Thursday, 9 January 2014

Oasis CA-Salton Sea to Yuma AZ (148 miles)

Not too far of a drive today (...just the way we like 'em!). We started out at the Oasis Date Gardens, just up the road for a little informational video (no tours anymore due to insurance regulations - too bad!) on date growing history, harvesting, etc. Kinda funny because the video was produced in the mid 1980's and does it ever show. Maybe they need to look at updating a little but still, it was fun....and informative!!

We did learn that there are many varieties of dates, Medjool, the most common, Deglet Noor (Doug's 2nd favourite after Medjool) and Khadrawy (my 2nd favourite after Medjool). There is also Barhi, Halawy, Dayri, Honey, Thoory. Wow, who knew?!!  Anyway, pretty interesting stuff and if you care to Google date production you will find out even more cool facts. This valley in the Palm Springs area is the leader in the US. We did learn that date palms are planted 50 to an acre. One male to 49 females (wow, those are good odds, huh boys?) and that they like drip irrigation or water at their roots and just hot sun on the top. Dates are one of the oldest, cultivated foods known to mankind.
Well, maybe they like dates too!!

 We've all seen this name, Medjool.
This is a TYPE of date, not a company as we thought...

Nice gift store. Plus they package and ship all over the world....

No one to pressure you to buy anything, so that was nice....
There were 9 different kinds of dates to try.
Believe it or not, they are similar but very different.

The bag for the pickers. Once picked up high, they lower the dates down
to the ground in these. See a few frames below....

Remember when I showed you the bags in the trees from our bike ride the other day?
 From the information video. Pretty cool....

Bulk selection. First try a sample at the table and then put on the plastic gloves
and fill up a bag or two of your favourites! See me below doing just this....
 ...and yes, I had the glove on!!

Then you weigh the ones you want to buy....

...and Raul Medjool rings them in for you (kidding...)
 Best part of all was the free date shake/sundae you got. Super nice,
mixed with vanilla soft-serve. Just what you need at 10:00 in the morning!!




Nice little outdoor area. Too bad you can't watch the picking and
production line....see Euri, way through the trees?? 
So then we left and headed back down Hwy 111, the east side of the Salton Sea. It's a nice drive on a really good 2 lane highway. Pretty flat dry countryside after that. One amusing thing we saw was the sign to the state prison and then about 5 minutes down the road there was "Shank Drive".....NO, I am not kidding. I mean, really, is this appropriate?? What about "Gee I'm sorry I screwed up Crescent" OR "When Is My Parole Officer Arriving Lane" Holy cow!!! Then, a few minutes later, we were passed on the double lane highway by 4 prison buses/vans and as many police cars in between each van. Must have been doing a prisoner transfer to somewhere. See, if you behaved yourselves and followed the law, you could be in MY type of van, instead of yours......
Soon you begin to see the ever present (in some areas) large black fence, plus the white and green Border Security trucks patrolling everywhere with random check points, usually on the northbound lanes. 

Before you get to Yuma, heading eastbound, you go by the Algadones Sand Dune area. Pretty neat. Just all of a sudden, there are sand dunes everywhere.

 ...and still it seemed that there were boondockers around.
Beyond this mountain is Mexico....


...and Arizona, the fourth state of this tour, welcomes you!!
Anyway, here we are at the Southern Mesa RV Park. It's just okay here. Seems that once we mention that we do not have a bathroom on board we get into spots really, really close to clubhouse, which is okay, especially at 2 a.m. when you need the bathroom!! We think we have decided against going down into Algadones for the "eyeglass" purchase. We will stay here and use it as a base for a day to see some interesting things in Yuma. Doug has been doing some research. Thank goodness for him because he is the on board R&D department.  
See how sad Euri looks without his big, trusty rug.....
(See story below)

The Oasis Palms RV Park,, where we were the past 4 days, was much nicer (and cheaper) than this. The REALLY fun part is that we will likely be heading BACK to Oasis Palms RV Park as we forgot our fantastic roll-up rug that we use outside the van. That is a double crapola for sure. Just so you don't think we merrily go wandering around the continental US and have nothing go wrong for us!! So, it will likely be a 140 miles trek backwards to fetch it. And no, we cannot just go buy another one as it comes out of GoWesty in California. We will still route ourselves back into the Tucson/Tombstone area but probably through Hwy 10 (via Phoenix). We may stay overnight on Saturday night at Gila Junction.....But we really like that rug and we really need it back!  
Thought for the day: Don't be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry for your re-routing; but you are retired so you do have the time, right? You guys are covering a lot of territory. What's your general plan? What's your timeframe? At this rate you could be here before I leave on the 1st! Then I'd get to see you!!!

  2. I forgot to mention that this was a really nice post to read. I've never done an real studying about dates. we have lots of them in California - they've just been there and I use them for a special Christmas cookie recipe - when do I make Christmas cookies these days ?