We’re outta here! Goodbye civilization, at least for a few days;)
All I’ve wanted it seems for weeks is a quiet spot to park, no neighbours, other than animals and a wild view through my windows with miles to walk and no one else there.
Mike knows this feeling well. After 8 years on the ranch, a remote and wonderful place, it has been hard at times acclimatizing to well, people. Everything is so crowded in the city. The RV parks often have you crammed in like sardines, your windows looking into other peoples windows, their TV is your TV, not that we really watch much TV. Mike often gets cornered by someone, who loves to talk, walking their dog, you end up getting their life story, sometimes a bit more information than you really ever wanted to know about them but it seems these tight living areas breed that, and sometimes folks with no one to talk to. It inevitably happens as you are trying to pack, unpack, or are getting ready to leave. My training as a child and having a very talkative mother gave me skills, the ability sometimes to walk away even as they talk at you, because it usually is, at you, these folks don’t listen well, they just love to talk, and share, and share, and share…I have promised to go out and rescue Mike more often in the future.
So, I was feeling the need for quiet and we were ecstatic heading out of Lake Havesu City further South to the Kofa Wildlife Refuge, now that sounded more like it! Our older trailer, now on consignment was in good hands and we were FREE! Our generator was fixed, only time in it’s 10 year life it had failed to start, a trusty Honda EU2000i, ran our off grid house for 8 years on cloudy days and had been faithful until a tank of old gas gave it a belly ache.We were ready!
Lake Havesu is a lovely area with stunning scenery, but too many homo sapiens for us. Our trip to Kofa was not far, a two hour drive. As we turned left onto King Road into the refuge we liked what we saw…no one. We drove in aways and then turned around and returned to a flat spot, a nice chunk off of the road with a few trees and a magnificent saguaro cactus. There are some road berms to get up and over but that was no problem. We settled in and waited for sunset…so wonderfully quiet. Soothing for the soul.
This is what we needed… the sound of the wind, nothing else. Feeling the quiet through your bones. Here I get to practice bathrobe photography at sunrise, and sunset if I so choose, my homage to Hawkeye Pierce;)
We spent a few days lapping up nature and the wild. You can pretty much hike wherever you want. Following the bottom line of the hills hiking North we followed bighorn sheep paths and their droppings. Scared one as I came around a corner and he was GONE…so fast, 15 minutes later he was on the top of the hill looking down at me…eerie, or maybe it was a cousin;) an incoming cold front had us packing up and headed back to San Diego to unfinished business and then our plans were to go South, back to Baja.
An incoming cold front had us packing up and we headed back to San Diego to unfinished business. Our plans were to go South, back to Baja. It was a windy morning and we certainly felt the extra height on the DRV but also, with it being heavier, so much more stable. This part of the I 8 can be long and fairly barren after the Algodones Dunes. They are such a beautiful sight with the oddness of a water canal running through them. As we came out the other side a high wind warning was posted…gulp…advisories for no high profile vehicles…double gulp. We continued Westwards and the wind really was blowing. You could see sand swirling to the West.
We were going directly into it for the most part, not too white knuckle..yet, until we started to wind our way up the Eastern foothills from Ocotillo to the Desert View Tower.
Now here it was howling. You ascend 4000 feet in 11 miles of twisting and turning roads leaving Imperial County and entering San Diego. At every pass the wind would blow through in gusts, there was some serious leaning going on more than once, not as bad as an empty delivery van in front of us, he was being blown several feet over at each gust. Not fun..in the future we will heed those high profile vehicle warnings. Rain hit at the top and we were crawling with our 4 ways flashing with a group of 18 wheelers, not fun at all.
Periods of sun followed more clouds and driving rain, not your typical socal weather! We were happy when we finally started the descent into Lakeside and the winds started to diminish.
Arriving at Santee with a sigh of relief and we were hooked up before another round of torrential rain came down. We were happy to get a spot over the weekend as normally it is impossible to come by, we added a few more days with visiting family always being a wonderful thing! Also, a low beam headlight was out and basically everyone seemed to tell us it would take hours to replace. We’d bought a bulb in Denver, which turned out not to be the correct one at all, thanks for nothing Dodge, they wouldn’t exchange it here, and told me it was the right one, not so. After a few you tube videos Mike decided we could do this. We went up to my brother, who has every imaginable tool on earth;) and he gave us a hand, luckily he had an old bulb out of his GMC van, and it was the right one. How is it the dealer can’t tell you what is the correct bulb? Really sad, at least now we know! and FYI, it took max 15 minutes to change…Thanks little brother for that! With the bad weather we decided against taking everything out of our storage container and going through it, Mike grabbed a few DVD’s and we’ll do a major repack when we come back in March!
Santee Lakes was full of wildlife as usual. Groot had a few wonderful walks and acquired a new fan club of young ladies that would come by the trailer and ask if Groot could come out to play…very cute watching these 4-6 year old young ladies playing with a cat on a leash! He wasn’t so sure about the being picked up and carried around bit but was a pretty good sport:) We were at a new spot backing up on the creek. Quieter in the back but without the cell signal booster we would have had no communications at all, a big downfall, as we were trying to get the trailer plated in California before we headed South.
After a few calls to Colorado, the title was mailed out overnight to the DMV in El Cajon and on our way out Thursday morning we stopped by, had the trailer VIN verified and after a fairly short DMV wait, only two hours, were the proud owners of a licence plate:) and back on the road South! They have a handy place to park on the street in El Cajon for anyone wanting to know, we looked at getting an independent VIN verifier but they all wanted $95 for a job the DMV should have been doing anyway:)
We know there is still a lot of Mexico fear, but after living here for 8 years I have to say I breathe a sigh of relief when we get across the border out of San Diego. US violence is so random, here, not so bad. Keep your nose clean and don’t mingle with the cartels and you probably will meet nothing but wonderful people. The border crossing can be a bit intimidating, keep to the far right declaration lane in San Ysdiro where the buses go through. Stop and wait, Immigration and Customs will come out, usually they do a quick look into the trailer, look at your registration and verify it is what it is, get your tourist visas here, and then you drive into a lane way, exit the vehicle with your pets, and the trailer gets scanned. They send you to park when that is done, you wait 5 minutes or so, and we’ve always been sent on with no further searches. All very cheerful and pleasant. Leave your guns at home folks, crazies who try to pack them with them will certainly be turned away. Maybe a reason lot’s of people never come South, a shame.
We take the toll road to Ensenada, a beautiful drive, once you see it you will want to come this way again. yes, it has collapsed a few times in the past but they seem to have things under control for now;) After the Mirador outlook you can see Ensenada to the South. We were running ahead of the clouds and rain now!
We arrived at Estero Beach late in the afternoon and after our normal friendly check in we went to our favorite spot on the end, damn, we have the share the RV park with one other trailer;)…love it here! Groot has sand to dig in and trees with no spines to climb, he couldn’t quite understand the saguaros…:)
We’ll spend Christmas here and a few days to stock up and take care of business, always something to do. We are fortunate to have wonderful friends here and it is a good time of year to count our blessings.
We would like to wish everyone happiness and peace on earth this glorious 25th of December, I don’t have the bluebird of happiness, or maybe he traded his blue suit for a red one:)
Happy Holidays to all our family, friends and followers:)
Stay tuned for more adventures in Baja:)