After some action-packed, whirlwind days of hiking and sightseeing, today we took a more leisurely pace:
- drove around the Salton Sea, visiting Salvation Mountain and Slab City. Salvation Mountain is basically a huge art installation by a dude who wanted to spread the love of God. The guy has passed on a few years ago, but his legacy continues with a non profit board continuing his work. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to post up pictures to show off just what I’m describing. On the other hand, Slab City is a community of squatters and people outside the fringes of society — if you have a tent or RV, then lay down your stakes and call it home. We drove around the open areas and found that some enterprising people have opened up a hostel, Internet cafe, library and more. But with temperatures reaching 120 degrees in the summer, this is one place that Lisa and I won’t be retiring to.
- the Salton Sea is 35 miles long by 15 miles wide and has been the subject of so many shattered dreams and land speculating, we just had to check it out. From far away it is beautiful — who wouldn’t want to live near it? — but come closer and you can smell the odor of yuck … from dead fish to blue algae growth to neglect.
- we drove Box Canyon Road through the Mecca Hills and up to Joshua Tree National Park, taking a quick stop at the south entrance Visitor Center before heading out to Shield’s Date Farm and happy hour at a local Mexican joint.
- we finished our evening at the Living Desert WildLights – fortunately it wasn’t super cold, and we managed to stroll around for almost two hours admiring the holiday lights and catching glimpses of animals still on exhibit like the porcupine and the giraffe.
Expense log; rental car averages $21 per day
$25 Joshua Tree National Park entrance fee (good for seven days)
$15.78 Happy Hour at Pueblo Viejo Grill — the steak nachos were the bomb!
$20 Living Desert WildLights admission
$7.25 Date butter gift
$7.24 Subway lunch