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Friday, January 31, 2014

Oasis Date Gardens in Thermal, California

We see the sign for
Oasis Date Gardens
in Thermal.

Bill & Nancy, neighbors in Slab
City, told us about this place.

They make the BLAT here.
Bacon, lettuce, avocado
& tomato sandwich.

I want one!

Eric wants to buy dates.

They have a spacious
parking lot.

Eric parked our motorhome
& then posed for me.

There are ten dates to sample.

I hope this won't spoil
Eric's appetite.

We order our lunch...

I ordered the BLAT &
Eric ordered fish tacos.

The tables have a
nice view.

We shared our lunches.


After lunch, we shop.

Palm tree themed
dishes & knickknacks.

Wind chimes & preserves

Eric bought honey &
medjool dates.

And a small souvenir to
remember our visit.

Our Drive to Silent Valley Club Near Banning, California

We see Navy helicopters
flying over the Salton Sea.

Navy pilots flying this path can
log that they have flown below
sea level - the lake is -227 feet.

We pass by grapevines,

citrus trees


We stop at Oasis Date

The overpass at
Cathedral City.

We drive through
Palm Springs.

There are hundreds & hundreds
of windmills here.

We turn onto the
Esperanza Firefighters
Memorial Highway.

This mountain road has
itsy bitsy road shoulders.

Banning lies below.

We turn onto Poppet Flats
 Road & Eric puts the
 exhaust brake on.

We arrive at Silent Valley Club,
is located in a bowl in the
San Jacinto Mountains..

The Range at Slab City

On Saturdays people gather
at The Range for music.

Just sign up & bring your
best tunes...

Early on, it's a family

At dusk the  the lights come on and the burning barrel is lit for warmth.

After dark, the music &
 the crowd heats up with
 dancing, drinks, desserts...

The Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge

Migrating birds began to flock to the Salton Sea after it was created by flooding in 1905 to 1907.  The Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1930.  This  area provides a  wintering habitat and food source for 2.5 million ducks, geese, grebes and other migrating birds.

It was renamed the Sonny Bono
Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge
in 1998 to honor the deceased
Congressman who represented the
area in the House of Representatives.

Less than 1,800 acres of its original 37,600 acres are managed because of shoreline flooding.

The lighter blue are on the
map is the Wildlife Refuge.

The darker blue represents
shoreline flooding.

The Visitors Center

A quick overview of
the Wildlife Refuge.

Migrating birds feast on
winter rye planted just
for them.

A lagoon with islands is
set aside as the nursery. 

Ahhh... siesta.

Different species of birds
congregate in different
 areas of the nursery. 

One of the birds is

 The nursery is to the right of the Salton Sea.

Eric and I walk up to this
high spot, formed by
volcanic activity.

Eric is the 
"King of the Mountain."

About eight miles away is the
 other section of the Sonny Bono
Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge.

Today, geese are the
most common visitor.

A platform gives birders
added height for
bird watching.

Visiting the Mud Pots & Geothermal Mud Volcanoes Near Calipatria, California

Slab City is a handy base for visiting local attractions.  We visited the Mud Pots and Geothermal Volcanoes near Calipatria.

The hot mud bubbles.

I think boiling mud is about
as hot as boiling water.

We hear blub, blub, blub...

Steps away are geothermal

The pressure of gases pushing
up through the mud creates
a mud volcano.

The mud volcanoes near
Calipatria have grown to
three, four feet tall.

This area of California has 
numerous geothermal plants.

Water from deep within the 
earth is used to generate electricity.