Tune in this Saturday for the SOS Save Our Sea at The Salt N Sea.
We will start the day by heading down Highway 86 to an un...marked road that leads to the abandoned Navy Base. When the road runs into sand-dunes we will go around the dunes, traveling down what was once the air-strip for the base. We will then pass through the center of the base, once home to over 600 Navy and private contract personnel on our way to visit two giant concrete ammo bunkers (one, buried 95% by dunes). We will then head toward the shore, passing over the giant experimental desalinization pits abandoned in 1999, to explore what remains of the pier and boat-houses once used by Navy vessels to recover the atomic bomb test "shapes" dropped here in the early 1940's. We will then travel north along the shore to explore the only two remaining buildings which still show the battle scars of live-fire practice training for the first Gulf War. We will then drive south and back up the sandy wash back to the road and Highway 86.
Proceeding south on Highway 86, then east through the town of Westmorland, we will make our way back north toward the boiling mud-pot fields and Mullet Island near Red Hill. Assuming the muddy trail is passable we will leave the road and parallel the Alamo River then veer north and head through the sandy desert to California's largest and most active mud-pot field that up until about 10 years ago was underwater. After many "oooh's and ahhhs" we will then travel approximately 1/2 west through what was under-water until just 7 months ago to Mullet Island, a small island (now a peninsula) that has the remains (foundations) of a bar and a dance hall from the 1920's known as "Hells Kitchen" as well as a fish-packing plant. Up until less than 1 year ago the island was home to 100's of thousands of birds and their giant nests still litter the giant and beautiful rock formations - Now that the water has receded predators can walk up and eat the eggs from the nests, forcing the birds to leave. The ground on the island is not dirt! It is almost entirely made of 115 years worth of bird "pellets".
We will then head to Highway 111 to head back home, optionally driving though the metropolis of Bombay Beach (google it!) and possibly stopping by the world-famous Ski Inn for a 'unique' meal.
WARNING:: The whole family is invited but while at the mud-pot field all children (and maybe some adults) must be closely supervised at all times! This is a new/'raw' mudpot field with no protective barriers. Multiple people have fallen through the thin surface into the boiling hot mud, resulting in serious injury.
We can only do this run on a dry day. If there has been any rain in the previous 5-10 days, getting to the mud pots and Mullet Island may be difficult/impossible due to the mud. This is not your typical Southern California mud! It is a very fine, silty clay-like mud that in some areas is more like quick-sand. If it happens to have rained in the previous 10 days, instead of the mud-pots and Mullet Island, we will visit Obsidian Butte instead for some cliff-views of Salton Sea where the entire ground is covered in obsidian - from small flecks up to giant boulders the size of houses.
Date: Saturday, April 23 2016
Time: Meet at 9:30AM, roll out at 10AM
Meeting spot: 90496 66th Ave, Mecca, CA - (Starbucks) at the intersection of Highway 86 and Highway 195 (aka Ave 66) - the parking lot is small, so find a spot there or at the gas station and come say hello. It will be wise to gas-up here.
Comms: CB channel: 16 / HAM 146.450 simp
Navigation Tip: Some GPS's may want you to get off Interstate 10 and come in on Highway 111 - don't do that! It will take hours. Stay on I-10 and merge on to Highway 86 near Coachella. Follow 86 several miles to our meeting point at Hwy 86 & Hwy 195 (aka Ave 66)