Thursday, January 18, 2018

Walking, touring, shopping....



Our Location: Joshua Tree National Park BLM, West entrance, California


I woke up shortly after 2 am (PST) time and couldn’t get back to sleep for a little over an hour. I know this because I was playing a game on my iPad and the clock was showing just about 3:15 when I shut it down again.


First picture this morning...

As I sit here typing this it is 5:30 am and I’ve been awake for about 10 minutes. Sleep is elusive at times for me, it’s always been that way. Some times I sleep the whole night without stirring even once and other times I’m awake off and on the whole night. The time changes are not helping. I heard Riley stirring around when I was awake in the middle of the night. Not a sound from down that way now. I hope she’s getting a good sleep now.

Taken through the opening of a cactus...

Our neighbours with the baby Air Stream. Note the truck tent in the back..

The interstate here, like at Dome Rock, is just a far away hum. We don’t have any plans for today yet. Since we’re going into Palm Desert tomorrow it seems kind of silly go in today to do groceries. We have enough to last until we return home tomorrow night, it’s not like we’re going to starve. So I think we’ll do some walking this morning at least, after that who knows.

The pink hues over the Igloo this morning..

Sunrise through some sage bush straw...

I was out the door at 6:35 am but I was too late to catch the first oranges of the sunrise. I should have known to be out earlier but oh well, I caught some of the sunrise. It was very pretty and I’m glad I managed to get the pictures I did. 

The rays are starting to peep over..

 Back inside we decided on lunch, and as I was sipping my hot drink I was of course prepping lunch and salads. I also decided to make us a breakfast wrap as well. Normally we just have our drinks, or sometimes some toast but we aren’t morning eaters. Mushrooms, sweet onions, garlic, eggs, milks, salsa, cheese, tomatoes, Italian seasoning all cooked up and added to wrap which I then placed in the pan until just toasted, added a little more shredded cheese on top, as well as a  spoonful of salsa. It hit the spot.


Beautifully groomed garden at rest area

After that we grabbed our walking sticks and headed off for a walk. We walked the other direction this time, across the entrance road to the park. We strolled along the top of the levee for a while but then down onto the road. It was nice walking, flat, and for the most part easy going. As we’re chatting and walking along we are approaching a campsite with only a vehicle located there. Very quickly a full grown Doberman is coming toward us, not in a friendly way either. This woman is yelling at the dog but it didn’t listen to a thing she was saying and just kept coming. I hollered at her to come and get her dog, but it took her a while to decide she had better. Meanwhile I’m standing between Riley and this dog, my walking stick off the ground so I can at least jab at it if nothing else. It keeps trying to circle but when I step with it, it stops. The owner is coming toward us and saying, ‘Oh she’s friendly, she just wants to be friends.” This dog does not want to be my friend, this dog thinks we’re breakfast. Finally she grabs it’s collar and then she says,” Oh she just wants to kiss you.” I tell you I must have looked pretty stupid at that comment. A number of things went through my mind but I just said,” Lady, that isn’t going to happen.” She pulls on the collar and is taking the dog back to her car. If I had found a ranger I would have reported her. Animals that aren’t controllable should be on a leash. I’m sure this dog would have attack if she hadn’t come when she did. If we had a dog of our own, there would have been a real problem I have no doubt.


This is a 10 MILE grade according to road signs. Coachella/Indio can be seen in the distance.

We continued walking until we reached a point that was about 30 minutes walking from the Igloo. We then turned around and headed back. Not wanting to pass this dog again we climbed the levee and walked on the other side so the dog couldn’t see us. We arrived home according to the time about 1 1/4 hours after leaving. So we were happy with that effort. 


Thru the dirty windshield but see the buildings below?

Our neighbours with the little Air Stream were packing up and heading into the park, they must have found a spot. We are happy right where we are. It’s pretty quiet, we have a fairly big space and we love the view.


Love the mountains all around....

We discussed going in to the park or taking a drive. Riley chose a drive. Since we had come from the east on I-10 we knew what was there, so we headed west. Well long story short, we ended up in Indio, very close to where we are going tomorrow. However we did manage to get our grocery shopping done, or most of it. We left the list on the table. Imagine shopping at Walmart where you can see palm trees and snow capped mountain in the same picture!! Truly an experience. Nice store, very big, clean and I will say I was disappointed. They had men’s shorts out but not women’s. Now how ridiculous is that? 


Heading east on I-10, we've just been on that other side an hour ago.

Anyway, we both agreed it was an excellent drive with great views. However it was time to head home as we were both exhausted. Seems like I’m always tired here, going to have to nap for a day and sleep all night to get caught up.


The many water paths in the wash along the interstate.

Back home we put away the groceries, I cooked lunch. Today it included green salad, fresh mixed veggies with Italian seasoning, plus spaghetti squash with mushrooms and cauliflower, parm cheese and a bit of butter. Riley had a roasted chicken from Walmart, and I had a couple of turkey dogs. The stuffed squash wasn’t cooked just quite enough to suit us but we were full anyway. Not the best lunch but we didn’t go hungry. 


A much bigger wash as you can see, this one takes a lot more fast moving water as the whole area is flat on the bottom.

After that I sat outside to read for a bit, then came inside, sitting on the couch soon turned to laying on the couch and Riley woke me at 5 pm so I wouldn’t miss the sunset.

Snow capped mountain ahead of us...

Flowers blooming, palm trees and snow on the mountain, all in one pic.

Grabbed the camera and outside to snap a few pictures. Very nice sunset tonight. The sky turned various hues of reds and oranges. As I was taking pictures a fella with a big 5’er pulled in across from us, where the little baby Air Stream had been.


Seen in the Walmart parking lot.

After the sunset I headed inside to edit pics and write this post. I’m looking forward to getting to bed early tonight, so I won’t be lingering long over this exercise.


My first sunset pic of the night.

A very special birthday wish goes out to my son in law Matt. Matt turns 31 today. Matt is a research doctor, and just returned from 2 years working in Switzerland and is currently working at York University in Toronto. Courtney and Matt have been together for over a decade but married only a couple of years ago before heading off to Switzerland. He is truly a wonderful young man and we are very fortunate to have him in our family. Happy Birthday Matt!


Love the colours in the sky...

So that’s it folks, our busy day here at Joshua Tree National Park. We’ll probably make it into the park on Saturday as tomorrow we have plans all ready. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your  visit. Please feel free to leave a comment, I read and reply to each.

Night has arrived...

Until next time…. take care, be safe,



Deb

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

California, inspections rules, talking to folks back home.....



Our Location: Joshua Tree National Park BLM, West entrance, California


I woke up at 5:21 am MST. I know this because when my eyes opened my mind started working and sleep was no longer on the agenda. Since I knew I was awake for now at least, the first thing I did was look at the time. Funny how we get into habits isn’t it? It’s one of those things I’ve always done, eyes open, look at the time. 

This morning's sunrise at Dome Rock BLM, Quartzsite, Az


It sure is pretty, huh?

Since it took me a long time to post my blog last night I didn’t have a chance to read any blogs and that’s what I’m going to do as soon as I finish starting this post. 


A sticker...up close and personal...


Love the cactus in the sunrise .....

Today is moving day of course and we are looking forward to seeing around the next bend and over the next rise. Always fun to see what it is, don’t you think? I’m pretty certain my mother’s mother must have been a foot loose, wandering Gypsy in some other life because in her last one she travelled whenever she could. She would hop on a bus and cross the country with out any worries or hesitation. Distance had no meaning to her, and although I don’t ever remember her driving any automobile she was the most travelling woman I knew. Even as an old lady she still enjoyed travel and would often ride behind my dad on his quad. Her only problem was getting on and off, not in the going part. So I’m pretty certain I managed to get a bit of her wandering blood in my veins. To quote J.R.R. Tolkein, “ Not all who wander are lost”  and while Grandma could get lost going around a tree, I have a pretty good sense of direction, perhaps that comes from people always telling me where to go!

Sunrise near the Igloo....


Our neighbours camper during sunrise at Dome Rock.

Outside just before 7 am to catch the sunrise and it was still just a bit dark at that time. It was light enough however to see, not far ahead but still able to discern what was in front of me for a number of feet. I managed to move through the wash and onto the flat behind us to catch some great pictures. I started moving forward to the end of our flat area to take some more pictures, in a certain spot it’s absolutely perfect for view lines. It’s now about 7:20 am (MST) and the folks in the mini van are starting to stir. To my absolutely amazement they were walking around with flashlights. I couldn’t believe it. I could see for a long ways, not quite day light yet but it was bright enough to see where you were walking with no difficulty. To my utter disbelief I noticed one of them even had a headlamp on. You know the ones that you attach to a hat or wear with a band around your head. I was surprised to say the least.

 
Another hour time difference to add to the clock...

California Agriculture Inspection Station at AZ/Cal state line...

After catching the morning rays peeping over the edge, I headed inside where Riley was up and had our hot drinks already made. I had already packed up my bedroom, but I still had the bathroom to do as well as some of the kitchen/living room area. So while we were sipping, I was also packing things away as well. As soon as our drinks were finished I was outside to disconnect the heater and do the last few things to finish before hooking up. 

Pretty mountains and sandy desert.....


I am as amazed now as I was the first time I seen mountains like this....


We pulled out of our spot at 8:49 am (MST), reached Dome Rock Road by 9 am and headed back toward Q so we could catch the I-10 at the over pass by the Love’s truck stop. We were well on our way except we didn’t have any specific directions to our next location. I just knew we needed to find Cottonwood Springs Road. I was pretty certain it would be very well signed, and of course it is signed, however I also knew we needed Exit 168. 

Tight fit on this lane with those cones where they are....
 
On a long and lonesome highway....

We stopped at the last rest stop in Arizona for a quick check around just to ensure everything was going well. We of course already had done our walk around but I like to do it again at all stops. We passed into California at 9:52 am (MST) and set the clocks back one hour to 8:52 am (PST). So it was like we were just leaving home again.

I didn't touch the colour, this is how it came from the camera...


Looking out Riley's bedroom window....
  
We were passing through the agriculture check point and while they didn’t ask any questions I did. Fruits and certain veggies can and will be confiscated unless you can prove they were grown in California. Example, all red apples, such as Mac’s, Red Delicious, etc are fine to bring, but all green apples will be taken. (I offered up my one green apple). Absolutely no citrus fruits can be brought in. There were a number of items on the list but those ones I remember. I also had one russet potato that was okay to bring in. It doesn’t matter if it was purchased in a grocery store or home grown, if you can’t prove it was grown in California or acceptable states they can take it. Now they may not have checked if I hadn’t asked and I’m pretty certain they would have let me take my apple but I explained it was a Granny Smith apple for lunch. My lunch today was without that apple.

South of us toward I-10.


Hey that's us!!!
  
The point I’m making here is that IF they want to search, I believe they can, and they can take anything on the list if it’s not PROVEN to be grown in California or an acceptable state. I wanted to know for own peace of mind and now I know. The nice young fella that took my apple explained that he too was learning and he thought that if was purchased in a grocery store that it was okay to bring in, so we both learned something today. Of course I’m simply offering up what I learned and I’m certain its probably very much like crossing the international border, if you get the wrong person you could end up being searched and things may end up being taken. However how often that happens I have no idea. 

Blooms in the desert....


Up close on those flowers.....

So we were back on the road quickly after I handed over my apple, and we enjoyed the scenery. We’ve climbed in elevation and are currently at over 1200 feet. The temps are bit cooler, which is nicer but there is also a breeze which is helping as well.

Looking south along the big wash just past our door....


Noticed this cactus growing here...but just one....

We found our exit with out any difficulties and turned Right toward Joshua Tree Park and noticing the power lines we took the first left. Keeping Doug Laning’s  (Miss Adventure Travels ) excellent idea in mind, I parked the Dogsled with the Igloo remaining faithfully to the rear and walked the next little bit to ensure I could find a place to turn around. Riley stayed behind, not wanting to walk.  I found a couple of spots that looked promising but we took the second one. It’s between two roads and since we aren’t staying too long it will be just fine. 

Sunset here at Joshua Tree Park BLM,  Ca


Love this tree, stripped of all leaves makes a perfect focus point during the sunset...

It was shortly before noon CALIFORNIA time that we finished everything, including setting every thing up and Riley had already started prepping lunch. I called my dad at 11:49 am (according to my call log) and that was after we were all set up. So as you can guess we have cell and internet service here. AT&T is our cell carrier and so far it’s all good.
 
Sunset here at Joshua Tree Park BLM, West Enttance...


Just love it...

Lunch today was excellent, a nice green salad, Parm Cheese grilled potatoes wedges, mixed veggies with Oregano and Thyme, along with a nice sweet ham steak, and I cooked up some mild sweet sausages as well. The sausages will be good for a light dinner later or we can use them in another dish.

Multicoloured cactus ...

Can you say wow?
 
After lunch we headed out for a walk. We haven’t been walking much at all and so we both made an agreement that we will walk at least an hour a day, every day and we will once again be watching portion sizes much closer than we have been. We found only one other spot that we like on this stretch of road where we are parked. 

The sun has gone...but the sky is still alive..

Pink hues, red hues, yellow.....

The door side is in the shade all day and that will hopefully help with the fridge as it seemed we went through a lot of propane over the last couple of weeks. We have full sun on our living room side but we’ll keep the shades down all day to help block the heat. That will make the entire Igloo a much nicer temperature in the afternoon. With the windows open as well as vents and door we have a very nice breeze moving thru.

It just keeps going..


And going and going....

So we are settled in and we’ve already been talking about tomorrow’s walk, always a good sign. We have plans to visit Janet & Dennis on Friday during the day. After that I’m not sure what our plans are but we plan on doing a bit of shopping for groceries as well. Janet says they have a Trader Joe’s which I’ve always heard people rave about so we’ll be stopping by there for certain to check that out.

Our neighbours little Air Stream in the sunset....

Top of an Ocotillo stalk...

Back home after our walk we sat down to read for a bit, and rest. The sun is hot here in the desert sands of California. We need to pace ourselves better and walk in the morning hours, not after lunch.


Always wanted to see this sign in person.....


Not far to LA, we could make it....

I called my sister while sitting outside, she was curled up under a blanket back home on the Island and telling me that they had been without electric power a few days ago when a small hydro sub station caught fire and burnt one morning. About half of the townships of Assiginack, Tehkummah, and the Wikemokong reservation was without power for about 15 hours during a day that was -35C/ -31F. They will be without power once again tomorrow night from midnight until 8 am while Hydro workers work at rebuilding part of the sub station’s switches, etc.  We chatted for about 30 minutes.

Almost looks like little pebbles doesn't it?


This is the type of cactus the above pictures taken from....

I also called my dad again, as I didn’t talk to him earlier, but had left a message with Marion. Dad and I chatted for about 15 minutes catching up on the news, he too was without power due to the same fire. He says it’s supposed to warm up but will snow, rain and perhaps see a day or two of sunshine. Always interesting weather on that rock in the middle of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay region. 

Very green, isn't it?

I love these mountains, so vast and reaching.....

A text message to my sister in law Janet has us visiting on Friday and we’ll hopefully arrive fairly early in the day to get a chance for a good visit. We won’t be staying overnight, but will be coming back home. 

A wash nearby to our location....


Same wash, just as the sun is going down....

As I was chatting on the phone a few new folks pulled in, and one is just across the small roadway from us. A nice little baby Air Stream, all sparkly and shiny new. The couple have a small child with them as well. Probably not walking yet but definitely crawling age. 

Love the pinks over there.....

Don't you just love the colours there?
 
As sunset approached I grabbed the camera and headed off to walk along the top of the of the levee and catch the show. It didn’t disappoint in the least. Our first night here at Joshua Tree BLM saw the sky painted in hues of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. I’ve even noticed a few cactus but nothing tall and stately, only a few little low growing cactus so far. I’ll have a better look around tomorrow. 


In the north off to my right me as I walked along the levee...

So back home after sunset to edit a lot of pictures and write this post. I can tell you we are both exhausted and I’m absolutely certain it’s the desert heat because other than a walk we haven’t really done much except set up ‘home dirt’ as George (Our Awesome Travels) would say. 

It just kept going....

Just an FYI, our cell service is AT&T works fine here, ranging from 2-4 bars. The Verizon jet pack also works with 2-3 bars as well. We have no booster of any kind. We are located at the West Entrance (GPS lists North or West), on the south side of the park but north of the Interstate. We are to the west of the entrance road, a couple of sights before the wash causes the road to dead end. A road to the north of us goes much further, it’s where we took our walk today. 

Sunset at Joshua Tree Park, BLM....our first night...


Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a comment, I read them all and comment as well. 

Getting ready to call it a night...

Until next time… take care, be safe, 

Good night from our new location at Joshua Tree Park, BLM, California. 


 
Deb