We left Yuma today. The main reason we went back to Yuma was to pick up my prescriptions at the Marine Corps Air Station and to wait for our mail to arrive.
After a few days at Del Pueblo RV Park, we noticed Pepper was urinating in her sleep so we took her to the Vet. She donated some blood and urine for testing and all looked good. Turns out her bladder muscles are not as tight as her puppy days. (Don’t worry Pepper, we all know what it is like getting older.) She is doing pretty good for thirteen. We bought her little purple and pink panties and all is well.
Then the CRUD snuck up and knocked me out. All I wanted to do was sleep. I drank ALOT of fluids and had soup forever (well, for two weeks anyway). After two and half weeks I felt ready to get back on the road.
Lisa was not untouched by illness, she had a cough for two weeks before we arrived in Yuma and it was still going strong. She went to the emergency clinic, took a Z-Pack for five days and it seems to have calmed her cough down.
Needless to say we were all three happy to see Yuma in the sideview mirrors (since RV’s don’t have rearview mirrors) and thrilled to be on the road.
So off we went down I-8W, hello California.
Lisa took the wheel on CA-86N passing the Salton Sea to CA-111N. We switched again continuing West on I-10 past the windmill farms.
Took CA-62 through Yucca Valley to Black Rock Campground, Joshua Tree National Park.
Pepper is so excited to be back in nature again. So many new smells to explore, other dogs to meet and people who stop and say how cute she is. Lisa is happy to see acres and acres of Joshua Trees and to get her Joshua Tree National Park Stamp in her National Park Book. I’m just happy for the view, clear blue skies and to be at 4,000 feet elevation – closer to the stars.
We ended the day with grilled brats, asparagus, yellow crook neck squash and a glass of wine.
Lisa was able to get a couple of nice bird pictures.
We always appreciate hearing from you in the comment section, we would like to know your name (email is optional). Goodnight to all, wishing you the best.
Today we are in Yuma at the DelPueblo RV resort. We arrived on the 29th of January and planned to stay for a week. Some slight health problems with Pepper had us rearranging our schedule to stay for some medication to come in. (There is nothing serious just her age creeping up.) We plan on staying until the 13th then will slowly start making our way to the Bay area for a family commitment in mid-March.
Prior to this we spent 8 days at the at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. We had a great stay with many beautiful days, the sea was normally calm and the Sea Gulls, Pelicans and many other birds (Lisa will fill you in on her bird sightings) continuously flew up and down the East side in front of our camp. We lounged around with our binoculars and Lisa’s camera watching them gather or fly by. Whenever I am around a body of water I feel calm. Lisa says “It feels good for my soul here.” I agree.
I pulled out the Coleman Stove and the Weber Grill (not seen here) and cooked breakfast and dinner when I’m not lounging in the sun enjoying the view.
One of the things interesting about the Salton Sea is the diverse reaction to the place itself. We had read favorable and some very unfavorable blog posts. In case there is someone reading this and might be interested in visiting the Salton Sea I hope you will read other opinions and decide for yourself. But honestly, I almost did not camp here due to what I read and I’m glad we decided to give it a chance. The unfavorable attributes do exist. It is a landlocked saline lake and the salt concentration is extremely high killing off many fish washing up on the beach providing the birds with a seemingly never ending food source. This is not the place to walk along the beach and collect sea shells. We stay up along side the beach and enjoy the sun, water, mountains, birds, sunsets and spacious camping (there are approximately 8-10 linear camping spots along the beach). It also is right next to the highway and railroad tracks. That has not been distracting for us nor interfered with our experience. During the summer months I understand there is a strong smell from the sea. Since it is January, we have not experienced a strong unpleasing odor.
We arrived on the 21st of January to meet up with Jackie and Joe (my Sister and Brother-in-Law) while they were at Palm Springs for Joe to attend a conference. We met up with Jackie at our camp on Saturday and headed out to Salvation Mountain and Slab City. We have read so much about these cultural landmarks from many RV Bloggers we had to go see it for ourselves.
Salvation Mountain is the lifetime creation of Leonard Knight as a tribute to God. The picture does not do it justice. It is something you have to see in person to really appreciate the amount of work of this 150 feet wide and 50 feet high mountain of straw, clay and paint.
Slap City is East of the Sea and is named from the concrete slabs left there after the World War II Marine military barracks called Camp Dunlop was dismantled in 1961. People started living there free of charge after it was abandoned by the military and turned over to State of California. Now squatters and snowbirds live in the desert with no water or electricity. It is a very interesting to see old trailers and shacks intermixed with expensive motorhomes, fifth wheelers and trailers.
On Saturday we had lunch with Jackie and Joe at the Jackalope Ranch on Highway 111 in Indio, California. This place was humongous 22,000 square foot lodge with beautiful landscaped gardens with water features and it was great food. We really enjoyed the company, atmosphere and food.
After lunch we went to the International Banana Museum. Yes, I said the International Banana Museum. The only one in the world and described on their own website as “the most aPEELing destination on the planet.” Hahahahahaha!!!
Birds of the Salton Sea
One of the nice things about the Salton Sea was the birds. We didn’t get a lot of pictures but we did get to see gulls, pelicans and egrets every day. This was one of the things that made the Sea so peaceful and relaxing.
We haven’t been to any exciting or unique restaurants in the last month. So no beautiful pictures of food or buildings.
We haven’t done a great job of updating the blog, but will try and get better.
We are at Catalina State Park and today it is pouring rain and snowing in the mountains. Even with the wet and cold we are enjoying the breathtaking views.
Since we have been offline for awhile I’ll recap a few things we have been up to.
While we were in New Mexico we received a call from our realtor letting us know we had buyers for our house. We were so excited because we thought it might take 6-12 months. On 18 November we closed on the house becoming true nomads on wheels. We have been dreaming about being “Full Time RVer’s” for the last three years and here we were.
We left New Mexico and headed back to Bisbee and Sierra Vista Arizona. We were lucky to get a site at the very popular RV Park Apache Flats at the base of the Huachuca Mountains on the Fort Huachuca. It is a beautiful park with views of the mountains and the San Pedro Valley. Weather wise we still had freezing weather at night and it snowed!!! I’m not sure when we will find shorts and sandal weather.
It was great to visit with some of our friends but due to a maintenance appointment in Tucson we did not have time to get with everyone we wanted to see. We plan on returning to Sierra Vista next fall to be able to spend more time with our friends.
After leaving the Sierra Vista/Bisbee area we went to the Tucson KOA to keep our appointment at Lazy Days RV. We had some annual maintenance completed and replaced the microwave. The microwave had a dangerous problem of not turning off when we opened the door. Very scary!!! Of course we had breakfast at Sunny Daze Cafe while there.
Lisa flew out of Tucson on 18 December to visit her family in Dallas for the holidays. She had a wonderful visit except for the tornado barreling through the North side of Dallas coming very close to her Mom’s house. That night was spent sitting in the hallway with her Mom and big Sis for 1/2 an hour. Pepper and I were very happy to pick Lisa up at the Tucson Airport on the 28th far away from tornado alley.
During Lisa’s absence, I moved from the KOA to our current location, Catalina State Park. This park has been a favorite of ours since our early RVing days. We would recommend it to anyone. For a great Park review read Nina’s at Wheelingit. Our first site was one that backed in and only had neighbors on one side. This area has a wealth of wildlife, Coyotes, Javelina, Mountain Lions, Bears, Big Horn Sheep (transplanted in the last few years) and many other critters. One animal we try not to surprise at night are skunks. Of course, Pepper wants to chase those. I shudder at the thought of a Skunk with a hair trigger. UGH!!! It is also a great place for Bird Lovers.
Campground B Site 12 Next to Hiking Trails
We planned on leaving on 2 January to boondock near Blythe or Quartzite, but due to El Nino the weather is no better or worse than here. So we are going to wait out the rain at Catalina SP and head towards Yuma on 11 January.
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Connie and I left Tucson on the 11th of November, destination Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge for the annual Festival of the cranes. We were invited by our good friends Vickie and Carl Becker to join them for the festivities. I knew it would be cold there at this time of year, but not as cold as it turned out.
We arrived at the RV park on Saturday. Someone once wrote a review of the park that stated the best thing about it was location, location, location. And they were absolutely correct. Bosque Birdwatchers RV Park lacks some amenities, but what it lacks is made up by being only 1/2 a mile or so from the entrance to the Refuge.
Hard to believe with temperatures in the low 30s at night, but there were actually tenters every night.
Connie and Pepper enjoyed a very relaxing week while Lisa enjoyed the festival and the birds.
Lisa tried to learn some knew things about birds and photography, we are not to sure how much learning took place, only time will tell.
There were over 2,000 cranes at the refuge and over 4,000 geese. Most of the geese are Snow Geese with a few Ross’s and Canadian thrown in.
Two Snow Geese in flight
Geese lifting off shortly after dawn
A young Snow Goose
Sandhill Crane parachuting down
Two Sandhill Cranes in flight
Sandhill Crane being chased by a Snow Goose
Great Blue Heron
Besides birds and good friends both San Antonio and Socorro New Mexico have some good eating. We ate at a few of them including the Buckhorn and San Antonio Crane in San Antonio. The Buckhorn is “famous” for having a hamburger that beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown a few years ago. While the San Antonio Crane is a small Mexican restaurant with good sopapillas. In Socorro we ate at Sophia’s Kitchen, El Camino Restaurant and Lounge, Socorro Springs Brewing Company and Bodega Burger Company. Good eating at all of them.
On Saturday Connie and I were able to meet one of our favorite bloggers, Lynn from winnieviews. As we prepared for full time RVing the posts on Lynn’s site really helped. Lynn was working at the visitor center but still managed to spend about 10 minutes talking to us.
We had some fantastic news this week, the house has sold. we are over the moon happy that we don’t have to worry about anything happening to it as we traipse around the country.
We would love to know who are leaving comments. You DO NOT need to leave an email address even though the box is there. We would like a first name – but again that would be optiuonal.
It is a nice feeling to be back on familiar turf. We arrived in Tucson on Saturday. The plan was to leave on Monday to continue our journey to New Mexico. Plans in our world are flexible and tentative. A wind advisory forecast describing strong, vigorous trough aloft, gusting winds exceeding 50 mph in New Mexico today was a very good reason to stay put and enjoy the sunny weather in Tucson for a few days.
This was a nice little break from being on the road breaking down and setting up everyday. Pepper enjoyed her time sniffing around all the buildings and bushes catching up on e-mail messages left by other RV dogs. Her other favorite pastime is her version of TV. She lays on the dash board and watches people and dogs pass by. It seems to be a very common pastime for RV critters as I see many dogs and cats hanging out when we go for our walks.
What did we do? Well of course we had breakfast at Sunny Daze every morning. The decor is fun with Pink Flamingos and a beach cabana feel. Great food, diverse breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, plus super service with a smile. I feel like the ladies have adopted Lisa and I. They take very good care of us there. Thank you ladies, see you soon.
Besides eating we relaxed, slept in, did our shopping, laundry and had the guys from Xtreme Power Wash clean up and make our car and RV sparkle again. They did a superb job and the cost is very reasonable.
We will be heading out tomorrow morning. It is our next to last leg to our final destination in New Mexico.
We would love to hear from you in our comment section. Thanks for tuning in. Till next time…
We roll out this morning and head to “Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner” in Yermo, California. Peggy Sue’s is an original roadside diner built in 1954 and serves up all the 50’s diner favorites. French toast, eggs, bacon and coffee is a great way to start the day. Little did we know this was only the beginning of our time travel to the past.
Look here in Peggy Sue’s parking lot is a Shasta travel trailer. So, is this an original 60’s Shasta Airflyte or a new retro?
Driving on Interstate 40 in California between Ludlow and Needles, holy moly, look at all the Classic cars pass us by. Hahahaha, what an amazing day. We played 50’s and 60’s music till we pulled into Needles for the night. Poor Pepper and Lisa put up with me singing, hopping and a-boppin along the whole ride.
Afoot and lighthearted I take the open Road healthy, free, the whole world before me… – Walt Whitman
8 AM my alarm goes off. Well it really goes off at 7:30 AM but we stay under the warm covers snoozing for another half hour (What, do I hear a groan out there? We are retired after all). After a lazy morning getting ourselves, Pepper and the RV ready for the road I relax behind the wheel and leave Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, California, turning onto CA State Route 58 East and make our way to Barstow. I love driving the RV (Can everyone tell Connie is the writer today?). The open road as seen through the beautiful panoramic view of the cab windshields. I have dreamed about this for years and here I Am. An Arizona Lizard living the Nomadic life.
We get to Tehachapi Pass and I turn on “Tow Haul” a great feature on our Thor ACE making driving in the mountains (even with car in tow) much easier. It automatically down shifts while climbing or descending.
One of the activities we enjoy is eating at Mom and Pop restaurants along the way. Today we park on the side of Tehachapi Boulevard and eat lunch at Tacos Samich. Cool name, huh? Pepper sat on the dash watching people until we came back to hit the road again.
Part of this lifestyle is the opportunity to stop and hang out in the little towns along the way. We get back on CA 58 East towards Mohave. It has been a few weeks since we have been in the desert. Very familiar and us Lizards would be feeling pretty good right now if the temperatures were much higher. Tehachapi had a high of 44 degrees today and it will hit 37 degrees tonight in Barstow. Yikes. I told Pepper I promised after this Birding adventure in New Mexico we would stick to the “Sandal Weather Plan” in the future. We adopted the “Sandal” Plan from Nina and Paul from “Wheeling It” Blog fame. The idea is to follow the mid range weather, not too hot, not too cold and stay in sandals and shorts. I love that plan. Lisa and Pepper agree.
Ah, we made it to Barstow. Time to set up, take Pepper for a long walk, fix dinner and watch a little TV.
We left San Jose on a bright sunny Halloween morning. What a beautiful day to be on the open road. We stopped for lunch at Casa de Fruita before heading over Pacheco Pass. Our waiter was a bit grizzly but provided service with a smile.
We arrived at one of our favorite RV parks – Orange Grove RV Park off of Hwy 58 on the East side of Bakersfield. The staff were very friendly, facilities were clean and the spaces roomy, with long pull throughs.
Sunday found us setting out to see one of the “famous” sites in Bakersfield-Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. We had a very nice brunch and enjoyed the Buck Owens museum.
Due to rain and windy road conditions we decided to hang out in Bakersfield a few days. We were able to get some needed errands done. One of the best things about staying for a few extra days was learning Bakersfield is known for its Basque food. What a pleasant surprise. We had a fantastic lunch at one of the local favorites – the Wool Growers Restaurant. So good and more food than we could possibly eat. Thank goodness for to go boxes.
Tomorrow the storms will pass and we will continue our travels to New Mexico.
Headed out of El Paso today for Deming, NM. Thankfully we only wanted to go as far as Deming, the winds rose fast and it would have been very hard to continue on. Traffic in El Paso was easy since we followed sage advice Connie’s Aunt Nikki gave her “Drive between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. to miss the Mad Rush in the San Francisco Bay Area.” We applied her advice and glided through El Paso. We did see a big rig brake in front of us and start swerving to the left. With disbelief we saw this yellow 18 wheeler heading against traffic on the highway.
OMGosh!!! Then we realized it was actually moving with traffic and being towed. WHEW!!! When we were closer we did see small flashing red lights on the trucks grill. You would think they would have REALLY BIG RED LIGHTS. I’m sure the truck driver and us were not the only folks freaked out. Even the rest stop Roadrunner took a second look.
We did luck out once we arrived in Deming. We found a new restaurant the “Rancher’s Grill”. The steak was some of the best we have had in a long time, and the salad bar was fantastic.
The restaurant is easily accessible with plenty of parking in the back for an RV.
We rode out the windy day at an Escapees Park “Dreamcatcher RV” in Deming. It is a quiet park with level gravel parking, clean restrooms/showers, and friendly people.
Tuesday, April 29th
We woke up this morning with howling winds – surprise, surprise! We also woke up to missed phone calls from ADT (our home security system). The house alarm went off around midnight, and we both missed the call. So did our good friend Matthew who is our contact when we are away. When ADT could not get in touch with any of us they had the local Sheriff check and secure the house. The Sheriff report said the front door was wide open but nothing seemed to be disturbed. Maybe the wind blew the door open or someone was scared off by the alarm. Big sigh of relief as we decided to head straight home with out any other stops.
The winds were still blowing hard, but Connie handled them like a champ. Lisa has stopped at a restaurant in Lordsburg, NM every year on her way to and from Dallas. Connie was nice enough to forego breakfast (we each had a banana) so we could eat at one of Lisa’s favorite restaurants. Kranberry’s is a nice place with both American and Mexican food on the menu. They have some pretty good baked goods, too. Like brownies, cobblers, sticky and cinnamon buns. (I know it seems like all we did was drive and eat. Yep, pretty much.) If you are ever driving through Lordsburg we highly recommend stopping in for a bite to eat.
After a great lunch, we continued on I-10 west past Wilcox and then turned off on HWY 191 South towards the house. Arizona Lizards were back in the familiar landscape and dry conditions of the desert. Ahhhhhhhhh. That means the house was not far away.
We made it home in time to enjoy a quiet evening without the thought of another windy days drive!
Wednesday, April 29th
Up and about early. We have a lot to accomplish by the time the Auctioneers arrive on the 26th of May to start tagging the items in the house. We made time for breakfast at the Morning Star Cafe. This is one of the places we will definitely miss once we leave Arizona.
Once home from breakfast it was time to assess the property and see the changes that were taking place.
One of the first tasks to take care of – getting rid of a heck of a lot of splattered Texas bugs from the front of the RV. Connie usually does this, but today Lisa and Pepper took it on (not that Pepper was a lot of help). While Pepper supervised, Lisa scrubbed away (er, Pepper was slacking off and sleeping) and Connie started working in the yard.
Once the front was shiny and clean we put the window Magna Shades in place to help keep the sun out and the curtains from further deterioration.
It was great to get back to the house and find another lizard soaking up the sun.
That is all for now. Will post more in a few days.
Spent a nice day relaxing and doing laundry at the Fort Stockton RV Park. We decided to stay put due to the increased winds in west Texas. With wind gusts upwards of 45 – 50 miles an hour it is like driving a giant billboard down the highway. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration.
One of the few things we will miss about living in a sticks and bricks house (S&B) is our own washer and dryer. I (Lisa) seem to lose at least one thing every time I go to the laundry mat. Usually Connie’s socks. (You can tell when Connie adds to the narrative). This time it was Miss Pepper’s stylish sleep shirt. Yes, we do put a sleep shirt on her at night when it will be cold out. It is actually a Thunder Shirt, they are made to be snug around her little body calming her down during storms.
We really enjoyed the Roadrunner Cafe at the park, liked it enough to eat 2 dinners and a breakfast there. They have a small menu and the food was excellent. One of the things we both enjoyed was the vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce included with dinner. It reminded us of our childhood. It is nice to find “Mom and Pop” cafes on the road. Reminds us of our own local “Mom and Pop” restuarant the “Morning Star Cafe” owned by Brenda and Matthew Pratt in Palominas, Arizona.
Saturday, April 25th
Left fairly early this morning, we thought a short trip to Van Horn (120 miles) could be done before the afternoon winds picked up. Once near Van Horn we made the unfortunate decision to continue on to Sierra Blanca, Texas – only another 33 miles up the interstate. What a mistake! According to our old version of “The Next Exit” there are two RV parks in Sierra Blanca; but both seemed to be closed. Actually the whole town looked closed!!! Dead!!! Nada!!! So decided to keep on moving West to El Paso. It is only about another hour; however, we were caught in some very high winds which made the trip seem longer more difficult and our bodies down right weary. Thankfully, Connie was at the wheel and she handled the winds very well.
Lisa did a stint of driving earlier in the day. (Don’t worry we won’t bore you with to many driving pictures).
We made it into El Paso at about 4:00 PM and stayed at Mission RV Park.
Sunday, April 26th
The weather for today between El Paso and Deming, New Mexico was again very windy. Been there, done that. So we decided to get back on the road tomorrow (Monday). Slept in today, went out for breakfast, stocked up on groceries and replaced Peppers Thunder Shirt.