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Random thoughts and pictures from our travels in a LazyDaze motorhome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

California, Here I Come...

After a two day stay at the Cocopah Casino in Yuma, we motored west into southern California and the Imperial Valley. We were surprised at the agriculture around Yuma. You already knew that Yuma is the Lettuce Capital of the World, right? They grow everything here, even corn ( probably sweet corn though). All compliments of the Colorado River and snow melt. We had only planned an overnight, but winds on the second day persuaded us to stay.

Just west of Yuma, the soil turns to sand, LOTS of it. So much that you can play on it. Remember the dune buggies, here is where it all started. It is strange driving next to a canal full of water with sand on both sides. That water powers a lot of the Imperial Valley’s agricultural, which is just west of the sand dunes. Rather strange seeing 40 acre fields of onions and lettuce. 

 We passed the Salton Sea as we headed north towards Joshua Tree NP. Hard to believe that this is a man-made accident. The only fish that can survive in the increasingly salty water are tilapia, and they will die eventually too.
 We entered the southern side of Joshua Tree and setup at the Cottonwood Springs campground. The springs have been there for a long time, as it was a stop for mining supply wagons besides Native Americans. A shot of the campsite area. Not a lot of room, but Skye is very adaptable. 

 We did a short three mile hike before supper, looking at the strange rock formations.

This is the remains of the Mammoth Mine, ran by a family from 1934 to 1971, just east of Cottonwood Springs. I don't know how they got their equipment in here!
 In the early 20th century, the springs were also a stopping place for intrepid auto travelers. Photos showed only cottonwood trees back then. It is presumed that birds brought in the seeds of the California Fan Palms, which are now huge.
A view of the Salton Sea to our southwest from a ridgetop. For tomorrow, what important geologic feature is near here?

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