Friday April 29

Yuma, AZ to Lake Mathews, CA

My last day in Arizona, and I get to leave Yuma! Yippee! I got up early, had a snack and blew out of town...I was so happy to cross the California border! I had been taking Highway 8 from Tucson, and although it goes to San Diego, I decided to turn north at El Centro and drive up the east side of the Salton Sea, which I had never done (Doug and I drove down the west side years ago). I wanted to see a town called Bombay Beach because it's supposed to be a great place for 'urban decay' photography, even thought it's not at all urban. I wanted to stop by Shields' Date Farm, which I remember fondly from that same trip Doug and I took many years ago. And I had come across a reference to a house in Palm Springs where there were supposed to be some kind of robot sculptures in the yard, and that was right on the way to where I was going, which was Jo Nell's house.

I was so happy to see the Welcome to California sign! then I turned north, got gas in Brawley, got lost because they had changed the direction of the highway I wanted to take to Bombay Beach, ended up going BACK through Brawley, and then I was driving north by the Salton Sea!

It was, unfortunately, a pretty hazy day, so the pictures of the Salton Sea aren't very's much prettier in sunshine and clear skies, and it looked better in person than in these pictures.
More views of Salton Sea after Bombay Beach, on the way to Indio. More and more date farms showed up along the north shore, until suddenly I was in Indio proper.
This sign was near a tiny mobile-home community beside Salton Sea. I loved how weathered it is, still valiantly trying to sell lots...

And the cows under the date trees were so contented.

Shields Date Farm! The last time I had been here, probably 15 or so years ago, it was out in the middle of Indio has grown up around it and there's a huge shopping mall across the street. Such is progress.

After that, I went to Palm Springs, then I made my way to Jo Nell's house, and we spent the evening playing games and having a wonderful time. It was a great camping trip, but I was happy to be going home the next day.