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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Salton Sea Tour II - 2015

This run will be a re-do of the Jan 10 tour to some of a few of the lesser/unknown "secret" places at Salton Sea that most people have no idea even exist. Assuming no rain, this will be an easy run on mostly highway roads, but will require 4x4 when we leave the highway to get to the actual destinations. THIS IS NOT A HARD-RIDING OBSTACLE RUN - This is a exploring/sight-seeing run. Anyone complaining that "this run is not hard enough" will be left in the desert.

We will start the day by heading down Highway 86 to an unmarked road that leads to the abandoned Navy Base. When the road runs into sand-dunes we will go around the dunes to the entrance of the base. We will visit two ammo bunkers (one, buried 95% by dunes). We will then head through what was the center of the base that once housed over 600 Navy and private contract personnel, passing over the giant experimental desalinization pits abandoned in 1999, to the shore to visit what remains of the pier once used by Navy vessels to recover the atomic bomb test "shapes" dropped here in the early 1940's. We will then head north on the shore to explore the only two remaining buildings which still show the battle scars of live-fire practice training for the first Gulf War. We will then drive south to what was once the airplane landing strip and drive to the end, then through a sandy wash back to the road to air back up, then back to Highway 86.

Proceeding south and then east through the town of Westmorland we will make our way back north toward the mud-pot field and Mullet Island. Assuming the muddy trail is passable we will leave the road and parallel the Alamo River for approximately 1 mile then veer north and head to California's largest and most active mud-pot field (that I assure you, none of your friends know about!) that up until about 10 years ago was underwater . After much "oooh's and ahhhs" we will then travel approximately 1/2 west through what was under-water until just 5 months ago to Mullet Island, a small island (now a peninsula) that has the remains (foundations) of a bar and a dance hall from the 1940's as well as a fish-packing plant. Up until a few months ago the island was home to 100's of thousands of birds and their giant nests litter the giant and beautiful rock formations - now that predators can walk up and eat the eggs from the nests, the birds have moved on. The ground on the island is not dirt! It is almost entirely made of 115 years worth of bird "pellets".

We will then head to Highway 111 to head back home, optionally driving though the metropolis of Bombay Beach (google it!) and maybe stopping by the world-famous Ski Inn for a 'unique' meal.

WARNING:: The whole family is invited but while at the mud-pot field all children (and maybe some adults) must be closely supervised at all times! This is a new/'raw' mudpot field with no protective barriers. A few years ago a park ranger (even though this is not on State Park land) was severely burned when he broke through the surface and dropped into the boiling mud. Last month when I was there with a group a small child also broke thru the surface, fell into the boiling mud, was severely burned and had to be air-lifted to San Diego. Common sense and caution must be in play while at this location.

We can only do this run on a dry day. If there has been any rain in the previous 5-10 days, getting to the mud pots and "the island" may be difficult/impossible due to the mud. This is not your typical Southern California mud! It is a very fine, silty (stinky) clay-like mud that in some areas is more like quick-sand. I will check the weather reports and post updates in this thread, but rain is rare in this area. If it happens to have rained in the previous 10 days, instead of the mud-pots and Mullet Island, we will visit Obsidian Butte instead for some cliff-views of Salton Sea where the entire ground is covered in obsidian - from small flecks up to giant boulders.

**UPDATE**
We will be reversing the order of the sights we see. We will go down Highway 111 and visit the mudpot fields and Mullet Island first, then make our way around the southern tip and back up Highway 86 to the Navy Base. The Salton Sea tour will then be finished but everyone is then welcome to follow us north on Highway 86 to try some of the obstacles at Truckhaven

Date: THIS EVENT Has PASSED - Watch for Salton Sea Tour III in 2016!
Time: Meet at 9:30AM, roll out at 10AM
Meeting spot: Starbucks at the intersection of Highway 86 and Highway 195 (aka Ave 66)(map) - the parking lot is small, so find a spot there or at the gas station and come say hello. It will be wise to gas-up here.
CB channel: 13
Navigation Tip: Some GPS's may want you to get off Interstate 10 and come in on Highway 111 - don't do that! It will take hours. Stay on I-10 and merge on to Highway 86 near Coachella. Follow 86 several miles to our meeting point at Hwy 86 & Hwy 195 (aka Ave 66) <-click for a map


More info about where we will be going:


Please reply/post a comment if you are in.

IN:
Salton Sea Walker
xxRubiconJohnXX
StormtrooperJK
SoCalJK
Fortius5Jk
TurdHurdler
WebDon
Ekxplore (and JumpinJill)
Hirschauer
MtnToSea

Maybe:
socalwk
slickrock steve
DjA
NicoleSea
Whiteyjfm
KMan62
 

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So is this a definite thing? I have an Anza Borrego trip planned for Easter weekend and a Pismo trip planned for April 26th. If this is going to happen I will change my reservations around and go to Anza for a couple days over the 25 26 and 27 so I can do the tour, and do Pismo over Easter Break.
 

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I'm in, please!
 

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Make me a strong maybe.
I will have to clear the runways with "the senior partner", but can probably be figured as IN!!

Steve
 

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Awesome. Well this trip has inadvertently cost me a lot of money already. My wife cancelled our Anza Borrego trip for next week and is now booking a flight for us to Seattle..........But coincidentally April 25th is my birthday so it looks like a nice long weekend in Anza in April.....Looking forward to it. If anyone is making a trip of it I am going to do some off roading Saturday the 25th as well.
 

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How long do we think the run will be. I am trying to figure out if I want to drive back to the OC or stay the night.
 

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Very interested. I'm going to have to make a last second call, but I'm hoping my wife and I can make it.
 
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