Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Imperial Valley of California

When we left Tucson en route to San Diego we knew that we were going to spend 2 nights at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California. We thought that it would be a catch up on laundry and otherwise do nothing stop.
On the eastern edge of the Imperial Valley are the Imperial Sand Dunes. Pretty impressive but just more desert.
How wrong we were and how much we had to learn. This turned out to be a Judge Roy Bean moment rather than a walnut moment. We have both driven through the Imperial Valley numerous times on I-8 but had never gotten off of the Interstate Highway and investigated the area. So - after the laundry – it was off on a jaunt through the country side.

El Centro sits in the Imperial Valley of California. The Imperial Valley is a desert area that is entirely below sea level.

When I think of below sea level desert, I think of Death Valley. The Imperial Valley is just the opposite. It is an amazing agricultural area thanks to irrigation canals that are fed from the Colorado River.

We drove through miles and miles and miles of fields growing alfalfa, lavender, sugar cane, beets, date palms, onions, cantaloupes, watermelon, and we don't know what else. There are over 173,000 acres producing alfalfa and there were acres and acres of stacked with alfalfa bales. I did not get a good picture of the vast stock piles of the bales so the pictures do not do justice to what we saw.

One of the best things we saw was a guy by the side of the road selling avacados. Are you ready for this? 15 for $3!! I had to pass it up. What was I going to do with 15 of them? What a shame! What a deal!

Next stop – Salton Sea

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