Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Bridget Encounters Cacti, Boulders and Sunsets

I couldn't leave Tucson without a visit to Saguaro National Park. There were beautiful blue skies on the day of my visit. 
I love the Saguaro Cactus. To me, it's the first thing I think of when someone says cactus. This one is especially pretty with snow in the background. 
I like to think of this one as the three amigos. Try to separate them and they get prickly in a hurry. 
I love this one, warts and all. 

And then it was time to move again. Traveling east from Tucson there is an area called Texas Canyon. You're driving along through the desert minding your own business and suddenly there are giant boulders strewn all over the landscape. It's pretty amazing. Of course, I had to get a picture of Bridget and the boulders. 
New Mexico here we come! 

Near Las Cruces, New Mexico at a rest area, there is a giant roadrunner sculpture made entirely of garbage. There are ironing boards, shoes, and even auto parts in the sculpture. 

We only spent one night in New Mexico. Truthfully only because I wanted to put the sticker on my map. My rule is I have to spend at least one night in a state to add the sticker to my map. 
My visited states map.

And then there was Texas. El Paso is on the border of New Mexico and Texas. It's a good stopping point and I needed to get my mail shipped to me and have an order shipped from Amazon so I got a site for a few nights. 

The first night I was there we had the most incredible sunset. 

More texas adventures next post!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Bridget Explores Gila Bend and Tucson, Arizona

We left the Salton Sea behind and headed into Arizona. We spent the first two nights in Gila Bend. The only site left when we arrived was a deluxe site with a patio, chairs and a firepit. We really enjoyed that evening outside. 

The sunset was beautiful too.

The following day we visited the Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site about 20 miles away from the campground.

Here are just a few of the many rocks at the site.

The following day we moved to Tucson. I decided to camp at the Pima County Fairgrounds. It was really disappointing for many reasons so I won't be staying there again. I love a good fairgrounds campground but they really missed the mark in Tucson. 

While we were in Tucson I looked up a mission to visit and found a beauty. 
This is Mission San Xavier del Bac which opened in 1797. Click here for more information about the mission. 
The ceiling was also impressive.
The grounds were beautiful with traditional southwest landscaping.

More Tucson sites coming up next time. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Slab City, Salvation Mountain and Bombay Beach

Tomorrow we put the Salton Sea behind us and move to Arizona. I don't know if we'll get to Tucson tomorrow or if we'll stop along the way. It's about 365 miles from our current location. 

I've really enjoyed our time here and plan to return when I'm in the area. There are a lot of quirky things to see and do in this area. 

One day Murphy and I loaded up and headed deep into the desert to see some of the local sights.  I'd always heard of Slab City and wanted to go and see it for myself. 

Slab City is an impromptu town established by squatters who moved into an abandoned Marine Corps installation in California's Sonoran Desert.  The name Slab City was inspired by the cement slabs left behind when the Marines left. 

There are as many as 4,000 people living in Slab City in the cooler months but in the summer it dwindles to about 150 residents. There is no power or sewer system. Residents rely on solar and generator power and water they bring in from the nearest town about 4 miles away. They do have a strong cell signal. 

There is no garbage disposal system available and the amount of trash littering the entire area is staggering. 

One thing that really struck me was the mix of different living quarters in the slabs. I saw vintage trailers that clearly hadn't been moved for a very long time next to million dollar motor homes.

A long term resident of Slab City built Salvation Mountain near the entrance to the slabs. There were a lot of people visiting when I was there.

Bombay Beach started as a vacation spot for visitors to Salton Sea. As the lake declined so did Bombay Beach. This is what a lot of it looks like now. 
Perhaps the people from Slab City have spilled over to Bombay Beach.
Note the material used for stairs.

There are some really interesting vintage trailers in Bombay Beach. 

Okay Bye!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Salton Sea 101

I mentioned Murphy and I are camping at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area near Mecca, CA and about 40 miles from Palm Springs. 

There's a whole lotta nothin' out here. Just the way I like it. This is the view out my side windows. Morning coffee while looking at this view is awesome.

I've wanted to visit this place for several years. It's fascinating.  I almost changed my mind about coming here because every time I mentioned it to someone in the campground I was previously I would get these looks like I have 7 eyes or comments like, "I've never heard anything good about the Salton Sea".  Someone even told me it had completely dried up. 

Well people, I love it here and I'm going to stay even longer!! Yesterday was a great day for some picnic table sunning and coloring. 
Fun facts about the Salton Sea

  • The Salton Sea is 236 feet below sea level. 
  • It does not stink. At least not during my visit. 
  • The beautiful, white "sand" is primarily fish bones and barnacles. 
  • It's huge! It stretches nearly 35 miles long and 15 miles wide.

There is plenty of room for Murphy to run off leash here. He's always happy tearing up the terrain, chasing rabbits or trying to eat things he shouldn't. There are plenty of those around here. 
Check out the rows of teeth on this fish.   

If you want to read a bit more about the Salton Sea click this link.

Okay Bye!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Going Places I've Always Wanted to Visit

This trip is about going places I've wanted to go, seeing things I've wanted to see and doing things I wanted to do but couldn't for various reason. Since I started dreaming of full time RVing several years ago I've been reading about places other RVers go. 
You can get an idea of the size of these sculptures by comparing them to Murphy at 80 pounds. They are huge.
I don't have any sort of plan for this trip. I'm just going where the wind blows me. Searching for the sun brought me to the Palm Springs area. Little did I know this area holds many of the places I've wanted to visit. 
Murphy and I headed out one day to visit the Salton Sea but we ended up in Borrego Springs instead. Borrego Springs is about 112 miles from the campground where we stayed in Indio. The drive was beautiful. We saw the Saltan Sea, Anza Borrego State Park, and the little town of Borrego Springs. 

Best of all we saw the Galleta Meadows metal sculptures. There are more than 130 of them scattered around the desert. We didn't see them all but we made a dent. Murphy barked at them because they were so big. 
This sculpture seems to be the favorite. It actually sits on both sides of the road. 
I'm considering staying here for a while longer because they are thinking there will be a super bloom event in the desert very soon and I'd love to see that. 

I'm camped at the Saltan Sea currently. More about it next post. 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Bridget in Search of Sun

Hi!  It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it? 

I left Oregon to begin my winter trip on January 13th. I got a really late start that day and stayed in Eugene where I woke to 24 degrees, a frozen water hose and icy roads. 

After the sun came out and it warmed up I headed south. We did a long day that day and stopped well after dark. 
Mt. Shasta

The next morning was really windy and rainy but we arrived at our destination and set up in the pouring rain. 
Standing water in my campsite
We had a tremendous amount of rain while I was in the Bay Area. It was time to get moving to dryer pastures. 

I waited until the mountain passes were clear and started out for the Palm Springs area. 
Approaching one of the mountain passes on the way to Palm Springs

It was a two day trip and I did not have any reservations so I had my fingers crossed. I was able to find a space 

I'm in the Palm Springs, California area. I've been in search of sun for weeks with poor results. It's sunny here and we are really enjoying ourselves. 

I was able to get my truck and trailer hand washed for $60 if you can believe that. Look how pretty Bridget is! 

This park has two fenced dog parks. One for small dogs and the other for the big dogs! Murphy loves the dog park! 

Next post I'll tell you about some of the great things to do in this area. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 Wrap-up and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
It's been so long since I posted I don't even know where to begin. In my last post I was on my way home from the Bay Area for Thanksgiving. It was a very long, two day trip. I had strong wind gusts, lots of heavy rain and even more heavy traffic but I made it home to spend time with my family for the holiday. These two were happy to see me. 
A few days after Thanksgiving I took Bridget in to get the washer/dryer replaced. The new one is working very well. Thanks again to Ultimate Airstreams for such first class service. 

The dogs have been mostly happy to see each other. Sam is the Dane mix in the back and Waffle is on the right. You know Murphy!  
These three!
Over the past several months we have been debating on whether we could get Bridget into my daughter's driveway. It was a family effort and the short answer is, yes she fits. However, I can't back her in with my truck because her tummy scrapes on the sidewalk. We needed a taller truck. The following day one of the neighbors backed her in and I've been in the driveway just steps from the front door for several weeks now. 
Christmas was fun this year. Everyone was healthy but there were some difficult days as we had some firsts without Rob. He passed away on 12/22/17 so we marked the first anniversary of his death, my birthday, his birthday the following day in December. Lots of emotional ups and downs but we made it through to the other side. 

You may remember the main reason I'm here in Portland instead of on some sunny beach in the south is because I had a new granddaughter set to arrive on New Year's Eve. After weeks of teasing us with numerous indicators she might be arriving early little Ruby arrived on her due date. She's absolutely perfect! 

I'm currently getting ready to head south for the rest of the winter. I plan to leave over the weekend but the actual day will depend on the weather in the mountain passes through Southern Oregon and Northern California.