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Topic: TR: Salton Sea for New Years, camping, hiking and kayaking :)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 3:24 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This weekend my husband, son, and I headed to the Salton Sea.  We spent New Years Weekend there 4 years ago and greatly enjoyed it, so we decided to go again.  Plus we wanted to escape the cold temps up here in the High Desert - down there being below sea level it was 20 degrees warmer day and night, so up to about 65 during the day and only 45 at night.  

On Saturday we packed up the Jeep and I realized I was a bit too optimistic to think that we could get my kayak on top of it, after having to put a bunch of our camping gear atop it.  But once we arrived at Mecca Beach Campground, to my great delight I read a notice on a bulletin board at the campground of a "free kayak tour" :)  I called up the visitor center and got the last spot!  

The Salton Sea is a great place to kayak in the winter.  The views of the snowcapped Santa Rosa, San Jacinto, and San Gorgonio Mountains are fabulous.  The temps were perfect.  And the birdlife of course abundant.  We saw white and brown pelicans, Snowy and Great Egrets, Blue Herons, avocets, gulls, etc.  

Hiking along the shoreline is also fun - Little T and I took a hike south towards Corvina Beach on Sunday evening as the sun set.  On Monday we drove east and then hiked to San Andreas Palms which is a natural palm oasis along the San Andreas Fault.  We didn't go this time, but the nearby Mecca Hills are also very fun to explore.

On the way home we stopped by Pioneertown which was a live-in movie set built in the 1940's.  We had fun exploring the old buildings, shops, and talking to the folks that still live there.


 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 





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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 





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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 3:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More pics here :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarol/sets/72157632405711458/


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 5:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Watch out for giant mutated Mollusks!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 7:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great way to start out the New year!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 9:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cool!  From your photos, I think we've sold the Salton Sea short.  We usually pass as fast as we can, on our way from Anza Borrego to JTree, at midday.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 10:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's definitely worth a visit, especially when everywhere else is freezing and raining/snowing as it was this weekend!  Kayaking is very fun on a calm winter day - and the free kayaking is on Saturdays and Sundays from the visitor center harbor - or you can bring your own boat.  Of course the birding is excellent.  There are several campgrounds, Mecca Beach is our favorite because you can pitch your tent on the beach, there is some shade, and there is water/flush toilets/showers.  There were only about a dozen other people in the campground there each time we've been.  Lots of hiking in the area with my favorite so far being Painted/Ladder Canyons.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice pleasant!  Rare anymore to be able to tent anywhere on shores of a lake or ocean.  

Below sea level elevation Sonora Desert areas of Salton Sea and the just west vast Anza Borrego State Park are the best places in the whole Southwestern USA to enjoy pleasant mid winter temperatures and weather.  Unfortunately for decades the Salton Sea has been drying up and shrinking with ghost towns, rusting infrastructure, huge stinking fish kill offs, and economic disasters left in the wake. Heck its broiling over 100F each day all summer so there is considerable evaporation.  All those pretty blue images Tarol posted someday not too far into the future will disappear completely.  Many have complained but I've never seen the obvious solution made public apparently because of stupid political issues and cost.  

What needs to be done is to have water delivered in to fill the sea at a consistent level which would probably be where it was 3 decades ago.  The Imperial Valley area particularly around El Centro to the south already gets quite a lot of fresh water from the Colorado River because it is a huge agricultural area.  None of the agricultural interests are EVER going to give up any of that fresh water.   Heck they were so greedy that they took every drop to the extent Mexicans to the south in Mexicali and all their agriculture were dying of thirst.  Took a huge amount of arm twisting for them to get any of that at all.  Only in rare flood events does any of the Colorado River water ever reach the Gulf of California.  

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.43098,-115.23285&z=9&t=S

The obvious solution is NOT to get water from the Colorado as there will never be enough but rather from the ocean. Duh!  The sea is about 100 miles from either the San Diego coast or the Gulf of California.  And geologically the Salton Sea used to be part of the Gulf of California.  However there is a significant distance of rugged badlands mountains and stream valleys between San Diego with state route 94 rising to 2700 feet at one point.  The Gulf of California to Salton Sea slopes continuously downhill on near flat plains so a cheap gravity fed canal or pipeline is possible were it not that all those plains are full of dense agriculture and the Mexicali and El Centro urban areas.   Trying to get anything built across those built up areas is certain to be politically impossible.

However there are vast empty flat desert areas a bit ABOVE sea level just west which could support a siphon pipeline.  In siphon pipeline designs, fluid will flow between a source and destination even though it rises above both enroute as long as the destination is lower than the source.  Large industrial designs across the World for such are common.   There may be additional cooling benefits because sea surface tempeatures where water would be sourced at are at most in the 70F range and even lower in winter.  Having a stable healthy sea ought to be able to generate considerable economic benefits especially from tourism so there could be a way to offset initial pipeline costs against long term benefits.  I would expect the reason politicians have not mentioned this obvious solution is due to the Colorado River water wars.   If the USA interests asked for permission to build such a pipeline, Mexico would have more leverage to ask for more.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 6:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is essentially a giant evaporation pond - over the eons there were many times when the CO River would naturally divert and fill it, rather than empty into the ocean.  But the latest filling was caused in the early 1900's by humans, engineers forgetting to account for silt build-up while digging canals to funnel water from the river to agricultural lands.  

Should we now then step in to save the sea that we created?  Most people think we should.  Because if we don't, it will become a huge hazardous dust bowl, kind of like Owen's Lake, with the likely possibility of polluted air ranging far and wide, all the way to LA.  Also, it's one of the last wetlands left in the area that can support as many birds as it does.  And, lastly, it is beautiful and tranquil.  

The solution of pumping in sea water has been discussed - the most recent article I saw that mentioned such was this one:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/09/salton-sea-saga/all/

I think what we need to do right now is encourage more people visiting during the pleasant winter months: kayaking and camping and hiking and birding, and appreciating the beauty down there.  Then hopefully this appreciation will lead to stewardship and campaigning on behalf of the place - in such a way Mono Lake was saved.  

Too bad Sonny Bono died - he was the Sea's greatest advocate.  The article mentions another politician who's taken up the cause, but it does need to gain momentum.

The Sea and Desert Association that offers these free kayak tours much to that end.  Go and see it and appreciate it - for free!  

Oh, and it wasn't the shrinking water level that destroyed the infrustructure in the area - it was the rising - in a couple of storms in the 70's.  It is hard and expensive to maintain a harbor with fluctuating sea levels.  There is only one left, to my knowledge, at the State Recreation Area, from which the kayak tours are launched.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 6:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lots of good information here about visiting!

http://seaanddesert.org/


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 7:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Tarol for that excellent link.  What a stinking political mess!

The article does include single line mentioning a dual pipeline between the Gulf of California and the Salton Sea.   But then below considerable conversations and politcal actions about getting an allocation from the Colorado River water.  And that is where I who am rather ignorant of the real issues, think that strategy to be utterly futile.  

Instead the Gulf of California water siphon piped across the uninhabited desert flatlands is the obvious solution someone ought to be pushing.   Might email contact Steve Horvitz and find out what he knows about why no one ever talks about a pipeline solution.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 1:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



OMG!  Have you lost your mind letting your child play in the dirt like that?  He could get....(GASP!)....dirty.



Years ago when the kids were 4 or 5 years old, one of our neighbors came by the house with her child and wanted to know how we got our kids in the bed so early.  I told her, let 'em play outside for a few hours and get filthy, bring them in the house, give them a bath, then feed them.  The rest of the night is yours. :)



Oh, the trip report and photos were cool. :cool:


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 9:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

lol, he loves to crawl - don't matter where :)  As long as they're dressed appropriately, and you're right there with them, why not?  

Two weekends ago...



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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 06 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting series published yesterday in the Imperial Valley newspaper

"The Salton Sea, however, is more than a mere physical body of water. For some who spent their childhoods exploring its shores, it has become a thread that runs through their lives, one that grows and shrinks from a place to satisfy youthful curiosities to a place that is the foundation of businesses, some of which succeed, some of which fail.

For others it is a refuge, a place of escape. And, for others still, it is the blurring of work and play, where occupation becomes something much more than a mere job.

But what about the people who believe in the Salton Sea, the people who, in some way are kept alive by the Salton Sea, and in turn keep the Sea alive, metaphorically speaking?

Here are some of their stories."

http://www.ivpressonline.com/news....5.story


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