|High and Low in California
||[Jan. 25th, 2013|12:46 pm]
In the way of things when full-timing (plans writ in sand) right after I wrote the post about making the speed run (fast for us, anyway) to get to Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras, our friends had to cancel the party. Bummer. But no cloud without a silver lining; the gap in the schedule let us slot in some sightseeing time and some needed work stops.
Our first three drive days are behind us; we took one day rest breaks in Tehachapi and Niland, CA, and now we’re in Casa Grande, AZ, on a two day break. The drive-every-other-day schedule is ok, but after three drive days we arrived in Arizona pretty stove up. The truck’s ride isn’t the smoothest in the world and it shows on these longer runs.
The campground in Tehachapi was a pretty little RV park (lots of good-sized pines between the sites) attached to a small glider airport; they get a lot of folks coming up from the LA basin to fly gliders. We went out for a walk in the afternoon and stopped to watch one land. Hadn’t realized until then that the runway went right behind the RV park; for a moment I thought he was going to auger right into our rig!
From the Tehachapi valley at just about 4000 feet elevation, we drove the next day to the Salton Sea and camped at roughly 200 feet below sea level. Our campground in Niland was gorgeous (pricey, too), backed by rusty orange hills and fronted by the Salton Sea. The area is known for its mineral springs, with water that comes out of the ground at 174 degrees, and Glamis North Hot Springs takes full advantage of it. They pipe the waters into a cooling pond, and from there into the pool area. There are three pools on the property, one of which is chlorine-free spring water fully exchanged every 2 hours with fresh spring water. Around the pools are pairs of tubs which can be filled with the hot spring water for individual soaking. It was perfect. We arrived in the afternoon, got set up, and immediately headed for the tubs. It took a while for the water to cool down enough to get in comfortably, but once that happened, we sat and soaked and watched a vivid sun set through the palm trees.
We took advantage of the waters the next day too, and they really helped; I felt great when we got back on the road the day after that. The area is partly State Park and partly desert wilderness; the RV park is in a little cluster of three parks with nothing else around.
We heard coyotes howling every night, and jokingly I told J I was afraid they’d jack the truck and take off with it. When we got up the next day he was laughing as he told me the story: we’d heard a car alarm go off briefly just before dawn; I’d just caught the alarm, but J said he’d heard the coyotes yipping just before that, and after the alarm was silenced they let out a series of howls. So he figured that I was partly right, but Suburbans are more attractive to coyote packs than old Ford pickups!