Thursday, December 30, 2004

We found the oranges

Orange grove upon orange grove upon orange grove.  As Sissy said, "we found one of Pikey’s heavens".  We had a lovely drive down a street paralleling SR65 and when it ended headed over to 65 which parallels Hwy 99.  Nothing like taking the scenic route.  We managed to get out by 8:30 and we thought sure we’d end up in El Centro for the night.  Instead…

Jamie has been obsessing about our "need" for a generator.  We spent a week in the Bay Area and I thought the fancy was gone until we left Porterville.  Somehow the miles of orange groves must have cause him to certify his need for a generator, so off to Bakersfield we headed and bought one.  We got the highly recommended (by the rv forum folk) Honda EU2000i.  Unfortunately, we got the owner’s manual for the 3000i.  We’re hoping there isn’t much difference.

We tried to find a campsite in Tehachapi (where the city was surrounded by snow capped mountains) but managed to get completely lost looking for the county park.  We prefer county parks because the prices are right; they are generally empty and we like it empty.

Back to SR58 we headed and we had planned to head down SR14 through Lancaster; over SR18 to SR138 (now my mind is getting fuzzy and all the SR’s are getting mixed up) to Palm Springs and eventually the West side of the Salton Sea (lake?) before heading down to El Cajon.  I had hoped to camp just outside Yucca Valley (I think) in the foothills and in a pretty sounding (very small towns; desert mountain foothills; I didn’t think we could go wrong) county park.

 About 4 miles before the 14 and 58 intersection, Jamie decided that we’d head  to Calico Ghost Town (it is also a regional park) and camp there.  Unfortunately, that also necessitated a 2 hour travel through a traffic jam (2 miles in 2 hours) in the mass exodus from Bakersfield to Las Vegas to celebrate the new years (we found all this out from the ranger at Calico).  AND, most importantly, the traffic jam meant we got into the campground in the dark.  I HATE trying to manuver (especially back up) in the dark.  Once you pass an obstacle, it is dark and you simply cannot see it; so you’re always backing up blind.  We’re dry camping (no hookups) and for this pleasure, we’re paying $18/night.  Hard to believe…  If it were not raining, we’d simply head into the desert and dry camp for free.  After my last encounter with spinning wheels in mud, I have no desire to repeat the affair in wet sand.

So, round and round the campground we went; backing up in two turnaround cul-de-sac type loop ends as they were too short and I had to go back and forth trying to get the hell out of there.  Did I mention I HATE to backup at night?

The ranger (after happily taking taking our hard earned $18) told us that they’ve had 3 inches of wet sloppy snow and 2 inches of rain the past couple weeks, which is 3 inches more wetness than they get in a normal year.  It sounds like our decision to do the deserts in the Spring will be well rewarded, with grasses and flowers not seen for ten years or more.

I’ve got some gorgeous pics, but they will probably have to wait til tomorrow.  I’m currently dialed up via a public phone!

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