Monday, June 27, 2011

Trabuco Canyon

In the continuing series of hikes in some of the local parks around the greater LA area, we visited Trabuco Canyon.,-117.589417&spn=0.262317,0.676346&sll=-25.335448,135.745076&sspn=36.001906,86.572266&z=11

Another beautiful walk up a creek bed to a small waterfall. I think the pictures pretty much cover all the details.

On the way back we made friends with a little skink - note the bright blue on his throat.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Salton Sea part III - Southern end and Salton City

After lunch we headed around the southern tip of the Salton Sea. Down at the bottom is the Sonny Bono wildlife reserve with a surprisingly large amount of bird life, considering the nasty state of the water. Sadly my telephoto lens wasn't up to zooming several hundred yards away....but William spotted a cool owl on the side of the road as we sped by - it was kind enough to hang around for a photo opportunity.

Heading north along the western side of the sea we visited Salton City - another fairly desolate town. It had clearly been laid out with the expectation of a huge booming resort town - throughout the place there were roads with power poles but no houses, or just one or two really old ones. There was a marina and a bunch of places that looked like they were set up for holiday frolickers but now they were all in decay and a pretty bad stench hung in the air.

I found the place profoundly sad, I think not because it wasn't all nice and shiny, but because a large contributor to the failure of the area is in fact runoff from agricultural land helping the water become toxic in parts (alagal blooms) and raising the salinity so much.

Salton City

On the way home we also found some dinosaurs - Rwarrr!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Salton Sea part II - Salvation Mountain and Slab City

Salvation Mountain
Continuing our Salton Sea adventure we also visited Salvation Mountain. Ahh how do I describe this place...ummm.....basically one slightly crazy guy (Leonard Knight), who really, really loves Jesus has built and painted his very own little mountain out of straw bales and adobe. He has also created a museum off to the side which mainly comprises more bible quotes and slogans inside a twisting cavern with embedded trees and old timber as structural support. Kind of like Dr Seuss on a bad trip.

He's still going strong but fairly deaf - we found him kicking back in the shade and we shared some of our lunch with Leonard and some dude who was touching up some of paint. It may be a little kooky but you gotta admire his dedication and the result, while maybe not fully aligned everyone's artistic taste, is certainly effective.

 William, John, Raquel, Chris, Laura (Cheyenne took the photo)

Slab City
Just behind the mountain is a place called Slab City - a former military base taken over by alternative lifestylers in RVs (Recreational Vee-Hicles) and featured in the book/movie "Into the Wild". We didn't stay long as there wasn't anyone about in the middle of the day but there were a few pics to be had.