Thursday, April 29, 2010

Visit to the Calico Solar Project on 4/27/2010.

I made it out as promised and exited I-40 at Hector Road, there I followed it
down to the railroad track where I did notice that the gate locked by the railroad
was now open on the right side allowing access north of the tracks. However
considering the rough dirt road to get to the tracks, I decided to have mercy for
the morongomobile and just stop here, at which point I made the following
video with the webcam on my laptop.

After filming the video and refreshing my memory of the site location with files
stored on my laptop, I did a walk around here and filmed this short video. 

At this time, since I wasn’t in the project area and was low on water anyway, I drove
the few miles to Ludlow, staying on National Trails Hwy, Route 66, which runs
alongside of I-40 most of the way. There I stopped at a gas station/ convenience
market/Dairy Queen(I think) to pick up extra bottled water and I also bought some
divinity candy which was as good as any that I’ve had since I left my home in
Georgia some 30+ years ago.

After pigging out, I drove back toward the site on Rt. 66 where I stopped here to
do a little photography and explore under the bridge over the wash.
solarone 005

view looking the other way below.
 solarone 007

somewhere to the right of here and in the distance a ways was where BrightSource proposed the solar project
near Sleeping Beauty Valley that they dropped and I blogged about. 

Here’s another picture taken at the same location. Notice the gullies formed by the water
running from under the bridge, crossing the pavement, and then running off into the distance. I talked about this in the video.
solarone 006

After a short time here I headed east toward the Pisgah Crater Rd exit on Rt 66
to visit the electrical substation and transmission line area which I now knew was the
eastern boundary of the Solar One project area and was adjacent to an area of critical concern(ACEC). On the way, I filmed this video. 

Here is a video as I drove up to the substation.

On the way, I passed some railroad workers repairing the warning lights at a crossing.
Along the way, I noticed the road was between two gas pipelines. After a mile or so after
the bridges and the tracks, the pavement ended and the dirt road turned north toward the substation. Here is a photo of the substation area where I parked the morongomobile
and did a circular hike staying within eyesight of my car.
solarone 010

Right behind this , off into the distance as far as the eye can see, will be an endless field of sterling engine
solar dishes at some point in the future.

Call me paranoid, I don’t know what came over me but I didn’t feel comfortable
with leaving my car and hiking for miles out of its’ sight, so I decided to go in a
big circle with this location as the center of operations, and thus pretty much
being able to spot my car from anywhere, except when I was in the big sandy
wash, which I found, but evidently the Tesserro folks were not able to find.

I started walking east toward the horizon and right away saw interesting plants, etc.
I filmed this just 10 feet from my car. 

Right away I came across all kind of desert wildflowers. What a treat it was to be afraid
of stepping on tiny flowers and having to watch carefully where I walked.
solarone 018

This was an interesting plant, a desert lily I believe.
solarone 014

Here’s another shot of the little flowers and plants everywhere on this desert pavement.
solarone 015

Here are a couple videos I took in the general area. 


During my walk I came across an area which looked to be over-run with non- native
grasses, which extended out to the northeast for quite a long distance. I pointed out
in this video, how dangerous this area would be after the summer heat dried these out
and how easy it could set off a fire with just a spark, and no water to fight the fire with.

End of Part 1 of 2.

Folks this took a long time to process the videos so the next installment probably
will not be posted until the weekend.

Also I just realized that Facebook may have individually notified people hooked
up with my page individually each time I uploaded a video, I apologize and
have disconnected the Facebook notification feature.


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