the harvest WILL be preserved!!!

On top of moving, we are also madly trying to save whatever we can of our garden for the fall.  We have had a wonderful year, this year,  with great harvests of heirloom tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini.  In fact, we have never had more potatoes than we did this year, so pretty much every dinner involves tomato, potato, zucchini and garlic. or some combination of 3 of them.img_5055

We also have parsley growing everywhere at our Scotch Creek house, because I had a plant that went to seed last year. So parsley is making it into many dishes as well.  I have saved all of the seed heads of all of the plants that went to seed this year, and scattered them all over the garden area, with the hopes that they will provide some competition for the weeds that are already flourishing in the newly “ploughed” area. So with any luck, next year we should have volunteer dill, parsley, carrots, Japanese lettuce…. and much more.

We are pretty sure we can achieve similar harvests to this year with the veggies, but the fruit…. not so much.  We are especially sad to be giving up the 2 asian pear trees, as it will take a few years to get newly planted fruit trees up to the volumes our Scotch Creek trees produce.img_5056

AND especially important…. our wonderful  grandson Talon (shown here with his lovely mum, Sarah) LOVES pears.  So we are taking a 5 gallon bucket to them today so he can eat OUR pears.img_5034-1

We have another bucket that we will dry ….. once we get power…..HOPEFULLY in time, before they get too ripe.

Tucker is struggling a little with all of this back and forth, I cannot begin to imagine what is going on in his head, he tends to avoid getting out of the car with trips back and forth, and other times he refuses to get IN the car.img_5009

He creeped over the our neighbours yard (in Scotch Creek) and skulked off with a stuffed ninja turtle, and brought it up to our new place. I cannot give the toy back now because it is covered in MUD.

With regards to the “moving” we are doing, I thought I would show some pictures of a device Ken bought at Canadian tire this year that has revolutionized the process. It is a new dolly with additional settings that has allowed Ken to move most of the larger items more easily.

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It’s all about levers and inclined planes. (physics)  So if anyone has a “move” somewhere in their horizons, definitely a “must have”.  Ken Loves his new tool.

Much love to all, Janet, Ken and Tucker (the confused little dog)

twas all fun and games till the rains came

Now it is water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. We still do not have electricity, which is fine, except that we will need electricity to get to the well pump, AND I have electric car. Normally  I just plug it in when I get home and it is charged by the next day (at home we just plug into a regular outlet and it take about 24 hours to fully charge from empty.  However with no electricity I have been having to drive down to the rapid charger in Chase (about 8 miles from our place) every few days.  It is free to charge there and takes about 40 minutes.img_5040

In case you were wondering, YES we are STILL moving. The house has been empty for over a week now, but having had a “farm”, …… there are a lot of things to move the yard.

Ken and I have moved 8 times in our 36 years. I can remember the last stage of each move, and it is never pretty.  All those last minute items crammed into some box, …. to be rediscovered at some time in the ? future.   It is always a difficult time where you cannot find anything.

So the property has had a “trench running through it”, going from the power pole to the well. It now has the power cable in it, as well as the water line.

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So in running the power cable and the water line, we have had to run both of them into the “shed”, so that we could put a temporary electric panel in the shed, as well as a pressure tank. Normally all of this would just go into the house, but since we need a place to live while all this is going on, we have had to take these extra steps.

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So the shed was put OVER the trench, so that the power lines and water lines could be brought up through the floor.

We have not been able to move forward on anything, because the electrical inspector did not approve the safety inspection and then required several other “actions”. So we have been stuck with the trench, not being able to move the SeaCans because they could not cross the trench, ….. we cannot get the B C hydro to even put us on a list to hook up the power until the electrical safety inspection was approved. So we have been in a holding pattern, thank goodness yesterday, they approved the trench, and power lines VIA pictures, so the guy with the excavator has filled in all of the trenches today. There has been a time constraint there because he has just retired and is wanting to put all of his equipment up for sale.  So here the lower area has been filled in.

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And this is from a different perspective……. There we have our home sweet home.

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Our life is pretty chaotic, we have too much stuff in the motorhome, awaiting the seacans to start moving stuff into.

While we are doing all of this, I am reading a book called “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry.   A book set in 1975 India “With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.
The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.”

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Reading about the situation of the lower caste characters in this story, as you follow their struggles to find a place to sleep at night, it would seem that our current living situation would be like a castle to many….. so I shall think of it as such.

Goodnight from “the castle”

Much love, Janet, Ken and Tucker (the protector in chief of the castle)

 

 

IT starts

Everything is always more fun in the motorhome even amidst the CHAOS we are living in.  We have been living here now for 3 weeks, and LOVING IT.

We have a platform that our son Dylan had just out on his property, and we are using it as a deck. We have TONS of tomatoes, ripening each day from the Scotch Creek (SC) house, so I am trying to make more tomato sauce each day.

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We are bringing over all of the Basil we had growing in pots in SC, and its giving the place a nice greenery.

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and of course we have the sprouts on the go inside…

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The 2 SeaCans are almost full and we have ordered a  shed to house the temporary electrical and water stuff, until they can be housed in our house. Doesn’t look like much now, but after we are done with it, it will be our guest house. 😊  I think we are going to store stuff in there that we want access to, but do not have room for in motor home.img_4993

That ridge of dirt behind the shed is actually the Septic field. They were saying how easy it was to put in here in the middle of a gravel pit.  All of the raw material present, as well as all of the equipment.

This was yesterday starting the septic field.

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The motorhome is now sitting about where the house will sit

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THIS DITCH is to run the electricity from the power line to a temporary spot, then to the shed, and eventually all the way up to the well, to provide power to the pump.

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so in this picture you can see where the well is, top right of picture.  The power has to go all the way from where the pole in bottom left of this picture to where machine is top right.

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So this is another view from where the well is, a  machine digging back towards the shed, and eventually where the house will be.

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………. and there is Tucker observing. I have to say I have been kind of nervous with Tucker and all these machines, but machines that make that much noise, make him nervous, so he becomes VELCRO dog….

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So this is where we are at tonite, the septic field is finished behind the motorhome, power “line” is half way to the shed.

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We are really just getting everything ready for the power, as there will not be any power until BC HYDRO comes and puts in a transformer and hooks it all up, sometime in October.  So technically we will not have water until then, since it will take the power to run the pump to get the water to us.  We do have a septic now though.  We can get water in barrels at the artisan well up the road, and we have solar for power, so we are just fine.

And what blog would be complete without an update on the wonderful, talented, and entertaining Talon, who has just mastered PAB LUM

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His Daddy, will be our plumber for this whole project, so I am sure he will come to watch Daddy work. 😊

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Much Love to all, and our thoughts are with the people of the Bahamas who’s entire lives have been ripped apart.

I thought i would share a song I wrote about the indonesian Tsunami, but it is written from the perspective of those people wondering if they are going to survive this storm.
Sadly I cannot figure out how to change the picture with this link.  More work needed to match picture with song.  So ignore picture  Save Our Souls

 

 

 

A moving story…….

Made you look. 😀   I decided that it is very hard to write a blog about moving (which is what we are doing), so I decided to do what the media does all the time… Give a wild headline that really has nothing to do with the story, in order suck you into the article.  That being said, this is a photo I took up at Sun Peaks last Saturday. We took the back roads up to Sun Peaks on a side by side (UTV) ( essentially 30 KM or so, vs a 140 km trip on the highways) only problem….. the UTV is not licensed, so once we get to Sun Peaks we have to park it on the outskirts and walk in to town.

For those not from around here, Sun Peaks is a smaller, newer version of Whistler, BC

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There was a tight rope walking event up there that was fascinating and also scenic with the black sky and ski hill in the background.  Speaking of the black sky, it rained heavily on our way back down the mountain.

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As you can see we have almost filled up the first Sea Can. (8x20x8 feet)

However, just as important is to pack up all of the seed heads for the next garden.

This is the dill.

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Over the years here, we have developed a “volunteer garden”.   We encourage…. or just LET the plants go to seed, and attempt to provide a nourishing place for the wandering seeds to lay down roots.

Plants like Dill, or cilantro, or fennel, will produce seeds in the year you plant them, and then spread the seeds all over the place, so the next year you have all of these plants just growing on their own. I must say that they find the best place to grow much better than I would.

We always get a few tomato plants where the compost pile has been, and amazingly, they often catch up with the tomato plants I have been coddling along in my green house.

Other plants take 2 years to achieve this, and this is where they need a little help. Carrots, if kept alive over the winter will bloom in its second year. The flower is amazing and the bees totally love it. It produced a plethora of seeds and I find they do much better than the ones I grow from seed.  I find if I cover a few carrots with mulch, they will survive to produce these seed heads.

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Apparently beets would do the same, but I have never been successful at growing beets in the first place.  Last year I discovered Parsley produced a beautiful plant in the second year that spreads seeds everywhere. Parsley had become a major “green” for us.  Tabouli calls for a lot of parsley.

So  the point of all of this information about seeds is that all of these seeds are part of packing and moving. We need to get all these seed heads moved and sprinkled around with the hopes that even on plant grows to carry on the “tradition”

Other exciting “plant” information is that we are on the wetter side of the shuswap, there are more cedars and definitely more mushrooms.

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we are also along side the Mount Baldie trailhead, which we climbed a few days ago, in the pouring rain.img_4908

Somehow I feel so much closer to Oregon, despite we are only 10 minutes closer.

Today is international dog day, and this is my dog song……

Much love to all From Janet, Ken and Tucker….

 

 

 

 

first things first… the garden

We cannot begin building house until our current house sells, Sept 27th, so we will not start building until the new year. HOWEVER garlic has to be planted in the fall and so that will be our priority.   To the right of this picture is where the garden will be, the ground is darker there.

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When a mine is started up, one of the things the owner must do, is to remove all the topsoil and place it aside, so it can be put back after the mine is closed down.  We have asked him to put the topsoil in one specific area.  We have not measured it yet, but as you can see it will be LARGE.  This is a different view of the “garden”.img_4897

Between the floods in India destroying huge areas of farmland, to the drought in central America, which is partially fuelling the migration of people to the US southern borders, to even the upcoming Brexit, everyone is talking about food shortages.  I just feel that as long as we are able we really need to grow food, even if it is just for us.  Of course we always grow way more than that.

Since we are both feeling the effects of aging and gardening…. my goal is to attempt to do a MUCH better job at organizing garden such that it is easier on our bodies.

We are thinking of getting some sort of machinery to help us out…. trying to decide between tractor, or backhoe….. or perhaps just a harness on Tucker .. Grinning Face on Messenger 1.0

SO the “topsoil” that is there has essentially NO organic material in it…. just like sand and dirt.  So I guess my newest “obsession” shall be “cover crops”. Also called “green manure”.

Each plant is different and you need to know when to plant and when to sow, .. for maximum soil building.

“Buckwheat cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. It grows so fast it can reach 1m (3′) tall in only three weeks. Then it blooms with white flowers, attracting pollinating insects and beneficial hover flies. This cover crop grows densely enough that it can be used to smother out competing weed species. Within ten days of blooming (or at any time before) it can be cut and tilled under to improve tilth and add organic matter. A succulent, brittle plant that can break down completely into the soil in a matter of days. When breaking ground for a new garden, grow two consecutive crops. Digging them in will provide ample organic matter to stimulate the soil biology. Frost will kill tender annual.”

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So essentially I plant these soon, get them growing, then it sounds like they take off. SO then we come in and cut them all down with our weed whacker and suddenly you have soil that organic roots down into it and the organic plant carcass lying on top. ( to act as weed control)

I have ordered several types of cover crops and they all are used for different purposes, but this one it sounds like if I get it growing soon, and then cut it down, it will provide nutrients for the garlic we plant in late october. ……. and mulch for the winter.

We will likely get a load or two of donkey manure to build up the soil as well.IMG_4529

Meanwhile back in Scotch Creek, we have purchased 2 of these Sea Cans and are filling them up with all of our belongings. Mid September we will move them up here and put them about 20 feet apart and put up some support between them and ultimately create a large shop with a sea can on each end.

Our first “structure” on the property, a “tupperware”….. storage unit we have been hauling around for years.

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Stay tuned….. and you will see cool things happen here…

Much Love, Ken, Janet And Tucker

 

 

Our new home SWEET home.

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Well our most recent obsession is a gravel pit we have purchased on the south side of the Shuswap lake.  I should IMMEDIATELY add that it is no longer a gravel pit, but OUR homestead.

However it still LOOKS like a gravel pit.

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We have been looking for a new place to live for a few years, wanting to be a bit closer to “amenities”, like doctors, banks, grocery stores,  and insurance companies. ( you have no idea what a pain it is to have to physically go to another town to renew your automobile insurance.  But also …..now to our new grandson Talon.

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Back to the gravel pit part…..( also called a “mine”)…… We have learned a bit about how it all works.  I guess the fellow who has hauled all the gravel out of here for some time, first of all had to take all of the topsoil and place it in a certain spot, so that when that mine (gravel pit) was decommissioned, … they would then take all of that top soil and put it back onto the property.

We have almost 9 acres of which at least 5 acres is usable land, so we have saved lots of large garlic with the plans to plant them in the fall.

We took ownership today, but it was great to be involved during the final stages of the gravel pit such that instead of spreading the top soil every where, we had them just put the top soil in a designated area where we are going to grow Garlic… and the rest of the place is gravel.  IE no weeds…. or mud.

So there is of course no house here, and we have sold our house as of the end of September…..IMG_4877

So it is great that we have grown so fond of living in our motorhome in the winters, because it seems like we shall be living in it for at least a year now.  At this stage, at least, I am quite excited, as I just love living in the motorhome, live is “simpler” than living in a house.  Who knows how it will feel a year from now   Grinning Face on Messenger 1.0

However THIS is our new adventure, and this is where we begin.

Much love, Janet, Ken and Tucker.

 

 

All the rain promised and more…..

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Sorry to say, but morel season has ended.  We did however have the most fun possible from April 27th until about May 25th.  I stole the title for this blog from a book we have, which is our goto book to figure out which mushrooms are good and which ones are BAD.

We began mushroom hunting while we lived in Oregon, but there we searched for the likes of Chanterelles and Hedgehogs, fall mushrooms, and they always lasted until the first frost.  Here we have morels.  The morels are spring mushrooms, that we have found as early as the end of March or not starting until May, and they seem to keep coming up for a month or so.

If you have followed this blog you will see that we are basically scavengers. We spend the winter hunting for pretty rocks and here we are back home hunting for Morels.img_4596

THEY CAN BE HARD TO SEE AT TIMES…..

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Well there are no mushrooms in this picture above…. just the blister beetle eating my garlic…. 😀   made you look… 

The earlier ones are black on top

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Then the blond coloured ones are later.

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We pick them and place them in mesh bags to to spread the spores for future years. I have found that wherever i have found mushrooms in the past, there are now more and more mushrooms on the right side of my pathway home.  (I am right handed, and so the mesh bag swings on the right side, spreading these wonderful spores)

We usually just eat them with dinner, but when we find a few extra, we dry them…. for later on ……. perhaps for dinner when we are hunting for agates in the winter.

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I put morels in almost everything I make during the season.  Frittata, pizza, stuffed portobello, or pesto and pasta.

But mushroom hunting is really more about the journey than the destination.img_4601

Finding a beauty like this, is SOOO much fun.

and I imagine in a few years we shall be taking this little fellow with us…..

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First we need to teach him agates… ❤️

much love

Janet and Ken  (holding baby Talon)

PS Stay tuned, my CD is finished and I shall be releasing it online soon, the actual CDs will not be done until the end of June.

My new CD cover.

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montreal 10 years after…..

Well I am in Montreal now, doing final mixing for my NEWEST CD…IT IS HERE I LEAVE you Dragon.  It has been almost a year in the making, recording in a means which weighs heavily on modern technology. GROAN. It has been 10 years since I recorded a CD, and 10 years since I as in Montreal (although my last one was not done here)

The musicians/friends whom have worked with me on my previous CDS, all live scattered all over the place, so this has been a process from a distance.  I shall explain further as I blog about this.

Currently I am in Montreal, staying at a HUGE AIRBNB,  for all one of me.

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Yes I have traveled all this way “avec non” Ken.  Not quite sure how I made it because he is the one who always looks after my passport and boarding passes. I guess luck, I got here and have not lost anything yet. Interesting the lady behind me arrived in Calgary and had somehow lost her wallet, all she had was her passport, which got her onto the plane to Montreal, but she was unsure how she would get into the hotel she was booked to stay at. The stewardess was quite helpful with her.

Hate to say I have done this once, drove all the way to Vancouver, parked in a parking lot at VGH, only to realize I had no way to pay for the parking.

SO yes this huge very old upstairs apartment is all mine…?? 4 bedrooms.

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I am sure to all my east coast friends this does not look different, but coming from BC this does look different.

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So first off I went down to Sherbrooke avenue to find dinner. Lovely. restaurant, sat down, everyone around me as couples…. with wine bottles on table. So I was surprised I as given no wine list. So when I ordered dinner I asked if there was a wine list, and she said I had to bring my own, and directed me to a store down the road.

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Well speaking of revolution…. I am quite excited about this new CD, it DOES have a few political songs on it, one song called “what if he gave a speech and no one came?”, a very lively song paying homage to the ….(ahem). …. rather frequent lies the man tells.

I am hoping to share some of the songs from the CD, here, as we get through this week of mixing.

For today…… in just a few hours we have a drummer coming into the studio to add percussion to a few of the songs, then my close friend Bernard (who owns the studio) and I will start the final mixing of the CD.

In OTHER NEWS…..Ken and I became grandparents a month ago, when our son’s partner Sarah, gave birth to the beautiful Talon.

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He IS such a total sweetheart. He is not talking or walking yet, but he clearly has his hand signals sorted out 🙂

 

LOVELY little guy

Much love to all …..  and stay tuned to this station

Janet

 

 

 

 

 

Sonny Bono Salton Sea Wildlife refuge

So back to the Salton Sea story…… (see previous blog) in 1905, the Colorado River drained into the Salton see area for 2 years before they were able fix the area of the river.  Wintering waterfowl began flocking to the sea almost immediately, and before long, the area proved to be a major stopover destination for migrating birds. “Shown to have a greater diversity of avian species than that of the Florida Everglades, the Salton Sea is a vital habitat for more than 400 species of birds making it a one of North America’s premier birding locations.”  We decided prior to going there to give ourselves a new camera (?? christmas present)  So we took LOTS of pictures.   We “snuck up” on several birds attempting the perfect picture, and then while sorting out something with my camera in the car afterwards a HUGE heron flew within a few feet of our car (no time for a picture)

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“The Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1930 at the southern end of the sea. Less than 1,800 of its original 37,600 acres remain manageable due to shoreline flooding. [1] In 1998, the refuge was renamed the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge to commemorate congressman and former celebrity showman Bono who was an early champion of Salton Sea remediation efforts.”

We went to the information centre, and it was quite interesting. She told us that the bird population that actually comes to the refuge has changed in recent years.  The salinity of the sea increases by about 3% per year, and very few fish can tolerate the concentration of salt. Apparently, though the sea has been a great fishing area for a long time, non one has actually caught fish there in the past 2 years, at least that they knew of.dsc00635

There are tales of boating several years ago, on a  calm day, you could look down into the water at the town that exists, where the salt mine was.  The OTHER really interesting boating story, is that because the lake sits ~260 feet below sea level, and with the increased salinity of the water, boats engines apparently perform much better.  So boats go much faster than they would elsewhere. So they had to initiate boating speed laws. We went down to the boat launch. As you can see there is no water for the first mile out from the launch.  The lake level is dropping all the time, and it sounds like it will eventually disappear again some day.dsc00601

In 1998 the sea was named after Sonny Bono. Part of the Salton Sea was in Bono’s congressional district, and cleaning up the lake became one of the issues he championed during his two terms in Congress. Bono’s death has created bipartisan support for the cleanup project.  It does seem that the area needs a new champion though.

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So we are now almost to Oregon, we DID spend a few days in Ventura visiting with some friends we have not seen in years. Irene and Ken.  Also (not pictured here) Cindy and Paul.  We gave them a little concert of our newer songs. Who says you cannot have a party in a motorhome.:) 🙂 so wonderful to be with friends.

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Much Love

Janet, and Ken and Tucker.

 

The saltine stories of the Salton Sea.

We are currently staying at the Salton Sea, which is a shallow, saline endorheic rift lake that sits right on top of the San Andreas fault.   The lake sits on the lowest part of the Salton sink, which is the result of the actions of the San Andreas fault and the East pacific rise. A larger version of the Salton Sea,  Lake Cahuilla existed from 20,500 years to 3000 years ago. Apparently Indio would have been underwater then. It is felt from high water lines that the basin filled many times over thousands of years, creating a lake 105 miles in length and 300 feet deep.  From this picture  you can see where the salton sea sits in the basin and the faint blue waterway to the very right of the picture is the Colorado river.  The light green part is where the lake once extended to.

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The cycle of filling has been repeated many times, most recently, an accident by the California Development Company. In 1905, in an effort to increase flow of water into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado river to the valley ( mentioned in the previous blog about the All american  Canal and the Yuma syphon). The colorado river is very high in silt (which is what made the valley so fertile in the first place), and they made a cut in the bank of the Colorado river (dynamite). That action overwhelmed the canal, (the river was very high that year as well) and the river flowed directly into the Salton basin for 2 years, creating the sea which is there now.

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It should be noted that an interesting note from explorers, …….the earliest ones found it and then after 1540 they did not 🤔🤔🤔  “For three centuries or more, from 1540 to 1902, the Salton Sink was a hot, and arid desert. Neither Melchior Diaz, a Spanish explorer in the service of Cortes who visited it in 1540, nor Juan Bautista de Anza, who crossed it in 1774, saw anything like a body of water. The only evidence that the Colorado River ran into the Sink within that fame span was a so called Roque map, now in the British Museum, which was compiled from all sources of information which were in existence in 1762. This map shows a considerable body of water in the Salton Sink, with the Colorado River flowing into it, but no written account accompanies the map.”

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I should also note here that at one time, the salton sea was part of the gulf of California, there are tales of sunken ships found out in this desert. ( which according to my estimates would be under this sea)🤔🤔🤔.

So why is it so salty?  Its salinity is greater than the pacific ocean, and sadly increases by 3% per year because it has inflow from 3 sources, but no outflow, just evaporation.  Beneath the lake is a salt mine… In the late 1800s, 1885 to be exact, the New Liverpool salt company was formed, and “harvested” 700 tons/ day of the “white gold”.   At the time the “crop” sold for between 6 -34 dollars a ton.  So Mr Durbrow the owner, became quite wealthy, (for a time) and there were many buildings and homes at the site of the mine, which all became underwater when the area flooded in 1905-1907.  Interesting side note that Mr Durbrow also lost his home in the fire and earthquake in San Francisco in 1906. The railroad also became underwater.

So the “beach” we are walking on, is ankle deep in what appears to be shells, and old life forms, HOWEVER I found out the real story behind these “barnacles”

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The Salton Sea also has a military history ….OF COURSE…. Starting in 1940, they had an Air force station, where they did sea plane training, and also “Additional activities at the base included experimental testing of solid-fuel plane-launched rockets, jet-assist take-off testing, aeroballistic testing of inert atomic weapon test units at land and marine target areas, training bombing at marine targets, testing of the effects of long-term storage on atomic weapons, testing of the Project Mercury space capsule parachute landing systems, parachute training and testing, and military training exercises.” 🙄🙄  SO BACK TO THE BARNACLES….. How did they get there?  Well the military brought in Ships to the Salton sea, which had barnacles on them, and they thrived in the Salton Sea.  We found that the barnacles were very different from the ones you might find on an ocean beach, much softer with thinner side walls.  SO none of this is sand, it is all barnacles.

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This area is so interesting, I have decided to make it into 2 blogs…… so stay tuned for Salton sea part 2.

It was extremely cold yesterday, cold north wind blowing 25-30 mph, hope it is nicer today

Much love to all, and happy new year.

Love, Janet, Ken and Tucker