Joshua Tree National Park and Salton Sea

It’s been another beautiful week here in Quartzsite Arizona, with highs in the 80s in lows overnight in the 50s. Since my last post I and Maxine have done some day trips and lots of visiting with fellow dreamers out here in the desert. On Saturday, 13 February ten of us headed to The Desert Bar. You see there is this bar just east of the town of Parker Arizona that’s built down this long dirt road that’s only open on Saturday and Sundays but they do a booming business. This guy had this idea that if he built this bar out there people would come and they do. The bar is run by nothing but solar panels and battery banks. It’s kind of a neat little place (one of those places you just got to go to if you’re in the area). Red road with me in my car and Pam, (Red’s wife) decided to stay home and take care of all the dogs because it was going to be a very hot day. Vicky, Harry, Diane and Steve road in Harry’s truck and close behind were Jim, Barb, Lisa and Dino. I was right behind Harry following him down the long dirt road back to the bar, and at one point when Harry pulled over to the side to let some other vehicles go by he got a little too close the rocks along the edge, and took the sidewall out on one of his rear duly tires. Luckily it was the outside one and he could make it the rest of the way to the bar with the one tire on back passenger-side. When we got there the girls went in to get us a table and us guys jumped in and helped change the tire or I should say Jim jumped in and did most of the work here he is under the truck get the jack in place.

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It didn’t take long and when we were done we all headed in the place was packed. You see they were having a fundraiser the “Desert Dash” a local run walk event, and this was the stopping point for lunch and a raffle. But once they got through with the raffle it emptied out quite a bit we hung around and visited had a few drinks and some snacks. Here are some photos from where I climbed up on a hill of looking down at the bar area.

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As you can see in these photos there are large banks of solar panels that offer shade and power to run the whole complex. Here’s a little closer photo of the band stage (they have bands every weekend) the solar panels on top of the stage offer shade and shelter for the performers.

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Here’s a couple photos looking back at the road we came in on and some of the four wheelers that many people come in by. I think the road was about five or six miles long and quite bumpy and narrow in spots. But it was fun going back and taking in this place.

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Here’s a photo of some of the group that I took from up on top of the hill. Red is the one waving and going clockwise from there is Harry, Lisa, Jim (just his back), Vicky, Dianne and Steve, Dino and Barb are also out and about like myself.

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On Sunday me and Maxine got up and got moving fairly early to take a ride. The plan was to be back by 4 o’clock to go to the fish fry and potluck that red was having at Brian’s RV. I was headed north towards Parker, AZ to check out Cattail Cove State Park. This is one of several state parks along the Colorado River between Parker and Lake Havasu Arizona. On the way I remembered that my sister Jean (her husband Tom my brother-in-law) has a brother (Mike and his wife Sharon) that lives in Lake Havasu that I know well from many family doings. So I gave my sister Jean call to touch base with her and ask her for Mike’s contact information. We talked for a while about what’s been going on, and come to find out that on this Friday (February 19), Tom and she will be out to Vegas till Wednesday the 24th. So there might be a road trip for me and Maxine to meet with them somewhere near Vegas. I barely got off the phone and got the text message from Jean with the contact information, and the phone rang it was Mike. Jean called him and Sharon to let him know I was in the area. They were out for a short motorcycle ride just before they got the call, and were planning on going out again so they agreed to meet with me at the state park. The timing was great we both got there at the exact same time. We took a short ride through the park it’s not much but it is a nice little park right on the river, with lot of campsites with water and electric but it was packed and booked most of the time. It was fairly early before noon so we decided to head back to their house so I could check it out. They’ve got a beautiful home that sits high on a hill and looks out towards the mountains and down towards the lake. It’s right next to a large school so they’re in a nice quiet neighborhood. We sat and visited catching up on things. The time went by very fast and I had to head out to get back in time for the fish fry. I hope to see them again before I head out of the area.

Well by the time I drove back it was shortly after four but I had everything ready and just grab the things I needed and headed over to Brian’s RV. I was bringing some guacamole and a pecan cheesecake they were both big hits. Here’s a photo of some of the gang I think there were about 30 in attendance total.

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A great time was had by all, got to meet some more new people it sure is fun going to these gatherings. After we got done eating some people headed back but a lot of us hung around till sunset and then Brian had a nice bonfire.

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On Tuesday I had made plans for myself and Maxine to go on another road trip. So we got an early start out heading west towards California and Joshua Tree National Park. It was a pleasant two hour drive to the park entrance. We stopped along the park road before we got to the main entrance and visitor center, so that Maxine could get out and do her smelling and marking, she thinks this is quite important that we do it everywhere we go.

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Shortly after getting our entrance pass and heading down the road we got to see our first Joshua tree.

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Maxine and I got out to check it out and of course she had to mark it for further reference.

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And then she was off again, heading for the car not looking for traffic.

In part of the park there are these large boulders all over it has to do with the erosion and up heaving from centuries ago. There are several campgrounds scattered through the park but they are all quite small and not really large RV friendly.

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As you drive through the park you get good views of the distance Mountains some snowcapped.

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There are a lot of different places you can pull off the road and do a little exploring but pets are not allowed on any of the trails.

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You can take a ride down a nice paved road to a Lookout called Keys View. The lookout is at 5185 feet of elevation. From there you can look down in the Yucca and Morongo Valley’s and see all the agriculture growing there.

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Here is another photo from up on the lookout and off to the left you can see a bit of the Salton Sea, our next stop.

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Joshua Tree National Park is very large with lots of backcountry it’s a good Park to just drive the main roads and be able to see the beautiful sites, but if you want to see more of it, you would have to spend more time and do some hiking the take in more of its beauty. But today the plan was just come drive through and see things mostly from the road. With my seniors pass it’s always a bargain to go to national parks, but this one’s kind of pricey at $20 entry fee per carload, for people that don’t have a lifetime seniors pass. But I think it’s well worth the drive.

Well we headed down the highway through a lot of nice agricultural land of all different kinds of crops. There were fields of green onions, lettuce and many other crops. Lots of orange and date groves along the way. We passed through a large area of wind generators and finally arrived at the northeast end of the Salton Sea. We stopped at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area to check things out, from a distance the views are okay. But the smell was quite overpowering. It was like salty sea air but very strong dead fish smell.

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There were hundreds of seagulls everywhere which can make things, smelly themselves.

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But the big thing was all these hundreds and hundreds of dead fish.

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I guess the sea has a very large fish population, but the problem is later in the year when the water goes down due to evaporation and the fish population is large. They will get large fish die-off’s from lack of oxygen and disease making for foul water. Reminds me of Lake Michigan when we had the large Alewife problem and the die-off of them. Overall it was a great day out for road trip.

On Wednesday I kind of hung around the rig did a few odds and ends and mostly relaxed. But later in the afternoon I went and visited by Jim and Barb’s rig they invited us over for social hour there were 15 of us there. We talked about RV life in general and many of the different work camp things that people it done in the last few years. Future trips that people have planned and places they been in the past. This always makes for a great evening of socializing. There were for some great stories and some nice horror stories of things that have happened along the way. Well today was mostly hanging out relaxing and putting this journal together and now I think the head out for a nice walk with Maxine around grounds. Till next time take care and best wishes 🙂

 

 

 

 

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