March 16, 2013:
Yuma "Lettuce Days Festival" was very interesting, Yuma County is the top winter lettuce growing area in the country, remember that for the next trivia pursuit game. Of course, there are probably those who would dispute that. Anyhow, lots of good local produce, I loved the chicken salad lettuce wraps. We watched a celebrity chef cooking demonstration by Ben Ford of Ford's filling Station, son of actor Harrison Ford. It was a very well sponsored event and a well done event.
I ended the afternoon with a ramble just off of Ogilby road near our campsite where I found several Beavertail Prickley Pear Cactus's in bloom. They have spectacular large pinkish red flowers, see the photo. Lots of things are starting to flower, it appears to be a very good flower year due to the good winter and early spring rainfall.
We have now boondocked for 30 straight days. We have learned a few things so far:
1. We hate the generator (although it works great)
2. The RV's Convertor battery charger is either faulty or not adequate as my batteries have to be about stone dead for it to put out more than a float charge of 13.1 volts into the batteries, consequently the batteries never get fully charged
3. We can do this boondocking thing without immense pain and suffering.
4. It's really great for the budget and allows us to splurge in other ways
5. In some sort of sick, demented way, it just feels good to get by with less
But now it's time for a short spring break :
Tuesday morning we left for the 120 mile trek to Aqua Caliente County Park in California. We checked into a full hookup site for three days to get well cleaned out (holding tanks) and fully recharged (our Batteries).
Aqua Caliente is more like a Spa than a County Park. It has three natural hot spring heated pools and is in a beautiful postcard setting. We are in spot 103 which backs right up overlooking a green wetland area that is teeming with birds, quail, rabbits and other assorted wildlife. Wednesday morning we took a 2 1/2 mile hike on the Moonlight Canyon Trail. It was one of the best all around hikes we have done, with a rocky uphill section, followed by a downhill trek into a canyon, then into a wet swampy area, then back into a flat desert and hot sun. We then tried the pools, all are fed by natural hot mineral springs, one indoor pool is supplemented by heating to 102 degrees with water jets, another outside pool is around 75 degrees and the third is the natural spring temperature of 90 degrees. We repeated this same exercise on Thursday. The only negative here is no cell service or internet, but you can drive 5 miles north to the next county park, Vallecito Stage Station County Park, which has service. This was an original Butterfield Overland Stage Coach stop, with the old adobe station stop building recreated back in the 1930's by the WPA. There is an event there this weekend to celebrate the Overland Stage Coach route and it's history. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfield_Overland_Mail
We learned about a man, Marshal South, who lived a few miles away in Blair Valley with his wife and started a family. He built a house in the desert in 1930 and practiced living a natural and primitive lifestyle there until 1947. Divorse ended it all, imagine that ! He also wrote monthly articles, essays and poems for "Desert Magazine" during this period and developed quite a following and much publicity.
In spite of all the beauty here our stay was stressful as our beloved cat of the past 18 years, Marley, was slowly dying. This blog was almost named "Travels with Marley". On Wednesday evening I had to bury him up on a beautiful hill top along the Moonlight Canyon Trail. He was an exceptional cat and it was a sad, sad day.
On Friday we are back on the trail for Borrego Springs, California, stay tuned.
Twinkles and Slick
|Fruit carving demo at Lettuce Days|
|Twinkles was amazed|
|Train cars at Lettuce Days next to All American Canal|
|Beavertail Prickley Pear Cactus bloom|
|Dole truck at Lettuce Days|
|McCormack-Derring Tractor at Lettuce Days|
|Ocotilla in bloom|
|Fairy Duster in bloom|
|Open mine on my hike off Ogilby Road|
|Our site at Agua Caliente County Park|
|Windmills at Ocotilla, California|
|The Butterfield Overland Stage Line building|
|Having my morning coffee|
|View from the Moonlight Canyon Trail|
|Chupa Rosa in bloom|
|View from the Moonlight Canyon Trail|
|Another view from the Moonlight Canyon Trail|
|Marley's final resting spot|