Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tecopa, CA

Tecopa is known for its hot springs and many resorts have sprung up around them. This is the "Wild Tub" which is the only one in the area, besides the mud spring, that is free and not enclosed in a building. It really is in the middle of nowhere and Brad is thoroughly enjoying himself.

In a small valley outside of town is the China Ranch, a working date farm. Its name comes from the Chinese man who originally owned this piece of dirt beside Willow Creek. He raised cattle but either sold or was run off the land around 1900. The name "China Ranch" stuck.

The date farm, seen here surrounded by the dry hills, has a very interesting history. The palms were planted from seeds in 1920 by Vonola Modine (ancestor of Matthew Modine, the actor) having never seen a date palm before. Many of the original trees stand today, as do their offspring.

Many hiking trails surround the China Ranch, and we hike much of the Amargosa Canyon Trail to the slot canyon and waterfall. Here, I am standing just inside the slot canyon which is only a few hundred yards long, but still interesting with the porous, volcanic rock.

Brad climbing the dryfall at the "end" of the slot canyon. He would pick today to wear grey.

Brad standing over top of the lower waterfall. Another one just above him falls about three or so feet. This is the Amargosa River providing much needed hydration to this parched landscape.

On the highway to Pahrump, Nevada is this interesting roadcut. Note the streak of black obsidian, a glass rock created by volcanic activity. Brad is fascinated with this and spends part of a day climbing it and collecting a few small specimens.

Well, we do see the strangest things in the desert. In the "town" of Tecopa Hot Springs we find The Gypsy Time Travelers. We don't see their show of story-telling and blacksmithing, but what does intrigue us is their RV which was custom built by the owner. It is fantastic, complete with wooden turrets and porthole windows.
This micro-brewery and restaurant are owned by the fella who owns the town of Tecopa. We stop for a burger and beer (both great, by the way) and eat overlooking the pond. It is a lovely setting, except for the mosquitoes! Afterward, we enjoy a half-hour chat with the owners around their campfire. Only in the desert...

1 comment:

  1. Though you return to similar places each year, you see such new and exciting things. Love hearing about this part of the states for future reference.