Thursday, November 24, 2011

A cool Thanksgiving Day
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:

November 04
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.
November 05
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.
November 06
Another day working at Victorville. While I am buzzing about 
Bea washes the outside of our rig.  
November 07
Aah, what a relief to leave this noisy place behind. 

Interstate Traffic
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 
ugly smell. 


  1. Glad it didn't take more than a new battery to get their MH up and running..I'm surprised Walmart was open on Thanksgiving day..sounds like you had a great thanksgiving dinner..not sure Rick would sleep well without being able to look out the window and see his MH - so storage is out of the question for us I might be cool there but I betcha you didn't have to put on a winter coat and boots this evening like we did :) take care


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