We left Indian Waters RV Resort shortly after 10:00 and headed south on highway 86. It was a gorgeous day for travelling...beautiful blue sky!
It wasn't too long before we came to the Salton Sea... unfortunately it doesn't really show up all that well in the photo.
We stopped at an Arco truck stop station in Salton City to fill our gas containers (for the quads and generator) and to fill with fresh water. That ended up being a bit of an ordeal...I asked inside the station if they had potable drinking water to fill our RV. They said yes, and directed me to the RV dump behind the station. Well, there were signs at the RV dump on some of the taps but not all of them saying that the water was not potable, not for drinking...great. So I walked back to question them in the station...he said, the water was their city water and it was fine. Okay...so we filled our tank. While doing so, Steve went for a bit of a walk (50 yards away from the dump station) towards the propane fill station to check out a couple of signs and found the potable water spigots...sheesh! We ended up filling our blue water containers with that water...and I walked back inside to talk to the manager. I was told that she didn't know why there were signs at the RV dump saying not to use the water...it is all city water at both places. The staff here are idiots...they don't know where the potable water is, why you shouldn't use sewer rinse spigots, plus the signage is lacking! At least Steve always sprays "every" spigot we use with bleach. As we were leaving there were two other RVer's filling up at the non potable spigots.
After we were finished there, we drove across the highway to an ATV shop/store hoping that we could buy our California Non-Resident ATV permits. The fellow there didn't sell them but was very helpful and helped Steve find out that the permits were sold at 'Discovery House' at Ocotillo Wells (pronounced Ocitio) He also gave us a map of the area.
We continued south for another 10 miles or so and then took highway 78 west. There were lots of RV's on the highway (we later found out that it is the start of a long weekend here...Martin Luther King Day). Lots of open area where you can basically pull off and camp anywhere on the desert. There are some rigs in this picture but they are way off in the distance.
However, you must watch where you choose to pull off the highway...especially if you are a big heavy rig! You must make sure you are pulling onto a hard packed road...not like a class A motorcoach that we passed. He pulled into some soft sand and immediate got stuck...right down to the axles. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture...darn!
We made it to the "headquarters" of Ocotillo Wells SVRA (State Vehicular Recreation Area) where the Discovery Center is. We purchased our permits and got information about camping and then headed back down the road a short distance to "Main Street".
This warning was on display outside the Discovery Center...
Although there are some picnic tables with ramadas spread out all over the area, there really aren't any designated sites...you basically just park wherever you want to. We pulled the rig over a little ways into the area so that we could get out and walk around to check out the best place to set up camp. We didn't want to go too far in...or off the main road...because we just weren't sure of how soft the sand was. But we finally decided on a big open area that seemed very solid. We may be a little overly cautious but we just don't trust sand much... after all, we have already been stuck twice.
It was 2:00 by this time so before getting set up, we ate the lunch I had packed...and then got on with unpacking. It was darned hot...with Steve working in the direct sunshine outside and me inside...but we're not complaining after the cool weather we have experienced over the past week.
Once all set up, we sat outside enjoying the view until the sun went down behind the mountain. As it started to cool down, we headed inside...it was 5:00...at least it is starting to stay lighter out later! Here we are all set up in the great open desert...with beautiful mountains in the background...
Oh...as a bonus Steve has found lots of nails and screws all around our spot from people burning pallets (now banned). We don't like our odds of not getting a flat before leaving here
as we have a total of 18 tires!