Well, my camera has chosen an inopportune time to stop working. The views of the valley from here in the foothills of the Chocolate Mountains are simply breathtaking. My host, Gordon, was farming for years and even ran a hostel for a time before he carved out a little homestead overlooking Bombay Beach, the northern part of the Salton Sea, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains to the west.
My time here so far has been somewhat more reposeful than in Hinkley. Each morning, I widen the basin around one of his smaller trees, an olive or persimmon, while he trims the leaf nodes from one of his several date palms down to the trunk in preparation to fit it with a metal apparatus for deterring the kangaroo rats which breed here in great abundance and which can greatly reduce his yield. Another way he combats the rats is with traps he sets for them, to release them a couple of miles down the road.
The situation here is somewhat more austere. Because the amount of work Gordon has for me is so limited (harvest is over and there are no new plants going in), it isn’t really worth it to him to provide food. While he doesn’t impose restrictions on my diet, I am not allowed to fry food in a skillet or bake things because his guests in the past have made messes doing these things. This leaves me to boil or steam my food or else eat it raw.