China Ranch: March 30 - April 5, 2014

          

China Ranch is located right next door to Death Valley in the Mojave Desert. It's private property, but Michael Ellis and the owners, Brian and Bonnie Brown, are good friends. They gave their permission to camp on their property. At their store, we purchased and ate delicious and refreshing "date shakes". Above and the first two photos below are from their brochure.

 

Brian (whose grandfather settled this land) and Bonnie hand-made their home, out of adobe bricks they made from local mud.

They have several "hands", among them an elder named Junior who has been with the Browns forever and knows everything about dates, and Steve, who drove the ancient truck to remove piles of greenery that we all dug out from around the resevoir.

  

Some close-up pictures of date trees; sorry you cannot taste them!

 
      Female flower! Staff pollenate each tree.                Some old dates (hint: upper L quadrant near center)

Where we spent down-time - tent site and camp fire: