Monday, January 25, 2010

Indio and Desert Off-Roading

Uncle R and The Mr. finishing up breakfast. Shortly after breakfast we were all seated in the living room chatting. I was crocheting and all of a sudden I felt dizzy as if my head was moving in one direction and my hands and crochet were moving in another. Just then, we heard something glass on a nearby bookshelf go "ping" and Aunt R announced "earthquake!" It was the first earthquake I had ever felt and I can't explain the feeling. It was weird to watch the chandelier in the living room gently rocking back and forth. You can read the info in the two photos below as they were taken from the newspaper the next morning. The earthquake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale, but it was in Mexico, so we were pretty far away from it. It just gave me a minuscule glimpse of what one feels like.

Our Aunt and Uncle live in a beautiful spot and here are a few of their flowers. This shot, as well as the two below are of bougainvillea.


Wow. This grass is so green compared to ours here in Northwest Washington.

A boring photo. But LOOK.... it's a British Columbia license plate. We just can't get away from those crazy BC drivers! (No offense to all our good friends in BC who seem to be strangely immune to the problem.) We also saw an Alaska plate, which is about as far away as you could drive from (3711 miles/63 hours). Just when we thought we had seen it all, we saw a Saskatchewan plate (1731 miles/27 hours), which is where I was born and raised. The desert is a popular winter destination.

Dug and Daisy's pool looks refreshing. (D&R, please excuse my strange creativity when making up blog alias'.)

The cute entryway at Dug and Daisy's.

Dug took us out 4x4ing and it was such a blast! We had two trucks again this year We've done this a couple times before and you can read an old post here. It is always so much fun. The reflexion of Dug's plastic drinking cup in the window looks like some sort of weird moon or planet in the sky.

This little one was a trooper! She loved the bouncy ride and was all smiles and giggles. It was nice to get to spend time with P&P and Beth, as they are from our home state but we unfortunately hadn't spent much time together before. Hopefully this is the start of a deeper friendship because we really had a nice time together. Beth's mama is a fellow prairie child, as she grew up in the Prairie Province beside the one I grew up in.

The desert was a little windy and cooler than you would expect. It was a good thing this cute little Washingtonian came prepared with a fuzzy warm snow hat!

Eating lunch in the windiest spot with the prettiest view.

We drove into such a neat canyon. If you look up the road to the left you can see how the bottom of the canyon has been washed away. It was so incredibly pretty in this canyon!

What a perfect setting for a road, just don't be here when it rains!

The canyon sheltered some beautiful blossoms, which are rare for the desert in December. These might be blackbrush, but I am just guessing.

Checking out the little hiding spot. I'm sure it has a specific name, I just don't know it.

Looking straight up while in the little hiding spot.

Looking out towards the truck. The truck looks so tiny. I don't think you would want to yell while you were standing in there.

The Mr.


Desert Lavender

Still smiling!

Salton Sea on the horizon.

Strange Facts about the Salton Sea:
It's saltier than the Pacific Ocean.
Water drains into it, and stays until it evaporates because it has no outlets.
It is located directly on top of the San Andreas Fault.
It covers 376 square miles, which makes it the biggest lake in California.
The lake has a history of being alternately completely dry, or full.

The next strange fact I want to share with you is so interesting that I am going to copy and paste directly from Wikipedia. I added the bolding in areas that I thought were especially fascinating.

"The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, overrunning a set of headgates for the Alamo Canal. The resulting flood poured down the canal and breached an Imperial Valley dike, eroding two watercourses, the New River in the west, and the Alamo River in the east, each about 60 miles (97 km) long. These two newly created rivers carried the entire volume of the Colorado River into the Salton Sink, filling it in approximately two years.

The Southern Pacific Railroad attempted to stop the flooding by dumping earth into the headgates area, but the effort was not fast enough, and as the river eroded deeper and deeper into the dry desert sand of the Imperial Valley, a massive waterfall was created that started to cut rapidly upstream along the main stem of the Colorado River. This waterfall was initially 15 feet (4.6 m) high but grew to a height of 30 feet (9.1 m) before the flow through the breach was finally stopped. It was originally feared that the waterfall would recede upstream into the Nevada-Arizona area, attaining a height of up to 100 to 300 feet (30 to 91 m), from where it would be even more difficult to fix the problem. As the basin filled, the town of Salton, a Southern Pacific Railroad siding and Torres-Martinez Indian land were submerged. The sudden influx of water and the lack of any drainage from the basin resulted in the formation of the Salton Sea."

Look how peaceful it looks today. You would never guess it was filled by a two year "flash flood!"

Beautiful desert sky.

Whoops! We're stuck. Both trucks took turns getting stuck in the sand dunes along the Salton Sea, but thankfully we had a huge chain and there was always one truck free to pull the other out.

The axle of the truck was in the sand!

We made it!

Back at the house Lena was keeping us all entertained by her cuteness. I made her a hat and it made her look like a little bloom.

Check out that awesome retro highchair!

Scrabble anyone?

Thanks so much Dug and Daisy for the awesome 4X4 trip, Mexican fajita dinner and your hospitality!


  1. Looks like a very fun time in the desert! What a beautiful area with those canyons!

    I am trying to crochet a hat for a 6 mo to 1 year old for photos. My only experience in crocheting has been the oval rugs, so this is a bit of an experiment. If I send you yarn, could you make one for me? Your work is beautiful!

  2. That all looks like so much fun!!! That area is on our list to take Rovey to for a week or so for a camping/going losting experience-I cannot wait. Your pics are great! And, the hat is adorable. :-)

  3. Amy- sure! I love doing it and it doesn't take long at all. Send the yarn with E&S S next time they come to visit and I would probably be able to send the finished hats back with them on the same trip. They come and visit us every once in a while. If you need them earlier, just mail the yarn. Email me at chattyhousewife(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Wow, an earthquake! After the big Haiti one, I'd be a little on-edge with an earthquake happening! It is a weird sensation, isn't it?

    Those canyon photos are amazing...what a neat place to go. Love the hibiscus flower shot, too - stunning!

  5. Amazing pictures! I love the box of Idaho potatoes hiding in Uncle D & Aunt R's entry way. :)


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