Thursday, April 17, 2008

4/16/08 We're Off to See the Sea

We've sat around for two days now and its time to get on with some sightseeing. We're going to the sea! Sounds strange doesn't it; since we're in the middle of the desert. Even so, that's exactly what we did, we went to the sea, the Salton Sea to be exact. And this sea is 227 feet BELOW sea level!


One of the world's largest inland seas, I didn't even know the US had an inland sea, Salton Sea was created quite by accident. In 1905 increased flooding on the Colorado River allowed water to crash through canal barriers and for the next 18 months the entire flow of the Colorado River rushed downhill into the Salton Trough. By the time engineers were finally able to stop the water in 1907, the Salton Sea had been born - 45 miles long and 20 miles wide - equaling 110 miles of shoreline. This 360 square-mile basin was a popular site for boaters, water-skiers and anglers. Most fish currently caught are Tilapia and Corvina, but from what we heard no one would eat anything out of this lake today.


We could tell that at one time this had to be a vacationer's paradise. Just along the shoreline we saw a community of sorts. Some homes that were well taken care of, some that had seen better days, some that were real dumps and then others were just the shells of old, old trailers, left to rot and rust.

As we drove up and down the streets of this sea side area we were dumbfounded as to what could have happened here to cause all this destruction. Here's an example of what we saw.


And this....yet someone was living in the house right next door! This neighborhood does definitely does not have a Homeowner's Association!


Here's what's left of a travel trailer.


Here's what's left of what was once a marina.


We just couldn't imagine what had happened here. We saw a sign for the local American Legion Club and went there to not only get something to drink but to see if we could find out what had happened to this community,,,,and when.

We made ourselves home at the bar along with one other patron. The bartender seemed like a friendly sort but the other guy at the bar seemed to have an attitude when we asked what happened in this area to devastate the community right next door. The bartender started out telling us how the sea was formed just over a hundred years ago and and said something about a flood in the mid-80's. By now the other guy said something that we didn't catch and then the conversation stopped. So we left, still not knowing.

We took a side road advertising RV resorts just across from the Salton Sea and went to check them out. One was a KOA that is under intense renovation and when it is done in the next year or so it is going to be spectacular! This is a place that Bob and I wouldn't mind workamping in for the winter months. This area is well known for its hot mineral springs and we noticed several small pools on the grounds that were being rebuilt for soaking tubs. The park is operational now and there are some park models already in place for the few that live there year round and the snowbirds that have already left their winter perches. Oh yeah, we'll be back here!

We also checked out two other parks in the immediate area. Both were large and definitely on the pricey side. I asked at one if they employed workampers and was told that yes they do but didn't need any right now because everyone keeps coming back year after year. (Sounds to me like Quail Run Management could take a few lessons from them!)

Our day was coming to an end and it was time to head home once again. What we saw on the way home....



We saw some of the desert cactus blooming and had to get a picture or two!



Another day down in this life we call fulltimin'.

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