Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lake Tamarisk Desert Resort

I was originally drawn to stop at Lake Tamarisk Desert Resort because of the unusually high number of species of birds that have been seen here.  It is located out in the middle of a hundred mile stretch of desert halfway between the California towns of Indio and Blyth. It turned out to be an interesting place with an interesting history. It is fairly typical of many "snow bird" parks to be found throughout southern California and Arizona. There is a vibrant sense of community, with all kinds of interaction and events, yet a very relaxed feeling of schedule. We sensed it right away and instead of one night we stayed two.  The uniqueness of the history here is what sets it apart from other parks.  The lake, golf course and homes where originally built by Henry J. Kaiser to house his management personnel at the nearby Eagle Mountain Mine. I think it must of been a kind of country club just out side of the community of Desert Center on what is now Interstate 10.  As a side note, earlier a doctor had set up a clinic in Desert Center to provide medical services for the 5,000 men working on the Colorado River Aqueduct, but he was going broke.  Henry J. Kaiser, who also owned the company digging the aqueduct, stepped in and set up a plan to doc his workers a nickel a day  so that they could have a pre-paid medical plan.  This was the beginning of Kaiser Permanente, the largest private medical plan in the world. Today the mine is closed, the town is in shambles with only the post office open, but Lake Tamarisk is still operating with an RV park that fills each winter with happy souls seeking warmth and sunshine, maybe a little golf, and for the passing birder an oasis for birds. 

Northern Mockingbird

American Wigeon


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