Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friends, A Birthday and Rolling Further South....

Our friends from Corona, CA rolled into Caliente' Springs RV Resort a few days back. We had received an email from Lolita and Allen .  Their plans had worked out and they would be spending the Thanksgiving holidays here.
Allen and Lolita
While here, we twice got together.  It was fun to reconnect. Our last get together was at this resort, two years ago. 
Their home away from home.
We first met through blogging.  Although they curtailed their blog writing, Allen and Lolita continue to follow several blogs and knowing we had landed in Caliente' Springs, it was nice of them to drop in.  We spent several hours catching up.  We'll be seeing them more often, I would believe, given that they plan to roll away from Corona, CA more often now.
One of the many ponds that grace the grounds at Caliente' Springs Resort.
While tasked with taking the trash to the bin at the resort entrance, I chose to walk there.  I took the camera along.  Within a few minutes I had captured several nice photos of this lovely resort.
The exit
One of the visitors.
This is a family owned resort.  Although I did not get a photo, a field directly east of the resort grounds is now chocker block full of hundreds upon hundreds of solar panels.  Speaking with a full time resident here, he stated that the family had that power structure built to meet the electrical needs of the resort.  And, if he is to be believed (and I don't doubt his word), the solar grid now meets better than 90% of the entire resort's power needs.  Not bad!
One of nine holes of golf in the resort.
There is a short, Par 3 golf course in this resort.  One only needs an 8 iron, a wedge and a putter to play the course.  It is a fun activity though.  Some holes truly challenge one's short game.  Walking around in the part is a nice activity too.
The birthday girl trying on some Black Friday clothing
Black Friday was also Jeanette's birthday.  We had not really planned to shop during the 'crazy' Black Friday crush of shoppers but driving to a favourite grocery outlet, we rolled by a Big 5 Sporting good store.  It did not look busy.  Jeanette was looking for a new pair of running shoes.  So, the big dually was tugged off the road and into the parking lot.  

The store was not busy!  Phew!  I prefer to avoid crowds but I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of shoppers.  The attendant echoed our good timing.  Only minutes earlier, the store was a zoo.  So, Jeanette not only found the running shoes she likes, she found some sports clothing she liked too.  And it was her birthday, after all.  So, an hour later, we left there with a smiling birthday girl who was quite thrilled with her purchases.....and, I'm told, at great discount prices.  Oh, and I did end up with a new pair of running shoes too.
Lucky and Trena picked us up for a Friday night fun time.
In honour of Jeanette's birthday, we chose to celebrate it away from the park.  Lucky and Trena came by and we headed out.  Well, what a fun time we had.  Following a mid-80's day in the valley, the beers and food were great.  The company?  Even better.
At the karaoke bar, Lucky told the MC about Jeanette's birthday and, as it turned out, he and Lucky sang "Happy Birthday"'
Jeanette and Lucky' wife, Trena, were totally surprised and thrilled by the singing.  We sure enjoyed some good laughter. We were back at our site by 8:00 pm.
Leaving here today.
We depart this lovely RV park today to continue our southern trek.  Our journey today will see us travel about 90 minutes west and south to the city of Temecula.  We have planned a four day stay there before heading further south to San Diego.  

Following planned 'Face Time' with our kids, and their kids, this morning, we'll button up our fiver, load the motorcycle and head out. 

It has been a fun time here, these past seven days.  We met long time bloggers, Croft and Norma, good friends from Corona, and good friends from home and here - Lucky and Trena.  We got to ride well over 700 miles with our motorcycle (including a fun group ride to Oceanside), relax in the spa facilities and sit out in the fine mid-80's temperatures. complaints here!

That's it from here, for now.  Thanks for dropping in.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Great Group Ride to Oceanside

By 9:30 Wednesday morning, we had joined a group of like minded motorcyclists for the 3 1/2 hour ride from Palm Desert - over the San Jacinto Mountains - on Route 74 and westward towards Lake Henshaw and Oceanside.
A bike break in Anza, CA
We were ten riders on six motorcycles.  The group included a couple from Alberta, one from Saskatchewan and the balance from British Columbia.  Now, having ridden with this group before, several American riders regularly join in too.  I missed seeing those riders but I am sure the opportunity to ride with them again will happen when we return here in the new year.
The Oceanside riders..... (Jeanette is behind the camera)
Beautiful, hot mid-80's temperatures made for a great ride under blue skies and smooth paved roads.

The last 'butt' break - some 30 miles from Oceanside.
Three plus hours after leaving Palm Desert, our motorcycles were parked at the Oceanside Pier on the Pacific.  We walked the long pier to Ruby's Diner but when told of a 60 minute wait to be seated, we opted to walk back to the beach where we found a great lunch spot.

The day before Thanksgiving saw hundreds upon hundreds of folks enjoying the beach, pier and more.
Jeanette befriended this friendly pelican.  She could almost touch it.
With no mackerel to offer the pelican, it chose to fly off.  The two fellas below seemed to have befriended a large male pelican.  I'm sure the pelican had been offered a mackerel to hang out there with them.

Walking back to the beach
The food court below the pier was busy.  The aromas permeating above were making us very hungry.
Photo taken from the rooftop at our lunch spot
Fueled up and ready to head back for Palm Desert
We knew we would have to ride about one hour in the dark before arriving back home.
Once the sun hid behind the mountains, the hot tropical temperatures quickly cooled and we stopped to add more layers or heat.  Good thing too.  We needed to ward off the desert cold. 

The very last of sunlight can be seen on the mountain tips.
This group ride was very pleasant.  The riders were fun to be with.  Each motorcyclist was competent and that made for a relaxed day at the handle bars. We look forward to more rides with these like minded folks.
Soon to arrive in the Coachella Valley.
By 6:45 pm, Jeanette and I had returned to our 5th wheel.  We felt something was not right.  And we quickly discovered that our area, in the Caliente' Springs RV Resort, was without power.  We lit our numerous LED lights (working off 12 volt) and once we were out of our motorcycle gear, we walked towards the resort office to see if anyone had filed a report.  On the way there, a fella in a Class A motor-home was outside his rig and on the phone to the ownership group.  We learned that it could take some doing to return power to us because a 5th wheel, that arrived in the park near 6:00 pm, had backed into the power service on their site.  That kicked off the power and the damage would require an electrician to repair the post.  That did not offer up confidence that our power would quickly be restored.  And it wasn't!

Jeanette and I changed out into pool suits and enjoyed the coolest of the four hot springs pools for over one hour.  Back at our rig, we checked email (using our Verizon WiFi) before bed time.  I was up this morning when I heard a 'beep' and when I turned on one of our AC lights, it worked.  A few seconds later, I heard a second beep.  Our refrigerators had not switched to AC from propane.  When the power had been restored, the shock tripped one of our breakers.  Switched back on, we had full service again and the refrigerators returned to AC power.  Good!

I am sure the RVer who caused the problem is feeling somewhat humbled this morning. is Thanksgiving, after all, and he does get a wee break.  Without restored power though I believe some RVers would be very PO'd without the ability to cook up their turkeys or tune in to their football games on TV.  The park has seen a busy run of RVers arrive for this Thanksgiving.

That covers things from here for now.  Thanks for dropping by.

And, a HAPPY THANKSGIVING to our American friends and family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meeting Blogger Friends

Our regular readers know we had invited bloggers, Croft and Norma,  Croft's Mexico for coffee at our RV site in Desert Hot Springs, yesterday.  Meeting them for the first time, in person, felt as though we had known them for quite a long time.  They present as their blog reads; spirited, lively, engaging....and more.
L-R  Croft, Me, Norma and Jeanette is behind the camera.
It was a beautiful morning to enjoy outdoor coffee, banana bread, fresh peeled oranges and a lot of good discussions.   These well traveled RVers have many stories to share.  
Time went by so quickly
Shortly after high noon, Norma and Croft headed out of our park and - if you tune in to their blog, Croft's Mexico - you can read about how they ended up winning some spending money at one of the local casinos here in the Coachella valley.

We occasionally motorcycle up their way - at their home city of Campbell River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia - so we will get to see them again.   And depending where their winter travels take them, we could get together again somewhere here in the US southwest.
Outdoor RV Resort in Cathedral City
With an invite to join them for a late afternoon happy hour, Jeanette and I chose to motorcycle to Trena and Lucky's RV spot.
The Outdoor RV Resort - with 1200 RV spots - also boasts an 18 hole Par 3 golf course and a 9 hole Par 3 golf course.
To sharpen's one short game, this RV and golf resort is top class.  The grounds are meticulously kept.  The 18 hole golf course offers really good challenges. 
Wide roads and spacious sites give this resort a true five star feel.
Arriving at Trena and Lucky's site.
We enjoyed a late afternoon chat outdoors before heading to the on-site Italian restaurant for a nice evening meal. 
The spacious sites also offer good privacy.
 Starting their second year as members in this park, it is easy to see why this resort has a high rating.  People are very friendly and accommodating.

Jeanette captured this beautiful humming bird who showed a keen interest in tasting Trena's red wine. He/she almost succeeded
We're off on a motorcycle group ride today.  Although I earlier reported the ride would have us stop in Julian, that is no longer the case.  The group is heading to Oceanside, on the Pacific coast. Having done that ride in the past, we look forward to revisiting it again.

Thanks for dropping in.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cleaning, Touring, Meeting and more.....

To arrive here in Desert Hot Springs, CA, we drove five out of six days in rain after leaving our home in British Columbia.  The day after our Saturday arrival at Caliente' Springs RV Resort, I washed the motorcycle on site and the truck at a local car wash.
Looking so much better.
Detailing the motorcycle was a pleasant job to tackle early on Sunday morning.  While I was busy with that, Jeanette was busy washing the oranges she picked in the Bakersfield area.
Fresh off the trees.

Our chores completed, we chose to take a nice Sunday afternoon ride down to Highway 111 through Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Cathedral City and into downtown Palm Springs. 
Highway 111 in Indian Wells, CA
Sunday traffic was light.  Arriving in downtown Palm Springs, we parked, walked around for a time then found a great outdoor spot to enjoy a small ice cream cone.  I hung around outdoors while Jeanette spent a bit of time strolling through a few clothing stores that were offering deep discounts.  She came out empty handed.
Sunday in downtown Palm Springs.
Having read the rules that govern us, here at Caliente' Springs RV, the literature says nothing about washing or not washing RV's in the park.  So, first thing Monday morning, the bucket, extended wash brush and hose were set up and I began washing our 5th wheel.  It needed a good cleaning.

Ninety minutes was all it took to scrub our fiver clean.
With the fiver, truck and motorcycle all cleaned up, Jeanette and I decided on a late Monday morning ride up past Yucca Valley and into the small city of 29 Palms in the high desert.
Leaving the desert floor near Desert Hot Springs.
Making our way up and into the Morongo Valley, San Bernardino County, the increase in elevation meant a decrease in temperature.  It was considerably cooler in 29 Palms.  We chose to tour the Oasis Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park.  That was a worthwhile couple of hours spent learning much about the area.  We do plan to visit and hike some of the trails in Joshua Tree National Park later this winter.

Jeanette did not dare put her hand inside the trunk of this tree....but she did take a good look to see if anything lived in there.
Trena is gifted some oranges
Rolling along Dillon Road, eastbound, on our way back to our RV site, we were stopped at the red light at Mountain View Road.  We recognized the two people in a white truck opposite from us.  They recognized us too.  It was our good friends, Trena and Lucky. Following a morning hike with like minded folks at their Outdoor Resorts RV Park in Cathedral City, they took a drive up to our park for an impromptu visit with us.  

We were not home but on their return back for their park, and seeing us at the intersection, they turned around and followed us back to Caliente' Springs.  We enjoyed a fun outdoor visit.  We also accepted an invitation to join a larger motorcycle group ride to Julian tomorrow (Wednesday).  Around these parts, Julian is famous for its pies.

Following a barbecue dinner, a soak in the coolest of the four hot springs pools was a fitting close to a truly nice day. Life is good here.
Trena and Lucky left with a bag full of fresh oranges.
We are hosting coffee this morning, for RV friends, who call Campbell River, BC, home when they aren't traipsing around Mexico or the US southeast, central or southwest.  Long time RVers, we have followed Croft and Norma's blog for several years now.  Croft's Mexico  We  have motorcycled near their Campbell River, Vancouver Island home, a couple of times in years past, but we did not get the opportunity to meet up.  Well, we get to meet them at 10:30 am today.  We look forward to that!
Our sunset from inside our RV park last evening.
More on our visit with Norma and Croft in a future blog.

Thanks for dropping by.