El Centro - Darkroomers photo shoot Trip 2017

Diary of Richard Strobel, Roy Yang, and my RV trip photo shoot to El Centro and the Salton Sea area - March 2017

03/8/17 My self and Roy Yang left for El Centro in Rich’s RV at 9:00am. It was a nice day sunny in the low 90’s with no wind. We arrived with no problem at Weist Lake County RV Park where we parked the RV. Got set up and then we drove Rich’s jeep out to Sonny Bono National Wild Life Refuge. We shot some Burrowing Owls and Red Wing Black birds on the way, but all the water and shore birds had left the Refuge already. Next we drove up northeast site of the sea to Bombay Beach a very scenic spot for photography. Drove back to Weist Lake and I flew my drone taking some stills and videos of the scenic lake, Alamo River, and farm land near the RV park. I was in charge of food and we cooked tri-tip on the grill and sautéed baby fresh spinach for to nights dinner. with red wine. YUM YUM


03/9/17 Got up a 6:00am and had cereal for breakfast, Got out and about by 7:00am to shoot more owls and then drove to Slab City to photograph some of the art work there and also shot Salvation Mountain the religious ever changing structure. Returned to campground. David Pulaski a fellow Darkroomers arrived with his 5th wheel and set up next to us. Bill Remlinger also arrived in the mid afternoon and set up his tent next to us. We made barbecued pork tenderloin with grilled vegetables for dinner.


03/10/17 I made butter milk pancakes with sliced Kirkland ham, coffee and real maple syrup for breakfast this morning which was excellent. Nancy Varga’s another darkroom showed up this morning. The group we had at the campground were all very amenable fun people and we got along very well talking about our hobbies and keeping politics and religion to a minimum. Richards RV is welled equipped and Roy and I slept mostly quite well and we even had showers available to us. We all shared in the kitchen cleaning and barbecue duties to maintain our dietary subsistence. I made some great Carne Asada (pre marinaded from Costco) burritos for dinner tonight The group went out for a night shoot at Bombay Beach this evening, but I was tired and stayed in camp, I flew my drone again getting some nice sunset photos and videos.


03/11/17 Richard got us all up at 6:00am again for the good photo lighting. We went to Slab City and Salvation Mountain again with the whole Darkroomers group. Roy took a group picture of us. It was hot today in the high 90’s. Returned to camp in the early afternoon and rested in air conditioned RV. The heat causes my MS symptoms to be exacerbated so I again decided to fly my drone and forget the night photo shoot. While flying near the Lake I never guessed that the highest tree was 100’ high and my drone got tangled up in the branches of the tree at 100’ elevation above ground. The guys tried tossing footballs, bean bags, and poles to dislodge it, but no luck. I made Carne Asada again for dinner. I highly recommend this Carne installed on fresh flour tortillas also from Costco. We played Mexican Rail Domino game after dinner for and hour or so. Strobel sure found lots of strange rules to enforce playing this game. Of course he was the big winner.

03/12/17 Richard Strobel's wife Linda suggested going to Walmart and purchasing a fishing rod with weights to try lassoing the drone in the tree. Richard took me to the Imperial Walmart and we purchased a good size rod for the job and returned to camp. After trying two sizes of line we finally got a combination of equipment capable of getting up to 100’ high. David Poplawski was the most adapt at casting and after about 10 tries was able to lasso the drone and shake it out of the branches. Roy Yang was waiting below and actually caught the drone before it hit the ground. A blade did cause a sliced finger but the injury was minor. I want to thank all the guys and Linda Strobel for helping me retrieve this $1300 drone. Roy said this was the most fun he had the whole trip.
It is amazing what a group of intelligent guys can achieve. I was totally ready to give up and suffer my loss. I most say that this also made my trip unforgettable.



Last updated on March 27, 2017