California-Some business, some pleasure

We met Chad and Crissy in Borrego Springs on Valentine’s Day weekend. Chad showed up with the tail end of a cold or flu bug, but was still up for 4-wheelin’ in the desert. We stayed at the Borrego Palm Canyon campground for the hookups—needed A/C set for the puppies that we left behind for the day and I did not want to run the generator the whole time we would be gone. We got our desert rides from Steve’s ATV rentals in Salton City, some Trail Boss and Trail Blazer 330’s, then headed out to the Ocotillo Wells Vehicular Recreation Area. We only rented them for 4-hours, but as I later found out I would recommend getting them for all day, there is a LOT of desert to cover. We had fun screaming through the washes, got to see the Pumpkin Patch (strange rock formations), and Chad just had to throw in some dramatic tension in the mix. Out in the middle of nowhere both he and I simultaneously dumped our ATV’s. I got mine back on it’s feet and looked over as Crissy was yelling, “Call 9-1-1!” Chad had keeled over, passed out. The temps were not uncomfortably hot that day, but we did begin the day reminding the kids to drink lots of water. Chad was out for about 30 seconds, the longest 30 seconds I ever experienced, as I tore at my cell phone trying to get helmet off, figure out what # to call, whether or not to start CPR, you know, the usual terror filled moment. He did regain consciousness, wearing an ear-to-ear mischievous grin and asking, “What’s going on?”. We force fed him water and he returned to normalcy. Lessons learned—flu bugs and dehydration are bad combos. (He later contacted his doctor and got the confirmation that flu bugs and dehydration are what got him.)

The wild bunch, getting ready to embark on a desert adventure.

Shooting down one of the washes…

The Pumpkin Patch

Jeanne showing off…

Crissy showing her one-upmanship…

Chad feeling left out, B.D. (before the drama)

We returned to Jojoba Hills SKP park for a few more days to evaluate our pending membership as leaseholders. As it turned out, we got the call while we were there, offering a space for lease. The way Jojoba Hills works, you can either accept the lease or decline it. If declined, you maintain your place on the list, but enter a 30-day “limbo” period that you must wait out. After that, when another lease opens up, they call you a second time. You have the same options then. But, once you receive the 3rd call for a lease available, if you decline that 3rd time, you lose your space on the list and are put at the bottom, to start all over. We have been having some severe soul searching debates on whether we are ready to spend some substantial amount of time in one spot yet. Jojoba Hills really is a “resort” atmosphere and has beautiful surrounding scenery and facilities. But to justify the monthly $260-ish maintenance fees, we would need to stay there for several months out of the year to benefit from the money savings. We are just not that ready to settle down, our “happy feet” urge is just too strong right now. But we do have the luxury of maintaining a spot on the list until we do definitively decide.

Poolside at JoJo Hills. Terrible view, all that greenery, blue skies, sun blasting you in the face, and in February no less!

It came time to start heading up to the northern part of California to visit more family. On our way we decided to stop off at the Coarsegold SKP park, check it out, and visit Yosemite National Park while we were at it. California is smack dab in the middle of a serious drought, so there was no snow to fight with in that part of the Sierras at this time in February. The Coarsegold SKP park was tucked into the mountains as you head up to Yosemite on Hwy. 41 out of Fresno. The park was laid out nicely, very hilly and similar layout style to Jojoba Hills, but very rustic-woodsy. We were about a half hour’s drive from the gate to Yosemite, then another half hour to Yosemite Village. I never would have thought I could be standing in the middle of Yosemite Village in the middle of February and not a speck of snow in sight. We could not make use of the many trails around the park because we had the dogs with us, so we relegated ourselves to sightseeing. I do have to say, both of us thought, impressive as Yosemite is, it was somewhat of a let down to our high expectations of what we thought it was. Not even a close comparison to something like Yellowstone NP.

Now, who would ever let a little thing like Half Dome come between them? (Look closely)

Yosemite NP, at last! Lifelong state resident and this first visit  in 55 years…

Bridal Veil Falls

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Half Dome

Home, at Coarsegold SKP park

After leaving Coarsegold, we headed to Sacramento for a short visit with my mother and sister & brother-in-law. We stayed at the Cal Expo RV lot which was a large parking lot with full hookups. $40 per night is the going rate here, too much for basically hookups only, no other amenities. But then there are not a lot of choices in these here parts for RV campgrounds, or even boondocking for that matter.

Next it was on to Chico to visit Jeanne’s mother and her brothers in Anderson. We had a nice visit;  Jeanne’s brother Dave put on a great tri-tip BBQ spread at his house (he is an extraordinary chef). We stayed at the Almond Tree RV Park in Chico, we had stayed there about a year ago. Like everything else, their rates went up, now $40 per night. But, they do have a pool/spa area, bath/showers, and a small store in the office. Not many choices for RV camping here, neither.

Our final business to take care of in California was our return visit to Santa Rosa. We stayed there a couple of weeks for miscellaneous appointments, family visit (daughter and her family), and to terminate our P.O.D.S. account. When we began full timing 2 1/2 years ago, we sold most everything and placed the remainder in a POD for storage and eventual delivery to wherever we were going to land. After reconsideration, we decided the $173 per month we were paying for the storage was just not worth it. We divvied up the big ticket items between Chad and Jenn, sold a few items on Craig’s List, then moved the very few must-have items to a small (5×5) storage facility. Chad and Crissy came up to get their stuff and we had a nice mini-family reunion. The only bummer was that we stayed very busy during this visit and that cut into quality time with the grandson Max. But, we did manage to have a good time with him with what little time we had.

Trying to make Max throw up on the go karts at Scandia

Say, “Bye-bye” to the POD.

All good things must come to an end, so it was time to hit the road again, get back to our “recreational wandering”. With our one year’s worth of warranty getting near expiration on the MH, and another short laundry list of things to get fixed, we are “racing” back to Red Bay, Alabama to beat the summer heat. Onward and upward…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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