Thursday, May 20, 2010

China Ranch Date Farm

Again I was up a little after 0600. I guess the mountains are calling me! I enjoyed the quiet and did some exercising. Then coffee and computer time. I woke Jim around 0800 which gave him time to have coffee and breakfast before we left on our journey.

Before we left I stripped the bed and started washing sheets. Of course I did up the dishes and packed our picnic lunch.

Our destination today was the China Ranch Date Farm in Tecopa, California. But first we drove through the Mohave Desert to get there! Jim routed us so we could travel on the Old Spanish Trail. I don't think he knew it would take us this far off the beaten track.

For a few miles were in the middle of nowhere!

Gravel roads, then desert tracks and eventually the paved Old Spanish Trail. We all enjoyed the trip even if there were times when we wondered where it would lead.
Apparently this area was mined for gypsum, borax and other minerals and I cannot imagine mining in the heat we had today and it's not even summer.

The drive was interesting but once we turned on the road to the Ranch we were all impressed and I'm sorry we don't have pictures of the descent into the valley. Stark walls with little vegetation. Closed up mines with boards or fencing blocking the entrances.
I'm not sure how many people live on the ranch but we saw several dwellings of various construction, even an older 5th wheel that I'm sure was air lifted in! It couldn't have come in via the same road we did.

Jim took these pictures and I'm not sure where he found this blooming cactus but it sure is pretty.

This and the following two pictures are date palms. There are several varieties and in different stages of growth.

this row was planted from seed and are the oldest.

I love this truck! I took this picture along with the following two palm shots

the Tecopa Hot Springs, are in the area and I assume that's where they get the water to irrigate the grove of Palm Trees. We had our picnic lunch by a flowing stream of clear water.

After our lunch we took a few more pictures then left going back via a different route, traveling on paved roads once we left the ranch road.

Anne took the following pictures, all of them worthy of being jig saw puzzles!

Scotty did a fine job of navigating the ruts of the dry desert bed. We did have a GPS and it said we were on the road so we kept going....
"Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe ~ Anatole France"