"...I decided to visit California for a year or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley. All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world's wildernesses I first should wander."
--John Muir (1868)
Blythe is a town of 20,000 (well, actually if you don't count the residents of the two state prisons here, more like 10,000) on the California side of the Colorado River bordering Arizona. We came over from Palm Springs for a bluegrass music festival this weekend. We took our trailer and are dry camping with hundreds of others in the county fairgrounds.
We took a free tour of the Palo Verde valley when we got here and it was very interesting. We had a local farmer as a tour guide on the bus and we visited a cotton gin and a hay processing plant. I know it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry, but it was actually great to see how cotton is grown, harvested and processed.
Cotton harvesting machine
Raw cotton from the fields
Finished bales of cotton
Lynnae examining the cotton plants
The hay processing facility was really interesting, because they collect the hay from local farmers, compress it into bales and then ship the bales to CHINA and JAPAN, all of them. It turns out that hay doesn't grow all that well in Asia, because it is too wet, but the real kicker is that all those containers of stuff going to America from China would return empty, so the cost to ship the bales of hay to China is [practically zero... lower than shipping it up to central California.