Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Senator Wash, Imperial Dam, California

Backroads Destination-Senator Wash, Imperial Dam, California

Right  next the Squaw Lake Campground is the Senator Wash Long-Term Visitor Area (LTVA's) managed by the BLM.  I have heard about the LTVA's throughout my professional career and even drove by Quartzite last year.  This year we went to check out the Senator Wash LTVA.

RV'ers can thank their lucky stars that the BLM came up with the concept of LTVA's.  They are unique in the managment of public lands in the United States.  I did get a chance to talk for a long-time with one of the originators of the idea way back in the early 1980's.  It is a special recreation opportunity that is provided by BLM and be sure to thank EVERY BLM employee for the opportunity.  Take care of these lands.  In all the western public lands there is nothing like the Long-Term Visitor Areas.

Here is the official BLM link to the Imperial Dam Long-Term Visitor Area.  I have to laugh when BLM refers to the area ".....campground is approximately 3,500 acres in size,"  I am not sure that I would refer to the Long-Term Visitor Areas as a campground.  To much "official" baggage with that term!! 

Where else can you stay for months for just $180?  But wait, as they say there is more.  How about four lanes of dump stations.  Dumpsters for garbage and potable water.  There is also a campground host on site with maps and other information.  

When you look at the pictures you wonder if this really is a "backroads" destination.  Well, maybe the best way to look at it is a Rainbow Family gathering for those of us of retirement age.  Hopefully, the taxpayers get a better deal from the LTVA's.

The Imperial Dam Long-Term Visitor Area is composed of several units or neighborhoods.  We did see one sign that identified the "official mayor" of the small area.  Yes, the BLM map has Quail Hill, Lonesome Ridge, Kripple Creek, Skunk Hollow, and Hurricane Ridge among others.  If you have a wind generator you might want to check out Hurricane Ridge.  

You should visit a LTVA even if you have no intention of ever camping in one.  The solar and wind generation systems coupled with the RV's shows a determination to make life comfortable in the desert.  You will get lots of ideas for your just plain old camping trips.  Above the lake we had four bars for voice and four bars for data on our Verizon phone.  So even 24 miles from town in the desert you can stay connected.  

There is also a emergency system set-up using CB's with the hosts monitoring channel 12.  I know many people have switch FSR radio's, but it looks like one more reason to keep an old CB radio around. 

LTVA's a different way of camping.  Well, maybe not different way of camping, but a different way of living!  

What a country! 

Be sure to thank the BLM for their outstanding management of these areas every chance you get!!!

Well, if they are Long-Term Visitor Areas it only makes sense that you would have newspaper delivery!


Dugg said...

I had never heard of the term Rainbow Family before. Thanks for enlightening me. Hopefully, we LTVA residents are less of a headache to the BLM.

Jerry said...

Thanks for the photos, I was developing a very different image of conditions at these sites. It's nice to have these places, hopefully they will be self managed by responsible visitors. I've seen a lot of squatter camps in the Arizona desert, we really don't need to concentrate those types of "campers".

Vladimir Steblina said...

The BLM and LTVA'ers have done a pretty good job of keeping the place tidy and clean.