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Archive for February 17th, 2009

Mecca and Salvation Mountain

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

OK, I know you are wondering if I have gone off on some strange pilgrimage! Keep reading.

Today, we awoke to a glorious day in the desert — sunshine, clear vistas and sweater weather. With Mike driving and Mr C navigating, the four of us took off for a visit to the Salton Sea area to the south. We drove through the Joshua Tree National Park. We stopped at the Cholla garden and were amazed to see this bad boy cactus growing as far as the eye could see.



Our first mission was to arrive in Mecca.


We arrived at the Salton Sea to find a tranquil and beautiful spot in the middle of a desert. The sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado river flooded the Sonoran Desert’s Salton basin. It is a major resource for millions of migratory birds.


These are American White Pelicans.


We did some off road driving on some muddy roads looking for the mud volcanoes. We decided that it was not worth leaving the vehicle to walk through the mud for a closer look. I didn’t even take a photo. But, it was an exciting detour.

Our next mission was to find Salvation Mountain, an outsider art installation, and Slab City, a place where folks hook up rather sketchy trailers and mobile homes and have built quite a community.

Here is Salvation Mountain and the creator.



That is him in the red jacket. What a charming man.


On up the road we found Slab City, so named because it was originally laid out for campers in rvs. It seems to have been taken over by camping squatters who have claimed the area and say it is the “last free place.”



The area we drove through is very fertile and with irrigation, many crops grow there. I love this photo of date palms.


We ended up in Palm Springs where we enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner of chinese food. It was a fun day.

You can see all my photos, from the sublime to the ridiculous, on this Flickr set: Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Slab City.

Tomorrow, we head for the coast to see the Visions show at the Oceanside Museum of Art and then to San Diego to visit the Visions Gallery.

Monday was for the Birds

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Los Angles area had rain and snow in the mountains. We had wind and some spritzing. Mr C and I took a walk in the morning and the sun felt so wonderful, even with the wind. After lunch, we decided to drive to the outlets, about an hour west of us. The further we drove, the worse the weather was. It was pouring and the roads were flooding. There were accidents from hydro-planing and warnings of flash flooding and snow in the pass. Guess what we did? We turned around and headed back to the comfort of the high desert. We could see the sun shining on Twentynine Palms in the distance. There was a rainbow, but too faint to show up.


Outside the kitchen window, is a fenced in area where Diana, the housekeeper, feeds the birds. I love watching them when I am in the kitchen.



There are lots of doves and another bird, I have not identified yet. This morning I saw a beautiful California quail, but by the time I got my camera, he was long gone.

Today, we are driving through Joshua Tree National Park to the Salton Sea. It should be a great photo op. The weather is clear, the sun is blazing and the wind has died down.