On our way to our final destination of Palm Springs, we drove through the northern suburbs outside of Los Angeles. We could see the scars from the fires and mudslides in Montecito. Palm Springs was chosen as a stopping point because it was closer to the eastern border of California and would enable us to have a decent amount of time to get home. There are no pictures because it was not a very scenic place at all. It is a place where people go to have fun, like Atlantic City or Las Vegas.
Our hotel was nice, and they had a nice breakfast spread in the morning. After a morning walk, we were ready to head home. We decided that we would drive via I-8, which would take us past the Salton Sea. My brother Tracy usually travels past this area, so it would be nice to see what it entailed. It is a rather large body of salt water (third largest saltwater lake in the U.S.) and is the site of the 2,200-acre Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge, so you could see it as we took the southern route toward I-8, but we did not stop to take a closer look.
As we headed towards Yuma, we were suddenly in a barren desert with cream-colored sand. Fran thought that somehow we had been transported to the Sahara desert. We discovered that these were the Imperial Desert Sand Dunes, or Algodones Dunes, which are the largest mass of sand dunes in California. We also learned that these were a part of the “Star Wars” movie locations (think Tatooine dunes). Very interesting!
We stopped in Yuma for lunch and a chance to stretch before heading on our way home. Needless to say that the scenery along I-8 was interesting and sparse of population centers but a little anti-climatic after seeing the Pacific Coast and Yosemite. Our 18-day journey to sights unseen had ended.