The early morning showed a thin band of dark clouds above the eastern horizon, and only an hour later these clouds had spread almost over the entire sky, only way out, toward the west, was still a blue sky. This weather lasted the whole day and turned this day into a rather cool Thanksgiving event. But anyway, we had our Turkey Thanksgiving supper within our fellowship of friends at the Host Station. And it was good sitting together and having a chit-chat about this and that.
Earl and Carol came finally down by car from Saskatchewan yesterday but couldn't get their motor home out of the storage as the starting battery was flat. So they slept in the Motor home inside the storage and today we drove to El Centro, where Walmart was the only store being open, and purchased a new battery. After it was mounted. the coach sprang to life and all there is left to do now, is getting all the stuff they brought stowed into closets and cupboards.
More and more RV-owners leave their rigs in the south, in order to save on fuel costs. However, it is a real calculation how much one can save, as going by car would require overnight stays in a motel and eating in restaurants, plus the fee for the storage.
Now the last part of our west coast drive in 2005:
We say farewell to Refugio State Beach and its wonderful
campground and head farther south towards Los Angeles.
Highway 101 follows the beaches for miles until we have to
take off towards San Bernadino. The freeways around L.A
are 4 to 5 lanes in every direction and lots of big trucks are
coming up from behind all the time. Finally after several hours
on L.A. Highways we reach Victorville at Interstate 15. We
have ordered a solar panel here which we plan to install while
being on a campground. Victorville, a town in the desert is all
spread out and the traffic here is terrible. Our campground,
the KOA lies directly besides the Interstate and accordingly
the noise is deafening. Definitely not a place to spend your
vacations on. However we have desert temperatures and
during the day it gets up to 30 C.
The morning starts out busy as we have to get downtown to
purchase some groceries and accessories for mounting the
solar panels. The shopping takes more than a couple of hours,
because we can't find a food mart. First after lunch I can start
on my work with the solar panels. Unfortunately some parts are
missing and I have to improvise to get it all done. Now I need
another day to finish up the installation.
Another day working at Victorville. While I am buzzing about
Bea washes the outside of our rig.
Aah, what a relief to leave this noisy place behind.
|In the desert|
|We travel through the High Desert landscape. Lots of Yuccas on both sides of the Highway 247 as it leads through Yucca Valley. As Highway 247 climbs down and enters Riverside County we cross a huge area filled up with wind mills.|
|Bell Mountain at Hwy 247|
Windpark at Palm Springs
Palm Springs lies just a bit off to the south of Interstate 10, which we
leave at Coachello. Highway 86 gets us farther south and for the first
time we see Palm Tree Nurseries along the road.
Our destination for the day is Mecca Beach at the Salton Sea. From
the village of Mecca Highway 111 runs on the east side while Highway
86 runs south on the west side of the lake. Mecca Beach lies on the
east side and is just one of 5 local campgrounds belonging to the
California State Recreation Area. The first campground we see is
the local Headquarters. A very friendly lady Ranger offers us a job
as camp hosts for as long as the season goes. We receive an
application but decide to look around before we accept her offer.
After settling in for the night at the headquarters campground we
drive down Hwy 111 until we reach the little village of Niland. Of
the 5 State Recreational Campgrounds only Mecca Beach and
the Headquarters can be recommended for a longer stay. These
sites are very well maintained and offer a few hook-ups , a day-use
area and shaded tables. They are spacious enough to accommodate
big rigs too.
Headquarters campground has a very nice little marina and a
service building surrounded by beautiful palm trees.
The Salton Sea is only 100 years old as it was created when the
Colorado River went on a rampage in 1905. having created a dam of
sediments against the California Gulf the mighty river found an outlet
to the north, filling a low basin between two mountain ranges. It
created the Salton Sea. However the basin is so low that there was
no further outlet for the water. When reaching the height of the
sediment barrier towards the Gulf the Colorado again found back
into its previous bed and washed out into the Gulf again leaving the
Salton Sea to its own. Evaporation was leading to an increase of
salinity and while no water outlet was possible an increasing amount
of salt remained in the lake. The water is of a reddish color and does
not appear to attract many visitors these days, and that should not
surprise as the lake is heavily polluted, and produces a profound