Bermuda Dunes
Community Council
Meets the 2nd Thursday
every other month

Supervisor PEREZ office
Victoria Llort
760 863 8211

Sheriff's Department
Lt. Jeff Buompensiero
760 863 8990

California Highway Patrol
Office Phil Watkins
760 772 5300

Cal Fire
Battalion Chief
Eddy Moore
760 540 1878

Code Enforcement
Brenda Hannah
760 393 3344

Bermuda Dunes Community
Center/Desert Rec
Adam Encinas
760 564 9921

Bermuda Dunes Airport

Ann Goodwin - Airport
PH: Bermuda Dunes Airport
79880 Avenue 42, Bermuda
Dunes, CA 92203 ·
(760) 345-2558

Myoma Water Co
Mark Meeler
General Manager
Myoma Dunes Water
79050 Avenue 42
Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203
760-772-1967  Office
760-345-9761  FAX

Graffiti Removal
1 951 955 3333
1 866 732 1444

Rubbish Retrieval
760 320 1048

1 393 3344


Posted on September 18, 2017

Riley is currently in New York meeting with the doctors at Sloan Kettering
Memorial Cancer Center where they are planning out the next phase of her
treatment. Thanks to generous anonymous donors, she was able to see Aladdin
yesterday (9/16/17) and meet the actors. Another generous donor allowed them
to take a carriage ride around Central Park today (9/17/17)! We are so grateful
for each and every dollar and prayer from our supporters!

We are almost to $49,995
of $60,000 goal.
We continue to solicit donations for Riley!

Please donate

Click HERE to donate to the
Riley Rose Fund
“The principal purpose of this website is to provide useful information for residents of Bermuda Dunes.  It is not possible, however, for The Blog Folks independently to verify information submitted to us.  
Accordingly, our listing of goods and services is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, an endorsement.  The purchasers of goods and services listed on our website are encouraged to perform
their own due diligence.”
This website is owned, operated and paid for exclusively by The Blogfolks. We are not affiliated with Riverside County or any other entity.
Board Members
Bermuda Dunes Security

Phillip Bettencourt - President
Robert Nagles-- Vice President
Chris Hogan-- Treasurer
John Thiele-- Secretary
Don Kerpetka-- Director
Michael Tanner-- Director
Jack Fox - Director
Robert Nelson - Director

John Walters-Clark-- Community
Manager with Associa

BDSA Meeting
4th Thurs. of every


Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
street/gate signage.

BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt
John Walters-Clark
760 346 1161

The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.
Admin staff can also assist
with access to the
Resident Login System

Admin hours are as follows:

Monday 10-6
Wednesday Closed
Saturday Closed         
Sunday Closed

If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:

Telephone Numbers:

Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-3137
Admin Building:

Bermuda Dunes
Home Owner's
Third Tuesday at
6:00 p.m. each month

Adm Bldg
4:30 PM

Board Members
President            Patrick Bohner
V. P.                   Brett Coors
Treas.                Mike Soran
Secretary           Janet McMurtrey
Director             John Van Kuelan

Joint Committee Representatives
are Janet McMurtrey and Brett

Greg Gamboa-- Community
Manager with Management Trust
Bermuda Dunes Community

Here is what
responsible for:

Bermuda Dunes
Community Association
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
landscaping, pool
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.

The Architectural
Committee reports to the
Community Board

Dues are $100 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum

New Manager is
Greg Gamboa, Phone:
760-776-5100 ext 6309

The Management Co.
39755 Berkey Drive, Suite A •
Palm Desert, CA 92211

P: (760) 776-5100 x6343
F: (760) 776-5111

Email us:




TODAY is Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We need volunteers at The Living Desert

Email to Ramina Arce in the Education Department at Thank you!


Hmmm this link takes me to December 20, am I the only one??

Hi Dave:

Sometimes it takes time for the Blog to update online. Just click the
'refresh button' and it will update automatically.

Have a nice day

Mrs. B
Bermuda Dunes Community Council Meeting

Thursday, January 11th

Bermuda Dunes Community Center

Yucca Lane and Avenue 42

Meeting starts promptly at 6 PM

Everyone is Welcome...Come join us and find out what is happening in BD
Bermuda Dunes Community Council Agenda
6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 11, 2018
Bermuda Dunes Community Center
78-400 Avenue 42, Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203

I. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of the Minutes – November 9, 2017
IV. Councilmember Reports and Comments
V. Staff Reports: Presenters must direct their report to the council.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Chair may
allow questions. Each speaker must first be recognized by the

1. Office of Supervisor V. Manuel Perez – Victoria Llort, 760-863-

a. Requested Updates On:

i. Potholes & Sidewalk, Lima Hall
ii. Roadwork for BD in 2018
iii. Homelessness
iv. Adams/Ave 42nd Street Light Update
v. Board of Supervisors, Public Hearing update for proposed
StorQuest Storage facility
o Date to be announced after BOS 1/9/18 meeting

2. Sheriff’s Department – Lt. Jeff Buompensiero, 760-863-8990,

3. CAL Fire – Captain Coby Dyche, 760-772-4391, coby.

4. Code Enforcement – Brenda Hannah, 760-393-3344,

5. Desert Recreation District – Adam Encinas, (760) 564-9921,

a. Proposed CPR class?

6. CHP – Officer Phil Watkins, 760-772-5300,

7. Bermuda Dunes Airport – Ann Goodwyn, 760-345-2558,
a. Improvement Project?

8. Other Departments
VI. New Business: Presenters must direct their report to the
council. At the conclusion of the presentation, Chair may
allow questions. Each speaker must first be recognized by the
VII. Old Business:
VIII. Public comments: All persons wishing to address the Council
on items not specifically on the agenda or on
matters of general interest should do so at this time. Please limit
your remarks to 3 minutes.
IX. Agenda Items for next meeting
X. Adjourn meeting
2018 meeting schedule: Jan 11, Mar 8, May 10, Sept 13, Nov 8
(Additional meetings may be added if needed). Please
visit Supervisor Perez’s Web site to access more information: www.
If you would like to get agenda’s and other important meeting
information for the Bermuda Dunes Community Council,
please send your email address to Victoria Llort at
Jacob Alvarez
Donna Hubenthal
Michael Pierson
Jeff Wattenbarger
Vacant Seat

We are looking to adopt a small dog under 8 lbs. fairly
young. Hopefully a rescue. Any ideas please Email
Mrs. B

I am looking for part time elderly care, about 5 hours a day, no
cleaning  but cooking for two seniors who cannot drive, but have a

Thanks, Di

Diane Flaherty
CaBRE: 01172949
HK Lane Real Estate
72895 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(c) 760-774-3836; (o) 760-834-7500 (f)760-834-7575
Is Napping Good for You?

Do you find yourself always on the go and wishing that you had a
pause button? Does your afternoon bring in less energy and
more struggle to carry on with all the hustle and bustle?

Nowadays, a lot of people try to do too much yet sleep too little. A
lot of people are living in a continuous state of sleep deprivation,
racking up sleep debt. Nevertheless, many individuals make
power naps as part of their regular routine to combat fatigue and
help them stay on top of things at home or work despite the lack
of sleep, but does napping really help?

The National Sleep Foundation reported that although napping
for 20 to 30 minutes does not necessarily make up for poor
quality or inadequate night-time sleep, it helps improve mood,
performance and alertness. While adding power naps to your
daily routine can be challenging, here are a few reasons why
napping is good for you.

Improves Productivity and Alertness

Though napping has been linked to laziness, the fact is it is not
true. Napping actually helps increase productivity. A study
conducted in NASA showed that a 40 minutes power nap helped
increased the pilots' performance by 34 percent and their
alertness by 100 percent. Researchers showed that even a 20
minute snooze can help greatly in improving your ability to get
things done.

Improves Memory

A recent study conducted on students in Harvard University
showed that those who took a nap after their study were able to
retain more information that those who did not take naps. The
researchers reported that taking 60 to 90 minutes nap provides
similar benefits to sleeping at night and the combination of the
two provides twice the effect.

Psychological Benefits

Chronic sleep deprivation will not only cause serious physical
issues but can also have a negative effect on your psychological
health. Although napping cannot make up for the lack of sleep, it
thus, however, helps minimize the side effects of sleep
deprivation, which may include anxiety, depression, stress and
cognitive impairment.

Improves Overall Well-Being

Just as lack of sleep causes negative effects on your overall
health, getting a little sleep can also have a positive effect on
your physical well being. A power nap can help lower down blood
pressure, boost willpower, calm your nerves and even help you
get a better sleep at night.

Overall, getting enough sleep is still the best way to keep alert
and feel your best. However, when fatigue sets in, having a quick
power nap can do miracles for your overall health.
Good morning!!

Bocce League is alive and well at BDCC!! As of this am, we have
17 teams and 167 players.!!

Thank you, Don, for stepping in to give on court instruction. I really
appreciate it, as I was not prepared to give a Bocce tutorial. Good
job!!  I didn't get to taste the Gelato, but I'm sure it was delicious.

Note from Mrs. B - I went for the Spamoni ice cream. Simply

Thanks Bertin for preparing the courts and sound system. Tom,
thank you for upgrading our Italian cuisine!  Lorie, you are the
best!! Thanks to all for your help in making Bocce part of the
BDCC experience. !

Nate,our new Bocce Director!

New and veteran players socializing

Teams planning strategy


Reprinted from by ADAMS | STIRLING PLC

Over the last few decades, community engagement in an HOA
meant a small handful of owners canvassing their nearby
neighbors. These volunteers worked countless hours to obtain
and consolidate the voice of their community. The process went a
bit like this: the board makes a request or shares information with
residents, collects the feedback in one of many communication
formats of the resident’s choosing (i.e. snail mail, email, or even
verbal agreement), a designated board member gathers the
results from all of these formats and organizes them in the
community’s chosen format like Microsoft Excel and then shares
the information with the appropriate parties — vendors,
maintenance workers, and other key members of the
community— who may have even more rigid formatting
requirements that need to be followed, in which case, the
designated board member reformats this information to meet the
needs of each vendor and now they are ready to execute on the
consensus decisions. And don’t forget that this information is
often sensitive, so these records have to be sent and stored
securely. And, some of these interactions occur each month!
Every topic that required resident engagement, from “What color
should we paint the new clubhouse?” to the dreaded “Your
assessment is late.” had to go through this process.  It makes you
really appreciate where we are today.

Thankfully, with the turn of the century, an influx of new
technologies in the form of mobile phone applications and social
media platforms have begun to change the dynamic of getting
homeowners more involved in the governance of their
neighborhoods and help board members manage more efficiently.
And, community, state and local laws are evolving to
accommodate. For instance, in many communities, all board
communications must be printed and mailed to homeowners. Now
in many communities, sending documents securely via email is
the new standard.

Just as the laws are evolving to accommodate the new
technologies and the way we communicate, as community
leaders, we too must evolve to meet the needs of the
communities we serve.

But, that is easier said than done. In order to usher in these new
technologies and reap their benefits, we have to make sure our
boards, residents and processes are in a place to accept the
change. If these aren’t in alignment, your community could end up
with new technologies and no adoption from residents. Or
technologies that work in the short-term, but aren’t flexible
enough to grow with your community’s long-term needs.

Here are four steps to help ensure your community is ready to
take its technology to the next level.


Before evaluating any technology solution, as a board, sit down
with your fellow constituents to decide what problems you want
the technology to solve for your board and your community. Look
back on lessons learned from the last annual meeting. Were there
a large number of proxies due to low community turnout? A
technology platform that’s mobile may help. Assess any
limitations—i.e. the aforementioned requirement that all
community documents be printed and mailed vs. sent digitally. If
your community can share digital files, then a technology solution
with secure document storage is a must to ensure your board
does its due diligence. Does your board go back and forth
between vendors, attorneys and community managers — then
easy (but restricted) access for these key members should be a
high priority.


The next step is teaming up with your professional management
firm to see what nearby neighborhoods have done. One of the
best things about being an Associa client is that the local
branches have access to the entire Associa network and we can
leverage our relationships with other communities to share best
practices for all of our client communities.


Don’t just consider your board’s needs when evaluating
technology solutions. A good solution will simplify your board
responsibilities and streamline your operations, but it will also be
a tool residents can enjoy. Make sure the tool has features that
solve issues for residents too—like easy access to payments,
clubhouse reservations and other common functions.


Now that the board is aligned, and you know what has worked for
other associations in your area that have faced similar
challenges, and you’ve considered what your residents need to
adopt a new tool, it’s time to choose a technology solution that
works for your community. Find a solution that’s flexible enough to
provide the solutions your specific community needs and is
secure enough to meet your legal requirements when handling
private community information. Finally, make sure the platform
you choose is proven and endorsed by a partner you trust so you
don’t have to worry that it will lose funding and get discontinued—
this will provide the assurance that your technology investment
will continue to evolve with your community’s needs over time.

At Associa, we know that streamlining communications with
residents is the key to keeping residents happy, saving
unnecessary board time and making the community run smoother.

That’s why we’re introducing TownSq to our client communities.
TownSq combines the social and administrative aspects of
community living.

One of the most exciting aspects of the platform is its ability to let
homeowners and board members instantly communicate with
each other. Not only can the board quickly send out immediate
notification of an urgent meeting, but your association can create
polls to collect homeowners’ feedback, and send updates about
ongoing community projects. The app also provides access to
financials, online assessment payment, maintenance requests
and the flexibility to manage projects with your community
manager – any time on any device.

And to show you how it helps communities, we’ll be sharing real
life stories of communities just like yours that are using TownSq
to achieve their goals.

At the end of the day, whether you use TownSq, Facebook, or
the community center bulletin board, it’s important to remember
that as the needs of our communities continue to expand and
become more complex, community associations must leverage
technologies to ease the burden of leading their respective
communities while minimizing the amount of time it takes to gather
the true pulse of the homeowners.

After six years on the Community Council I missed the last
meeting. I think I had the flu, however, I didn't go to the
doctor, but I did get my annual flu shot.

It made me wonder why all of this happening and here is
what I was able to come up with:

Researchers use frog mucus to fight the flu

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT) April 18, 2017

These virions belong to the H3N2 flu virus that started in Hong
Kong in 1968, according to the CDC. H3N2 infected an estimated
50 million Americans and killed 33,000 people  according to the
Department of Health and Human Services.

For the study, skin secretions were collected from 15 frogs, of the
species Hydrophylax bahuvistara, which are about the size of a
tennis ball and brightly colored. Peptides were then gathered
from their secretions.

A Hydrophylax bahuvistara frog in its native environment in
southern India.

The researchers observed how the peptides interacted with
influenza viruses under a microscope and in mice.

"In this paper we screened 32 peptides, and the surprise was that
four out of 32 had activity against the virus," Jacob said.

"Out of the four, we found one of them (urumin) was non-toxic to
human cells," he said. "So, we tested it against viruses that came
from the 1930s until the current ones, and it kills all of the H1s. It
doesn't touch H3. It's very, very specific."

Currently, flu subtypes H1 and H3 are circulating among humans
worldwide, including across North America, Europe, and South
Asia, according to the World Health Organization.

Professor Joshy Jacob, in middle, seen with his colleagues David
Holthausen (on left) and Song Hee Lee (on right).

The researchers aren't quite sure why urumin only targets H1
viruses, but Jacob said that H1 viruses might be anatomically
similar to an amphibian pathogen that the frog mucus is intended
to destroy. If there is a similarity, it may explain why H1 viruses
are vulnerable to urumin's wrath.

"The frog makes this peptide for its own survival. It never gets
influenza," Jacob said, adding that the peptide fights the flu virus
by destroying an important part of the hemagglutinin.

To explain how the peptide works, Jacob likened hemagglutinin
to a billboard sign.

"You have the message and then you have the little stem that
holds it up. The message can change but the stem is the same,
and this peptide targets the stem of the hemagglutinin, that's why
it's very efficient," he said.

A side-by-side electron microscope image of a flu virus before
and after being exposed to the urumin peptide.

The urumin peptide could be a novel treatment since it targets
the hemagglutinin, unlike current drugs on the market which
target other parts of the virus, resulting in less impact, Jacob said.

"It just blows it up. It makes the virus particle fall apart," he said.

Gregory Chinchar, a professor in the University of Mississippi
Medical Center's department of microbiology and immunology,
said that he was surprised that the peptide targeted the
hemagglutinin on the flu virus. He was not involved in the new

"I don't think people thought that they work that way before,"
Chinchar said about the peptide. "They thought that they would
be more targeted to membranes, but the data looks like they
target the H1 protein specifically and that data looks pretty firm."

The history of 'milking' frog skin

It was first discovered that frogs had a special way of warding off
bacteria and other pathogens in ancient Russia, when live
Russian Brown frogs were dropped into milk to keep the milk from
going sour, according to the American Chemical Society.

"The milk stayed good, just like you refrigerated it," Jacob said
about the age-old Russian practice.

"In 2012, scientists took that particular frog and wanted to know
why is it, why do these frogs keep milk fresh? It turned out that
when you shock a frog or when you stimulate them or stress
them, they secrete these short peptides into their surroundings,"
he said.

"A majority of the peptides were antibacterial and some of them
kill the things that make milk go bad."

Those scientists, who published their findings in the Journal of
Proteome Research, found that the peptides were just as
effective as some antibiotics in fighting bacteria like
Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica, which can make
humans sick.

The big one is coming, and it's going to be a flu pandemic

Separate studies have also shown that various amphibian and
fish antimicrobial peptides play important roles in protecting the
animals against invasive pathogens, including viruses.

"Amphibians, especially certain groups of frogs, produce and
store large amounts of antimicrobial peptides in specialized
granular glands in the skin," said Louise Rollins-Smith, associate
professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology at
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "When the skin is
injured or the frog is alarmed, they release large amounts of the
peptides to protect the skin."

Rollins-Smith, who was not involved in the new study, has
conducted separate research on whether certain antimicrobial
peptides in frogs might hold clues to preventing HIV transmission.

Your flu risk may be linked to the year you were born

"The peptide described in the Immunity report is somewhat
unusual because of the apparent specificity," Rollins-Smith said
about how urumin specifically targets H1 viruses.

"If further studies show that it has a low level of cytotoxicity and it
can protect in other animal models of influenza, it could be
developed as a potential treatment for influenza," she said.

Cytoxicity refers to being toxic to cells in the body.

"As an amphibian biologist concerned about the loss of
amphibian species around the globe, it is important to note that
they may hold important secrets useful for human medicine and
they should be preserved," she said.

Ferrets are next, then possibly humans

A challenge to possibly using frog mucus as a flu-fighting
treatment in humans is figuring out how to get the urumin peptide
to attach to flu virus cells in the human body, Jacob said.

In the new study, the peptide was delivered to mice through their
noses, where flu viruses were also delivered.

"I need to come up with a strategy to deliver it systemically as
well; maybe an injectable, which goes in the bloodstream and
kills influenza viruses," Jacob mused.

For now, Jacob said that his colleagues and he are hoping to
duplicate their study findings in ferrets, which are often used in
influenza virus research, and they hope to secure funding for
additional studies.

If those studies prove to be successful, human testing could be

I had worked hard and long to get the items on the Council
Agenda last week and unfortunately due to illness I was not
able to attend.

An update on the meeting has not been given to me at this
time. However, I do want to let you know I feel there are
several items of great importance to Bermuda Dunes

The pot holes have been fixed into the entrance of our
Community on Lima Hall.

I am particularly concerned that a sidewalk be installed at
that entrace for the safety of our kids.

Avenue 42 and other roads are in much need of repair. I will
keep hammering on this issue until it is resolved.

Homelessness on Country Club and other parts of our
community is a major concern of our council.

I have made contact with the Union Pacific liason and she
advises that they will be removing the vegetation along the

We have contacted the fire department and they agree with
our assessment that it a dangerous fire hazard for homeless
people who reside there, as well as the entire community.

We must relocate the many homeless people...most are on
drugs, suffer from mental issues and other unfortunate

While I do sympathize with these individuals, we CANNOT
let them take over our community.The best way to get this
accomplished is to remove all large shrubs where they can

We have been told by the County that a new street light is to
be added at Adams and Avenue 42. I have asked for a start
time and completion time.

The construction of another storage unit on Avenue 42 -
across from Ralph's continues to move forward even though
our council and community has said we 'do not' want it at
that location. Too dangerous, to much congestion, etc., not to
mention it is NOT what we want in the middle of our main
part of town.

Still nothing on our medians. This absolutely infuriates
me...the southeast valley continues to get funding and new
'everything,' while we are not able to get our medians

The airport is another issue I want resolved. It is the largest
piece of property in Bermuda Dunes. It continues to look
horrible. All I get, so far, has been 'lip service,' from the
manager. I have asked for a start and end date for the
completion of their proposed improvement plan.

After I get my recap of this meeting, I will share all with this

Thursday, January 25

Time, Place and Agenda TBD

The Board of Directors of the BDSA will consider candidates
to fill the existing
board vacancy at our next regular meeting at BDCC
Old Plank Road
Imperial Sand Dunes

Picture yourself back in 1918 trying to cross the burning desert of
Imperial County. You reach the treacherous Imperial Sand Dunes
and face the challenge of a seamless ocean of sand. With relief
and anxiety you begin to ascend the first dune on the Plank
Road. The heat, swirling sand, and jarring ride across the rough
planks makes you nauseous, but you are grateful since this new
route offers safety and cuts many hours off the adventurous trip
across the desert.

Old Plank Road
The story of the Plank Road began with the era of automobile
transportation and the growing rivalry of two Southern California
cities, San Diego and Los Angeles. Just as railroad towns owed
their financial well-being to rail commerce, so would communities
linked by good roads benefit from the automobile. Civic and
business leaders quickly perceived the benefits of bringing routes
and roads to their communities. Having lost a bid to become a
terminus for the transcontinental railroad, San Diego was
determined to beat Los Angeles to become the hub of the
Southern California road network.

Chief among the promoters for San Diego was businessman and
road builder "Colonel" Ed Fletcher. Fletcher sponsored a road
race to demonstrate the best route between Southern California
and Phoenix, Arizona. A Los Angeles newspaper, the Examiner,
issued a personal challenge to Fletcher, and a race was set for
October 1912. With a 24-hour head start, an Examiner reporter
would travel from Los Angeles to Phoenix, and Fletcher would
proceed from San Diego, each attempting to demonstrate the
feasibility of his route. Fletcher chose a route through the Imperial
Sand Hills, and with a team of six horses to pull his automobile
through the sand, Fletcher won the race in 19 1/2 hours!

Two developments contributed to the success of Fletcher's plan.
First, Imperial County Supervisor Ed Boyd joined Fletcher in
advocating the Sand Hills route as a direct east-to-west course
between Yuma, Arizona, and San Diego. Second, the federal
government and the States of California and Arizona approved
construction of a bridge across the Colorado River at Yuma. In
addition, San Diego announced plans to hold an exhibition
celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal in 1915, an event
designed to lure thousands of visitors, many traveling by
automobile. Could a reliable way be found to cross the shifting
sand dunes?

With local newspapers supporting the plan, Fletcher raised the
money to pay for 13,000 planks plus the freight to ship them from
San Diego to Holtville, California. Meantime, Boyd and his
constituents persuaded the Imperial County Board of Supervisors
to appropriate $8,600 toward construction expenses. L.F. (Newt)
Gray, a local man chosen to supervise road building, sank a well
at the western edge of the Sand Hills and found water. Gray's
Well, as the spot became known, served as the work camp.

Amid great fanfare, the first planks were laid on February 14,
1915. For the next two months, a combination of volunteers and
paid workers hauled lumber and laid down two parallel plank
tracks, each 25" wide, spiked to wooden cross pieces
underneath. The wheel path floated across 6 1/2 miles of shifting
sand east of Gray's Well. Work ended on April 4, 1915. A week
later, the 'glad Hand Excursion," consisting of 25 cars loaded with
over 100 riders, gaily traveled the Plank Road and declared it a

Map of the Old Plank Road

Traffic, however, quickly took a heavy toll on the planks. Battered
by the passing cars of tourists and farmers, the road was
splintered further by maintenance crews who uncovered the
wooden road with mule drawn scrapers to clear it of drifting sand.
Still, Fletcher and Boyd had proved that a road was feasible, and
motorists had demonstrated the necessity for a good road. In
June 1915, the California State Highway Commission assumed
responsibility for the Plank Road as part of the road system
linking Southern California with Arizona.

Plank Road Ruins

With more funds, manpower, and equipment than the pioneer
road builders, the Highway Commission built a new Plank Road in
1916. Engineers abandoned the double-track plan and designed
a roadway of wooden cross ties laid to a width of 8 feet with
double-width turnouts every-1,000 feet. Sections 12 feet long
were preassembled at a fabricating plant set up at the railroad
town of Ogilby, California. Completed units, which weighed 1,500
pounds each, were transferred onto wagons by means of a
derrick specially designed for the task. Out in the dunes, workers
prepared the roadbed by leveling the sand with scrapers.
Sections of the Plank Road were then lowered into place using a

Plank Road upkeep proved difficult, and a permanent
maintenance force was stationed near Gray's Well. From 1916 to
1926, crews of workmen struggled incessantly against nature to
keep the road passable. Hard winds blew drifting sand across the
road an average of two or three days a week, rendering the road
nearly impassable about one-third of the time. The crew routinely
worked the road with Fresno scrapers hitched to a team of draft
animals, and travelers huddled in their vehicles while the sand
swirled around them.

Car on Plank Road

Crossing the Plank Road was both an adventure and a trial.
Pulling off the road onto the turnouts so that others might pass
tried the patience of motorists. Traffic jams in the midst of desert
vastness were not uncommon. On one occasion, a caravan of 20
cars encountered a lone traveler going in the opposite direction.

Whether through timidity or stubbornness, the driver refused to
back up to a turnout behind him. Finally, the party took matters in
hand. The men lifted the car and set it on the sand, while the
women proceeded to advance the caravan. When they were past,
the car was lifted back up on the road, and all continued on their
way. Turnouts along the Plank Road were marked with old tires
mounted on high posts to make them visible from afar.

Then there was the road itself. Holtville resident Ida Little
reminisces that, "You just bumped across it, and it was bumpy! I
always said that going across the Plank Road was as good as
having a chiropractic adjustment." Ronald Layton concurs. "It was
pretty rough, but the ride was in a cadence because the boards
were all ten inches wide, if I remember right."

Plank Road

Despite the discomfort and outright danger of crossing the Plank
Road, former travelers still recall with amusement the feeling of
high adventure that was part of the Plank Road experience. While
the road opened up a valuable trade route for Imperial Valley
farmers and townsfolk, riding across it also became a favorite
winter recreational activity.

High school chums, church youth groups, and families often
jounced across the road to Gray's Well with a picnic lunch or a
camp stove for a steak-fry. In fact, desert parties were so popular
that Gray's Well usually resembled a campground during the
winter months. Newt Gray obliged travelers and desert party
groups alike by stocking a small, tin roofed store with emergency
provisions and cold drinks. During Prohibition, more potent liquids
reportedly were available to slake one's thirst.

The days of the Plank Road were numbered. The twin
headaches of maintenance and traffic flow required a better
solution. Non technical suggestions ranged from digging a tunnel
under the sand to elevating a structure above it. The State
Highway Commission received unsolicited advice, while Highway
Engineers studied the problem of attaching a traversable surface
to an unstable roadbed. In 1924 the Commission tested a new,
improved Plank Road which would permit two-way traffic to cross
the dunes.

From 1923 to 1925, engineers monitored the movement of sand
dunes adjacent to the Plank Road and tested various surfaces.
After concluding that hills of sand over 100 feet high moved very
slowly and only the lower dunes moved rapidly, it was determined
that a permanent pavement road was indeed possible providing
the grade was sufficiently raised.

With an engineering solution at hand, the Highway Commission
decided on an asphaltic concrete surface constructed on top of a
built-up sand embankment. The new road, 20 feet wide, officially
opened on August 12, 1926. Praise for the highway was mixed
with a certain nostalgia for the primitive wooden contraption it
replaced. After all, the Plank Road had added a bit of spice to life
in the Imperial Valley.

Despite pleas from local residents for preservation, the Plank
Road began to disappear: a section to the Ford Motor Company
for display purposes, another section to the Automobile Club of
Southern California for installation at its Los Angeles
headquarters, and another section ripped up to make way for the
All-American Canal, and so on. Countless cross ties literally went
up in smoke as firewood for campers.

Now, only fragments of the Plank Road remain, protected under
the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, and the route
is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. In
recognition of the Plank Road's stature as an important historic
example of transportation technology, the State of California
designated its ruins as a California Historical Landmark. Portions
of the road also are considered eligible for inclusion in the
National Register of Historic Places.

Remnants of the Plank Road may be seen at the west end of
Grays Well Road, the frontage road south of Interstate 8. A Plank
Road monument and interpretive display lie approximately three
miles west of the Sand Hills interchange. This portion was
preserved as a result of efforts by the Bureau of Land
Management, the Imperial Valley Pioneer Historical Society, the
California Off-Road Vehicle Association, and Air Force personnel.
These groups worked together in the early 1970s to assemble a
1500 foot section from various locations in the dunes.

Plank Road Today

The Plank Road memorializes the determination and vision of
those who forged the first automobile highway across the Sand
Hills. Preservation of the old wooden road is the responsibility of
all who use the desert. Time and circumstances have not been
kind to this historic landmark. We invite you to help us ensure that
the Plank Road reaches its centennial.

New Pet Policy
at Bermuda Dunes CC
Hi Mrs. B

We are new preview members of Bermuda Dunes, renting a condo
here in Montego Circle for the season.

We are looking for next season November 1-mid April for another
rental and were wondering how we go about posting on your blog
to see if there is another option for us
Jan Bain
604 261-8824

Hi Jan:

You are on the Blog and hopefully will hear from someone

Welcome to our Neighborhood!
Hello Donna,

I have probably about 50 small, watercolors, oils, and chalk
pictures mostly European landscapes.  I was wondering if I could
have a one-day open house just for BDCC residents?   These
would be good gifts or presents because the pricing is in the $100's
not $1000.  I could do the sale on a Wednesday or Sunday.

Thanks for the information.


Hi Kim:

I don't know why not. You are entitled to have an Open

Send me your photos, date, time, location and any other
pertinent info.

Donna N
Sad to learn about your kitty, Miss Ellie.  Kitties are such
treasures.  My condolences.


Thanks Maggie - she is really missed by our family. Buddy's
really missing her. He just doesn't have his usual skip and sad.

Mrs. B
Save the Date! – March 18, 2018
Every year the Desert Horticultural Society of Coachella
Valley organizes a desert garden tour in Palm Springs,
California. The goal of the tour is to introduce Society and
community members to the myriad low-water and habitat-
friendly garden ideas available to our desert gardeners.
This is last year's brochure.
2018 Brochure will be out shortly
For more information, visit out website, call the pueblo at
760.329.7610, or visit our various social
media outlets.

We've been residents of BDCC (on Kingston Drive) since long
before the walls were put up.   We've enjoyed reading your Blogs
since you've started them.  But never had the occasion to ask to
have something included.

My hubby of 39 years passed away at 4:35 a.m. Thursday, January
4th.  After being in various hospitals here in the desert and Manor
Care learning how to walk again, and enduring much pain due to
several surgeries and procedures, EVERY DAY SINCE SEPT.
15th, he went peacefully and was not alone..... we were holding

I'm having a Memorial Service to honor him on Saturday, January
27th at 1:00 p.m. at the Valley Christian Assembly Church at the
corner of Fred Waring and Portola in Palm Desert.  RSVPs would
be appreciated for seating and food afterwards.

I've attached a flyer for his Memorial Service and would appreciate
it if it could be included in your next Blog or possibly sent out
separately as the Memorial Service date is rapidly approaching.

Would appreciate a response so I know you've received this.

Thank you,

Bobbie Steele
cell:                                (760) 831-2627
mailing address:           42-215 Washington, A201
                                     Palm Desert, CA 92211

Hello Mrs. Steele:

Thank you for forwarding this information about your
husband. I knew him when he was on the Bermuda Dunes
Community Council many years ago.

I am sad to hear of his passing, but am happy to add your
flyer to the blog.

Mrs. B
Hi Donna,     

Lee Miller here. I have to tell you that I continue to enjoy reading
the BD Blog.   It was home for 16 years and I still have an
attachment there.  

Greetings from Sun City, Arizona.  It's a nice place, but it ain't
Bermuda Dunes.  

Having served on the BD Community Council for 10 years, I can
appreciate your frustrations.   Back when I was on the council, the
county said that they would re-pave the part of Lima Hall from Ave.
42 to the gate.  Patching the holes is only a temporary fix.  It needs
to be repaved.  

I recall that the plans for the storage facility on 42nd Ave. came
before us at a time prior to the recession.  So I see it's back.   
While you probably can't stop the development, you can make a
strong case for the visible portions to be acceptable to the

Also, management of the traffic flow should not be too difficult.   
See Mo Salama.  As for the airport, good luck.   

Oh, suggest to Diane Flaherty that she contact "Right at Home" in
La Quinta.  Dan and Eileen Fox are super people and should be
able to assist her and any other folks in the area in need of that
type of service.  They provided the in-home care for Fola during
her long illness.

Wishing all my old friends at BDCC a terrific 2018.  I hope to visit in
the near future.  

Feel free to post any portion of this you see fit.

Warmest regards,


Hi Lee:

Boy do I miss your expertise on the Bermuda Dunes
Community Council. I will contact Mo at the County and ask
for his assistance.

I will forward your info to Diane.

Take care my friend, looking forward to seeing you soon.

Hugs, Donna