I received a message on Instagram from a fellow RV couple saying they were in the same area as us in California so we decided to meet up for happy hour. It was so nice to meet another RV couple our age, to find out their RV tale, and swap stories. We had a lot in common and when they invited us to go on a hike with them we gladly accepted.
Here are the enjoyable activities we did with this fun and adventurous couple:
Ladder Canyon Hike: This fun hike is located in a slot canyon in Mecca Hills, just southeast of Palm Springs. The hike starts off in a open canyon and about ¼ of mile in, a sign points to the left indicating the start of the slot canyon hike. We passed through narrow parts of the canyon and navigated up several ladders, all in good shape but none we would want to climb down. The ladders part is fairly quick and opens up to a trail to follow up and around the top of the canyon and then slopes back down into the canyon with the rest of the hike within the open canyon.
Salton Sea: Weirdly unique, interesting, and sad describes what it’s like to see the Salton Sea. In 1905, a rush of the Colorado River caused the Salton Sink to flood, creating the Salton Sea. This 350-square-mile sea is a shallow salt lake that in the 1950’s and 1960’s used to be a tourist destination but in the 1970’s, the Salton Sea took a turn for the worst and is now shrinking and toxic. The air has toxic dust and is hazardous to breathe, the
sulfide can be smelled up to 150 miles away depending on the wind, the shores are lined with fish bones and debris, and the area is an abandoned wasteland. Driving one sees boarded up homes, motels and restaurants covered in graffiti and the occasional home, as a couple hundred people still live in the area. Scientist are researching a way to save this area so it’s no longer a health and environmental hazard.
Salvation Mountain: Close to the Salton Sea is Salvation Mountain and it may look familiar as it’s been featured in movies such as Into the Wild and music videos. Leonard Knight wanted to spread the message of love so he created Salvation Mountain. His first mountain crumbled
after 4 years and instead of being discouraged, he was grateful and knew he needed to create a more stable mountain. He re-created his artwork painting Bible verses, Christians sayings and murals and is now a walkable museum for others to enjoy.
Slab City: Next to Salvation Mountain is Slab City. This area was previously an old WWII base and is now an area where thousand of people go to camp for free and be one with nature. There is no change and one can park anywhere though there is no running water, no electricity, no sewers, and no trash pickup, and due to lack of government, really, no rules or laws. Some move to the slab due to poverty, some to live off the grid but within Slab City is it’s own community. There are sculpture gardens, social clubs, live music, a library, and vendors selling Slab City merchandise.
Owl Canyon: Another weekend we went to Rainbow Basin, located by Barstow off the road from the famous Route 66. The area has desert life and large hillsides, and distinct multi-covered rock formations. The hike itself can go on and on for miles within the open canyon and has many side trails to explore, including a small cave. The hiking trails were formed from washed out areas from rain and we found a few small rain puddles in the shade that had ice on them, even though the temperature was in the 60’s! This hike required some scrambling and we even found some hidden arches and window formations. After the hike we took the long way home, driving up into the snow covered mountains knowing that only in California can one be in the desert and than snow covered mountains within the same day.
We are all done with our California adventures and look forward to sharing our travels as we make our way to Utah in April.
‘Till next time!