Friday, February 28, 2014

China Ranch Date Farm

After left Pahrump, when had to go there to fix the DMV issues, headed to the LA area.  On way there stopped by this place, and it was great, minus not going there with a date.  Good thing that wasn't a requirement!

Not too bad, right?
The road to it was actually pretty nice, as far as desert roads go.  It was a nice place to visit but there isn't much around.  The turnoff for the Date Farm had a good sized sign to it, but was following the GPS to get me there.  The GPS wanted me to go a different way, for some odd reason, am very happy I didn't listen to it.  Once embarked on this road cell phone service was almost non-existant.

Still looking good'ish.
After the turnoff to the China Ranch Date Farm the road quickly turned to a dusty gravel type mixture, as can be seen by the pictures.  It was hard packed and very solid the whole way.  In most places there was a very gentle down slope to get there.  It did quickly turn to sharp turns and canyons.

I was unable, for my safety's sake, to get pictures of the sharp turns and the canyons.  I have a 35 foot RV and some of the turns were very sharp that was worried about oncoming traffic and me being in their lane.  It turns out that most people are very very cautious along this road, for good reason.

Little cozy
It continued on for several miles, not really sure how long.  Nearing the Date Ranch there was actually a steep downhill area.  If memory serves me it was 9% downgrade for a short while.  Pretty step.

When finally got there was greeted by the tall date palm trees.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda, but didn't grab any pictures of these.  Just gives me a chance for another come back and visit, which am looking forward to.

Dates of all Varieties, grown right here
When got to the actual store, was warmly greeted by the people who work there.  The store itself is split into two pieces.  Food "stuff" in the front, and oddities and other things in the back.  The back looked more like the typical touristy stuff, but seemed like it was also nice stuff.  Hard for me to describe, and of course, I didn't take pictures of that area.  It was like craft type items.

In the food area there was a place where could sample all of the dates they grow there.  Then there was a cooler where could buy pounds of the ones which you like the best.  When was there didn't buy any, but I did pick up some cookies!

Honey!  Local and fresh
The cookies they have are baked right on premises.  Wasn't able to get fresh baked cookies this day as they were planning to throw some bread in the oven.  I did however get some to go, and they were AWESOME!  The cookies are sweetened with dates!

Also had a milkshake, which many people told me I should get.  The milkshake was very good and tasty, not to mention sweet, but it really wasn't my thing.  Would still recommend people to get it for the novelty and maybe they'll like it more than me.

The one thing which I was truly happy with, and which surprised me immensely, was when went for a walk to see if can get some pictures.  Found a nice vista to snap picture or two at, but for life of me can't find the picture, and can't remember taking it, but remember seeing a nice vista.

Heard water gurgling from this area?!?!?!
What did catch my eye, or ears, was hearing water gurgling, like from a babbling brook or something.  This caught me by surprise as didn't really expect to hear that in the middle of this desert wasteland.  Life grows in the most unexpected of places.

Took a quick survey around the edges of this bunch of "stuff", and found a path I could follow.  At this point I am highly determined to find the source of this water noise.  It's very perplexing.

Path through brambles
 This is the path was able to find and follow.  Saw some fresh cuts in the wood.  Not sure even what they call these, vines, trees, bushes?.  Am sure it's not a bush, as it seems to all be one big thing.  In reality am sure it's smaller ones intertwined, similar to how blackberries intertwine.  Would like to note that these are in no means blackberries.

This path kept winding and winding through, wide enough in most places to walk two people wide, like hand in hand.  It was a very nice and peaceful walk.  While there wasn't much to see other than the "walls" of impenetrable brush, always had the gurgling sound.  It would ebb and flow a little while walking the path, but would always grow little stronger with each step.  Definitely getting closer.

A tree?!
Then came into a little clearing like area, with the babbling brook still getting a little louder.  Saw what looked like a tree.  In this picture it's also possible to see some fresh cut ends of the wood.  Unsure what they were doing here, maybe making a picnic area or just a clearing?

The force, or sound, was strong here in this area.  It's been this strong for a little while but haven't seen the source of the noise yet.  Until I got closer to the tree.  Here is where found the crystal clear babbling brook.

Was overjoyed at this point and just snapped several pictures, of a little oasis in the middle of the desert.  It was quite a nice sight to behold!

Branch and "dam"
Managed to squat down right next to the brook, stick my hand in the cool water, and just relax there for a couple moments, or more than a couple.  It was very relaxing to have this time out.  It almost reminded me of time at the ocean in Oregon.  That was wunderbar (wonderful).  That is pronounced Voonderbar, don't ask me, it's german (Deutsch).
Crystal clear!

Sadly, it was time to move on.  The clock was ticking and had to leave this little paradise.  I would've been very happy to spend all day here, grab a blanket, or chair, and just sit and relax, dozing on and off all day.  Oh how relaxing that could be!

Soon as got back to the RV, fired it up and began the long, arduous, and dusty trek back to the main road, and continuation of my journey to the greater LA area for the 3d Printer World Expo.  And Part 2

On the way down I saw this cave entrance and was unable to snap a picture.  Made sure, on the way out, to snap a picture showing the sign. Can't make out exactly what the sign says other than Gypsum Queen.  If memory serves me right this area was used to mine Gypsum, which is used in, among other places, sheetrock..

Soda "Experiment"

On to more recent events.  Am in Vegas, and up the road is a discount supermarket.  Went in there one day and saw they had Diet Coke for $6.99 / 24 pack if bought two of them.  Not sure what took me over, but felt a strong urge to get the soda, two of them.....

So, long story short, in a short 3 days went through both cases, total of 48 cans, of soda.  Near the end it was like the soda was calling me to open it, almost surreal now that think back on it.  This happened up until the last several cans.  Went out to eat a couple times and also had soda there, but this is about the two cases.

Had plans to go to the strip and walk up and down to check it out.  I did that, happily, but truly felt like was hungover, even though haven't touched a sip of booze (except vanilla flavoring) in a long time.  This truly felt like had been binge drinking the night before of alcoholic drinks.  Not saying it's related to the soda, but you be the judge.

Several years ago I was known to drink anywheres between 6 and 8 litres of soda on a daily basis, either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, with caffeine of course.  Felt no ill effects, though am sure it didn't help anything and was able to wean myself off with no problems at all.  Have been slowly building back up.

Am curious as to how much I drank this time.  It was roughly three days, so will calculate for both three and four days.

2 cases x 24 cans each = 48 cans
Each can is 12 ounces
48 cans X 12 ounces (per can) = 576 ounces
Per google,  576 ounces = ~17 litres
17 litres / 3 days = 5 2/3 litres per day
17 litres / 4 days = 4 1/4 litres per day.

Haven't had a sip since!

ERKH, and ERKH again

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