Sunday, February 6, 2011

Road trip, part 1, Tucson to Palm Springs

Leaving Tucson and heading west through the Sonoran Desert,  passing through Gila Bend, Buckeye and so many other towns, small and all so similar, we are working our way to Quartzite, Arizona; the half way mark of our 350 mile trip to the Palm Springs area. Quartzite is the geode and gem rock capitol of the country and maybe even the world. We will be having lunch there and will poke around some before making our way to California, to the Palm Springs area approximately two hours down the road from Quartzite. We will actually be staying in Indio, CA, where dates are the main attraction for Donald.  For sure, we will venture over to the Oasis Date Farm, the biggest and most famous date place, where he will be having date shakes, nut stuffed dates and also purchasing a few pounds of them for himself, and a few more to take back to Tucson for Lena & Stephen. And, guess where he will spend the afternoon?  Ha, ha, ha……. and other stuff
Oasis Date Farm, Thermal, Ca.
                                                Date Palm Fields
Date Shakes.........Yum

The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea, seagulls and all, is a salt water surprise 30 miles south of the Palm Springs area along Rte 111, which was formed between 1905 and 1907 when the Colorado River burst through poorly built irrigation controls south of Yuma, Arizona. Almost the entire flow of the river filled the Salton Basin for more than a year, inundating communities, farms and the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Continued filling of the Salton Sink was finally stopped in 1907, when a line of protective levees were built by boxcars dumping boulders into the breach from Southern Pacific tracks. By then, this inland lake was about 40 miles long and 13 miles wide, covering an area of about 400 square miles.

The Salton Sea is currently 35 miles by 15 miles and can be as long as 40 miles by almost 20 miles in particularly wet years. It has an average depth of 29.9 feet and, at its deepest, is 51 feet. It contains 7.3 million acre feet of water and evaporates 1.3 million acre feet each year. There is a five-mile-long trench on the south end of the Sea that is 51 feet deep. The Sea is currently 228 feet below sea level. Interestingly, the bed of the Salton Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest spot in Death Valley.

Fantasy Springs Resort.... Indio, Ca.
Nice accommodations, but a bit chilly for swiming.

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