Friday, February 25, 2011

THE Trip, La Quinta California to the Salton Sea

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

While we were in LaQuinta we made a drive down to the Salton Sea area and quickly decided we would really like to stop there for a few days.  So, we moved Tana a whole 24 miles and managed to snag the last campsite at the Salton Sea State Recreation campground right by the Visitor's Center for the park.  Full hookups, on black top, overlooking the Salton Sea.  The park is 227 feet BELOW sea level.

Salton Sea is about 35 miles long, 15 miles wide.  The California State Park page on the park and the sea is a good place to start learning about this "accidental sea".  They tell us, "One of the world's largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at -227 below sea level".  Wikipedia also has a very interesting page on the Salton Sea.  Another fine collection of pages on the Salton Sea, as provided by the Salton Sea Authority.  Start on that page, then, click around the links, when done with the links, click on HOME.  I found the web site a bit confusing, some of the photos would not display, but still I found it to be very interesting reading.

I had hoped to walk the shore line and photograph the many types of water fowl that live here during the winter, sadly, there had been a "die-off" of Tilapia, and frankly my dear, the shore line was el stinky!  I did get a few photos of some water fowl, they will appear at Reflection's Flora and Fauna sometime soon.

Here is what the Salton Sea looks like thanks to Google Maps:

Click for larger view of this graphic,
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We were struck by the texture of the "sea shore".  When we asked at the Visitor's center they told us what we experienced was broken up barnacles.  They are not native to the Salton Sea, it is believed they arrived on the hulls of military equipment such as seaplanes and such at the end of World War II (about 1944).  Broken barnacles make up the majority of the shore line "sand", as you can see:

Man with a handful of beach barnacles sand at Salton Sea.
Our first night had a spectacular sunset:

Looking west, over Salton Sea at sunset.
We stayed at the Salton Sea for 3 nights.  The entire area is very interesting, the "Fountain of Youth" is not far away, as are Salvation Mountain and Slab City (will talk about those in a future blog).  Many of the towns are obviously very poor, we left the area feeling you would have to be extremely tough to live here, a survivor.  It is also hauntingly beautiful as only places of "extremes" can be.

* You can read about the Fountain of Youth at this Motorhome site.  We did a quick drive up to the area of the hot springs and campgrounds.  We did not try out the hot springs.  It appeared that the idea was very popular, the campgrounds were pretty much full.


1 comment:

Ron and Thelma said...

You sure are having a great trip. Don't you wish you were in Michigan to enjoy all that snow. Our area got hit again with a bunch. Think i read they have had 48 inches so far.