Northwest Shore Mission December 2014

For the video version scroll to the bottom

On December 5 I completed a 7 mile walking mission from Basecamp-WEST north, through Desert Shores and up to 81st Avenue.  The purpose of this mission was to check the shoreline for hazards and water crossings.  It was colder than I like – starting the morning at around 55°F and never getting any warmer than about 70°F – a good 40 to 50 degrees cooler than I usually walk in!  Because of the cooler/safer temperatures I invited along my friends Giovanni and Kerry from Save Our Sea/EcoMedia Compass, and as with most missions, my film producer Blake was also with me.

Map of Salton City to 81st Ave

7 Miles from Basecamp to 81st Ave

After checking shore-access and dropping off The Salton Sea Walk-Mobile at 81st Avenue we drove back to BaseCamp-WEST just north of Salton Sea Beach and started walking north. Picture of birds on the shore at Salton Sea

As usual, we weren’t alone on the shore and were accompanied by thousands, if not hundreds-of-thousands of birds.  Giovanni, who is an Environmental Specialist (with a B.S. in Animal Biology) was officially ‘bird watching’ and identified every species of bird that we encountered.  To my surprise he identified 40 species!

Avian Incidental Observations – December 5th, 2014

 Snowy Egret  American White Pelican   Brown Pelican    Horned Grebe 
 Killdeer  Common Raven  Say’s Phoebe  Gadwall 
 Black-necked Stilt  House Finch  Yellow-rumped Warbler  Mallard 
 Double-crested Cormorant American Goldfinch  Bushtit  American Coot 
 Western Sandpiper  Great-tailed Grackel  Orange-crowned Warbler  American Crow 
 Bonoparte’s Gull  Mourning Dove  American Avocet  Loggerhead Shrike 
 California Gull  Northern Mockingbird Red-winged Blackbird Song Sparrow  
 Western Gull  Rock Dove  Marbled Godwit  California Towhee 
 Great Egret  Common Yellowthroat  American Pipit  Ana’s Hummingbird 
 Great Blue Heron  Willet  Lesser Scaup  Green Heron 

We continued north, passing Desert Shores while I struggled to tell the difference between a Sea Gull and a Pelican when we came to our first water crossing.Picture of a stream at Salton Sea

Actually, the first couple of crossings were bone-dry – far different from the raging rivers they look like on Google Maps.  All of the crossings in this area are either dry enough to walk through or small enough to hop right over.

Stream at Salton Sea

Randy and Blake at a small water crossing

The Sea had a few surprises in store for us.  The first was a boat stranded 500 yards or more from the shore.  I’ve come across a dozen or more stranded/abandoned boats during all of my walks at Salton Sea, but this one was in the best shape of them all. Aside from a some broken windows, it looked sea-worthy.

Picture of a speed boat at Salton Sea

Speed-boating at Salton Sea!

After some fun in the boat we continued north for another few miles when we came across the next surprise – an old tower of some kind. The tower had a (empty) electrical panel enclosure at the top but we weren’t able to figure out what the tower had been used for.

Kerry Morrison climbing an abandoned tower at Salton Sea

Kerry ascending the tower

Kerry Morrison and Giovanni Arechavaleta at the top of an abandoned outlook tower at Salton Sea

Kerry & Giovanni getting a better look

Right next to the abandoned outlook-tower was this large concrete structure. It was not connected to anything and just seemed to rise out of the ground.Blake, Kerry Morrison and Giovanni standing on the concrete structure

We completed the 7.62 mile walk in 3 hours and 40 minutes, only a few minutes behind schedule and I was able to mark-off another stretch of shoreline on map of areas that I have mapped and scouted.  Another great mission with great friends!

Watch the video version:

First 6 minutes is video footage of this mission, then next 6 minutes is an update on my mapping and planning.

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