In 1919, the Constable of Palm Springs was a young man named Riley. The town was still a sleepy little hamlet before the age of celebrity came to its doorstep. The citizens were hard working earthy people who’d learned to live in a rugged climate amidst a tribe of mostly docile Indians. But there was a shadow lurking over the town and children would disappear under its cloud. Mainly the shadow stayed over Tahquitz canyon, hanging there as a warning not to enter. Legend says that when the shadow is in the canyon, all is safe, because the witch hides in its embrace. But on cloudy days or at night time when the shadow is everywhere, you must beware-for the witch is out
In Riley’s tale, he is asked to lead a posse into the canyon after the disappearance of a little Indian girl who is the daughter of a maid of one of the city’s elite; an early auto mechanic named Zaddie Bunker.
Zaddie brings together a dozen or so city leaders to Lykken’s General Store, now a historical site, where each person shares a story on their personal feelings or confrontations with the Witch. Newspaper man Randall Henderson tells the most gripping tale of how nearly 30 years earlier a little boy had been kidnapped and forced to eat his friend before he could escape. it appears a generation earlier a posse had formed to capture the Witch, which they thought they had, and ship her off to notorious Yuma Federal Prison in the middle of the desert wasteland. Unfortunately the stage coach she was on never made it and all of her cavalry dragoon escort mysteriously.
So Riley’s posse takes off to catch the witch with half a dozen white settlers, an ancient Indian Medicine man (Pedro Chino) and a young Indian boy named Jesus. along the way, Pedro tells the boy of even earlier events of the tribe and their interaction with the Witch. Her name is Mena and she was not always bad. Hundreds of years ago she had been brought forth by Spanish explorers in their quest for gold. she had called upon the gods for a chance to escape and a husband who would protect. The Mountain god answered, destroying the Spanish longboats searching as far north as a primordial Salton Sea in a hail of lightning. she swam ashore and slowly walked towards the tall mountain peak she could see ion the distance and when she saw the canyon and the Medicine Man Tahquitz who lived there, she knew she had found home.
For a long time she and her man helped the Cahuilla. But over time, there medicine turned bitter and their most famous spell of sucking the bad out of people began to draw the entire soul of their patients and in doing so prolonged their lives. Eventually, Mena tricked and killed Tahquitz, who continues to lie as an eternal spirit of the Cahuilla.
The posse finally reaches her camp site and kills her, though not without damage to their own group. One member, big John, is left behind to watch the embers of the Witch burn, for this is the only true way to know she is dead. But before she is turned to ash he is chased away by coyotes and other animals.
INDIO (CBS) — the organizer of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will sell a limited number of passes to local residents Friday.
Goldenvoice, the festival’s organizer, released general admission passes “as a continued thank you to the residents of the Coachella Valley,” according to a company statement.
Residents from North Palm Springs to the Salton Sea can buy up to two passes for this weekend’s festival, which starts Friday. Passes will be for sale at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden box office, 78-200 Miles Ave., Friday from 8 a.m to 10 p.m. or while supplies last.
The buyer and guest must both be present, “as the wristband will be applied directly to their wrist by box office staff at the time of purchase,” Goldenvoice’s statement said.
Passes are $330 each, are non-transferable and proof of residency must be shown by a California driver’s license, ID card or government-issued identification.
The festival is being held over two weekends for the first time this year. It encompasses five outdoor stages at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
In California's 'last frontier,' an unsure future
CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) — the day begins at 1:40 a.m. for Maria Guadalupe Pimentel when her husband knocks on their bedroom door, less than four hours after she fell asleep.
“It’s time,” Ignacio Erape says before heading to the kitchen of their home just across the border in Mexicali, Mexico. he finishes preparing a lunch of spicy chorizo sausage rolled into tortillas for his wife and four children.
Within minutes, Pimentel is in the back seat of her son’s 1998 Honda Civic, passing through deserted boulevards on her way to the United States.
She and thousands of other Mexicans enter the US legally each morning and return home each night — forming an unusual pillar of one of America’s most depressed labor markets. California’s Imperial Valley consistently registers the nation’s highest unemployment rate — 26.7 percent in February— yet it looks south of the border to fill many of its jobs because locals shun $9-an-hour jobs picking crops.
And that’s not all that distinguishes the Imperial Valley, barely 100 miles east of San Diego but a world away.
It’s a place where a massive diversion of the Colorado River created a garden in the desert that stocks the nation’s supermarkets with vegetables during winter. It’s a place that embraced new prisons and a huge build-up in border enforcement, making law enforcement one of the only careers for young men and women hoping to stay close to home. Trying to grow further beyond its farming roots, it’s a place that lately has made its abundant sunshine, wind and underground heat available to renewable energy companies.
A look at a day in the life here shows how issues that all Americans ponder, especially in this election season — environment, jobs, immigration — play out in unique ways in the Imperial Valley.
Finally, she enters Calexico, pop. 39,000, and walks three blocks to “La Dona,” a donut shop that serves weak coffee and is one of the main gathering spots for crew leaders to find workers.
“I need two workers,” says one crew leader to Pimentel, who politely declines. It is 5 a.m. and the tiny downtown’s streets are bustling with buses and cars headed to the fields.
Pimentel has the best job in her family, making $9 to $11 an hour working for Steve Scaroni, one of Imperial Valley’s largest farm labor contractors. he cuts her a check every Friday with $40 cash advances three days a week, and she has never had to haggle over missing pay.
Now 49, she quit a job earning the equivalent of $7 a day assembling heating vents at a Mexicali factory when she became a legal U.S. resident in 2006. She earns more money in an hour working in California, lifting organic romaine hearts from a conveyor belt and putting them into plastic bags three at a time.
Pimentel and her husband never attended a day of school in central Mexico and neither can read. She began picking strawberries when she was 12. he began herding cattle when he was 6.
The young couple heeded the call of Pimentel’s half-sister to join her in Mexicali in the late 1970s, hoping for steady work. Erape, now 59, became a legal U.S. resident after a 1986 law granted amnesty to 2.7 million people. For three decades, he worked half the year picking crops in California’s Central Valley. but in 2008, spiraling U.S. housing costs led him to stay in Mexcali to care full-time for three of his 11 grandchildren.
They live in a comfortable house on Mexicali’s southern outskirts, painted orange with three white arches over the front patio and a well-manicured garden. On Sundays — Pimentel’s only day off — it is an open house for family and friends to feast on dishes like shrimp ceviche and tripe soup. Laughter fills the air as Pimentel hovers near the stove.
Money is always tight. the house has no bathroom sink and only enough white floor tiles to cover two of four bedrooms. Telephone service was cut off in December.
And so Pimentel, a stocky woman who pulls her black wavy hair into a ponytail and has a few missing teeth, keeps working in Imperial Valley’s fields, as do her children, who also became cross-border commuters when they turned legal residents in 2006.
Alejandro, 32, and Jose, 28, work seven days a week, making $8 an hour connecting irrigation pipes and doing other odd jobs. Alejandro, who drives across the border in his 2006 Chevrolet Silverado around midnight and sleeps in his vehicle to beat the morning rush, was making $800 a week driving trucks in Southern California but the economic downturn forced him to the farms.
Eloisa, 30, makes $8.25 an hour packing lettuce, and Liliana, 28, gets $8 an hour plucking weeds. both must pay $5 a day for car rides to the fields from the border.
Scaroni, whose Swiss grandparents were among the Imperial Valley’s first settlers in 1912, worries his employees are aging. Stricter immigration enforcement has made it more difficult to find Mexican workers, and he believes Americans would be unwilling to take the jobs even at $15 an hour.
“It’s a shrinking pool. Nobody raises their kids to be farmworkers,” said Scaroni, 54, who employs hundreds of workers in the area during peak season.
Gerardo Arballo, one of Scaroni’s crew leaders, hired Pimentel in December when she approached him at the donut shop. Because of her age, he assigns her to the conveyor belt.
“She’s tired. I try to look for ways to make sure she doesn’t wear herself out,” said Arballo, 31, who wears a cowboy hat and tries to lighten the mood with jokes.
Downtown is almost emptied when Arballo gets behind the wheel of an old school bus at 6:10 a.m. Everyone is in their regular seats — Pimentel and two other women in front and eight men in back. Few words are exchanged during the one-hour ride as several close their eyes.
The no-stoplight Imperial Valley town of Holtville is called the world’s carrot capital. It’s here that Jack Vessey begins his workday listening to about a dozen lieutenants take turns addressing their areas of specialty on the 10,000 acres his family owns or leases.
One updates the staff on the 160 acres of organic romaine hearts that Pimentel’s crew was hired to pick. Bart Reis, the operations chief who runs the meeting from the head of a long table, orders 10 of those acres watered one last time before it is turned over to the crew for harvesting.
Vessey, a boyish-looking 37 with close-cropped blond hair, grows lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, celery. In spring, he picks cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. he is constantly on the phone negotiating with Dole, Fresh Express and other companies that slap their labels on his produce.
Vessey is unlike many big farmers who trace their roots in the Imperial Valley to its pioneers a century ago. Early settlers went broke when they got too zealous diverting the Colorado River in 1905, creating a two-year flood and setting the stage for another wave of European immigrants whose descendants own much of the land today. the Vesseys settled full-time in the 1960s after about two decades as part-time residents.
The family occupies some of the region’s best land near the Arizona state line, where the river feeds into the All-American Canal, an 82-mile channel that straddles the Mexican border and was built in the 1940s to prevent Imperial Valley’s lifeline from meandering outside the United States. His fields thrive on about 30 of the hundreds of narrow, concrete canals built along country highways and dirt roads. the water gets saltier as it runs downhill about 30 miles north to the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake.
Water has always been the driving political issue in Imperial Valley, fueled by fears that 19 million people living on Southern California’s coast will suck it dry. Los Angeles dealt that fate to Owens Valley farmers almost a century ago, as portrayed in Roman Polanski’s film “Chinatown.”
Imperial Valley, with only 175,000 people — but a half-million acres of productive farms — gets nearly 20 percent of the Colorado River’s flow, which would be enough for more than 6 million homes. It gets more than any of the seven western U.S. states and northern Mexico, which also rely on the 1,450-mile waterway. Early settlers were first to claim the water and, under Western water law, farmers can keep it as long as they can demonstrate it is put to good use.
Imperial Valley got a jolt in 1984 when a state panel ruled farmers were wasting water, forcing the sale of a slice of its share to cities. the Bass family, Texas oil billionaires, soon became the largest landowners in an ill-fated attempt to sell even more water to cities.
Vessey joined other big farmers to campaign against a 2003 agreement under which Imperial Valley sold water to San Diego in the nation’s largest farm-to-city transfer.
Mike Morgan, whose great-grandfather settled in 1904, is their leader. a walking encyclopedia on water disputes, Morgan has refused to cut his hair until his concerns are addressed. now, eight years later, the 64-year-old’s gray and strawberry blond ponytail stretches down his back.
The farmers’ main target is the Imperial Irrigation District, which bought the canal system from the region’s bankrupted pioneers in 1911 and manages its water rights. the government agency employs 1,300 people, ranging from “zanjeros” who open and close 6,000 metal canal gates to meter readers at its electric utility. to critics, the agency is a bloated, misguided bureaucracy.
Non-farmers now control the agency’s five-member elected board, a shift welcomed by some who fear large landowners might squander the region’s most precious resource.
Vessey disagrees: “It makes me nervous when a jeweler in El Centro has control over that water.”
A canal-lined highway carries Roy Limon from his home in the Imperial County seat of El Centro to his job in a different industry that has become a mainstay in the region: law enforcement.
Limon, 57, whose graying mustache rises when he smiles, has been a guard at a prison in Calipatria since it opened in 1992 at the peak of California’s prison construction boom and shortly before voters approved a law requiring life sentences for many three-time felons.
He rakes in overtime pay on double shifts three nights a week and he gets weekends and holidays off. His pension guarantees 75 percent of his salary when he retires in five years. Limon, whose great-grandfather settled in the Imperial Valley in the early 1900s, was the first in his family to shun farming after a stint picking watermelons as a teenager.
Calipatria and another state prison that opened nearby in 1993 employ 2,400 people — a big reason why federal, state and local government agencies account for one in three jobs in the Imperial Valley, even more than farming. Nationwide, government provides only one in six jobs.
Still, at California prisons, the flushest times are over. Court orders reduce the inmate population, and budget cuts end vocational programs. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, federal agencies behind heightened border enforcement have stepped in with jobs that start around $40,000 a year and rise quickly. the Border Patrol nearly doubled its presence in the Imperial Valley over the last six years to 1,240 agents.
Students at an Imperial Valley College criminal justice class say their parents pleaded with them not to follow their footsteps into farming.
“They just wanted something better for me,” said Michelle Herrera, 20, whose sister is a supervisor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “It was either be a teacher or law enforcement.”
The region’s unemployment rate has been sky-high for as long as anyone can remember, never dropping below double digits.
It topped 40 percent six months after Limon quit his job at the county jail to work at the new prison in 1992, doubling his pay overnight. he celebrated by buying a larger home, and his family took trips to Disneyland and Las Vegas. In 2004, he moved into an even larger custom-built home with his wife, Josie. High ceilings open to a yard of mesquite, palm and magnolia trees, next door to the one-bedroom house where Josie grew up sleeping on the living room couch.
Limon understood when his wife persuaded their two sons to avoid careers law enforcement. She was terrified during a prison disturbance in 1994, the first of several at his maximum-security prison.
“You live with it, but you know things can happen,” she said.
One son is a local barber, the other a psychology student.
A nephew, Robert Limon, joined the Border Patrol in 2008 at the peak of the agency’s hiring boom. he and his wife are raising four children in the Imperial Valley.
“I’m going to stay here as long as I can,” Robert Limon said. “It’s home.”
To keep its people, Imperial Valley knows it must broaden its economy.
Previous efforts to diversify fizzled, from resorts on the Salton Sea that drew the likes of Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys in the 1960s to a short-lived housing boom in the last decade that fueled talk of Imperial Valley becoming a distant San Diego suburb and ended in a wave of foreclosures.
The North American Free Trade Agreement brought some warehouses in the 1990s but the region has largely failed to capitalize on Mexicali’s huge output of televisions, kitchen appliances and other goods for export to the United States.
Three Wal-Mart Supercenters and a host of other new big-box stores cater to droves of shoppers from Mexicali, a booming industrial city of nearly 1 million people. but the malls built over the last decade mainly offer low-paying jobs.
The past struggles don’t discourage Andy Horne.
“We’re always optimistic down here,” he says. “We know we’re the last frontier for development potential in Southern California.”
Horne, 59, whose grandfather settled in the Imperial Valley in 1913 as a banker, is the county’s deputy chief executive officer for natural resources development. he thinks renewable energy may be the right fit for the local economy. Luring solar, geothermal and wind companies is a big part of his job, and there have been hefty investments already.
Imperial Valley’s cheap land and proximity to Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix make it a natural for renewable energy companies. the summer heat is so intense that stores put foam on metal door handles to prevent customers from burning their hands.
But the valley’s traditions and competing interests have to be balanced, too. keenly sensitive to growing complaints from farmers about the 18,000 acres that solar developers want to turn into about 30 plants, Horne says, “We don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.”
In December, Tenaska Energy Inc. of Omaha, Neb., broke ground on 1,000-acre solar plant in Imperial Valley. It anticipates hiring as many as 300 workers during construction but only five full-time employees after operations begin.
“(Solar plants) eat up a lot of our land, they don’t create a lot of new jobs, and they also don’t pay a lot of property taxes,” Horne says in his drawl, behind a large desk that displays a thick binder on another proposed solar plant.
Horne is more enthusiastic about the handful of geothermal plants already built or on the drawing board, saying they generate taxes and good-paying jobs.
One new geothermal plant employs about 30 people along the road that Roy Limon takes home from the prison at the end of his workday.
Jack Vessey closes his farm around 4 p.m. but answers phone calls and emails well into the evening.
As for Maria Guadalupe Pimentel, she gets home bleary-eyed around 8 p.m. after a three-hour commute on two buses from the field, across the border, and finally back to her home in Mexicali. Her husband greets her with tacos of shredded beef.
“The hardest part of the job is the commute,” he says.
Lights are out at 10 p.m. Accordion-driven ranchero music plays softly from neighboring homes until 11 p.m., just a few hours before her husband will give her another wake-up knock.
Copyright © 2012 the associated Press. all rights reserved.
San Diego Filmmaker Kicks off Crowdfunding Campaign to Finish Documentary about Leonard Knight, the Creator of Salvation Mountain
“Leonard” a documentary film by Patrick Rea about Salvation Mountain creator, Leonard Knight is the target of a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter.com beginning March 15, 2012.
Niland, CA (PRWEB) April 05, 2012
Forty years ago, a troubled drifter came to believe he was called to tell the world, “God is love” and created the colorful desert artwork known as Salvation Mountain in his quest. Documentarian, Patrick Rea, who has been chronicling the life of the folk artist, Leonard Knight, since 2007, begins a Kickstarter funding campaign for his documentary film “Leonard” on March 15, 2012.
It was just as the world’s most famous hobo “went viral” as a result of his cameo in the film, “Into the Wild” that Rea was captivated by Knight’s story. After capturing nearly 50 hours of footage over the past four and half years, Rea is seeking the funds to finish his film through the now infamous crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.com which has selected Rea’s film “Leonard – the story of Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knight” for a 40 day internet funding campaign.
After twelve years, Knight who is affectionately known as “Leonard,” tried one last time to launch his “God is Love” hot air balloon, from the remote desert squatters camp of Slab City, near the Salton Sea, in 1984, and failed. He decided to stay and find a different way to honor God, and after decades of trials, developed engineering innovations with natural materials. the structure that resulted is now known as Salvation Mountain, the largest adobe art Installation in the world. to date, over half a million people have visited the mountain and listened to Leonard talk about God.
Realizing the potential of Leonard’s story, Rea began a series of regular trips to the mountain where Leonard lived and worked, to chronicle his life on film. Rea says “I’m convinced he is the most fascinating person in the world! Leonard personifies the Biblical description of ‘salt and light’ and ‘child-like faith’ like no one else I know.”
Rea gained Leonard’s trust which enabled him to share for the first time, the intimate details of his life which led to the creation of Salvation Mountain. these interviews as well as recently discovered journal-like songs written by Knight 40-50 years ago provide great insight into this sometimes misunderstood man. Rea’s intention for “Leonard” is to take the viewer into the mind of an outcast who struggled with feelings of worthlessness and abandonment in his early days, yet eventually created the artful refuge that was declared a National Treasure by the U.S. Congress in 2002.
In 2010 Leonard was diagnosed with early dementia. Rea states, “I realized at this point, I was actually chronicling the brave decline of a true saint, as he clings to his faith, while struggling with the onset of dementia. the way this plays out is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard of, and I feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to tell it.”
For more information on “Leonard, ” go to SalvationMountaintheMovie.com. to join the Kickstarter campaign for “Leonard, go to Kickstarter.com
ABOUT PATRICK REAPatrick Rea is an award winning/Emmy nominated documentarian and segment producer. He founded Blue Sky Media, a San Diego based film and video production company over twenty years ago. He is currently producing the documentary film “Leonard – the story of Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knight.”
For the original version on PRWeb visit: prweb.com/releases/prwebSalvationMountain/Leonard/prweb9286750.htm
For San Diego County Residents – Do you need to Worry About an Earthquake Destroying Your Home or Business?
If you live in California, the US Geological Survey has said that Southern California will most likely be hit with a big earthquake within the next 30 years. They said that there is a 99% chance that we’ll experience a quake with a magnitude of at least 6.7. They also said there is 46% chance that we will have a 7.5 magnitude quake – or bigger.
So what does that mean for San Diego County residents? Even though the big one is supposed to have an epicenter somewhere in Southern California, most San Diego residents are not highly at risk. Well, at least compared to Orange County and Los Angeles (LA) residents. One indicator is earthquake insurance rates. In San Diego versus LA, the average premium cost in San Diego is only $251 per year compared to Los Angeles and Orange Counties which is $693 per year.
According to a recent San Diego Union Tribune article, a ‘Big One’ in California would not be like the recent big quake in Chile. Because California’s seismic plate tectonics differ from Chile’s, our region is not subject to the large magnitude quakes that they experience down there. In California the plates slide sideways while in Chile they slide under each other. Additionally the crust is a lot thinner here than in Chile. Because of those two factors, seismologists predict a maximum 8.1 quake at the worst for Southern California.
The San Andreas Fault, which extends from the Salton Sea to the town of Parkfield in Monterrey County, provides the greatest seismic threat. Luckily though, the Salton Sea area is a long distance away from most San Diego residents. In addition, the San Andreas Fault is inland and would not result in a tsunami, which caused much of the recent damage in Chile. there are several off shore faults near San Diego but they are very small and do not present much risk.
If a big jolt did indeed hit the San Andreas Fault near the Salton Sea, San Diego City residents would definitely feel it, but most likely would not experience catastrophic damage or casualties. Despite that, we do have a few smaller local faults that have the potential to generate a pretty big jolt. The most worrisome San Diego County faults are the Rose Canyon Fault on the east side of Pacific Beach and La Jolla. A little further south and inland, the La Nacion Fault runs through South San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. In the East County mountains and deserts, you need to be aware of the Elsinore, Aqua Caliente and San Jacinto Fault Zones.
So, depending on where you live, there is varying danger of fault movement and earthquake shaking. If you live close to a known fault, you should be aware of the possibility of a large jolt damaging your property. however, there are two other risk factors as well, they are landslide and liquefaction. During an earthquake, especially after wet weather, the violent earth shaking may trigger a landslide. however, of more importance is what your home or business is built upon.
Many San Diego homes and businesses are built on sand or on fill and are vulnerable to what is known as soil liquefaction. During a quake these kinds of soils can act like jello, amplifying a quake’s movement more than a home built on rock or settled land. Because of liquefaction, a home that is close to a earthquake epicenter that is built on rock may experience less shaking and damage than a home that is much further away that is built on sand or fill.
How can you find out what is under your home and what danger is neighborhood is in?
A great online resource to check out your specific neighborhood is this SANGIS interactive map to find fault lines, landslide and liquefaction zones in your San Diego community files.sangis.org/interactive/viewer/Viewer.asp
It’s a little complicated to find the dangers in your San Diego neighborhood. Start by clicking on the custom map button. on the right side scroll down and then click on Faults. Next click on Geologic Hazards. that will activate those map layers. then hit Refresh at bottom of page on the right side.
Now is the fun part. Finding your neighborhood. Using the PAN and ZOOM IN controls, navigate around the map and zoom in to find your neighborhood and its geologic hazards for fault zones, liquefaction and landslides. you can zoom in to your specific block to get an idea of the earthquake related threats around your home or business.
If you are clear of all those, you probably don’t need Earthquake Insurance as much as someone whose home is in a liquefaction zone adjacent to an earthquake fault.
by Ronald Reitz, CPPA, President of Quality Claims Management
Someone lied to me. You see for all this time I thought California was so sexy – pristine beaches, bustling boardwalks, In-N-Out Burger, Pacific Ocean sunsets, and glamourous beach houses. Maybe it was all those years watching Baywatch when I was younger or listening to too much Beach Boys. I had romanticized California. who knew that there were miles of cow pastures on I-5, deserts in Southern California, and a street called “Santa Clause Lane” in Santa Barbara that Santa didn’t actually live on. Shocking right? Well those aren’t the only quirks to California. since moving here last June, I’ve found a whole host of unique attractions that you might not exactly associate with California. And while they may not exactly be sexy, they are worth a visit nonetheless.
1. Salton Sea. I’m just going to go ahead and say that my afternoon in the Salton Sea area of Southern California was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. While I didn’t walk away with any value added to my life, it was the experience of visiting what I think is one of the most fascinating areas of the U.S. the sea is one of the largest inland seas in the world, as well as one of the lowest spots, at -227 feet below sea level. the Salton Sea has a high level of salinity, even more than the Pacific Ocean, which has resulted in most fish species not being able to survive in it. nonetheless, as you can see below, a visit to the Salton Sea resulted in one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
The quirkiness of the area only continues on the outskirts of the Salton Sea in what’s become known as Slab City. Located just southeast of the Salton Sea, Slab City is located just outside of a small town called Niland, and just 50 miles from the Mexico border. It’s located off the main highway, although you’ll see Salvation Mountain from the distance as you begin approaching it. Salvation Mountain being an art installation at the edge of Slab City that dates back to the mid-1980s and continues to be added onto. Slab City is a giant concrete slab, originally part of a military base that has long been decommissioned. As an uncontrolled piece of land, it’s often been referred to as “the last free place in America,” and home to thousands of campers every year. You may have heard of it if you’ve seen or read Into the Wild, as Christopher McCandless spent time there.
2. Cabazon Dinosaurs. yes, dinosaurs, and as in the world BIGGEST dinosaurs. the saying, “You can’t miss it,” when directions are given, couldn’t be any more true than for Cabazon Dinosaurs. Located just off I-10 near Palm Springs, the Cabazon Dinosaurs go back decades. those Pee-wee Herman fans may remember the dinosaurs from Pee-wee’s big Adventures. Started in the 1960s, Claude Bell originally began creating the dinosaurs to attract people to his restaurant, the Wheel Inn Cafe. In addition to the dinosaurs and restaurant, the property now also includes a gift shop and creationist museum.
3. Fort Bragg Glass Beach. since I’m being so literal, it’s only appropriate to move on to the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. formerly a public dump, Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach is now a public beach and part of MacKerricher State Park. However, don’t be turned off by its former life, as there’s something much bigger at work here. after the dump closed years ago, mother nature went to work pounding the discarded glass on the beach, turning them into smooth, polished pieces of glass. While many of the pieces of glass glisten in the light and are pretty enough to take home, the state park asks you not to. Additionally, the beach is known for its array of tide pools.
4. Jelly Belly Factory. if you watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as a child wishing that you could one day tour a candy factory, then here’s your shot. There’s not much in Fairfield, California, but it was worth a trip for me to throw on a doctor’s coat and hairnet and play Willy Wonka for a couple hours. While there’s a free tour that takes visitors along the top of the factory, I elected for the VIP tour, also known as Jelly Belly University, where I got my degree in Beanology. the tour takes you behind the scenes to every part of the Jelly Belly making process, which really meant eating jelly beans throughout the tour. the highlight of the tour was getting a handful of jelly beans as they were coming out of the oven.
5. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. While there may not be the same romanticism behind a fortune cookie factory as the Jelly Belly Factory, Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is still worth the visit in San Francisco’s Chinatown. if for no other reason, when are you going to have another chance to try a fortune cookie fresh out of the oven? It may be a small operation, but the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been supplying fortune cookies to the world for decades. Grab a large bag of fortune cookies for just a few dollars or enjoy snacking on unfolded, fortuneless cookies while you watch how the magic happens.
What’s the most quirky thing you’ve seen on your travels
Friday’s top of the scroll: Plan casts dying sea as energy hub; Salton Sea officials continue support of local control
Posted by: Maven on December 9, 2011 at 8:35 am
“a new plan for restoring the dying Salton Sea would potentially turn it into a national hub of renewable energy capable of providing for much of the southwestern United States’ power needs, a University of Redlands professor said.
Timothy Krantz, an environmental studies professor who has spent the past 14 years working on solutions at the Salton Sea, presented his Integrated Water Management Plan at the Salton Sea Authority’s meeting Thursday at the North Shore Yacht Club.
California’s largest water body, the Salton Sea has been slowly dying for decades as evaporation cycles cause its salinity to increase and its primary source of water, agricultural runoff, dwindles. … “
Continue reading from the Desert Sun by clicking here.
From the Imperial Valley Press:
“State representatives took with them clear messages on how to handle Salton Sea restoration, a representative from the area's local legislator reported at a meeting Thursday.
Silvia Paz, senior field representative with Assemblyman V. Manuel PÃƒÂ©rez's office, told the Salton Sea Authority board that the assemblyman thought the Nov. 28 state budget hearing held in North Shore was a successful one. some of the messages that the assemblyman is taking away from it is that there needs to be a clear consensus on what to do to restore the sea, the effort has to be led by locals with state help and fixing the sea has to be guided by experts. … “
Continue reading from the Imperial Valley Press by clicking here.
- Water Transfer to San Diego is Upheld, from the New York Times Green Blog
- Court Upholds California's Landmark Quantification Settlement Agreement, Legal alert from Best Best & Krieger