Saturday, January 15, 2011

Salton Sea to Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Mon - Jan. 10th to Sat - Jan. 15th
Hummingbird along the parking lot of the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (near Palm Springs) where we camped for five nights.

Tuesday we headed over to the Fountain of Youth campground for five nights, where it was just a short walk down the hill to the two swimming pools and four natural hot springs. The swimming pools were 98 degrees, just like bath water. The hot tubs 100, 102 and 104.

White Boy with the Iowa farmer's tan in the hot tub. Behind him is the steam room and the lobster pot (104 degrees). Outside the picture is the pool and the coolest of the hot tubs with a waterfall you could sit under and get your shoulders massaged.

Across the road, we enjoyed the fitness trails in the desert, where residents have left lots of art work and memorials made from the rocks.

Well, no duh!

Mom enjoying the sunset over the Salton Sea. It was in the 70s most of the time we were here in this campground at the base of the Chocolate Mountains and looking toward the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains.

We had to stop again at Salvation Mountain and Slab City, since Mom hadn't been here for a dozen years or more.

I did a blog on this last year. She said it had grown and changed a lot since she was here. The old guy that does the painting and artwork with all salvaged and donated materials is still hard at work.

You just can't believe all the vehicles, trailers, boats, tractors, etc. all painted up. Also, all the rooms he has built next to the hill made out of hay bales braced and plastered together and painted. Just amazing! He has been living out here in the desert for many years doing this.

Here are a couple of photos of the inteior of some of the rooms. He utilizes every piece of junk anybody gives him.

Very creative and dedicated.

If you zoom in, you can see right near the center a small yellow sign that says to please stay on the yellow brick road. That's all the incentive my mother needed to start climbing up Salvation Mountain.

And there she is almost up to the cross. When she got to the top, she enjoyed a view of the hodge podge of campers at Slab City and hiked down the back side and back to the car where John was waiting for us.

We drove around the Salton Sea on Saturday afternoon, about 150 mile drive, and drove thru the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. They must have had very recent rains, because the ocotillo cactus were just covered with little green leaves and many were blooming with fiery red flowers. Trivia: Cholla cactus roots only go two inches deep, but spread out to 30 feet. The mesquite tree roots will go down 200 feet looking for water.
What is the oldest living plant? A 9,400 year old creosote bush in the Mohave desert. Will a rattlesnake bite kill me? One out of a thousand people will die if bitten by rattlesnake.

We had lunch at a little Mexican Cantina in Borrego Springs and drove thru the rest of the park. We saw a parasailer here. People were camping everywhere in the desert (outside the park) and driving their four wheelers and dirt bikes. The park is 600,000 acres, one of the largest state parks in the U.S. Over 900 square miles, elevations range from 6,000 foot peaks to only 15 feet above sea level. It is one of the last refuges of the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. Only 400 remain in the U.S. and 275 are in the park. They have lived here in the desert for thousands of years and migrated from Siberia over 10,000 years ago.

Heading for Yuma on Sunday.


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