Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fountain of Youth exists!

Odometer  38391
Trip Meter  106 miles

Wednesday April 2, 2014

This morning after breakfast, we loaded up and got rigged for travel.  Mark Lankford came over about 9:30 AM to see us off, and by 11 AM we were heading out of the park bound for Costco in El Centro about 50 miles west on Interstate 8.

We figured we get to Costco at lunch time and have one of their delicious turkey and provolone sandwiches on a ciabatta roll, then buy some groceries before heading north to Niland and the Fountain of Youth RV Resort on the east side of the Salton Sea.

The Forcast for Yuma this morning called for gusty winds reaching 33 mph and a blowing dust advisory.  Once we were out on the Interstate we could see what we were in for, and it didn't look good.  Sand was sheeting across the interstate and etching the right side of our bus.  Thankfully this motorhome is not affected by wind the way our last two were- a few gusts buffeted us around in our lane- but nothing serious.

Just west of Yuma are the Algodones Dunes- and it soon became apparent that they were what was causing all the blowing dust in Yuma.  After we passed the dunes, the skies cleared up and the rest of the way into El Centro was blue skies and puffy white clouds.

This area is well served by railroads, and we watched workers improving a section of the track and installing new concrete cross ties.  We also saw many freight trains hauling cargo east and west.

The Imperial Valley in and around El Centro is farming country- acres and acres of vegetables and grain as far as the eye could see in every direction.  Here we took a picture of a field of corn that has already tasseled out in early April!  We also saw hay, alfalfa, wheat or barley, cabbage, onions, artichokes and many, many, other vegetables.

As  we left the Costco lot in El Centro the skies to the north looked tan and dusty- we wondered if we were making the right decision going to Niland.  The winds were from the west, and I figured with us on the east side of the Salton Sea- there shouldn't be any sand or dust for the wind to throw at us- and It turns out we were correct.

As we reached the part of hwy 111 that follows the east shore the skies were clear and dust-free.  The photo above is the entrance to the Fountain of Youth (FOY) RV park.  This is a winter haven, and as this is April most snowbirds have headed back north and we did not need reservations- there was plenty of space.

We chose a space close to the pools and hot tubs (across the street!)   After we got setup we took a quick walk around the park.  This is a fairly large park at 719 spaces for rent, and there is a very high percentage of folks who return year after year and have semi-permanent park models or mobile homes on their lots.

The park is on the slopes of the Chocolate Mountains and is terraced to maximize the view from every lot.

The dark blue near the horizon in the photo above is the Salton Sea off in the distance.

This is our second time staying here, and the last time was at least 10 years ago, but I remembered this view of the Chocolate Mountains like it was yesterday.  Awesome!

Noticed this very neat looking golf cart "pick-up" on our walk.  The size of the RV park, makes golf carts very useful and there are a lot of them here- this is by far the most clever design we've seen.

Well- I gotta tell you this is the pay-off for our grueling 106 mile drive today.  If the water looks grungy- it is.  This is a hot mineral spring that is cooled from 136 degrees to 105 so I didn't get par-boiled.  There are at least 3 other hot spas, and two heated pools in a two block area.

Joan and I stayed in the pool/ spa until hunger drove us back to the coach for dinner. 

We will stay here through tomorrow and then head up to Cathedral City on Friday to see Joan's Aunt Claudette.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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