Sunday, February 01, 2009
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Sat. Feb 28th
Beautiful morning, sunny and clear skies.
I went to the Yacht Club and checked email and found our friend Ron Bedal had changed campgrounds. So off we went and found him and visited for a while. We had been wanting have lunch at the Grubstake Restaurant for their awesome fish&chips. When we got their just starving a sign on the door says kitchen closed until 2:00pm chef at the Chili Cookoff, only in a small town. Well we were wanting fish&chips so went to the Palo Verde Cafe down the street and had theirs, not bad. From here we sent to a bookstore and exchanged some books for a few more (2 for 1). Then back to home dirt for a relaxing rest of the day.
Time to move on to Quartzsite this morning,(Yuma forecast 91F (36c) and Quartsite about 5 degrees f cooler) its only 1- 1/2 hour drive so ake our time. We left about 10.30 am and head north of Yuma passing many Rv's on the road. We saw many fields being set up for irrigations and sprinklers running for acres and acres. Hwy 95 is a good single lane hwy thru the desert wity some desert flowers in bloom, we pasted the Yuma Proving grounds a desert area where the US army does testing of Bombs, firearms and equipment. Then we come to a US Border Patrol Checkpoint (which are
quite frequent near the Mexican border) then pass a small store in right in the middle of nowhere,just like you see in the movies. We arrived at La Posa west BLM camping and parked where we usually park,lotsa room now! We were greeted by Norm & Connie from Ontario (they spend the winter here) to say we were just in time for their Strawberry Social on Sunday. I went to check email and saw Ron & Bev from Galvin Bay walking down the street ,stopped and said hello.Then back to home dirt, read a bit and BBQ a Cornish hen for supper with mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus.
Thurs. Feb. 26th
Bright and sunny again, today we decide to go back to Algodones Mexico and have Suzie's new glasses checked out. Its only a 10 minutes drive and we always enjoy the atmosphere there. We left at 8.45 am and went to the Optometrist, they checked her prescription and said he would send them back to the Lab and have them fixed, no problem, come back in 2 hours. So we walked about and found a round tablecloth for our steering wheel table that I made. We stopped at a nice quiet restaurant and had breakfast. Suzie had a ham & cheese Omlette and me Mexican scrambled eggs. Both of these dishes come with french fryes, refried beans, a container of 10 large flour tortillas, chili sauces, salad, guaccamole dips, a large bowl of corn chips. A lot of food then a bottle of water $1.00 and 2 Coronas $3.00. The beer served in a large coffee, cup because its "too early to sell it" . Total cost for this huge meal including drinks taxes and tip,$13.00, good deal. We strolled around some more and picked up Suzie's glasses at 11.30am, Very good now! Then we got in the very long line to cross the border. But it moved pretty quickly today and only 1- 1/2 hours and people to chat with in line so not bad today.
Back at home dirt we read for a bit, Ginnette & Charlie dropped by for Happy hour then we BBQ'd a nice steak, baked potatoes and asparagus for supper. At 7.00pm back to their place for a nice roaring campfire until about 9.30pm.
Again nice warm night and clear sunny day , about 85f (29c). Went to Yuma for some grocery shopping and back to home dirt. I cleaned the outside of our coach for a while then enjoyed some more reading in the shade. We visited with our neighbours for happy hour then had BBQ'd burgers and fries for supper. Another awesome sunset. Wed. Pics
Another warm night but still good for sleeping. At 8.30am Jack & Gayle came to pick us up and we went to Algodones Mexico, to pick up the rest of her prescription drugs, now enough to do her a whole year at about an 80% savings, We got our new glassses adjusted and came back across the border before any line-ups. Then we stopped at the New Quechan Casino and checked out the huge breakfast buffet only $4.99 each including beverages, good deal. Back at home dirt we sat and chatted for quite a while. After they left we read for a bit in the shade and BBQ'd some sweet & sour pork ribs and spanish rice. Then enjoyed another beautiful sunset before joining G & C and Roger and Janice (also from Lazy Lakes Resort in New York) for a nice roaring campfire.
Mon. Feb. 23rd
A warm night 60f(15c) we were able to sleep with our windows open, nice feeling. By 10.00 am we were ready to move to dry camping in the desert only a few hundred yards from the resort. Dry camping and always lots of room and no reservations. We are parked fairly close to the resort so are able to get their wifi (internet) for free. We set up and recognized a trailer not far from us, Ginnette & Charley from Lazy Lakes Resort in Lewiston New York. We walked over chatted for abit then read for a while in the shade 96f (38c) with a nice mild breeze. For supper chicken wings and fries then sat out reading until almost 7.00pm and watched a beautiful sunset across the desert. Ginnette & Charley dropped by again while walking their dog Toby and chatted a bit more. Nice to sit outside until 9:30pm and still in shorts. Another awesome day.
Centre of the World
In the morning we arranged to met up with Jack and Gayle, a fulltime RV couple from Washington that we met at Picacho Peak 2 years ago and tour the Arizona Marketplace in Yuma. A huge flea market under a roof to keep the hot sun away clean and lotsa fun. It took us about 3 hours to do a fast tour here, then they took us to a great Chinese buffet for lunch.
On our way back to home dirt we stopped to check out the Town of Felicity (population 6), this is also Officially known as the Centre of the World . We stopped at the store and paid our $2.00 donation then watched the video and toured the grounds. From here into the Pyramid where we stood on the Centre of the World, made a wish and each received an Official Centre of the World Certficate. Check the links for all the history and stories behind this interesting piece of property in the desert.
The Church on the Hill, The sun dial,(a bronze reproduction of Michelangelos Arm of God), the pyramid, the many granite walls ( History in Granite), a section of stairs from the Eifel Tower, and even a restaurant open from 11.00 am to 3.00pm daily. This is an interesting and fun place to visit. Later we realized that we had seen Felica talking to the young girl working in the store.
Back home we sat in the shade until after 6.00pm, then watched some tv for a bit. At 9.30pm was still 70f (22c) and people out by the pool and hot tub.
Sat. Feb. 21st
Bright and sunny day today we take the short drive to Algodones Mexico, only 1o minutes away. We park in huge secure parking lot and walk across the border into town. This a small town with nothing but numerous dentists, opticians, pharmacies/liquor stores, restaurants, taco stands and vendors selling their wares. Bartering with the vendors is half the fun, usually you can get items for at least half of what they originally want. The doctors, dentists and opticians are trained in the US and most winter visitors go there for cheap prescriptions, dental work, eyeglasses and alcohol. We both had our eyes tested and purchased new prescription glasses, mine trifocal and Suzie's no line bifocals that darken in the sun for total cost $255.oo including eye tests and frames! Completed in 2 & 1/2 hours. We had lunch at a small sidewalk restaurant 2 fish tacos and 2 shrimp tacos, nachos & dips and salad, including 3 Corona Beer for only $6.00 what a deal. Then purchased 2 bottles of Brandy for $8.00 again great prices. About 2.00pm we got in line to cross the border and only had to wait 1 hour 15 mintues but there was a shaded walkway with benches and people to chat with so not to bad. Back home we sat in the shade about 90f (34c) and read for a bit, chatted with neighbours from Kitchener and London Ontario, before having a nice spaghetti diner with a tossed salad.
Well time to move a bit so we head east about 45 minutes to Pilot Knob Resort (Felicity California), which we were able to get into for 3 nights. Full hookups so we can dump our sewage, fill with fresh water and get our laundry done, internet also, total cost $9.00. We will make a trip to Algodones Mexico about 10 minutes away. This is a nice resort pool, hotub etc.. and also handy to Yuma Arizona. It was quite warm today about 95f (36c) and we have a tree with just enough shade for the afternoon sun. Dinner was BBQ chicken thighs and spanish rice.
Thurs. Feb 19th
Nice quiet day, 2 couples went to San Diego, Seaworld and Oscar & Judy to Yuma for laundry and shopping. We walked about a bit and ran into Al & Kathie that we met in Quartzsite and chatted with them for a while. We returned home and sat in the sun and shade for a while catching up on our reading. Oscar and Judy came back in time for happy hour, then we had a delicious supper of grilled pork chops and Spanish rice. And a nice visit with them after supper for a while.
Wed. Feb. 18th
Nice and sunny again light wind and warm about 75f (25C). I drove into Holtville past some very nice green fields of fresh vegetables that were being harvested and picked up some supplies. Back at home we walked about a bit and and sat out and read. I went to the Hot Springs for a refreshing hot shower and soak on the hot tub. A little later we recognized some people walking by, Oscar & Judy, George & Gaylene from Dryden Ontario. So we joined them for happy hour, moved our coach closer to them, and had leftover chinese food ( its always tastier reheated) then joined them for a nice campfire. Lenoard (& Judy) from Saskatchewan attempted to sell me an air horn, but I ended up with it anyway. Another enjoyable day in the desert.
Tues. Feb. 17th
Bright and but still a bit of wind blowing the sand a bit. Most everyone is gone or packing up. Looks pretty desolate now and quiet. By 9.00am we were ready to leave the dunes and head west to Hot Springs near Holtville California about 30 minutes, for a few day to dry camp some more in the desert and enjoy the natural hotsprings. We went into town updated email and blog, and returned to home dirt to find free wifi right in our own rig!!!! Thanks neighbor for and unsecured router. Walked about a bit then treated ourselves to Chinese food tonight, yummy.
Mon. Feb. 16th
Today overcast and windy, and a bit of rain sprinkles in the afternoon. We sat out for a bit and a few of the group went out for a couple of rides. Some had to pack up and leave. Most of the area is pretty well empty now and getting much quieter. After a yummy Back bacon roast for supper we gathered around a nice big fire again for a few hours, a great way to wind up a fantastic weekend. Thanks to all who made it so special for us.
Sun. Feb. 15th
Another nice day, with overcast skies most of the time.This morning we sat out for bit to read and have coffee, then everone interested got their sand machines and kids ready and took off for a ride in the dunes. At about noon I went out with Harry, Mike and Wayne for a ride in their 2 jeeps. Well this was an easy slow ride according to Harry but I was white knuckle most of the time (I guess this not for me). Amazing how the dunes just flow around, and the scenery, plus the ride better than any roller coaster. We stopped a ways out and met up with some of the other guys & gals and chatted for a while as they assessed another break down on Marcello's rail, then back to home dirt.
Back at camp the kids played games and we all chatted and shared stories, I even got a picture of the crest for Andrew's San Diego Police Canine Unit, cool. A bunch went back out to the dunes for an afternoon ride. We BBQ'd a steak and baked potato for supper then I started the group campfire for eveyone to sit around after their dinners. Another real nice roaring campfire evening.
Sat. Feb. 14th
Waking up this morning to the sunrise and more rigs in our cricle 10 in total now, with lotsa kids, and more toys. The kids were riding their quads about and the adults chatting and more coffee. Now we have a very safe group of about 8 or more? San Diego Police Officers including 2 women and 2 retirees with friends and families. A really nice friendly, fun group.
About noon Harry put Suzie and myself in his Jeep,and ventured out with 2 other jeeps, a Razr and a Quad. We went for a short drive to the new Mexican Border fence and drove along it for a wihile and did see the Monument that we parked on 2 years ago with Mikes Jeep. From here into the dunes, over hills and jumps with the jeep, a very thrilling ride for us, but Harry kept saying this is only a senior ride, pretty tame! Good enough for us, climbing up and down some almost verticle sand dunes even toping a dune in the air with 4 wheels off the ground (in a Jeep!).
We went to what they call the "Super Bowl", a huge sand bowl with lots of atvs there and people,and watched them circling the bowl and doing huge jumps over a sand hill. Some very fast, powerful and expensive machines were here. Then Harry gave us a quick tour of it as well, very difficult to hang on and take pictures as well, but I tried. Harry showed us how his GPS works and we almost located a geo-cache next to Plank Road. Back at camp the women chatted, the kids played and the men helped Marcello repair the Subaru engine in his sand rail, which was finally accomplished after a few hours and some new parts.
We all retreated for a while to cook supper and then back around a huge campfire, exchanging stories, as people came and went, keeping warm, a few even went out for a night ride, and made it back. Another awesome day.
Fri. Feb. 13th
We left our site at the Salton Sea about 8.30am to the dump station and ran into a couple there from Grand Bend Ontario, again a small world. From here we headed to Niland for fuel and then past miles and miles of fields with lush green crops, all very well irrigated from the Colorado river. We stopped at Holtville to check email and banking then on to the Imperial Sand Dunes arriving about 11.30am. Here we went to the same spot in the sand dunes as 2 years ago, had a bite to eat and waited for Harry and Jennifer to arrive and about 10 other rigs with all their toys, dune buggies, atv's, sand rails and jeeps. As they arrived they formed a huge circle. A great spot for the kids to play. After supper Harry started a fire to sit around and chat as the cool night air came in.
Thurs. Feb. 12th
Again a nice sunrise and clear skies, beautiful view of the water, we decide to be beach bums one more day before heading out to Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California for Presidents day weekend. I went Mecca to get some bread and milk past some crops that were being harvested. Then Back home to walkabout and relax by the beach, awesome day.
A beautiful sunny, warm morning, peaceful no wind just the occasional train across the highway. We had 2 nights camping with full hook-ups looking across the parking lot at the sea for $21.00 a night. Today we moved down the road about 3 miles to Corvina Beach to self serve camping right on the water with no hook-ups only $7.00 a night!
What an awesome view! The water,mountains, sunshine, no wind lotsa room, too good to be true. We might just have to stay here for a while. Relax, read for a bit and watch the huge white Pelicans in the water. These birds are so huge that they make our seagulls look very tiny.
The couple on one side is from British Columbia and the other from Pensylvania all nice people. We chatted with Gerry and Kathy from Pensylvania for a couple of hours and exchanged stories. Then BBQ'd some turkey sausage for supper and another nice sunset behind the mounatins across the sea.
Tues. Feb. 10
There was bright full moon all night, with an awesome view out our windshield in the morning of snow covered mountains across the Salton Sea. It was bright and sunny but a cool north wind for a while. I drove 9 miles into Mecca to check email at the library and stopped in the grocery store. Quite strange all the signs were in Spanish, no english at all. I thought maybe I was in Mexico! After lunch we walked about a bit, checking out the beach,the large white pelicans and birds then watched the video on the history of the Salton Sea at the visitor centre, very interesting and sad. The water evaporates faster than it is replaced with fresh water so it is getting saltier every year and is beginning to kill fish and vegetation. Average annual rainfall here is only 3 inches. Later in the day the wind shifted comming from the warm south. We sat out for a while reading, enjoying the view and BBQ'd some pork chops for supper, then a nice sunset.
Mon. Feb 9th
Rainy and cool again, but time to move on. As the rain stopped around 9.00am we were just about ready move out when i rcognized a coach passing our site. Sure enough it was Larry & Shirley Croteau whom we had met at Rock Glen Resort and Galvin Bay in Ontario. We chatted with them for a few inutes, wished each other well and were on our way. Too bad we had to leave. The cloud cover was real low and the mountains no where to be seen, a strange sight.
We headed to the Salton Sea Recreation area only 1 hour away. When we arrived it was bright, sunny and hot.Then we set up and the overcast skies and winds caught up with us, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees f. This is a state park with about 15 full hookup sites looking across a small parking lot at the Salton Sea at 227 feet below sea level with mountains on the other side. The lake is 35 miles long and 15 miles wide, the largest Lake in California. And has very high in salt content 30 percent more than the Pacific Ocean. In 1905 the flooding Colorado River accidently diverted into the Salton Sink, thus creating the Salton Sea. Walking the bright white beach I discovered it is not sand but very finely crushed sea shells. Then a nice dinner of Shrimp Alfredo and a tossed salad.
Salton Sea Pics
Sun. Feb. 8th
Well the weather is still overcast, more cloud cover and sunshine on the small mountains beside us. Some light rain off and on and about 60f (15c). A great day to finish up a good book, do a load of laundry and watch an afternoon movie. Also packed away our carpet and BBQ while they were dry, and check tire pressure. We cleaned up some left overs for supper. Kinda like what we used to do on a winter sunday at home a few years ago, real relaxing.
Sat. Feb. 7th
Weather about the same, cool overcast and bit of rain or sunshine most of the day about 60f (15c). We checked out the craft sales in the clubhouse played some mini golf , walk about for a while . Then check the internet and a bit more reading. We put a roast beef in the slow cooker and drooled as we smelled it cooking all day.
Overcast a bit and some sunshine most of the day about 68f (18c). Puttered around the coach for a bit, washed the car in the rain and buffed a scratch out of the left rear door. We researched where to go next, so many places to choose, we are ready to travel and leave here on monday morning. Decisions, decisions......I walked about the resort , chatted with a few people and did a load of laundry. Read for a bit in the afternoon and made a chicken/rice casserole for supper.
Thurs. Feb. 5th
Supposed to be cooler and rain today, so in the morning we went to Desert Hot Springs for a bit of groceries and Suzie got her hair trimmed. I also had an oil change done on our car. Back at home dirt we read for a bit outside, then the temp dropped from 82 f to 70 f in about an hour, overcast strong wind and a bit of rain showers around 4.00pm. We then cooked some BBQ'd country style ribs in the oven instead of BBQ. watched some tv for a bit and listened to the much needed rain during the night.
Wed. Feb. 4th
Its about to be another great day, so we pack a lunch and take off for a drive at 9.00am to Joshua Tree National Park, about a one hour drive into the mountains. While heading thru the Yucca Valley we turned onto Pioneertown road to explore Pioneertown. This is a Town developed in the 1940's as a Movie set and to this day still has permanent residents and business, with some shows going on in the summer months. Pioneer bowl had the first bowling ball thrown by Roy Rogers in 1949, with actor such as Dale Evans, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry etc... and has appeared in many old movies.
From here to Joshua Tree National Park and begin our drive thru the many roads and lookouts in this interesting desert land. Amazing rock formations, Trees and catus, interesting landscape and awesome views. Legend has it that the Joshua Tree was named in the mid 19th century by Mormon immigrants who named it after the biblical figure Joshua. We drove a road to Keys View (elevation 5,185 ft) to overlook the Palm Springs (elv. 150 ft) , Indio, and the Salton Sea ( 235 ft. below Sea Level) an the San Andreas Fault an breathtaking view.
From here thru the park into valleys and different scenery. We stopped for a picnic lunch at a picnic area, quiet a peacefull. Next we stopped at the Cholla Cactus Garden to check out the many hundreds of Jumping Teddy Bear Cactus. These cactus appear to jump right out and attach themselves to you if you get too close and are very difficult and painful to remove as they have barbed needls that hold on quite well. ( I was attacked by one 2 years ago and can attest to that fact!) .
Next thru the Pinto Basin to Cottonwood Spring at the south end of the Park. Here huge Palm trees in an Oasis setting, in the desert, very rare. We walked a few trails and had a very nice day with perfect weather for our excursion. Returning to home dirt about 4.00pm to BBQ some chicken breasts for supper.
Tues. Feb. 3rd
Awesome day again 90f (30c). I repaired a cabinet door that broke, cleaned our windows and mirrors, walked about the resort for a while and we sat in the shade and did some reading. BBQ steak and baked potatoes for supper. The internet was down for a while so a little late with this posting. Life is good!
Weather again same only a bit hotter today 92f (34c). Walked about the resort in the morning, defrost our fridge and went to Desert Hot Springs for a bit of groceries. After lunch I went for a swim , the pool about 85f. Also enjoyed the spas, which are 3 hot tubs filled with mineral water from the natural hot springs 3 different temps. 98f,-100f-104f. Very nice and refreshing, then to relax in the shade and read a bit.
Another nice day, about 75f (25c). We do a trip to the College of the Desert ( COD) street fair in Palm Desert about 2o minutes away, a huge market with hundreds of vendors in a nice setting, palm trees, green grass and mounatins in the background on campus.
We are in the Coachella Valley with many desert cities like Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Thousand Palms, Rancho Mirage,Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio, to name a few in a about a 2o mile stretch. There is many beautiful mansions, and too many golf courses and country clubs to count.
From here we headed up Monterey for about 15 minutes on 74 (Pines to Palm Highway) we reached an elevation of 2,000 feet after an amazing road of twists , turns, switchbacks. Here we turned around (not wanting to go to 5,000 feet) and headed back down to take some amazing pictures overlooking the Valley. We returned back to home dirt to relax a bit and a nice BBQ pork roast for supper.
Sat. Jan 31st
Venice Beach California
A beautiful day today with the sunny and warmer than usual temperatures about 75f (25c) and a good day to take a day trip to Venice Beach. This is a 120 mile (200km) one way trip so we leave at 8.30am. Passing more Wind Mill Farms in the San Gorgonio mountain pass in the San Bernadino mountains just west of Palm Springs. Over 4,000 of these giant wind turbines organized it rows like planted crops.
Driving I-10 thru Los Angeles on a saturday is not too bad , but with confusing road signs we ended up taking a scenic route a little north near Hollywood thru some mountains then back towards Santa Monica then to Venice Beach arriving there at about 11.00am. The beach is getting busy and we find a parking lot on the beach and got out and strolled along the beach in the Pacific Ocean, watched some surfers in wet suits ( the water only 58f (14c), lots of people on the paved bicycle path. From here we walked many blocks along the sidewalks in front of the graffiti walls ( you rent space to do graffiti), shops, street vendors, entertainers, restaurants and cafe's. Lots of people roller skating, roller blading, skate boards, jogging and bike riding with absolutley perfect weather. We stopped at the "On the Water Front Cafe" and grabbed a snack and refreshment watching the sights. After a while we headed back south towards our car and Muscle Beach with Paddle ball courts, basket ball courts and weight lifting equipment right on the beach.Taking in the entertainers, we met a young girl from Toronto Ontario, who gave us some really nice palm leaf roses that she made. Then we grabbed a couple of chairs and sat by the ocean to read and people watch for abit.
By 2:30pm it was time to begin our journey home, a bit more traffic,this time but no wrong turns arriving back at home dirt about 5:15pm. We made a snack for supper and relaxed after a very enjoyable day at the famous Venice Beach.
Venice Beach Pics