Sunday, April 3
Leader: Ted Kalil
This was one of two runs offered as an outbound trip, and was attended by Neal, Marian, and Felice Johns; Glen Shaw; Allan Wicker; my wife Sue and our dog Cole. Rick and Sharon Cords had also signed up but with the damage to their camper tie down the previous day, they decided not to come. We missed them but Rick made a good decision - they might well have suffered further damage.
At Christmas Circle, we took the road towards SH 78, passing by the amazing statues of pre-historic animals that grace that area. After getting on to SH 78, we subsequently turned off into the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation camping area, then along Quarry Road to the Shell Reef Expressway. This is not really an expressway, just a dirt road, but it’s big as local dirt roads go. We passed a recreational sand dune area, Blow Hill, and later stopped to view the placards at Shell Reef. It is so named because of the prolific existence of former marine life found there. Long, long ago (even before my time – maybe not, I can’t remember), the sea extended to this area and there were subsequent upheavals. No wonder so much shell life can be found, and we observed some from samples left there.
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A little further on we stopped briefly to watch the motorcycles and ATV’s climbing the surrounding challenging hills, and Allan took some pictures. From there we continued on to the Cross Over Trail, which basically bisects this area, running north and south and connecting SH 78 with S 22. At Tule Wash we headed up to the Pumpkin Patch, where spherical rocks have been formed by water and wind. The State also had a kiosk there with rangers showing indigenous prehistoric bones of a jaguar and black bear. We were informed that those bears stood over six feet high on all fours, and the rangers showed us a femur from one of those bears to prove it - probably not a Gentle Ben.
Back down Tule Wash to the Cross Over Trail again, ending up at the camping area just south of the S 22 below the hill, an area improved with ramadas and toilets. At this point, Glen and Alan discussed whether to have lunch, Marian and Neal headed on home, and Sue and I went back to the resort to reclaim our motor home. Many thanks to all who came. I didn’t hear any grumbling, but is that a good thing?