CALIFORNIA OR BUST
We stopped overnight @ Eldorado Hot Springs in Tonopah, AZ. It was a step back in time, a little funky with a definite hippie vibe. The soak was great.
Then it was on to Cottonwood Springs in Joshua Tree National Park...
Joshua Tree National Park straddles the Mohave and Colorado deserts. Our first order of business after setting up camp was a quick drive along Box Canyon Road just south of the park. This scenic drive to the town of Mecca follows a wash along a canyon near the San Andreas fault. Eventually we stopped in town and visited the Salton Sea.
Mecca seemed to be an agricultural town. There were fields of produce in various stages of growth. Vineyards, citrus groves, lettuce fields and date palm orchards co-mingled with taquerias & abandoned RV parks and stretched to the shore of the Salton Sea.
Raisins on the vine
The Salton Sea is an environmental disaster. It's California's largest lake at 350 square miles but the Lake is actually shrinking due to evaporation. It was always a low basin near the Colorado river that was fed by periodic flooding. In 1905 an engineering accident on a canal project in the valley flooded the area and created the Salton Sea. Now it's a shallow salty lake with higher saline levels than the ocean. Agricultural runoff has fed the lake and polluted it for many years.
The lake smelled really bad and a low fog of pollution permeated the area. At sunset we made our way back to camp.