Monday, December 12, 2016

Southern California Fun

It's our ninth day here at Catalina Spa Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA. Time is going by quickly.  And it has been a busy time.  We've linked up with friends and taken in some nice activities and logged many more miles on the motorcycle. 
Our site in Catalina Resort and Spa, Desert Hot Springs, CA
It will be interesting to see what improvements the new owner will bring to the Catalina Spa. The resort is not busy now but the rush of snow birders will likely change that in the new year.

We are enjoying our RV spot but are looking forward to moving into the next RV resort.
This Wednesday, December 14th, we will leave Desert Hot Springs to roll into a great spot in the beautiful Outdoor Resort Golf and Spa, in Cathedral City (next door to the city of Palm Springs).  That will be our home till the end of March, 2017.
The Resort is sited on 137 beautifully landscaped acres featuring 27 holes of par 3 executive golf, 14 lighted tennis courts, Pickle Ball, 8 swimming pools and spas, a dog run, fully equipped fitness center, showers, espresso bar, beauty salon, barbershop, full-service cafe, and 2 clubhouses with a commercial kitchen and full bar.  There is a full schedule of activities including live entertainment dinner dances, themed parties, bingo, mahjong, Texas hold'em tournaments, motorcycle riding, and bicycle and hiking groups.
Looking forward to the golf rounds here.
The resort borders the neighboring cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, etc.
With 27 holes of golf, I plan to take full advantage and play the 18 hole course three or four times per week.
This resort is beautifully manicured.  There is no sand or dirt.  Other than paved roads and concrete RV sites, everything else is landscaped green grass and thousands of palm trees. 
Jeanette is checking out the site we rented.
Although we had not firmed up any sites (or made any reservations) for our winter getaway, we had let some friends know that if a spot would come up for rent in Outdoor Resort, we would be interested.  Only a few days prior to rolling away from home - this past mid-November - we took a call from an Alberta couple who offered their site.  It took little time for us to bite on this good deal.
One of the eight pools and hot tubs is located directly across from our site.  It also includes a change room, showers, sauna, laundry and more.
Jeanette and I rolled into the resort and got permission to check out the site in advance of moving there.  It is a great lot with table/chairs, outdoor heater, water fountain and more.  The site also comes with an electric golf cart.  And we are free to use it. Bonus! I will be walking the golf courses though.
It is a very long and wide site.
The pool and spa across from our site.

A view or our RV lot from the pool parking area.
Now familiar with the site and the resort, we look forward to rolling in and setting up.
Limited wind and dust will be appreciated.
It can be difficult to get into Outdoor Resort due to the demand for sites.  While checking out our site, a couple approached us to ask if we would be willing to rent it out.  Imagine that? 

We have several friends who call this park home during the winter months.  The lots are privately held.  And for several years now, we have been riding with a nice group of motorcyclists from this park.

We'll have more to share on and about Outdoor Resort in the weeks ahead.
Between meeting up with friends and enjoying some nice motorcycle rides, I did want to reserve at least one day to detail our 5th wheel.  Although I washed it, the truck and motorcycle, following our arrival in the Arizona desert, the water leaves white spots.  Detailing brought the shine back...!
The National Monument Visitor Center in south Palm Desert
We rode out here to learn about the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains and to check out the numerous hikes this area offers. And there are endless hiking trails to suit all users. We'll be back.

Taking in the Sunday car show in Old Town La Quinta
Last Sunday had us meet up with Bill and Anne at Outdoor Resort.  We motorcycled out to Old Town La Quinta, on a beautiful mid-70s day, for what proved to be a nice display of beautifully restored or modified vintage cars.
I have always liked the 57 Chevy.
A great backdrop with palm trees and mountains.
I am partial to restored old pickups.  This Ford was stunning.
It is rare to find or even get to see an original 1965 Ford Cobra.  There are many replicas to be seen but this original was a treat to gawk at. It is in pristine condition.
We entertained too.  Here we are enjoying a nice outdoor lunch at our spot.
A view of the San Jacinto Mountains from our RV site in Catalina RV Spa
Back to the car show, here are a few other models some of you may enjoy looking at.
This beautifully restored Royal Enfield motorcycle was BC plated.  I am sure the owner trailored it down here from back home in British Columbia.

Jeanette was attracted to this Ford.  It brought back nice memories of riding in her father's identical car, as a young girl.  She remarked how they often took rides, with their mom at the wheel, when they would go visit her maternal grandmother.
This fella has been hanging around this car for a long time.....and the current owner is now looking for a new owner.
It would be a nice ride.....with the rumble seat out back.  It's for sale!
After leaving the car show, Anne/Bill and Jeanette/me rode out further east and south and into Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area.  It is surprising how many locals and/or tourists don't know about this little gem.  
It is a beautiful 710-acre park set amid expansive lawns and picturesque mountain views.  It's a great spot for a daytime picnic and there is a nice RV park.

Jeanette, Anne and Bill get a good look at the lake.
And that concludes this blog.  We are planning a long motorcycle ride up the San Jacinto Mountains and into Temecula on Tuesday.  Anne and Bill are joining us for what should be a very nice daytime ride into another favourite area we enjoy in southern California.  More on that later.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


As of this writing, we are two days away from leaving Yuma for points west.  Our normal routine is to head further east and into Gold Canyon but some changes are necessitated by recent (positive) events, these past couple of weeks.  I'll write more about that in the weeks ahead.
Our temporary RV Park in Yuma - Fortuna de Oro
Since our arrival here - these past 12 days - other than two days of idleness (laundry and shopping), we have not stopped riding, golfing, walking, visiting, being entertained or entertaining. Oh...and we celebrated Jeanette's birthday with vigor.  It has been sheer pleasure.
We love the look of those chocolate mountains in the background, from our RV chairs.  They change colour with every passing minute the sun moves.
Our good friends, Lorraine and Roger have led us on some great motorcycle rides.  We've ridden over 1050 miles (1,790 KM) since our arrival here. They enjoy riding as much as we do.  And they are not shy to take tough, long trips.  That's right up our ally too!  And we've pounded the pavement every which way; north south, east and west.

Yesterday was the longest day on two wheels, but only by a few miles over last Saturday's long ride.  We chose to head east to Gila Bend, south to Ajo (for lunch) and further south into Organ Pipe Cactus, before landing in the tiny US border town of Lukeville.  It is the point of return for travelers wishing to explore the northern Mexican Sea of Cortez town of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point, as it is known to Americans)
Arriving in Ajo
We left the RV park at 9:00AM sharp, yesterday (Wednesday) for our 606 KM (377 miles) return trip.  It was cool but we all have great riding clothes so cold is never a determining factor.  We left via I-8 east but soon worked our way on a north parallel road from Welton, AZ to a few miles east from Dateland before returning to I-8 and further east into Gila Bend, AZ.  Once fueled up, we rode south Arizona 85 towards Ajo. 
The countryside as we rode into Organ Pipe Cactus.
Riding in from the north side of Ajo leaves one with the impression of a ghost town but once in the town centre, it changes one's perspective.  It is beautiful.  Although still a depressed area after the giant copper mine closed, there are signs of pride that the residents seem to exude.
Beautiful church across the street from the beautiful town centre.
Early sign of cacti
It is only shortly past the town of Ajo that we got to spot some beautiful and varied cacti.  The desert here is full of life.  It includes 28 cactus species, including saguaro and organ pipe.  The organ pipe cactus is large and rarely found in the US other than here. And it's here in 1976 that the United Nations designated the Organ Pipe National Monument as an International Biosphere Reserve.  And what a place.  It's simply gorgeous!
After ordering one of their burgers, I concur.  I have enjoyed many excellent burgers in the past and this burger, at Estrella's, here in Ajo rated very, very high.  Juicy, 100% Angus beef was cooked to perfection by a wonderful and engaging Latvian woman who has called Ajo home these past nine years.
Organ Pipe National Monument tourist centre located 8 miles north from the Mexican border.
We rode further south, making our way to the tourist information centre in Organ Pipe.  Although limited by time constraints, we took in all that we could to learn about this area of the Sonoran Desert.
This is an Organ Pipe Cactus.
There is a rich history of pioneers who came through this area in search of water.  That is a rare commodity here. Spanish explorers, missionaries, and others - sometimes entered this unforgiving environment unprepared.  In the early 1900's ranchers and miners found and developed water sources.  Mining  drew workers and a couple of towns, including Ajo, Why and Lukeville were born.
Me with Roger and Lorraine. Jeanette manned the camera.
Having traveled as far as Ajo, we made the decision to continue south to the Mexican border town of Lukeville; a facility with one gas station, post office and little more.
Stunning beauty
Lorraine and Roger having a quick look at the Lukeville border crossing into Mexico.
It was getting to be late in the day when we pointed our rides north on Arizona 85 and back to Gila Bend.  We had calculated that the last part of our trip would be with the fading afternoon sun and some darkness.  But hey, we're hardy and determined riders.
The very first sign one sees when entering the US from Mexico in Lukeville.
Our take on the Organ Pipe Cactus is that it is a beautiful and attractive desert area.  It is worthy of a visit and to spend more time touring its geographic areas.

Northbound on Arizona 85 back to Gila Bend.
Once in Gila Bend, we were in need of fuel and following a short break, we pulled speeds of 75 + miles per hour (120 + KM/Hours - the speed limit on these Arizona highways) as we headed westbound on our return to Yuma.
Great roads.
Ajo town square
Ajo town square
Ajo town square
A rest break.
More desert views....
Taking a break after taking on fuel in Gila Bend before
We rolled into our Yuma RV park shortly after 6:00 PM local time.  Jeanette and I invited Lorraine and Roger to drop by for a dust settling happy hour.  After some chat they headed back for their home and we settled in to some WEB stuff before calling it a night.  Sleep came quickly.

And again, a special shout out to Lorraine and Roger for a great ride.

Our time here is fast winding down.  We have another motorcycle ride planned for tomorrow - weather permitting - before we load the motorcycle on the swivel wheel, button up our RV and head west to the Palm Springs country.

Visiting with my brother and sister in law in Country Roads RV Resort,  our good friends here in Fortuna de Oro (Lorraine/ Roger, Elaine/James, Richard/Myra, Donna/Fred and more) and all the other friends and acquaintances we've met over the years, we say thanks for the adventures and the lasting memories.  We will return.

Thanks for dropping by.