We drove in their truck to the big "metropolis" of Shoshone, about 35 miles from our CG. The town/village has one main street and a population of 31. Yes, it is very big!!!! The lady in the office in the CG had recommended we go to Shoshone's local museum and then eat at the Crowbar Saloon which is next store to the museum - after all, it is a small town. We really enjoyed our time in the museum and before going to eat, we went across the street to check out the General Store. It too was an interesting place with gifts of the area and rather expensive groceries. Lunch at the Crowbar Saloon was very good and relatively inexpensive.
|This is the town museum which was moved 3X's. It was a gas|
station at one time!
|All about Prohibition!|
|One of the 20 Mule Team Borax posters!|
|This is the Crowbar Saloon - excellent food!|
We left there and went another 20 miles to the China Ranch Date Farm. Who would imagine that there would be a date farm in the desert, but there is an oasis that goes through that area and date trees were planted there beginning in the 1920's. The dirt road into the date farm was unbelievable and we kept wondering where we were going. Again, this place is in the middle of "nowhere" and you follow these huge "mountains" of dirt passing mine entrances that are now fenced off because they are so unstable and unsafe. The road was so windy and bumpy. But, eventually you arrive at the Date Farm, the only reason for driving on the 4 mile lane!
|This is the road to the Date Farm. The road actually|
ends at the farm. How do people know about this place????
|Are you sure we are on the right road?????|
|This can't be right!!!|
|Who would feel it was safe to go into this mine????|
|Wow, greenery in the desert!|
|I don't think they deliver dates in this truck!!!|
Currently they grow 14 varieties of dates and the trees look like palm trees. We talked with the foreman of the operation while walking through the "grove" and almost everything is done by hand including pollinating the dates, putting bags around the pollinated dates until they ripen and picking them. It is a lot of hard work. From one tree, depending on the variety, they can harvest up to 300 lbs. of dates in a season.
|Some of the shorter trees. It makes harvesting the dates|
a bit easier!
|This are starting to ripen!|
|After being pollinated, these bags are placed over the ripening|
dates so the birds don't eat them!
|These tall trees are some of the very early ones!|
|Pollinated and beginning to ripen!|
|They told us we could eat the ripe ones that were on the|
ground. They use no fertilizer or pesticides so they were
ready to eat!
|A pretty nice setting!|
While there, we got a date milkshake and a date and white chocolate chip cookie - both were delicious. Then we enjoyed checking out the Gift Shop -
|You should try one of these! They are delicious!|
|They bake all these products right here on the Ranch!|
|They had samples of all the 14 varieties of dates that they|
grow on the Ranch!
|A unique gift shop with new items and antiques!|
We found some additional interesting things when we strolled around the buildings -
|Their cactus garden!|
|This is their modest museum which had|
some very interesting information and photos!
Don't let the fancy building fool you!
We also took a walk on one of the trails on the property.
|There were several very old cars along the trail!|
We were back to the CG by 6 after a rather unusual day but we did learn a lot!
|Driving out the lane of the Ranch!|
|Ernie and Noela wanted to see if the water from the|
natural springs along the road was warm - so cold!!!!
|Some of the beautiful mountains on the way back to the CG.|
One thing I know for sure, I would not want to work or live in Shoshone or the China Ranch Date Farm. Give me people and places to shop, play, etc.
Ernie and Neola joined us for 2 games of Skip-Bo around 7:15. We each won a game so we all go to bed with winners! Another special day!