Wednesday, November 27, 2013

11/25 Drive Around Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is only about 40 miles from Borrego Springs, so I decided to make a day trip and circle around it.  Weather is sunny and temps are in low 70s, so why not?  First, Borrego Springs is a strange town--the GPS shows tons of roads and residential streets, but in reality there are very few stores and almost no homes on all those streets.  Apparently, a lot of developers were very optimistic.

(Could be the 110 degree summertime temperatures have something to do with the lack of residents.)  Nice, wide streets, however, with good bike lanes.

The road from Borrego Springs to Salton is California 22.  As soon as you get out of town and past the state park land, there are hundreds of little clumps of people dry-camping in the desert.  No one seems to care, and a lot of these campers bring motorcycles, 4-wheelers, or dune buggies along with them to take advantage of the many mountain paths and semi-roads. 

After getting some cheap gas, I headed to the southern end of the sea.  The whole bottom end is part of a National Wildlife Refuge, named after Sonny Bono for some reason.  Not much of it is accessible by car, and a lot of this area is agricultural, strangely.

Found this little desert bunny hunkered down along the sidewalk.  He did not mind his photo being taken.

This field is owned by the refuge.  The next photo will show the huge flock of snow geese that were visiting that day.  You can identify them even from a distance because of their black wing tips.

I had been a little upset to see several of what I thought were chemical plants, but was told these were geothermal energy plants.  Apparently, the Salton Sea is directly on the San Andreas Fault, so they take advantage of the earth's heat to produce electricity.  There have been some studies showing that the water pumped in and out causes earthquakes.

There are mountains in the distance, but this area on the east side of the sea is pretty desolate.
And there actually are beaches along the Salton Sea!  This one was at Mecca Campground, which is part of the Salton Sea State Recreation area.

There are a lot of dead fish on the beach, and I am not sure I would want to swim here, but the area is full of sea birds.  There is a very interesting campground with full hookups, and I thought it was nice enough that I am moving there on Thanksgiving because it seemed such an interesting place.  More later!
Got back to the campground at Borrego Springs after dark and had a rough time getting onto my leveling blocks in the dark, but luckily I have a pull-through site, so at least I did not have to back in.

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