Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Phoenix to Temecula CA --- good times

Roger here...  I have to say that a lot has happened since our last post.  We intend to post daily for the next four days to get up to date.  The striking sunset above was taken during our last night at the Cave Creek Recreation Area, just north of Phoenix.  I could not stop with just one picture...

Dianne took these pictures, not me.  She usually criticizes me for taking the sunset pictures that I love.  She got carried away, don't ya think?

This one is not what you think it is!  What minds you must have!

Enough of the sunsets.  We had a short drive the next morning, so we decided to take a longer hike with the dogs through the desert hills at the park.

 Please forgive my fascination with the saguaro, the ocotillo and the cholla.  As a small-town midwestern boy, these are still intriguing to me. 

 The vistas along the trail were amazing.  We were counting on our dogs to find us a rattlesnake or two so we could jump away and run --- none on this day.

Howdy!  We encountered a couple of groups enjoying a morning trail ride.  Our dogs politely stood at the side of the trail while they passed by. Good dogs.

Time to hit the road!  Since we did not want to have a super-long driving day, we opted to drive a couple of hours to Quartzsite, AZ for the night.  Quartzsite is famous for boondocking (camping off the grid).  During the winter it is overloaded with campers, but at this time of the year it is virtually abandoned.  We found a BLM spot near I-10 where we spent the night for the astounding price of $0.  Not a scenic place, but the price was right and the relative isolation was welcome.

 We bought firewood at the grocery in Phoenix so that we could have a campfire that evening.

California here we come...  When we crossed the border into California, the inspection station was closed (Sunday).  Typically, you are required to report if you have any fresh fruits or veggies, many of which are confiscated.  But, not that day.  Our destination was Aguanga, CA, which is near Temecula, which is near San Diego.  We had hoped to take a route through the mountains, but opted to avoid possible steep grades and drove further to stay on the interstate highways for most of the trip.  I am not sure if that was the best decision, because as we got closer to L.A. the interstate traffic was somewhat harrowing.  I guess we will never know if it was the best choice.  The bottom line is that we made it safely.

We planned to stay at an Escapee park, Jojoba Hills.  We knew that the office would be closed and we would need to boondock for a second night in the park's dry-camp (another term for boondock) area.  We spent a second pleasant night away from our computers (except for our iPhones) and looked forward to moving to a regular site early the next morning.

 This is the view from our boondocking site. Not bad.  Trees provided shade on both sides of our motor home.  They had the most interesting red berries.  Anybody know what they are?
The next day we moved up the hill to our full hookup site.  AND, what a site it was.  More to come in the next post, so check back soon!


Lori Moore said...

Beautiful sunset pictures ! Good choice staying on the interstate.
Not sure how long you will be in the area, but there are a couple nice day trips to take. The little town of Julian is fun (wineries, quaint little shops, a museum, APPLE PIE ! Doggie friendly ! Palomar Mountain is also beautiful. It has a nice observatory. Menghini Winery in Julian is our favorite ! They LOVE dogs, beautiful area out back to relax and let the pups play !

Travelwithwhippets said...

Hi Lori -- We did make it to Julian for pie (YUM!), but it was late in the day so we didn't make it to the winery there. We know we'll be back (we love this area), so we'll take the dogs with us next trip and have pie AND wine! An upcoming blog entry will show a photo of my apple pie + cinnamon ice cream!

Bill and Nancy said...

We came that way from Las Vegas on I-15 with the intention of going to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. Well, we never left I-15 and just kept heading south...WAY TOO MUCH TRAFFIC to even consider heading any closer to LA:o((

If you have time...check out Cabrillo Point...BEAUTIFUL!!

The Bright's said...

What! Shame on me for not paying attention. We are at Cave Creek RP and have been here for almost 2 weeks. We remember seeing your sun shelter. Not that we know you... but its always fun to meet fellow RV bloggers. Sorry I didn't pay attention.