Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 112, Sunday, February 19, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 4

Another Photo of Site 40, Jumbo Rocks Campground
Sunday, February 19, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 4, 0 Miles, 4,319.1 Miles For the Trip

The rain stopped just before sunset, and the sky cleared just in time to make for a cool night. Bright sunshine this morning, but still cool for my walk around the campground. There are a few groups packing up & heading home today, with people taking the sites as soon as they leave. The campground still has its "Full" sign up.

After breakfast I sat inside reading waiting for it to warm up enough to move outside. I did take another walk around the campground & helped an owner of a Class A RV load a motorcycle on a carrier on the back of the RV. Some lucky wanderer through the campgeound will get a nice site when he leaves in an hour or so. I also took another photo of my site since we now have blue skies behind it. While it is still cool, (in the 50's) it is warm enough to sit in the sun so I'm doing a bit of reading.

It is a little early to decide on what's for dinner, but it will either be something picked up in town while I'm here posting this or a grilled chicken patty & beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Day 111, Saturday, February 18, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 3

Saturday, February 18, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 4,319.1 Miles For the Trip

Well, last night's dinner was not a grilled anything - it was cold & windy enough that I stayed inside and had soup. A very cool afternoon & night, with the furnace coming on at 4:30PM. It rained most of the night, going between light & heavy. Light rain kept up most of the day. The low was 42°F this morning, and it never got above 46°F during the day. Heavy clouds with little solar charging - the peak was 6 amps, while most of the day was closer to 3. Here is hoping I'll recover at least 1/2 of what I used last night & today by evening.

Needless to say, I didn't spend much time outside today. I did take my usual morning walk in between rain showers, and on a later trip to dump a bag of garbage & recyclables, I stopped to talk with a Lazy Daze owner. I've always been impressed with the Lazy Daze Class C RVs - well designed & built. Herb & his wife Lorry & I chatted for awhile, then exchanged cards when we discovered that we "knew" each other. Turns out they are a family I've followed for close to 15 years, "watching" their kids grow up on their web page and exchanged email on suggested locations for camping. A well written & interesting collection of pages at Lolo's Extreme Cross Country RV Trips. It is always fun to meet people you feel like you know through their blogs & journals, but have never actually met.

After that it was back to the trailer for some reading inside. I finished Anne Hillerman's Spider Woman's Daughter, a continuation of Tony Hillerman's series on the Navajo Nations police force. If you haven't read any of Tony Hillerman's books and love the southwest, I suggest you give them a try. If possible, I'd read them in order. His daughter Anne has done a wonderful job of continuing the feel of the Navajo Nation & New Mexico in her first novel. I hope she continues to write.

You can tell it is a long weekend. People started looking for sites as early as 8:00AM. Very few became available, but as soon as someone moved out, someone else moved in. Many, many vehicles spent the morning & afternoon circling the loops looking for a spot. I don't know if all the other campgrounds are as packed, but Jumbo Rocks is the most popular of the 8 in the park.

While I'd like to get outside to grill dinner, if the weather keeps up with what it has been doing all day, it will be another inside meal.

I almost don't have the nerve to tell you what I had for dinner. I looked through the cans in my storage area, didn't want soup, and found one of Spaghetti O's with meatballs. No I haven't ever eaten Spaghetti O's that I can remember, although my kids may have talked us into them after listening over & over to the Oh O, Spaghetti O's jingle many years ago. In any case, I remember getting them as a free "dented can" at the Rio Grande Campground store in Big Bend, TX earlier in the trip. I have to say they don't rate high on my favorite foods!

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 110, Friday, February 17, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 2

A California Juniper
Friday, February 17, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,319.1 Miles For the Trip

I had planned to take some night time photos last night, but heavy clouds made even the moon disappear. Around 4:30AM a very light rain fell for about 15 minutes. I had set the furnace at 57°F and it came on twice over night. I shut it off around 6:00AM, and the inside temperature got down to 55F before the hazy sun started to warm things up.

After a long walk around the campground, I made breakfast, eating some cereal & the last of my blueberries. On the walk a number of RVs & tenters had already left. As far as I could tell, the campground was full last night, with RVs & cars stopping at each site without a vehicle & checking the post tag to see if it was still valid. On a long weekend, the only way I've found to get a site in a state or national park is to arrive a day or two before, or very early in the morning. There were many RVs & cars that were looking for sites a dusk; by then everything, particularly the large RV sites, were taken.

After getting back to the trailer I dug out the portable solar panel. While I was only down 5 amp hours overnight, I planned to make coffee, and run the computer for awhile, so with the hazy sky, the additional power was helpful. I went from 1.8 amps to 5 with the overcast, and as high as 17 amps when the sun peaked around the clouds.

After breakfast I defrosted the refrigerator. I had put it off for a bit too long, but wanted to wait until I had cooler days so it would recover more quickly.

Other than in the trailer where there isn't any wind, it doesn't seem to be warming up very much this morning. I went for another walk around the campground with my camera to take some photos showing the typical sites and vehicles and it felt colder than during my morning walk. Again, it may be the wind - lots of fairly strong gusts. The guy next to me with a motorcycle didn't stake his tent - it is now in a tree next to his site. There is quite a variety of RV types here. Few large class A's, but just about everything else. Again, there are only a few sites that will fit a large trailer or motorhome, but lots of tent sites.

On the walk I met a guy with a nice home built teardrop. For the last couple of years he has been a stagehand. Small world! Across from me are 3 walk in tent sites, one of which is still empty.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I drove to 29 Palms for an internet connection, and discovered that the nearest Allstate agent was in Yucca Valley, about 19 miles west on 29 Palms Highway. Since the nearest Walmart was near by & I needed plates & batteries, I hit the trail. No problem getting my new insurance cards (or, of course, paying the bill). By the way, for the first time in all my travels, I managed to log on to a Time Warner WiFi channel.  I was expecting a cable connection to be faster than my Jetpack, but unfortunately, is was so slow it times out posting the large images; I gave up and switched to the jetpack, which worked well.

I'm only guessing what will be for dinner since it is 2:00 right now, but I need to post a couple of day's pages since there is no internet at the campground. The guess is a grilled chicken patty, and Bush baked beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Day 109, Thursday, February 16, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Site 40, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Thursday, February 16, 2017, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA , 146.4 Miles, 4,319.1 Miles For the Trip

I packed up the trailer, said goodbye to hookups, and headed to Joshua Tree National Park. Back through the worst frost heaves (although I can't believe they have enough frost to make them) I've seen, but this time at 25MPH, so everything stayed in place in the trailer. I arrived at Joshua Tree a little after 10:30 AM, and was told by the ranger at the entrance station that there were 15 sites at Jumbo Rocks. Since I wasn't able to get into that campground on my last stay, I went for it.

I'm glad there were 15, because only about 4 of them were suitable for the trailer. Many are single parking spaces with a walk in tent & table location. I found site 40, a notch off one of the loops that was just wide & long enough for the trailer & truck. At least the picnic table is on the correct side. With the Senior Card discount, $7.50 per night for a dry site. There are pit toilets a couple hundred yards away, but no showers. I'm here for 5 nights, leaving on Tuesday.

I wandered around the park taking lots of photos, but you won't see them (or hear from me) until I drive to a location with cell service. Using the amplifier, I see 1X Verizon service at -109db, which might work for a phone call, but won't for data. Depending on the weather, I might make a run to 29 Palms & a grocery store over the weekend. There is a spot between the park & I10 that I found last time I was here, but while close to the Cottonwood campground, it is 25 miles as the crow flies from here, and much further on the park roads. My GPS wants to take me around the park for a 124 mile drive!  Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a grilled Turkey Bubba Burger & peaches. Making dinner was interesting. Going from close to sea level to 4000' makes stuff in squirt bottles SQUIRT! I put about 1/2 a cup of mayo on my turkey burger before I could get it to stop. Same problem with my eye drops (although not 1/2 a cup).

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day 108, Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA, Day 3

The Palms

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 4,172.7 Miles For the Trip

Another early morning, but good since I decided to do the Palm Canyon Trail hike, and it is more comfortable before the sun is high. I hit the trail head at 9:00; a gentle climb for about 1.5 miles. Lots of palms at the oasis at the end of the hike. I took a bunch of photos along the way. More at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I wore my desert hiking boots, which work well on rocks. Unfortunately, after crossing the stream, I slipped on a wet rock. Banged my wrist just as it was getting better from the other day at Quartzsite. Since my good for wet rocks boots are at home, there isn't much I could do about it. I took the alternate route back to the trail head; a bit longer, but different since it followed a ridge line rather than the wash that the main route follows.

Back at the trailer I showed it and the StowAway II storage box to a couple of people wandering through the campground, took a shower (the two minutes per token is very conservative - I haven't needed to put the second one in the slot either shower, so I'll be adding a couple to the ever increasing "token" section of my travel bag) then sat outside in the shade and read.

There is one minor disaster - I'm down to one last serving of Quartzsite kettle corn. With the exception of kettle corn right out of the kettle at the swap meet in Parker in 2016, the kettle corn sold at the store across from Silly Al's is the best I've had.

Dinner will be a burrito cooked in the toaster oven.

Until Tomorrow -