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Tecopa Hot Springs Resort. China Ranch Date Farm

Tecopa Hot Springs Resort Bistro offers really tasty gourmet food. Seriously.

Tecopa Hot Springs Resort Bistro offers wonderful gourmet food.

Sue and I spent last night at the Tecopa Hot Springs Resort in a tiny hamlet of one hundred in the California desert about 90 minutes from Vegas. Guests have access to private hot springs tubs just a few steps from their rooms. The water is toasty hot with refreshing minerals in it. The Bistro was an unexpected treat. The gourmet food was magnificent, all the dishes, from the hand made salad dressing made with special limes, to Sue’s chicken and rice and my Mediterranean sampler were delicious.

The cook traveled to North Dakota last summer, setting up gourmet Italian food trucks to service the gargantuan appetites of those working in the booming natural gas industry there. He comes back to Tecopa when summer is over (temperatures in Tecopa can easily be 120 in the summer and the resort is closed.)

On the way back we stopped at the China Ranch Date Farm. The Amargosa River flows through it, providing water for the date farms. Sometimes the river is dry, sometimes a dangerous torrent. That’s how the desert is. The area is also an oasis, with lots of vegetation in the river bed, surrounded by barren mud hills which were formed by sediment when the entire area was a lake 20,000 years ago.

The desert is always full of surprises.

Amargosa River at China Ranch Date Farm. Note the complete lack of vegetation on the surrounding mud hills. This is a baking desert in the summer.

Amargosa River at China Ranch Date Farm. Note the complete lack of vegetation on the surrounding mud hills. This is a baking desert in the summer.

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