"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Thursday, January 31, 2019

From Quartzsite it is on to Beaches and California history

After visiting the donkeys in Oatman on a Monday, I hung around the Quartzsite desert until the next Saturday.  Most notable activities was Thursday's large get together at Sheila's rig with her Indian Tacos being the center pieces surrounded by other food donations carries to the table.  This gathering brought in not only those of us parked out in the desert with Sheila but also other members of the WomenRV forum, some past, some present and friends of friends. 

Other not so exciting activities included laundry, walking dogs and walking dogs some more, taking the rig in for a solar check up and upgrading the batteries.  (The original batteries were 5 years old so that was no surprise)   I have been trying these past days dry camping out on the beach and have decided that the two batteries are not enough for how I use my electric with dry camping.   As planned though, I do need to head back east and back through Quartzsite so I will be able to get the additional batteries put back in.   This time they will all match and be wired up correctly.

No pictures of the exciting laundry trip but we did remember to get a picture of all of us gathered right before dinner on Thursday.  As some of us might realize it isn't always easy to get this many women to stop visiting (and stop getting ready to eat) long enough to take a picture.

Anita was one of those that had driven in from her RV park in Yuma just for the day. Her ride was the best as always! 

The following Saturday the dogs and I headed off farther west.  We broke the drive into two day and arrived at Doheny State Beach on Sunday afternoon.   And as always on RV treks, there are opportunities to learn new skills.  My new skill this time was "How to pay road tolls on line."   Several of the interstates I took driving down are toll roads but have no "cash" options but are clearly marked with information on how to pay your tolls on line within 5 days.   For once I will say, it really was as simple as they said it would be.  All I had to do was plunk my license plate number in and then get ready to put in a credit card number.

"We can practice our sit stay here on the berm above the beach but the Gray Haired Lady says we have to wait to play on one of the beaches that allows,"  advises Audrey.

Catherine drove down from the Los Angeles area to meet Laura and I for dinner.

Laura convince us that we needed to stop for ice cream after dinner.  As the local tour guide, Laura is very well informed regarding the highlights not to be missed.

Dogs on a beach.

The view from Dana Point over looking the harbor. The state park area is right around the corner out of sight on the left.

Another view of just how close the beach is to civilization.   Do you want to be the real estate sales person representing the condos that sit on top of the hill....the condos that sit above the state park and the highway and the commuter train tracks and on the hillside waiting (maybe) for the next earth quake.

Dress for the morning whale watching trip.  And yes I was warm enough.   When the full sun came out some layers were removed.

A boat heading out for a day of fishing.

And we found whales.

And we found a small pod of porpoise

My last day here Laura and I visited the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.

What was left of the stone church after the earthquake of 1812.  Because of the time of the quake and the holy day upon which it fell, many worshipers were killed after the initial quake jammed the two main entrances closed and the aftershock took the bell tower down which then collapsed the building.

We also heard to history of politics and money that flowed around the establishment of the 21 missions along the coast of California.   Some Missions got saved and restored better than others. History is not always kind and attentive to what to preserve.   Luckily this site was eventually restored.

My eyes were drawn to the colors of the roof tiles.

A reconstruction of what swallow nest looked like under all the arches of the old stone church.  Unfortunately while the remains of the old stone church were trying to be saved by stabilizing the walls, clearing the bushes and other plants trying to grow out of the walls thanks to the birds dropping seeds, etc., most all of the swallow nest had to be removed.   So though the swallows still return to Capistrano they don't return to the Mission.

Used by the Indians to grind foods and medicines.

It started out in a pot just like yours at home......

Busy cleaning the moss and plants trying to grow on the fountain.  The bag was full of green slimy appearing stuff and the young man was carefully pealing small green mossy matter from the old  stonework.

I made it back to the park by early afternoon and the dogs got additional walks.   This trailer did not look like this during our morning walk.  I would have noticed.  (FYI: It was a Lance trailer.)  Not being here I missed catching any news regarding what happened.   Just a cautionary tale.

Back on the road tomorrow and turning the rig towards the east.  I will probably break the drive back to Quartzsite into at least two days.   I may take more days depending upon when I can get an appointment again at Solar Bill's.   Still traveling with "jello" plans.   

And a big thank you to Laura (and to Alice) for all the time and energy Laura spent showing off her cities and sharing the history of the areas.  

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Deserts and Donkeys

Thursday already out here in the desert.  Time flies. Some days more than others.  We could have all done without the fierce winds of earlier in the week but similar to other parts of the country, if you don't like the weather wait 15 minutes (or a day) and it might change altogether.

One day I rode with Lyn up the road a bit to where the RTR, Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, folks were parked out.   Probably more than a thousand rigs of mostly the smaller kind.  Some tent and car/van campers and Road Trekers, Sprinters and smaller Class C's and trailers.  The population and economic class is also much more diverse than the general Quartzsite "retired folks" populations.  These folks would have been more thought of as the "hippies" if this were the 60's.   Most are working on the road one way or another but aren't into the quiet suburban soccer and PTA life style.  According to a friend their Rendezvous has grown over the last few years from a small gathering of 60 to what we saw.   They had speakers on different days. Lyn and I heard part of the presentation for solo women travelers.   Neither of us heard much that was new but especially when it is Lyn, who fulltimed for 17  years and still drives across the country solo in her 80's.  We won't tell her age but she did mention planning to attend her 70th high school reunion this year. 

Cheryl came to visit. She parked her rig up the road in a campground in Beverly.  Cheryl with Beth's Ty,  Sandi with Abby and Bindi and Sheila.

Desert tree finds.

Cheryl, Sandi and I headed up the road to Oatman, AZ: Oatman of the donkey fame.  The scenery along the way occasionally made us stop for photo opportunities.

Some of these reminded me so much of the Sea of Cortez and Baja, Mexico.

Getting to Oatman required some driving along the Route 66.   Okay, I can now say I did that.   Looking at some of the old markers reminded me of the recent news posted about the Roy Roger's Museum closing and the family auctioning off the pieces and parts because so few people connected to that part of the past.  How many of the remaining generations really care about the famous road that took folks out west before the interstates?

I was thinking how nice it was to be riding on new tires and what driving through these miles years ago meant when you had blow outs.....

And then we arrived. The small town is out in the middle of no where and without inviting the wild donkeys in and bribing them with hay and tourist bought treats the town would not get many visitors.  But the donkeys are here, they are not so wild anymore and the tourists come.

"Hey, lady! Did you bring me anything?"  "Just checking for a friend."

Cheryl playing the part of a tourist. The donkey playing the part of a donkey.

There was some discussion between Sandi and Cheryl regarding how easy it might be to tip a baby donkey into the back of a Honda Fit.   (No baby donkeys were harmed in these discussions...)

The babies do have a strong cute factor going on.  This picture shows a close up of one of the babies and you can see the prominent sticker on its forehead reminding tourists not to feed a baby the donkey food that is sold to feed the grown ups.   

No Cheryl. Its mother would miss it. We don't care how cut and fuzzy it is.....

Another picture of Cheryl and Sandi posing as tourist and taking donkey pictures.

Another picture of a donkey posing for a tourist.

Yes, that is about how long the main drag is.

Sandi, being a good sport.

Dangerous snakes in the desert.

And a picture across the way of some wild donkeys Cheryl's sharp eyes spotted on our way back to the main highway.  They were way off in the scrub and I didn't bring my good "Liz" quality camera.  These three were hold outs from "the man".  They weren't buying the easy life dodging tourists for treats back in town.

Cheryl came back to her rig happy. She had seen the town donkeys again and spotted some wild ones on top of that.   

Tonight is Sheila's famous Indian Taco for dinner with Anita, Louise and others driving in for the annual offering.  I am guessing there will be multiple cameras at that gathering.