Green Valley Campground

Well, we finally arrived at our work site for the summer. It is very beautiful, in a little community of cabins halfway between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino mountains of southern California. They have a small lake for fishing but it is private and they charge to fish there. I do plan to get my license and try the fishing in the area. There are many hikes around too, plus museums and all kinds of store so we will hardly ever have to ‘go down the mountain’ for anything.

We took a side trip to Lake Arrowhead which is a jewel of a lake and a very upscale area with many mansions right on the lake. It is also private but we can visit the businesses.

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead

We started work several days early because we are already here and have Camp Host experience. We have to manage four different campgrounds, two of which are on rough dirt roads. Good thing they provided us with a work truck for the drives because we wouldn’t want to take our old Cherokee out there very often. There is a pond that you have to drive through and one section of road that has been severely eroded from storms.

Last night we had almost 6″ of fresh powder snow. It is very pretty but I am sure that most campers will stay home rather than tent camp in the snow. The high today was about 34 degrees. One camper just showed up and I am curious if they will stay through the night.

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Rich in full snow gear

Rich in full snow gear

We are looking forward to another great Rich adventure up in the mountains…………………..

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Joshua Tree National Park

The next leg of our trip found us at Black Rock campground in Joshua Tree National Park. This was the same campground where we camp hosted in 2013. April is the best month to be here as the wildflowers, cactus, and Joshua Trees are in full bloom. Unfortunately with California being in the fourth year of a major drought it was very dry.

I did get to go on two nice hikes that were very familiar to me and was able to take some photos. Charlie had to stay home as dogs are not allowed on the trails. He got his hair cut at the dog groomers and now has to wear his sweater on cold mornings.

034This Sonoran Gopher snake was right across from our campsite and was about three feet long. It was going into several gopher holes looking for a meal. We also saw a Scott’s Oriole from our RV which is a very beautiful black and yellow bird.

Cactus blooms

Cactus blooms

030Warren Peak which was a six mile out-and-back hike from Black Rock

Mt. San Gorgonio

Mt. San Gorgonio

Mt. San Gorgonio (11,503′) with a little snow still on it. Green Valley CG is not many miles from it.

Rock outcropping along Cliff trail

Rock outcropping along Cliff trail

Next post will be from Green Valley CG. We will not have internet so the posts will be done infrequently.

Happy trails and God Bless………………………………

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BLM boondocking

The next stop was a BLM boondocking site just south of Joshua Tree National Park near Indio. I had heard of this spot for years but had never stayed there. It was a nice area with mountain views and only a few other Rvers in the area. The weather was good, and it was of course free. I took Charlie on several hikes in the area and saw many deer tracks and one mountain lion track but no sightings of either one.

We ate at the restaurant at Chiraico Summit which is a great stop on I-10 with a gas station, restaurant, and the General patton museum.

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California here we come

After three months we finally arrived back in California. Our first stop was in Blythe at a county park right on the Colorado river. Here are some photos of the area.

Campsite

Campsite

Colorado River

Colorado River

For those who haven’t been to the Colorado River it is a surreal experience because you are driving through some of the hottest and driest areas of the country and right in the middle of it is a very large clear flowing river.

Blythe 004

Beavertail cactus

Beavertail cactus

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KOFA National Wildlife Refuge

We have been in Quartzsite for a few days on our trip west and wanted to visit a place where we have never been, and after some consideration chose KOFA NWR, which is a very large wildlife refuge close to Quartzsite. They are noted for Bighorn Sheep and old silver mines. Most of the refuge only contains rough jeep roads but we found one that was scenic and on a good dirt road, the Palm Canyon hike.

After a seven mile drive on a washboard dirt road, (the ride seemed better when we drove faster), we arrived at the trailhead parking lot. Nobody else was there and the weather was perfect. It was a short half mile hike up the canyon to view the largest native fan palm grove in Arizona. By comparison there are seven groves in Joshua Tree NP alone.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 002 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 005 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 014The picture above shows the Palm tree grove but unfortunately the trees were in shadow and so were hard to see. We did not want to wait for the sunlight to shine on them and turned back.

Spring in the desert is one season that we have not experienced much, so it was delightful to see many desert plants in full bloom. The Sonoran desert is really a beautiful place.

Ocotillo with red blooms

Ocotillo with red blooms

Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus bloom

Cholla cactus bloom

Next stop……………Blythe, California………………

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We arrive in Arizona

Well, it was a long drive south from Denver through the southern portion of Colorado and then into the desolate northeastern region of New Mexico where due to the scarcity of signs we never really knew exactly where we were. We breezed past Santa Fe so did not get to enjoy the historical charm of the city. Some of the oldest structures in North America are in Santa Fe. It was founded before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.

We stayed at an RV Park near Albequerque and the next morning headed west to a little place near Holbrook, Arizona. We stayed a couple of nights there so that we could visit Tammy’s good friend Cindi in Pinetop, a charming little town in the White mountains.

A few pictures of the group,

005 004While in the area we of course had to visit Petrified Forest National Park where I volunteered in 2011 for three months. We drove through the park from North to South while I served as informal tour guide for Tammy, stopping at Pintado Point, Newspaper Rock and Crystal forest to see the magnificent collection of petrified wood there.

010012 021Newspaper rock, see how many petroglyphs you can find………………..

016024Next post will be from Quartzsite, Arizona where we are residing for a week or so……………….

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Road Trip to California

The 2015 adventure begins!!!

The trip from Houston to Green Valley has begun. The first leg of the trip was designed to head to Denver to visit family there, a 1000 mile odyssey. So we departed rainy Houston and headed north. The rain followed us to Bowie where it came down so hard that we had to stop and pray that no one would hit us. We took the right exit from the highway and found the RV park for the night. We recently joined a discount campground  club, Passport America where you receive 50% off at participating parks. It is a great deal.

The second night was at a city Park in Dalhart, Texas on a lake.

The third day the Jeep would not start, I found a mallet and hit the starter and it started. Whew, that was a close one.

To be continued……………………….

Since we were going to be in Denver for a few days and could work on the car there we decided to keep going and as long as we did not shut off the engine we should be okay. I had to gas up the jeep with the engine running so I was very careful.

We breezed up to the Denver area and we got to “camp” on the street for a week. They let us plug into their electricity and since our tanks were okay we were happy.

Pictures of the family in Denver:

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Johann helped me replace the starter on the Jeep so it is now road ready again.  He has a garage full of tools and loves to work on cars so that was a big help. For $65 I bought the one with a lifetime warranty. What a deal.

Our other concern was how much, if any, water damage the popup sustained from the torrential rains. We set it up in their side yard and were pleased to discover that it only had minor water damage. I used a bleach solution to clean up the floor. There is a musty smell from the canvas tent but, hey, all canvas tents develop musty smells from water stains so we are glad that we will be able to use it this summer on our little camping getaways from work.

On Friday our little caravan (Miss Sea View, Mr. Cherokee, and Little Coleman) will be headed south to New Mexico and Arizona to visit friends and to seek out new Rich Adventures on our way to California.

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