Now that we have lived for a few days each in three RV (recreational vehicle) parks, we have learned more about ways that people are living in the United States. We have seen countless styles of recreational vehicles – some very small and others are very large.
Yesterday morning I met four young girls, who admired Kipp and asked politely if they could pet him. Their father works on power lines all over the country. Their mother home schools them. They move in their spacious RV from one RV park to another so that they can be as close as possible to where their father is working. The older girl, who looks ten or eleven, expressed the wish that she could be home in Tennessee so that she could go to school with her friends. In the afternoon I gave Citizenship Counts pencils to these four young students so that they and their parents can learn more about what we are doing and so that they can even use some of the lessons in the Citizenship Counts curriculum.
So that you will know more about the El Centro/Imperial Valley area, I am copying below some information about the agriculture here from a University of California David website:
“Imperial County is located in the southwestern corner of southern California. The Laguna Mountains block out incoming coastal moisture. Without water, the areas is a dry, barren desert. Located on the eastern edge of the county, the Colorado Rivers supplies irrigation water for a half million acres of farmland. Saline drainage water flows north to the Salton Sea, a body of water more saline than the ocean. Mexico is the southern border of the county.
Soils consist of very fertile, alluvial deposits from the Colorado River flood plain. These soils may be as deep as a mile in places. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are needed for vegetable production.
Winters are mild and dry with daily maximum temperatures in the 65 to 75ºF (18-24ºC). Summers are extremely hot with daily maximum temperatures of 104 to 115ºF (40-46ºC). The annual rainfall is just over 3 inches (7.5 cm) with most of it coming in late summer or midwinter.
Imperial Valley has a well-known reputation for midwinter salad vegetables. Shipments of crisphead lettuce, leaf lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage start in December and continue until March. Asparagus is in-season January, February and March. Carrots are harvested January to June.
Spring production of warm-season vegetables starts in late April with the harvest of Sweet Imperial onions, sweet corn, bell pepper, chili peppers, cantaloupes, mixed melons and watermelons.
Total annual vegetable production of Imperial County is around 115,000 acres (46,500 ha) worth roughly $350 million.”
Yesterday we all visited the Salton Sea, the destination for John and Tyler’s 50.7 mile bike ride. Kelly biked 20 miles. Kelly, Kipp and Diane joined the long-haul bikers, and we all piled in the car, with bikes on the bike rack, stopping at a beach by the Salton Sea. Below is information about the Salton Sea copied from the California Parks Department website:
“One of the world’s largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at -227 below sea level, Salton Sea was re-created in 1905 when high spring flooding on the Colorado River crashed the canal gates leading into the developing Imperial Valley. For the next 18 months the entire volume of the Colorado River rushed downward into the Salton Trough. By the time engineers were finally able to stop the breaching water in 1907, the Salton Sea had been born at 45 miles long and 20 miles wide – equaling about 130 miles of shoreline. Salton Sea State Recreation Area covers 14 miles of the northeastern shore and has long been a popular site for campers, boaters and anglers. Increasing salinity in the Salton Sea basin has limited the number of types of fish that can be found there, and most fish currently caught are Tilapia. Varner Harbor within the SRA provides easy access to the sea for boating and water skiing. Kayakers, campers, birdwatchers, photographers and hikers can enjoy the site’s many recreation opportunities.”
This afternoon we head for Yuma!