Monday, May 18, 2009

Hot Springs and Oasis

The Pool House
The road opens into the oasis.
Blooming flowers in the oasis.
Date Palm Grove

Old Spanish Trail Highway

We decided to extend our stay in Pahrump to do some work on the RV and enjoy some other nearby attractions. I have been trying to fix the mount on one of the slides that I discovered was installed improperly. It has been an on-going project since we were in Rockport and with the Ace hardware being close by we went for the major fix. I think the problem has been solved with so many nuts, bolts and screws put in place we may need to get the rig reweighed. Only time will tell if this fix is the one, but I am more confident with it than the ones I did in the past. One thing we noticed here is even though we are on the other side of the mountain and some 60 miles from Las Vegas the night sky to the east is lit with the glow of the many city lights. After spending so much time away from big cities, the light pollution is really noticeable. The daytime temps here have been in the high 90's and low 100's but it cools down a lot at night. We get to sit outside every evening and have been disappointed we have not seen any UFOs since we are so close to Area 51. There was a news story of something going down south of Vegas a year ago that the military swept in and took away before the sun rose, but we haven't seen anything but planes.

One little side trip was to the Tecopa Hot Springs where we got to soak in the 104 degree mineral water pool. The hot springs pool is run by the county and the site has a large campground that would be a great place to stay during a cooler time of the year. The cost of camping includes admission to the pools. The pool houses (no clothes allowed) were segregated by sex with each having a hot and cool(er) pool. It was uncrowded and the smooth mineral laden water was very relaxing. This is a great stop for those traveling to nearby Death Valley.

That same day we visited the China Ranch Date Farm, a little family run farm in a small Mojave Desert oasis. The last two miles to the farm is a narrow dirt road that descends through a canyon that opens into a sea of green cottenwoods and palm trees. We were surprised to discover that, like apples, dates come in a large variety most of which originated in North Africa and Arabia. We did take a short walk through the grove but opted out of a longer hike on one of their many trails since the temperature had climbed to 116. We did buy a variety pack of dates and enjoyed a cool refreshing date shake. We visited the hot springs and date farm at the suggestion of Sharon and Allan Frey and thank them for that. We weren't quite sure where the heck they were sending us as the search for the date farm took us through the most isolated and barren landscape we have seen. We are really glad we continued because it was quite a suprise when we found it. The ride back to Pahrump was over the Old Spanish Trail Highway, a road so isolated we only saw three vehicles in over forty miles.


MarkandRenita said...

A date shake? Refreshing? You must like dates. Clear skies, Mark and Renita

Art In The Sun said...

Hey there...we are glad you made it out to some of our favorite places. We have stayed in that campground and hiked the canyon. It is lovely when it is not as hot. You still need to see the desert wildflowers in the Spring. Next year, perhaps?