Friday, February 28, 2014

Salton Sea & Slab City

We had planned on stopping over in Palm Springs on the way home on Friday and left early enough to spend some time there.  It was raining very hard when we left in the morning and it didn't stop all the way to Palm Springs. 

Rt 60 in California

We were hydroplaning at times on the highway.

Different columns for the wind turbines.

 When we arrived in Palm Springs it was still raining and very misty out.  We decided we didn't want to walk around town in the rain, so we kept on driving.

We had also planned on taking a different route back to Tucson and that included driving by the Salton Sea.  We caught Rt 111 South out of Indio and pointed the car south.  I was surprised at the number of vehicles on the road, but most of them continued on a different route and we were in the clear for a while.  It wasn't the most scenic drive we've been on out west, but it was interesting seeing the irrigated fields next to the scrub brush and brown where the fields weren't irrigated.

I had read about Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea and the flood they had there a number of years ago that wiped out most of the town.  It looked worse than the aftermath of Katrina, but didn't draw as much attention since it was a small town.  They have removed most of the destroyed homes and trailers, but there are still a few left.  

Earthen works protecting the town

 The algae in the sea causes oxygen to be depleted and it kills thousands of fish at a time.  They wash ashore, decompose and the stench is terrible.  There was a smell when we were there, but not as bad as others have reported.

We continued on down the road and saw the sign below.  They had a camping sign earlier and we decided to check out the campground.  They had 15 sites with full hookups and others with less.  We only saw the full hookup sites, but they didn't appeal to us and the Salton Sea wasn't enough to want us to camp there.

228 ft below sea level.

Seaside at Salton Sea.

Small settlement on the lake
 We chatted with a couple in the campground and they were to begin camp hosting duties on Monday.  I think they were having some second thoughts about the task ahead, but were going to tough it out there.  Good luck guys.

I had downloaded some geocaches in the Niland, CA area and also Slab City which is outside of Niland.  We picked up an easy cache at an area that had the 14 Stations of the Cross in a square.  Gerry actually came out and found this one while I was trying to get a better GPS fix on it.  Sometimes common sense is better than being 100% accurate.

Slab City is a very unique place a few miles outside of Niland.  It is on the site of an old military base that was torn down many years ago.  The only things left were a few buildings and the concrete slabs where other buildings stood.  Many years ago people started moving into the area in tents, RVs and all kinds of places to live.  One such person who moved there was Leonard Knight.  He recently passed away in San Diego after a two year illness.

Salvation Mountain 

What can I say about this?

The Tree of Souls (Sole)
There is a fairly large community out there and they have their own website.  Most places are powered by solar and many don't have any power at all.  We chatted with one woman who was walking from "town" with jugs of water.  Some bring tanks of water, while others have to go to town for their supply.  It looks like a hard existence for many of those in the area.  They bathe in a hot spring near the entrance to the area.  To each his own.

We did find a couple geocaches out there to add to our list of found caches.  One cache must have been removed since it wasn't anywhere to be found where it should have been.  It was supposed to be a very easy find.

We saw what we came for and left with Yuma as our next destination.  It was closer than we thought and decided to have dinner and continue on back to Tucson.  By this time I was tired of hauling suitcases, computers, camera bags, ice chest and all the other baggage up and down stairs.  I put the cruise control on 77 mph and sat back and pointed the car down I-8.  I did have one unsettling moment when I was going 67 in a 55 mph zone and a local sheriff passed me.  I guess he had bigger fish to fry than us, so it worked out fine.

We arrived in Tucson around 11:30pm and quickly brought in what we had to and then went to bed.  It was pure heaven to be back in our own bed and we slept very well.

That was our week long trip and we had a great time.  I hope you all had a great week also.

1 comment:

  1. We camped for a few nights at the Salton Sea but the smell wasn't bad at all when we were there. Slab City is definitely unique. Not my kind of place though. Always so nice to be back in your own bed.