East Side of the Salton Sea

8 February 2016

Today we are in Yuma at the DelPueblo RV resort. We arrived on the 29th of January and planned to stay for a week. Some slight health problems with Pepper had us rearranging our schedule to stay for some medication to come in. (There is nothing serious just her age creeping up.) We plan on staying until the 13th then will slowly start making our way to the Bay area for a family commitment in mid-March.

Prior to this we spent 8 days at the at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. We had a great stay with many beautiful days, the sea was normally calm and the Sea Gulls, Pelicans and many other birds (Lisa will fill you in on her bird sightings) continuously flew up and down the East side in front of our camp. We lounged around with our binoculars and Lisa’s camera watching them gather or fly by. Whenever I am around a body of water I feel calm. Lisa says “It feels good for my soul here.” I agree.

I pulled out the Coleman Stove and the Weber Grill (not seen here) and cooked breakfast and dinner when I’m not lounging in the sun enjoying the view.

Any one ready for breakfast?

One of the things interesting about the Salton Sea is the diverse reaction to the place itself. We had read favorable and some very unfavorable blog posts. In case there is someone reading this and might be interested in visiting the Salton Sea I hope you will read other opinions and decide for yourself. But honestly, I almost did not camp here due to what I read and I’m glad we decided to give it a chance. The unfavorable attributes do exist. It is a landlocked saline lake and the salt concentration is extremely high killing off many fish washing up on the beach providing the birds with a seemingly never ending food source. This is not the place to walk along the beach and collect sea shells. We stay up along side the beach and enjoy the sun, water, mountains, birds, sunsets and spacious camping (there are approximately 8-10 linear camping spots along the beach). It also is right next to the highway and railroad tracks. That has not been distracting for us nor interfered with our experience. During the summer months I understand there is a strong smell from the sea. Since it is January, we have not experienced a strong unpleasing odor.

We arrived on the 21st of January to meet up with Jackie and Joe (my Sister and Brother-in-Law) while they were at Palm Springs for Joe to attend a conference. We met up with Jackie at our camp on Saturday and headed out to Salvation Mountain and Slab City. We have read so much about these cultural landmarks from many RV Bloggers we had to go see it for ourselves.

Salvation Mountain is the lifetime creation of Leonard Knight as a tribute to God.  The picture does not do it justice. It is something you have to see in person to really appreciate the amount of work of this 150 feet wide and 50 feet high mountain of straw, clay and paint.

Jackie and I in front of Salvation Mountain
Lisa and I
There is a reason the welcome sign reminds me of the military

Slap City is East of the Sea and is named from the concrete slabs left there after the World War II Marine military barracks called Camp Dunlop was dismantled in 1961. People started living there free of charge after it was abandoned by the military and turned over to State of California. Now squatters and snowbirds live in the desert with no water or electricity. It is a very interesting to see old trailers and shacks intermixed with expensive motorhomes, fifth wheelers and trailers.

On Saturday we had lunch with Jackie and Joe at the Jackalope Ranch on Highway 111 in Indio, California. This place was humongous 22,000 square foot lodge with beautiful landscaped gardens with water features and it was great food. We really enjoyed the company, atmosphere and food.


After lunch we went to the International Banana Museum.  Yes, I said the International Banana Museum.  The only one in the world and described on their own website as “the most aPEELing destination on the planet.” Hahahahahaha!!!

Birds of the Salton Sea

One of the nice things about the Salton Sea was the birds. We didn’t get a lot of pictures but we did get to see gulls, pelicans and egrets every day. This was one of the things that made the Sea so peaceful and relaxing.

Great Egret
Ring-billed and Herring Gull
Ring-billed (front) and Herring Gull
Black-necked Stilts
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Eared Grebe
Black-bellied Plover
Black-bellied Plover
Great Egret

We haven’t been to any exciting or unique restaurants in the last month. So no beautiful pictures of food or buildings.

We haven’t done a great job of updating the blog, but will try and get better.

9 thoughts on “East Side of the Salton Sea

  1. Brenda and Matthew February 11, 2016 / 4:18 am

    So nice to hear from you guys. Ah the Salton Sea. I camped there quite a bit as a teenager. Water skiing was kind of crazy. Very shallow water all across it. You never knew if it was safe to dive in the water. At least not head first. We use to be able to ride dirt bikes all over the beach back then.

    Glad your having a good time. I love seeing the pictures you post. Can’t wait to see you guys. We look forward to going to dinner again. Keep us posted so we know when to look for you. Yes we know it will be a while.

    Be safe, hug each other for us.

    Lots of love
    Brenda and Matthew


    • arizonalizards February 11, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      The sea has definitely changed since you water skied on it. They are thinking it might be dry by 2050. Don’t worry you will know when we head back. We miss you two.


  2. Anonymous February 10, 2016 / 4:12 am

    Am glad y’all went there. When I lived in CA I went there and felt the same sense of peace and tranquility. Loved all of the pictures –thanks for sharing. You both look really good. I wonder what it would look like if LA had not taken so much water that would have flowed there. JW


    • arizonalizards February 10, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      John, three’s a sense of peace you get there. It’s not just Los Angeles anymore it’s also San Diego and other places I think it will be dried up within the next 50 years, personal opinion.


    • arizonalizards February 9, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      Hi Carla, I was reading your comment going, huh? I knew it was way before 2015. I think if I lived in Southern California the sea would be one of my favorite down time areas. Thanks for the compliments on the photos.


  3. Carla Kazsimer February 9, 2016 / 5:26 am

    I lived in Southern California before moving to Sierra Vista in 2015 and have been to the Salton Sea. It was many years ago. I am so enjoying reading about your adventures, and love the photos of the birds.


  4. Barb Williams February 9, 2016 / 1:50 am

    I loved reading this and seeing the birds. Over the years we’ve made a number of trips to the Salton Sea (I also lived in El Centro as a kid) and it’s absolutely fascinating, particularly when you study it’s political history. We did get a bit of the summer smell you mention, but it was not horrible, really. It’s a very unique place.


    • arizonalizards February 9, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks, Barb. The history of the Salton Sea was extremely interesting to read about. Being me I had to go online and read further after going to the park headquarters. It is definitely a unique place. And until the winds pushed the smog from LA it was very pleasant. We loved just sitting and watching the birds fly by.


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