Our trip from California into Arizona was a nice drive although some of California’s roads needed a little work. We thought Minnesota was the state with the potholes. California has their share. Besides the drought they are broke so the much needed road repairs have to wait.
Our drive took us through the center valleys where the produce farmers have their fields. We drove past acres and acres of almond trees that were blooming. Beautiful! We saw many fields that had nothing in them because of the drought. We stayed at The Club Royal Oak RV Resort in Kingsburg, CA (much fancier name than the actual “campground”) that sat on the Kings River. We looked at pictures on their website before going and thought we could park right on the river. We did park right on the river with our back window overlooking the banks but the river wasn’t there. Because of the drought there wasn’t water running where we were. Instead four-wheelers could drive down the middle of where the river should have been. We were told later that water can be released from somewhere to put water in the riverbed but because of the drought they weren’t doing that.
The nice thing about the campground was that it was surrounded by blooming almond trees, blackberry and blueberry bushes. That was about all this park had going for it. But our next stop took us to one of the best RV parks we have stayed at outside of state parks. We found this lovely RV Park in Bakersfield, CA called Orange Grove RV Park. Each site had orange trees on it with oranges you could pick. We were handed a bag when we checked in and told that we could pick one bag of oranges and they had just opened a new section of the park where the oranges hadn’t been picked yet. We watched people carry bags and bags of oranges and even used a 5 gallon pail to pick their oranges. We stuck with our one bag just because we felt there was no way we could eat more than a big bag of oranges before they went bad. But each time we ate an orange and the juice ran down our hands and face we wonder why we didn’t pick a few more. Beautiful RV Park with the plus of picking the best navel oranges we have ever tasted.
From Bakersfield we had to cross the mountains to get to Arizona. We passed through fields of wind turbines. It was like driving through the orange or almond tree groves but this was the man made machines. We have seen many fields of wind turbines as we’ve driven across the country but never anything like this. Not sure I would say it was beautiful but it sure was different.
As we came out of the mountains we ended up on a single lane highway that was under construction and the wind was terrible. We saw many motorhomes pulled over trying to wait out the wind. We just took our time but pushed on. We drove in the terrible wind for over two hours and were very glad to drive out of it.
We decided to stay at two places, one in CA and one in AZ, which we had stayed at in 2012. Both of them we loved the first time and I guess we liked them the second time around but as with everything else you either don’t remember them exactly or things change. Neither of them was bad but next time we are in the area we’d probably look for something. Joe did meet an interesting couple from England that stayed next to us. About three years ago they came to the US on a 3 month visa and rented a small RV to travel. They said they do not have either the roads or the campgrounds in England to do this. After the first year they were able to get a 6 month visa so they bought a 5th wheel and truck and travel in the US for six months and then store the RV and go back home. They love the opportunity to travel here and were going to Yellowstone in June. Joe shared with them some of the places we’ve stayed. I didn’t get a chance to meet them but Joe really enjoyed his visit with them.
This brought us to our one week stay at the KOA in Apache Junction, AZ. Again, we had stayed here two years ago and my brother Wayne and his wife, Lois, were wintering in the area. It gave us a chance to catch-up with them and stay in some beautiful weather. It was really our first chance all winter to put shorts on and leave them on. We had beautiful sunny days in the 80’s and cool nights where we had to close all the windows. And CA and AZ finally got some rain. One day we had rain on and off all day but it rained hard all night. This was a blessing for the area.
We spent a few days running around with Wayne and Lois but one day Joe and I went to Queens Creek about 20 miles from Apache Junction to go to the Queens Creek Olive Mill. Located in an olive tree grove was a restaurant/retail/olive processing business. We had a fabulous lunch, a little gelato, and a little shopping of olives for Joe and olive oil for me. It was a fun side trip.
Our intentions at this point was to start slowly moving north through New Mexico and up through Texas, Oklahoma and so on until we get to Cincinnati by April 7th for a two week visit with Zach and Lauren. By checking the weather we decided to go south for a few more weeks. The weather is staying cold going north and we are a little worried about freezing pipes so we will explore territory that we haven’t visited south and hold off on our slow trip north. We look forward to explore Tucson and Tombstone. After that it is a wait and see what the weather does. Fortunately we are flexible and this works for us.
Next stop – Tucson, AZ.
Stay safe – love to all – miss you Cate and Alex!