Date: 20/05/2019
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Day 17 Jan 28 Bashford's to Salton Sea Recreation Area

The mineral water hot tub last night was great. Every tub was full even at 10PM. This morning we left at 10AM for the nearby San Andres Oasis. The San Andres fault runs along the east side of the Sea just below the Chocolate Mountains. The Oasis is fed by an artesian water supply and is natural. The palm trees are immense. As you enter the oasis you are completely shaded by the palms. We had a picnic lunch and then headed for the Salton Sea RA with its visitor center. At last we got the whole story on the Salton Sea. It seems that thousands of years ago the area was part of the Sea of Cortez. The Colorado River delta gradually cut off the area and it became desert. In the last part of the 19th century canals from the Colorado were built to irrigate the rich land in the desert. In 1905 the Colorado flooded and washed out the levees around the canal and emptied all of its water into the Salton Sea area for 2 years. When the levees were finally repaired the Colorado returned to its former connection to the Sea of Cortez. The Salton Sea today is fed by agriculture runoff and maintains a fairly stable water level. However, the salt level keeps increasing and if this continues the sea eventually will not support life. The Sea was very popular for recreation in the 50’s but today there is little activity. I have not seen a single boat on the water. There are hundreds of white pelicans here in the Sea and you can see a few in today's photo. Tomorrow is our last day in the area and we will visit  Joshua Tree National Park.

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