The Big Winner!

Trip 2 – Day 30

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Today we took a drive around the Salton Sea.  We were particularly interested in the west side of the sea as we haven’t been there before.  At night as we look to the west, we can see what looks like a very large city…….but we have heard that it’s not.  This piqued our interest.

So……..after I thought I had LOCKED myself out of the Hag by simply shutting the door, (it seems to stick, randomly, and it takes a little brute force to open) the boys came back from breakfast, Craig manhandled it, and magically, it opened.  We left FOY around 9:30, headed toward Brawley for a grocery, etc. stop at the Walmart.  The interior lights in the front of the Hag, which we believe run off the battery, are very dim.  The prevailing thought is that the battery is dying, so one of the things on the Walmart list, was to get it checked or replace it.  Dad and I shopped while Craig dealt with Hag things, and then we were off on our adventure.  (The battery took a charge, so we brought it home with us)

The west side of the Salton Sea looks remarkably similar to the east side, except that the highway is four lanes separated by a median instead of two lanes that are not so well traveled.  We were told that we didn’t want to miss Salton City, otherwise known as “the place where dreams (and presumably dollars) were lost.”  Fifty years ago, the developer envisioned this area on a grand scale: a large city on the shore of the Salton Sea, a getaway for Los Angeles or San Diegoians.

A "housing development" in Salton City

A “housing development” in Salton City

For many reasons, the foremost of these being financial, the area flopped, but not before it was platted and services located.  Today there are a few homes on a few streets and the rest of it remains empty.

A not-so-busy street in Salton City

A not-so-busy street in Salton City

Of the homes that have been built, 200+ are on the market today, not including the countless vacant lots.

One of the many lots for sale

One of the many lots for sale

There is an RV Park and what looked like a smaller “city” where the houses were actually grouped together, a high school and grade school.  And then there was the “smell.”  It was reminiscent of the beach, only without the wind, more of a stagnant faint stench, sans the sound of the crashing waves.  We drove around and saw the sights and motored down the road to the next destination.  I will add, this developer also attempted to develop Christmas Valley in Oregon…….another unsuccessful venture.

It has been awhile since we have “supported” a casino, so, on the recommendation of Fred, we stopped at the “Red Earth Casino,” in Salton Sea Beach.  The plan was that we would EAT here.  There were two choices for dining:  “Subway,” and “Cafe 86.”  We chose “Cafe 86,” where everyone got what they wanted.  For Dad, it was a cup of clam chowder, for Craig, a tamale plate, and for me, a pork carnitas plate, whose wonderful greasy fattiness left me feeling guilty.

Lunch at the casino

Lunch at the casino

Then, we headed to the casino.  I had read that it was a very small casino; small enough that standing in one corner, it was possible to see all four walls.  This was true.  For us, that is not a bad thing.  I don’t loose people when in a small confined area.  I digress, we did play the slots.

Craig, hard at "work"

Craig, hard at “work”

I lost my $2 quickly, Dad managed to win 5 cents over the next 20 minutes or so, and in that time, Craig won $190!!!!  He is usually pretty lucky, and this was no exception.  I know that Mom, who also almost always won, would be very pleased with his good fortune.

Craig, the big winner, flashing the cash, at the Red Earth Casino

Craig, the big winner, flashing the cash, at the Red Earth Casino

With Craig’s big winnings, we headed north and stopped at Oasis Date Gardens for date shakes and samples of dates.  This is not really Craig’s thing, so he had a chocolate shake and skipped the samples.   On the drive back to FOY, there was some discussion regarding “Spaghetti Thursday” at the American Legion in Bombay Beach, but we decided to forego this event and perhaps go next week.

Today’s Weather:  Warm and sunny

Daytime temperature:  In the 70’s

Nighttime temperature:  In the 50’s

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