A Weekend at the Salton Sea
December 29-31, 2012
Last weekend we headed to the Salton Sea. We spent New Years Weekend there four 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.