Sunday, December 30, 2018

We moved today.....

Our Location: South Entrance, BLM Joshua Tree National Park

After a loudish night we decided to pull up feet and head out for quieter pastures. The day time noises weren't bothersome but the night time ones were very much so. 

On our drive toward the Badlands this morning.
Some spectacular views.

We first took a drive out to the Badlands where we thought we might like to park just to ensure we could find a spot. Sure enough we found a couple and headed back to the Igloo to hook up. We were thinking it would only be a short drive to the Badlands and weren't in any hurry. 

It sure is pretty out here.

After pulling in and starting to put the feet down we realized just how cold the wind actually was up there. We changed our minds, opting for Joshua Tree National Park instead. We stopped at the Red Earth Casino on CA86 to dump our tanks. The wait was long as it seemed everyone was using this spot instead of the one a bit further down at the entrance to the Parkway. No problem we waited our turn and headed out. 

In the lower down area of the Badlands they were wall to wall to wall to wall.

To wall to wall to wall.

We arrived at Joshua Tree National Park late in the day for us to be arriving. It was 3:30 pm and we still had to find a place, set up and do all those things before dark which would be around 4:45 pm. We managed to find a spot to park the Igloo, but found it very difficult to get level. We eventually moved a bit and within 5 minutes were level and setting up but are now much further out in front of another rig than I'd like to be, but we did ask if he minded and he assured he didn't. 
They were tucked up against the hills, in the open flat, way out as far as the eye could see.
In the background you can see the dust. As we drove along you could see the dust cloud hanging over the desert.

We are debating about how long we want to stay here but for now we're going to spend at least a couple of days here. We have a few errands in Indio and we want to visit Janet as well. So we shall see how things go. 

It was like a city down there in the low area of the Badlands.

That's it, our long day but short blog. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. 

And also along CA 86 they were packed in like fish in a barrel.

Until next time.. take care, be safe, 


Note to myself: Jason and Leah have arrived in Fernie, BC, Canada last night. They are too early to check into their rental unit until Dec 31 in the late afternoon.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Filling up the neighbourhood......

Our Location:  Near Borrego Springs, CA

We took a drive into Borrego Springs and around the area finding a few more sculptures which I’ll show another day. We stopped and I picked an orange from a tree, (we couldn’t find any fruit stands open to buy some so I picked just one) it is the freshest orange I’ve ever had. From there we headed on to Rockhouse Road for another look around. Very busy there now, they are lined up slide to slide to slide to slide. Nose to butt to nose. Many with a trailer behind and a toy obviously missing. I do believe by the looks of the empty trailers they all held BIG toys, possibly jeeps, Razors or big dune buggies.
The dirt bike contingent was well represented today.
Back home we once again watched the fun out the window. I am telling you folks they just kept coming and coming and coming and coming. For my friend Lorne (A place called away ) you could learn from a few of these folks, for they did in fact ‘CIRCLE THE WAGONS’. Started out as one lone tow behind yesterday and soon a rig with a tow behind, then a motor home and so on until they have a complete circle with about 8 rigs in it. They just kept going round and round until they all fit. It was an interesting sight to see. We dubbed them ‘Circle the Wagons’ while the other big area we dubbed Flag City. They too have a huge circle of rigs. Not quite as full but then again they have a bigger area to fill. 
For Lorne. They started off with the single tow behind yesterday and this morning they started coming and coming and coming and finally the middle picture was still not the complete circle but they filled it in about a half hour later. We called them "Circle the Wagons" in your honour. The bottom picture is Flag City, they too have a huge circle with almost every rig having at least one flag, many having 2 and one having 4. I counted 13 at last count.
You wouldn’t believe how many pine or spruce trees they brought. I suppose it’s their Christmas trees and they are using them for fire wood. One guy either owned a lot where they didn’t sell, or collected his neighbours trees too. He must have brought a half dozen. I can tell you the place has filled up with people parking everywhere. As I type this it is 6:00 PM and the fire works are starting. I think it could be a noisy night. 
This one went round and round and round and round. Caught some air, had good form over the rolling bumps. I enjoyed watching.
Looks like twins on the top right, identical in every way. One family, the bottom 3 pictures and the middle left picture brought 5 quads for 4 people. The toy hauler 4 of them came out of is in the middle bottom picture. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. 
So a few pictures to help you enjoy what we witnessed today. I hope you like the sights. 
It was follow the leader with the little fella on the red 3 wheeler leading the way.  
They came from early this you can see in the 2nd from the top right and 3rd from the top left, they came in lines, 2, 3, 4 , 5 in a line. The bottom left picture has two or three small dirt bikes tucked up around the nose and butt of the jeep.

They came all morning and into the afternoon. Cars, trucks, jeeps, towing, carrying, hauling, but no one was pushing.       
Where there is a will, there is a way. If you can't fit it in, stand it on end. That is a toy hauler he's hauling and it was full too.

A quick note for myself, Jason and Leah were to cross back into Canada today after spending the night at Great Falls, Montana.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the visit. 

Until next time... take care, be safe, 


Friday, December 28, 2018

Lots of sights out the window today....

Our Location:  Near Borrego Springs, CA

It’s cooler here at night than we’ve been used to but we add an extra blanket and enjoy the sunshine more when it appears. Today however was very cool with lots of folks wearing puffy vests and jackets as they were out and about. The wind kept us indoors most of the day with only about an hour outside to read. We didn’t reach above 57F/13.9 C. I know that doesn’t sound cold to the folks at home but believe me it was cold. 
Playing with the zoom lens, you can see the area of Borrego Springs far off in the distance.
The many faces of the mountains in the area.
We stayed inside looking out and enjoying the sights. The place has filled up with weekend warriors, big small and in between. They come in packs, doubles and solo. They bring multiple vehicles for the same family. Our newest neighbour was interesting to see coming in. Dad and son along with the dog in the truck with a small dune buggy in the back towing a fairly large home on wheels. Mom, daughter and small child in the SUV behind them pulling a trailer with the family side by side with a generator in the back of the SbyS. They were barely set up before they were off in their rides across the desert with dust flying and giggles sounding.

They are serious about their fun. Even the little toddler was excited to be riding.
The BLM parking lot on Henderson Canyon Road is filling up quickly too.
 Flags abound here in the area, one group has as many as 7 between two rigs. With today’s wind the flags were flapping and snapping. Kites were also out today in the wind, looked like they were having a good time flying them. The rides are varied and numerous. A few dirt bikes, a number of three wheelers, a couple of quads, a number of dune buggies and even a few bigger side by sides. Jeeps and SUV’s are also here adding to the fun and excitement. Flashing lights, stiffy’s (long ariel with flag attached) and various engine sounds mixed with yells, dust and laughter were certainly entertaining today. I can tell you that I wouldn’t want to stay among them for a month but for a few days I think we’ll enjoy the activity. Some great photo opportunities if one is quick enough. 

Flags, flags, flags.
Kites and helo's.

Other than Riley having a fire tonight the day has been very quiet and restful. Entertaining and amusing as well just by looking out the window. I’m amazed how many folks seem to land here each hour. Not even the cold wind can deter them. They are a hardy bunch. 
Big, small and in between, of various ages and sizes.

There are two different little fellows here. The smaller one is quite a dare devil. You can see he even managed to catch some air in the middle picture.
A news update on Jason and Leah, last night they reached the Minnesota/North Dakota border staying near Fargo. Today a text from Jason assured me they weren’t having any issues with blizzard conditions as they crossed N. Dakota. (The weather had blizzard conditions listed in N. Datkota). They were having blue skies and making great time. They were headed toward Great Fall, Montana. I have no doubt they will reach close to their goal. They are gaining an hour with each time zone and so they can stretch their driving hours if they wish. Both are young and capable of driving so I’m certain the long days aren’t having too much effect on them.
You can get anything in camouflage. The truck came behind the motor home and left at the same time, so I assume they were together. 
They are parked everywhere.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your day. 
Rigs come in various sizes, colours and shapes too.
Until next time.. take care, be safe,

The green and orange are led lights on an ariel and flash as he goes. It's getting dark and they are still coming in.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Snow, palms and closed road.....

Our Location:  Near Borrego Springs, CA

All pictures today were taken with my phone. We forgot the big camera, the grocery list and the drinking water jugs this morning. So the pictures aren't great but they give a good idea of what we did see.
Today was another day out and about for Riley and I. This time we headed off to Indio, Joshua Tree N.P. and Box Canyon Road. Rumours abound that Box Canyon Road is closed but I could find no mention of it on the internet. A trip to Mecca assured us that it is indeed closed. No idea when it will reopen. So if you have plans to cut off the corner near Coachella on your way east or southwest I would rethink that idea. One must go to I-10 in Coachella to go east toward the south entrance to Joshua Tree N.P. and points further along toward Blythe and Arizona. For any that are unfamiliar with the area there is a very long climb coming out of the Coachella Valley heading east to Joshua Tree N.Park. One may want to be empty of most water and all waste tanks before starting that climb. 

We checked out the Badlands on our way to CA 78.
Some amazing views and places to camp.

The roads were fairly busy in that area today. I think it has something to do with the holiday season and the closure of Box Canyon Road. We took a drive along the south side of Joshua Tree National Park on the BLM camping grounds. It is very evident that a huge rain fell here and washed out a great many areas of the roadway that is used by BLM campers. Very course rock has been installed in numerous places to allow passage on the road. We didn’t journey into the park so I can’t tell you about the roads in there. Only the UPPER road was fixed that I could see, none of the lower roads appeared to have been repaired at this time. So if you plan on camping at the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park I would park the rig and either walk or unhook your tow vehicle to check things out before you head on down either roads. As you get off the interstate to go to Joshua Tree National Park you can see more signs indicating that Box Canyon Road at this entrance is closed as well. 

Love the colours and the mountains in the background.

You can see the rigs parked out here and they are looking at the view of the pictures above and below.

One thing we’ve noticed the last number of weeks is the way people have been blocking off the empty campsites. Piling rocks either in the middle of the campsite or placing rocks across the entrances to the sites. I have no idea why they do this but it is certainly annoying. Of course the rocks can all be moved but it’s truly rude behavior. Just one more thing, I know this is a rant but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say,”People your old tin cans, wire and other things you no longer want, need or have broken are NOT decorations for the trees. No matter how many you drip from the tree, bush or fence, it’s still garbage. If you bring it in, bring it back out, don’t leave it hanging on the tree as an eyesore.” Rant over. 

There is a trail down there at the bottom.

You can camp here as the ground is very hard.

Imagine parking at this fire ring and looking at this view for a while. Not too shabby, huh?

We witnessed our first snow since Mississippi as we headed west this year. Today we made note of snow on top of Big Bear Mountain, just as we did last year. We also made note of the wonderful flowering shrubs and bushes today. Hard to believe it’s the end of December and there are flowers in bloom. We aren’t in Canada any more. 

Snow not clouds on the mountain top to the right. The white fluffy stuff to the left is clouds. That is Big Bear Mountain and we can see it from Janet's back patio in Indian Wells too.
We are on I-10 West leaving the Coachella Valley and heading toward Joshua Tree National Park. This is the very small beginning of a very long climb.

A hair cut for Riley, which she is not happy with but it will eventually grow out, after all it is just hair, right? Some groceries and some side trips to check out some more spots pretty much filled out the day. We were gone most of the day, 9 AM - 3:30 PM, and so tomorrow I warn you will be a do nothing day.
That mountain top also has a bit of snow here and there but it isn't Big Bear. We are heading toward Indio, California.

A special note for myself, today Jason and Leah left Chelmsford, Ontario and are heading to BC for a vacation. Jason will be gone for a month, Leah for two weeks. We wish them well and hope they have a safe journey, a fantastic time and stay healthy.  Update: a call to dad before this posting has Jason and Leah somewhere in Minnesota. He couldn't remember the name. Update at time of posting this blog: spoke to dad, Jason & Leah have arrived in Minnesota. He can't recall the name of the town.

A couple more photos of the badlands.

I love the views. See the trails down there on the bottom?

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit and your day.

At some point we will be in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

I forgot I had this picture on my phone, this was taken in Yuma, AZ before Christmas.

Until next time…take care, be safe,


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ocotill Wells, exploring.....

Our Location:  Near Borrego Springs, CA

Today was a day of exploring. We headed out toward Ocotillo Wells and the BLM camping in the area. Yes I know it’s where off roaders go to enjoy the off roading they so love but I can tell you it was pretty quiet out there today. It didn’t look as if the noise would be much and since this is the week between Christmas and New Year’s I expected it to be very busy and was very surprised.

We headed into Borrego Springs area to catch up with CA 78 toward Ocotillo Wells, California.

A very helpful ranger at the ranger station on Ranger Station Road was more than happy to explain many things to us. The first thing that is different is you can park in numerous places, they have bathrooms, some showers and plenty of dumpsters. I believe there is a dump station near the ranger station as well. You can stay for 30 days per calendar year. There are numerous different locations and roads in which to park and all are unique in their own way. Some are among dunes, others on flat open spaces and others are tucked among the trees. The area is vast and I believe if one wishes they can get a good distance off on their own. Of course it is up to one to be careful of the soft sand in some places. I would strongly suggest you unhook a towed and check out the area before you enter it. Some of the sites have small roofed covers and tables as well as some form of grate over part of a fire enclosure. 
This is solar panels off in the distance as you approach Borrego Springs.

 It would be well worth the time and effort to check it out if you find that Borrego Springs options are limited for you. It is only a short distance to Borrego Springs and of course to Brawley as well with much better shopping choices. A stop at the ranger station netted us a map and a newsletter showing us many things in the area as well as the markings of the camping areas. I’ll leave you with pictures of our exploring today.

The area very near to the Ranger Station, it's on Quarry Road and is very accessible for almost any rig.  

We followed Wolfe Well Road but eventually came back to Holmes Camp Road. Holmes Camp Road is an interesting place. It is in a line of trees that offer a great deal of shade but not good for solar panels unless you can set them out in the sun, meaning not on the roof. There are a number of roofed over picnic tables and even a handicapped spot. They are all lined up like a campground but with no services other than a bathroom that I could see.  

This is near CA 78, on Wolfe Well Road. That is a motor home pulling a cargo trailer.

Farther along the same road. That 5'er is pretty big and he's a fair distance off the Wolfe Well Road.

This is the green area at Holmes Camp Road. You can see the picnic area in front of the trees. I would guess at probably 6 or 7 in this line.

We travelled a few different roads in the area and I believe this is on County Line Road.

This view is on Country Line Road. Tons of places to camp and of course there are fire rings everywhere, as well as bathrooms in this area.

Same area as a above. You need to be careful of the sand so check it out first before you pull your rigs off into the sand. It's rolly and soft in some places and I would suggest carefully looking into it before you take your rig into the area.

The same mountains that tower over  Borrego Springs can be seen from this area.

Way off in the distance to the left of middle is a bathroom building. Again on County Line Road.

The neighbours can be as close or as far as you like.

Not all covers are wooden, some appear to metal on them as well.

That is Dad walking beside JR as he learns to ride.

Can you see the training wheels? This poor little fellow was just a jerking and stopping, his head was nodding with each burst of gas and again with each let off of the throttle. He was having a blast though. 

Riley and I have decided we will try this area next time we are in the vicinity. It looks promising and has many jeep and dune buggy tracks to explore. A little noise is worth the extra space in my humble opinion. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. 

Until next time... take care, be safe,