Southeast, CA

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Off we go travelling towards Arizona through the southeast part of California.  We travelled through a small portion of the Mojave Desert through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.  Our first stop was in the town of Banning, CA in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.  We spent three days exploring the area.  Not much to explore but the camp host recommended we take a 22 mile drive into the mountains to the town of Idyllwild.  The 22 mile drive was beautiful as we climb to an elevation of over 5,000 ft.  Idyllwild sat in a valley and was worth the slow, winding climb.  The town was small but had some fun, unique shops and restaurants.  It was great walking around and we had lunch at an ok Mexican restaurant.  We drove down the mountain on the opposite side which gave us a rather long drive back to the RV.

Our next stop in the desert was at La Quinta, CA at a very nice county park which sat right up against the mountains.    Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area was run by Riverside County with a reservoir in the center that was used by local fisherman.   The sites were very nicely spaced and each site had a couple of mature trees on it which made it nice since we sat on sand.  The reservoir had a three mile walking trail around it which we took twice a day for the three days we were there.   Even our 15 year old Ivy made the walk although a few times Joe and I took turns carrying her.  One day we drove into Palm Springs which was about 20 miles from our base.  We thought we would have lunch and maybe rub elbows with some rich and famous person.  Nice place to drive through but there was so much traffic that we just kept on driving.  At least we can say we saw it.

After being in our 5th wheel close to a year, I think I can say the thing I dislike the most is laundry day.  You can ask Joe, I can be one very crabby person and almost always end up with a headache on laundry day.    We have had some real interesting places to wash clothes – bad areas, dirty machines, broken machines.  And then you have to sit in those places while your laundry is getting washed.  But one of the hardest things is just finding a place.  While at the County Park we needed to do our wash so our normal routine for finding a laundry is to use our GPS.  Type in LAUNDRY and if there is one in the area you say GO.  So the first one on the list said 5 miles – GO.  Got there and it was a huge horse thing that had locked gates (everything in the area we were in had locked gates including the county park).  So back to the GPS – second one – GO – another 6 miles in a different direction.  We had a hard time finding this one because almost everything in the area was closed or boarded up.  We didn’t feel safe so pushed that good all GPS again.  By this time we were looking at addresses and names of the laundries.  We picked one that was 9 miles away – off we go.  We pulled up to it and not a person around.  Didn’t feel the safest but decided we had spent too much time just looking for a place and now we had to actually do the wash and I had a very good headache started.   When people ask if I miss our stick house I always answer no but I do miss my washer and dryer.  Next 5th wheel will have a washer and dryer in it.

Our last stop before leaving CA was at Blythe, Mayflower County Park, another Riverside County Park.  This one was full of snowbirds (people from the north wintering in the south).  It didn’t have anything to offer other than a spot for us to stay a few days and it was on the Colorado River.   Sand, sand everywhere.  We took Ivy for a nice walk along the river and had to give her a bath when we came back because she was so dusty.  Not too sure I like this desert camping.  Everything is so dusty and dirty which just creates more wash.  UGH!

Off we go to more desert camping in Arizona.  Where is the green grass?   Where is the ocean?