October 6, 2013

So Far So Great! Feeling Good in California

It must be something about Betty, Bailey, or me: though not west Texas windy we were blown around a bit on the drive from Scottsdale to our first stop, Desert Hot Springs, a small city just north of Palm Springs. 

Our first two nights were at the Sands Golf and RV Resort. The golf course was closed due to overseeding for the season and most of the snowbirds have not returned to their Park Models so the place was rather empty and quiet. That is a good thing!

This park is very nicely laid out. Each RV site is shielded with tall rows of oleanders, allowing for a sense of privacy. The only thing missing are picnic tables at the sites. The main building has two huge game and meeting rooms, pool tables, and computers. The pool area is clean and includes two large hot tubs in addition to a good-sized main pool. A horseshoe pit and pickleball court complete the package. The entire complex is gated and requires a security code to enter so one feels quite safe. The shower rooms are modern, large, and very clean. There is even a sauna!

Here are a few photos of our site, the beautiful mountains and ever- present wind turbines, plus an excellent off leash area for Bailey.


Home for two nights

View from our site

Huge play area for Bailey





We almost didn't make our next stop. A Santa Ana wind event suddenly materialized  On the drive from Desert Hot Springs to near Castaic I battled winds that at times were downright dangerous. A steady 25 mile per hour cross wind included rather frequent gusts of over 50 miles per hour. At one point we pulled into a parking lot and the RV was rocking to the point I thought it might blow over.

We changed our route three times to find a safer road, but it is hard to avoid such a weather situation. Even after arriving at the Valencia RV Travel Village the winds were a steady 20 mph with higher gusts. As I write this on Saturday morning the forecast is more 20-25 mph winds all day today.

Valencia is not nearly as nice as our first stop. The park isn't as well kept and shows its age. On the plus side the pool area is nice and there is even a large fire pit that is lit every evening. There is a convenience store which comes in handy and a smallish off leash area for Bailey. 

On the not-so-nice side the showers and bathrooms are definitely past their replacement date. The WiFi is weak and too slow to permit streaming of Netflix movies. Many of the sites are used by full time or long term residents who have allowed their property to become junky and littered. 

But, Betty and I did have a nice spot close to the pool area and dog park. Bailey loved all the new smells and areas to explore. And, as an added bonus Mike and Tamara Reddy were rather close by for a dinner meeting, so they brought a bottle of wine, some lavender cheese and stopped by for a visit! Since meeting them for the first time in Portland, we have become friends and enjoy our time together. Betty whipped up some appetizers to go along with the wine.


What a special treat to have them near enough to get together. As I have noted before, RVers are a friendly group of people who like to spend time together.

Here are a few pictures of the Valencia Park. Sunday morning we are off to Paso Robles, hopefully without all the wind!













14 comments:

  1. Hi Bob, glad you are both safe. Wind is never pleasant and can be very dangerous. We have just towed our caravan up to Queensland and back after visiting our daughter and grandchildren (2 x 6 hour days of travel to get there). We only had 1 day of nasty weather - storms and hail. We were able to stay put in the van park for the day. Happy travelling......

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    1. We are now in the Paso Robles wine country area of California. The wind is gone but it left behind a few days of above average heat: it has actually been cooler in Scottsdale. Things change on Tuesday with temps dropping by 10-15 degrees and even a chance of showers. Sounds fabulous.

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  2. Oh no. I recognize the Valencia RV park from our old fifth-wheel days. The big MH next to us had their slides and awning fully extended and were hard against us--zero privacy. As I recall there were not too many choices in that area.

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    1. Yes, the spots are too close. We had large, loud families near us for our two nights, though they did quiet down by 10pm. Unfortunately, they started up again at 7AM this morning....a bit too early for a Sunday.

      There are very few choices in the immediate area but we would not stay here again.

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  3. Hopefully the wind is behind you on this trip.

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    1. Yes,. I think we won't have anymore deadly wind gusts to deal with. Of course, this is California, so maybe an earthquake!

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  4. I'm glad the winds have calmed and your trip is well on its way.

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    1. The wine country around Paso Robles is beautiful, esp. with no wind!

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  5. Next time you are in the Palm Springs/DHS area be sure and stay further down in the valley. Not only are the parks closer to some of the best that our area offers...but the wind is much less likely to blow (it just about ALWAYS blows in DHS). Looks like you having a great time. Keep it up!

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    1. The Sands RV resort is very nice and the wind wasn't really an issue until just before we left. Next time we will stay closer to Palm Springs just to try something different.

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  6. I did hate it when the wind kicked up...the feeling that will be tipped over can ruin a nights sleep. And as for the "somewhat" neglected campgrounds, the only advice I have is to look at it like a great adventure. Some of your best stories will come when you least expect it.

    Have fun. Will you be home by the 17th of October. I cannot remember what you schedule is. Email me.

    Barbara

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    1. Each park is so different it is an adventure when you pull in. Very quickly i have learned web sites and directory listings aren't particularly accurate. I would be a little less accepting of a park in poor repair if it were for a long stay (4+ days). But, you are right. If everything is perfect then where's the fun and adventure in that?

      We return on the 18th.

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  7. Wind. I like it when I'm inside by the fire. But outside? Not so much. I love the Oregon coast, but it is often too windy to make beach walks pleasurable. I can imagine that a boxy RV would not be easy to drive in high winds. Be safe!

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    1. It was more that a little scary at times, and much worse than the wind we dealt with in Texas. But, each trip teaches us something new and is part of the adventure!

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