Sunday, December 5, 2010
On the road to Tecopa
Well we finally moved along from the lot and projects at Glen Eden after a month plus of delays and just "one more project". It wasn't until a week before Thanksgiving that we actually started the engine and turned our gazes to I-15 and 4 hours north to Tecopa, CA, just 50 miles north of Baker along a scenic secondary backroad route to Las Vegas and also Death Vally National Park. This is a favorite desert hot spring village we've been visiting regularly since our first trip here in 1995. We spent Thanksgiving with other desert dwellers at the local Community center and managed to soak daily in the famous Tecopa hot baths. Weather has been cooler than normal and winds have been more prevalent than we remember...something that gets your attention when the RV is rocked and buffeted by 25 mph winds first from the southwest, then from the north. But, it's part of the experience.
Tom managed a couple of hikes with the local Conservancy. One to an old gold mining area at Salt Creek and another was along the Amargosa River, recently granted a Wild and Scenic River designation. For those of us from the east, our picture of a wild river is a lot different than here in the desert southwest, though in times of heavy summer rains, wild is a mild term, torrential is often more appropriate. But for the most part this "river" is more like a small creek by our eastern experience. Yet, it is a lifeline for desert flora and fauna. But like much of the west, it's being choked by the invasion of the Salt Cedar or Tamarisk, a bush like tree imported from the Near East at the turn of the 20th century for erosion control. The dark side of this salt tolerant plant is that it outcompetes and displaces native plants such as the willow and cottonwood and draws a lot more of the precious water, many times drying up riparian areas. Efforts are underway in many areas including the Amargosa to eradicate the plant, but it is wildly successful adapter, tenacious and expensive to accomplish. Many local groups such as the Conservancy are working with and "pushing" the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to continue the eradication efforts before it is too late or too overwelming. Hope to be here for a few more weeks. Will post some more from Las Vegas and elsewhere in the region. Sunshine and warmer temps have returned. Even some rain last night! Great...until next time.