ranch, sampled about 20 different kinds of dates (bought 2 kinds) and got date shakes.  Yum!!!

Link to Salton Sea pictures

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