Slab City, California

Saturday, February 28, 2015

This morning I was surprised by the calmness around our camp.  The wind had died down around dawn and that makes it a perfect opportunity for me and Yuma to skip town before the storm hits later today.

They are calling for high winds in the desert and snow in the mountains.

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I am out of water and low on food, so that is another reason for heading to a Walmart. 

We pulled up stakes and were on S22 heading east at 8:30 am and pulled into the Arco gas station at 9:00 am.  There we emptied our black and grey tanks and filled our fresh water tank.  While filling the fresh water tanks, the wind picked up to a gale from the west.  We didn’t leave any too soon. 

At 10 am, we were on our way south on hwy 86 on the west side of the Salton Sea, heading for the town of Brawley, California about 30 miles down the highway.  Although there was wind hitting our west side, it did not bother the motorhome at all and we had a pleasant drive to the Walmart.

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I needed everything and so did Yuma.  Spent $87 on me and $55 for Yuma.  Boy, does he have expensive tastes.  I am still trying to figure out what dog food he likes best so bought several different brands.

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Kelly from Travel with the Bayfield Bunch alerted me to possible problems with Purina’s Beneful which I am currently using.  After reading the information on the Internet, I have decided to try another brand just to be safe.  Plus, Yuma doesn’t seem to care for it too much anyway.

I bought a bag of IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks and a bag of Kibbles ‘nBits Bistro Meals, both for 1-6 year olds.  We will see which one of those he prefers.  Plus I bought treats and leather chewable bones which aren’t cheap either.  That dog has it too good.

After spending a few hours at Walmart shopping, having lunch and doing my Internet duties that I usually do first thing in the morning, we headed for Slab City, our destination for the day.  They are calling for rain for the next two days, so Yuma and I want to be ready for it.

It is only 16 miles north of Brawley on hwy 111 to the very small town of Niland.  You can see by the the palm tree fronds that the wind is blowing fairly hard. 

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At Main Street, I made a right turn and drove about six miles to Slab City.  We slowly entered the outskirts.  They like to draw graffiti on everything and anything in here.

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Then I spied the Salvation Mountain and knew we had arrived.

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Knowing it is going to rain, I try to find a camp near the road, but far enough off as not to be bothered by traffic.  After passing Solar Mike’s, I saw an old row boat laying on its side near a concrete slab.  It was far enough off the road to be comfortable and far enough away from my nearest neighbor as to not disturb them. 

My neighbors.image

And here is my home.imageimage

Beautiful sunset over Slab City.

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See you later.

Font’s Point

Friday, February 27, 2015

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All day the Santa Ana winds have been coming down the mountain slopes into the Borrego Springs valley from the west.  As the day progresses, the wind gusts keep getting stronger.  It is quiet for awhile and then a big burst of wind will slam against the motorhome.  I feel like a sailboat on the open seas rocking back and forth.

The weather forecast calls for a wind advisory for tonight through Sunday morning.  I had hoped to be out of here before the winds came, but I guess I didn’t make it. 

I think if I can just get to the Salton Sea the winds should be much less.  Will be a long 20 miles tomorrow going east on S22.  They are calling for gusts over 50 mph which could make driving a motorhome hazardous.  Will have to play it by ear in the morning. 

Around noon, I decided Yuma and I would make a quick run about seven miles to Font’s Point.  Being windy, I am sure I will not get the view I would like, but at least I will have an idea of what it looks like.  I believe the link above will provide a much nicer view.  It has a video.

Drove three miles east on S22 and turned right at a wash that had a sign pointing to Font’s Point.

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As you can see from the wash it is quite sandy and lots of wash board to make the drive slow and bumpy.  But we weren’t in a hurry.  I am quite used to these kinds of roads.

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As I was driving my jeep in 4-wheel drive up this very sandy wash, I turned a corner and was shocked to see a huge 40 foot American Dream diesel motorhome.  This road has signs at the entrance saying it is very sandy and do not drive off the roadway.  But here it was heading out into the sand.  I guess he was trying to turn around and got bogged down.

I stopped and talked to the wife.  There was actually another motorhome with this one, but it was a smaller one and it had made the turn okay, but when this one tried to go through his tracks, he bogged down.

Two motorhomes and two jeeps.  One of the jeeps had a rope attached and was trying to help pull it out.  Luckily, they were from Indio, California which is only about 50 miles north of here, so they are in familiar surroundings.  And they are young people in there 30’s so they can handle the digging and anxiety involved in this endeavor.  I couldn’t really help, but did tell them that if they got out, there are many boondocking spots about three miles from them. 

Said my goodbyes and went on up to the point.

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I must say I was impressed with the view at the point even with all the sand in the air.  It is impressive.  All that climbing I did yesterday for a view and all I had to do was drive up here and look over the edge of the cliff.  And it was a cliff. 

I was very frightened of the drop-off and would not let Yuma even get close to the edge.  No fence or anything to keep you back.  Just common sense and fear.  See what I mean?

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The point looks out over the desert and the Badlands around it.  They don’t call these Badlands for nothing.  Nothing can go through those canyons and ravines.  To me, they are just beautiful.

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The worst of the sand was when looking west toward Borrego Springs in the valley.

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This is a photo looking to the north over Clark Dry Lake bed.  I took photos of it yesterday on my mountain climb.  Today there is a lot of sand in the air giving it a hazy look.

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Didn’t stay long.  The wind was fierce at the point and I was eating sand every time I opened my mouth.

We came back to camp and soon after, my new neighbors invited me and Yuma over for a chat.  They are from Ontario and have been traveling to the southwest almost every year since 2007.  Very nice folks. 

As we were sitting outside their motorhome out of the wind, I couldn’t believe it, but the motorhome that was stuck and his buddy, came driving by.  They parked just down the road from me. 

I guess they were able to work their way out and took my advice and got out of there.   I am glad for them.  They were very fortunate to be young and strong enough to dig that thing out.

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The wind and clouds over the mountains above Borrego Springs made for a beautiful sunset tonight.

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Hiking Coyote Mountain

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This morning, I was looking out my door at Coyote Mountain overlooking Clark Dry Lake bed to the northwest and said to myself, “It would be great to climb up to the top one of those peaks.”  I know in another year, it will probably not be feasible.  If I’m ever going to do it, today is it.

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At about 10:30 am after breakfast, Yuma and I jumped in the jeep to see how close we could get before starting our hike.  It’s only a couple miles to the base.  Got as close as we could and parked.  Still have a ways to hike just to start our climb.

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Found a ravine going up the mountainside, so decided to use it as our trail.

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Wasn’t long before we could see a large section of the lake bed below us.

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The mountain looks so easy to climb from the bottom but now that we are up here, I see cliffs and boulders and danger everywhere I walk.  It is warm enough for the rattlesnakes to be out.  Hope all goes well.

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This is getting tough.

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Finally, something moved besides the bushes and rocks under my feet.  A lizard. 

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This lizard sure does blend in with the rocks.  Looks to be about 7 inches long with a very thin tail and flat body.  Look at those feet.  He can cling to anything.

Looked him up on the Internet and it is a Rock Lizard.

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We are nearing the top now.  We can walk much easier.  Not so straight up anymore.

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We are at the top of the mountain peak, finally.  There are taller ones to the north, but ravines prevent us from going that way any further.

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Yuma can’t believe we climb this high.

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I placed a red X to the left of my motorhome in the desert below.

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Based on this 300mm zoom of my motorhome as it relates to the trailer below it, I placed a red X on the photo of where I think we were.  It is the same photo as the one at the top of the blog.

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Yuma and I have sore feet and we are tired.  I think we will sleep soundly tonight.

See you later.