Part 5: At China Ranch
with some photos added in 2008
China Ranch is a large, working date farm that sells its products far and wide, but also in its little store at the ranch itself. It is sitting between very dry hills, but is well watered by Willow Creek, a tributary to the Amargosa River. Here is a view of some of its old buildings and equipment on display:
This next set of photos was taken from the ridge in the previous photo (but a year later) and shows the setting of the place in a true oasis created by Willow Creek.
The first two photos look upstream and show the profusion of vegetation supported by Willow Creek, including part of the date farm itself where new trees are being started:
The next two photos look downstream into the Amargosa Canyon where Willow Creek flows into it. I need to come back here again and take the trail that follows Willow Creek into that canyon (trails are described on the China Ranch web site). I am using a new camera, a Nikon Coolpix, and was experimenting with where I put my focus. The only real difference between the two photos is that in the second one I aimed to get the background range more into the view.
The hills I am standing on are shown from the ranch side in the next photo.
This field trip sought to give insight into the various Amargosa River water sources. One of those sources is Willow Creek, next shown (as evidenced by its vegetation) flowing through a narrow canyon out of China Ranch and toward the Amargosa River (I'll come back and do this walk, maybe later this year):
A path was made to show visitors the riparian wonders around the creek, and we will follow that path now without much in the way of words (signs explained more than I knew along the way, I'll show a few):
What? I haven't shown any water yet? Sorry!
Moving away from the creek, here are several views of the date farm adjacent to the creek:
You can see that the setting of this true oasis is very, very dry:
One of the common weeds in this area is Jimson Weed. I didn't realize it had so many charms.
Our next stop is where the Amargosa River crosses the dirt road leading to the Dumont Dunes recreation area. But before leaving China Ranch it is important to look at their hollyhocks (because they are my wife's favorite flowers):
Go to Part 6: Near Dumont Dunes
Go to Part 7: At Saratoga Spring
Go back to Part 1: The spring at Shoshone, CA
Go back to Part 2: Amargosa River at Highway
Go back to Part 3: A Tecopa Valley hot spring
Go back to Part 4: In Tecopa
Take a walk in Golden Canyon
Take a walk in the Panamint Range
Take a walk in a sandstorm
Go to 2007 Year Book
Go to Link-Outline
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