Thursday, March 14, 2013

Borrego Springs

3/11 - 3/13/2013
Anza Borrego Springs State Park

Another first for us.  We are dry camping again, they get $25.00 a night for dry camping here, if you want water and power it's $35 a night.  There is also a lot of dry camping out in the desert for free and then you can go to the state park and pay a $7 fee to dump and fill up with water.  I guess some people do that all winter long.

This is a beautiful area, the village is small and friendly, and no traffic lights.  There are many RV parks, motels and golf courses but there are no chain motels or fast food.  We will probably come back again next year.  We are here on a new moon, and it is the darkest place I have ever seen and the stars are brilliant, the Milky Way stretches from one horizon to the other side, next year we might be able to come on a full moon, that would be pretty cool.

Many hiking trails,  I hiked up the trail to the springs above Palm Canyon Campground, a three mile round trip up and over rocks, logs and crossing the creek several times.  A most beautiful canyon.

The sky was so very blue.  I don't know if it's always  this blue our just happened to be this time of year.

The canyon was straight up with beautiful colors

The closer I got to the spring the more water in the creek.  I was told that the water in the spring is there all summer but the creek dries up.  A great hike especially early in the morning.

We were in space 69, perfect for the afternoon shade, but space 106 - 109 would be better.  Also space 116, 93 & 97.  These are all in the back and get the shade of the mountain first.

Thanks for stopping by

Have a great day


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elks Lodge, Indio, CA

3/5 - 3/10/2013
Elks Lodge
Indio, CA

This is the first time we have stayed at this Elks Lodge, the have good lunches and dinners almost every night and a big breakfast on Sundays.  We were going to stay only a couple of nights, but that led to a couple of more and before we realized it we were here five nights.  We have several friends from British Columbia, Alberta and Oregon that are in various RV parks around here.  It's really been fun visiting and catching up with all of them.  Another friend over in Hemet which is only 45 miles away so we took a day to go over there. Next year we might stay at one of the beautiful RV parks here for a month.

No pictures, I sort of fell down on the job I guess.  However we had a wonderful time visiting with Marilyn & Gene, Marilyn & Barry, Eileen & Bob, Darlene & Bob, Arlene & Alex & their neighbor.  We ate and laughed; visited and ate some more; saw a play, Neil Simon's California Suite, very funny;  had a big brunch on Sunday at the Elks; drove over to Hemet where we ate and laughed again.

We all had a great time.

Thanks for stopping by and drive safe.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Joshua Tree National Park

3/3 - 3/4/2013
Joshua Tree National Park

This is one of my more favorite parks, actually I really like all the National Parks, but I like this one out in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. The difference in these two deserts is that the Mojave is above 3,000 ' and is mostly the western side of the park with lots of Joshua Trees; while the Colorado is at or below 3,000' and mostly the eastern side of the park. We stayed in Cottonwood Springs Campground in the eastern part of the park at about 3,000' and really there are very few of the actual Joshua Trees.  In 2011 we were here in mid November this campground was closed because of torrential rains they had in August that just about wiped out the campground.  We camped at Jumbo Rocks at that time.

Cottonwood Springs Campground has several hiking trails that take off in every direction.  We hiked down to the actual Cottonwood Springs, beautiful large palm and cottonwood trees with many pools amongst the trees.

Looking back at the springs area.

I hiked up to Mastodon Peak, these are pictures from along the trail

I took this picture because it was steep and narrow and now you can't tell that.

Reminded me of a small Half-Dome like  in Yosemite

Looking over a ridge or two is the Salton Sea and in the upper right corner just out of the picture is Mt Jacinto above Indio, CA

The top of Mastodon Peak is just to the left and up another 200 ft.  Very windy so no one was actually going to the very top as is is narrow and the wind was blowing us around.

A struggling Juniper Tree

Down the other side and through this wash.

And, up and over several ridges.

Below are several plaques of information that I wanted to keep.

At 3000' very few blooms were opening but I did come across this one.

We only stayed at Joshua Tree two nights but it was great, very nice campground.

Thanks for stopping by, safe travels.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nellie E. Saloon, aka The Desert Bar

3/1 - 3/2/2013
BLM dry camp

This time of year the Q is kind of dead, we have not been here since about 1999, not too much has changed.  One thing that did change is the BLM parking, now there is a long term and a short term which we were not aware of.  We inadvertently parked in the long term area and got a notice taped to our door on Saturday, we called the number but the office was closed until Monday.  We drove over to another area that we later found out was the short term and talked to the Camp host.  Since when did they need a camp host to park out in the desert.  Well I guess they have been doing this for a few years now.  You are considered short term if you are only going to stay up to two weeks.  One or two nights is about all I want.  There is no fee, but they do want you to register to park on the BLM land.  Well we probably won't be back there for another 5 - 10 years and the rules will probably change again.

Since we were in Quartzsite on a Saturday  we drove up to Parker, about 30 miles or so north and then out to the Nellie E. Saloon, know to the locals as The Desert Bar, 5 miles on a dirt/gravel road.  Going to the Desert Bar is not just a destination but an adventure.  The road was up and down canyons, around hills and through washes but is was fairly well maintained and slow going.  We didn't know what to expect.  There is no sign on the highway so you have to sort of know about this place, they have a web site which you should check before you drive out there because they are only open on Saturday and Sunday during the winter months and the hours are from "High Noon to 6 PM"  A band, in fact a very good band, started at about 1:30 pm.  The only thing to do there is have lunch, listen to the music, dance, and look at a few rusty antiques.  We had a really fun time on our adventure and will probably go again if the opportunity comes up.  Go to the web site for some interesting information, you'll be glad you did.

All these pictures were taken on my phone.

Road to the bar.

Very rugged out here.

Looking down on the bar.

Be sure to visit the web site for better views and information.

There are two places to get food, we just happened to go down stairs and be out in the open more because we had Buddy with us.  The food at this place was spectacular, the line was long but well worth it.
                                                    Alex, this picture of the fire truck is for you.

Many solar panels.  The towers have something to do with cooling, you'll have to read about it on their web site.

The Church, only the front, no walls.

End of a perfect day in Quartzsite.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Drive safely


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Continuing West

2/23 - 2/28/2013
El Paso, TX
Wilcox, AZ
Catalina State Park, AZ

Heading west our next stop was EL Paso, TX where we encountered a huge dust storm in fact we stayed an extra day because of it.  When we left the following day the skies were clear and no sign of a dust storm.  I was expecting the dust to hang in the air like the forest fires do in Montana.

Almost the same pose the next day

Dust storm

The next morning

The most exciting thing on I-10 between El Paso and Arizona, besides no wind, was three big trucks pass us (we always go 60 mph) carrying the Budweiser Clydesdale horse teams.

We were headed for Benson AZ to Benson AZ to the  Escapee Park and then I remembered that I had a $25.00 coupon from Good Sam, for any Good Sam RV park and I found one in Wilcox, AZ for $27.00 including tax, this shortened our trip by about 50 miles.
I got the coupon from Camping World because we extended our membership for two years at a cost of $25.00.  The best part of this is that I actually remembered where the coupon was hidden away in my purse.

The next morning we are on our way again to Catalina State Park, a little north-east of Tuscon.  They were completely booked so we boondocked in the group campground and then decided to stay there for three nights which also gave me the opportunity to give Joe a much needed hair cut. The showers were hot and lots of water. There are many hikes, we went on a few in the mornings.  I am still trying to recover from my bout with the crud and I just plain run out of energy so taking a nap every afternoon and sitting out in the warm sun.  The first night we were here the temp was down to 22', our catalytic heater worked hard all night keeping the inside temp about 55', sounds cold but we were warm snuggled under the covers.

Early in the morning waiting for the sunrise, that is snow on the mountains.

Along one of the many trails

Cactus Wren

Our Buddy Boy

The end of the trail

This state park allows dogs on almost all of their hiking trails.

I almost forgot while here we went out to dinner at The Keg.  I remember going to one about 25 years ago so we thought we would give it a try.  A little pricey but I had the best prime rib that I have ever eaten, cut it with a fork, a big portion too.  I am not much of a meat eater but I would definitely  go back there again.

Thanks for stopping by, drive safe