June 17 – Norco to Quartzsite Arizona

We got underway, heading East, just before 9:00 the morning.

The landscape can be both desolate and beautiful

One of several passes we climbed through

Patriotic fervor can be found everywhere

This wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass (through which we passed) in the San Bernadino Mountains … where the winds funnel through …

contains more than 4,000 separate windmills (up from 2,700 when we we last drove through here)

We do not know why there are several types of supports for the turbines

or why some have three vanes and others have just two

and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.

Miles of apparently planted trees in the Palm Springs area

Trees along I-10 which seem to have been blown over

Others cut off about four feet above the green

Sound barrier

An oasis of green and agriculture

A lazy hitchhiker catching up on his reading

An ocotillo whose green branches indicate recent rainfall

An ocotillo where rains have been absent

Piping water through the mountains

Desert Center's dead palms

and abandoned buildings

As we approached Blythe, California, the landscape became both flatter and greener, as the nearby Colorado River provided a source of water for irrigation.

Colorado River

And then we were in Arizona

The Border Patrol was actively searching through the trunks of two cars

We also got our first sighting of Saguaros

They have a relatively long lifespan, often exceeding 150 years. They may grow their first side arm any time from 75–100 years of age, but some never grow any arms. A saguaro without arms is called a spear. Arms are developed to increase the plant's reproductive capacity, as more apices lead to more flowers and fruit..

The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson. Saguaros grow slowly from seed, never from cuttings, and grow to be over 40 feet in height.  The largest known living saguaro is the Champion Saguaro growing in Maricopa County, Arizona, measuring 45.3 feet high with a girth of 10 feet. The tallest saguaro ever measured was an armless specimen found near Cave Creek, Arizona at 78 feet in height before it was toppled in 1986 by a windstorm.

A saguaro is able to absorb and store considerable amounts of rainwater, visibly expanding in the process, while slowly using the stored water as needed. This characteristic enables the saguaro to survive during periods of drought.

When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.


Finally, we reached our destiation

 where abandoned RVs, aircraft

and busses we'd seen several years ago remain.

At 7:00 PM this evening, the temperature is reading 103o!  Fortunately, our air conditioning is keeping us comfortable.

Tonight, the was again ablaze with color.

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