Sunday, January 31, 2010
WIND TURBINES AND FOOD
When we got back home we decided to try out the buffet at the Fantasy Springs Casino. Jeri & Terry said it was really good and they were right. The only problem with buffets is you overeat and then have to roll home. But look at those desserts.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
Joshua trees grow approximately 1/2 inch per year. The tallest one in the park stands at 40 feet and is estimated to be 300 years old. They don't have tree rings so age is always an estimate.
In the Colorado Desert part of the park is the Cholla Cactus Garden. These are called "jumping" Cholla because they will attach themslves to anything that gets too close. From a distance the jumping cholla, also known as teddy bear cholla, looks like a fuzzy, soft plant with many short, fuzzy branches looking like teddybear arms, growing from the top. As you get closer you realize that the cuddly looking plant is completely covered with silvery spines. If you are unlucky enough to touch the spines, you will find yourself painfully stuck to a spiny segment that seems to have "jumped" off the plant. Segments will also "jump" when stepped on and attach themselves to your leg. So beware if you visit this garden.
We drove up to Keys View which is at an elevation of 5,185 feet and offers a magnificent view of the Coachella Valley. Only one problem - all the smog from LA is channeled through the pass and down through the valley so you will see a lot of haze in the pictures we took. You can sort of see the Salton Sea and kind of see the San Andreas Fault. You can also see Mount San Jacinto.
As we came down the road frm Keys View I wanted to get a picture of Jim with a Joshua tree so I had him turn down a dirt road so we could find a great tree. We drove about a mile down the road and all of a sudden in front of us in the road was a coyote. What an experience. I've been hearing them everynight out in the desert but to actually see one in the day time. I love being able to see and enjoy all of the Lord's creations.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
FINAL SUNSET AND A GORGEOUS MOON
AFTER THE RAIN
Beautiful campsite and we only had to walk across the parking lot to be at the shoreline. The birds are amazing. The pelicans here look so different than the ones we saw in Florida.
GAMBLING & EATING (AGAIN)
Salvation Mountain must be seen to be fully appreciated. Its 50 foot height and 150 foot breadth is made totally of local adobe clay and donated paint and is truly unique. From its Sea of Galilee at the bottom, to the big red heart in the middle, to the cross at the very top, the reoccurring theme of "Love" is everywhere at Salvation Mountain.
Leonard had been experimenting with the native adobe clay and had been using it on other parts of the mountain. Over the next several years, he rebuilt his mountain using adobe mixed with straw to hold it all together. It evolved into what it is today. As he fashions one part or another with clay, he coats it with paint. This keeps the wind and the rain from eroding it away. The more paint, the thicker the coat, the better and stronger it becomes. People come from all over with donations of paint. He uses it very liberally. Leonard estimates that he has put well over 100,000 gallons of paint on his mountain.