Tuesday, April 12, 2005

We are now at the Salton Sea, at an Imperial County Park here (map).

We had not actually intended to leave Anza-Borrego today, so how we ended up here is something of a story. Sometime this morning, the ranger showed up in our little slice of paradise. Turns out she was just there to pick up some discarded firewood left by weekend campers, but we nevertheless went out to talk with her. Somewhere in the conversation she confirmed my suspicions that we had already missed all the wildflowers. We also asked her where, along CA78, we might be able to park Odyssey.

One of the possibilities that she allowed was Mine Wash Road, which leads to some ruins. She said she had seen buses up that road. So around 3ish, we broke camp to head down to Mine Wash. This turned out to be very soft sand/gravel, and we got about a half mile before we decided it was too soft to continue, for fear of getting stuck. So we started to back out, except I managed to veer only about half a foot off the established "road" while backing and promptly got stuck. Some judicious rocking and use of our shovel got us unstuck, and, with the help of some passers-by (well, OK, we were blocking their exit from Mine Wash), one of whom was some sort of desert tour guide, we backed out all the way to 78 and continued east. Also in this episode, I managed to scratch up the right side of the coach on some dried brush -- I'm hoping the scratches are just in the clear coat and will come out with rubbing compound.

Proceeding east along our planned route, we ended up leaving the park without finding a suitable turn-off to park. East of the park is the Ocotillo Wells "off-road" area, and we looked at camping there, however even mid-week, the ATVs were out and we did not want to be awakened at 0-dark-early to the sound of two-strokes buzzing through the desert. So we pressed on, and here we are.

This turns out to be a beautiful spot. Once again, we have this entire area to ourselves, and it is quiet and serene. We are parked right next to the accidental lake known as the Salton Sea, and the sunset over the water and mountains was quite spectacular. Louise took some photos, which I am sure she will post.

It is also finally warm enough to eat outside, and we had a nice al-fresco dinner of pork ribs and fixin's. I am even blogging outdoors, fireside, having fixed the wireless server a couple days ago. Louise was with me briefly, before being besieged by insects and retreating into Odyssey. The fire is delightful and I got to enjoy the last bits of daylight as I started typing. At the moment, the crescent moon is competing with my LCD screen, and stars are beginning to fill the sky.

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