We have just arrived here after a long day of driving from South Lake Tahoe. You really have to take the park descriptions in the Passport America guidebook with a grain of salt. We are the only visiting RV in a full RV park. Everyone else is permanent with many in very tacky trailers and RVs. KInda scarey, in a way.... Thankfully we are only staying the night and continuing on to Portland in the morning.
Tacky trailer; one of many here
We have done a lot of mileage in the last week. After leaving Yuma we had an uneventful drive to Palm Springs through some beautiful agricultural areas, watered by the Colorado River, then through the arid wastes along the east side of the Salton Sea. Friends had recommended that we stop at the Fountain of Youth, a hot spring attraction along the way.
I wish, I wish
It ain't going to happen!
Afterwards we passed through another green zone, predominantly date farms, as we neared Indio. We had to stop and get some mehjool dates, our favourites, and we had a chance to taste a wide variety of other varieties grown there.
Our visit with our Indian Wells friends, Reno and Nina was a lot of fun, as it always is. Their beautiful home is now finished. They are in a very nice neighbourhood but subject to strict rules. We had to park the trailer inside their Walled garden so it didn't show from the street. Reno and I spent many hours reminiscing about our few years together in St Jean, Quebec, just before we both entered Military College and we spent a morning at the College of the Desert where Nina has a booth where she sells her hand-made jewelry.
Nina and Reno
After a short 3-day visit we were off again, this time towards South Lake Tahoe to visit other ex-cruisers, Pam and Steve (Full Quiver). On the way there we went through some very different landscapes including an area of incredible sand dunes.
Big beach, no water
We left Indian Wells in a scorching 90-95 degrees and arrived at Lake Tahoe with daytime temps in the 70's and below freezing during the night.
Most expensive gas, Bridgeport CA
The remnants of deep snow banks beside driveways were disappearing quickly. Pam and Steve are now land cruisers with the bucket list of visiting every national park in the US. They only have 3 left to go, quite an accomplishment when you realize that there are 59 in all. They acknowledge that they will probably miss a few that are only accessible by air. Rosie and Willie, their border collie, greeted each other like old friends. Their home is on the edge of a forested area and they are frequently visited by a variety of wildlife, including bears, which have frequently broken into homes and RVs in search of food. We didn't see any bears but we think Fran saw a bobcat one morning.
Our 2-day visit with them was also too short but the weather was beautiful. We seem to be bringing the sun north with us. Our drive today, from Lake Tahoe was super but long. We were glad to get settled, even though this park is a bit iffy.
That evening we stopped for the night at Keough Hot Springs, lovely but under-developed. There is so much potential here but, I guess, over the years they have tried but the crowds didn't come. there is an 8 inch pipe spilling huge amounts of scalding hot water into a ditch to be carried away. A hot house complex would be a beneficial add-on.
tacky but full of potential
Such a waste of a precious resource
13:00, Friday, 8 April, 15. enroute to Canada
A cloudy day, the first we have had on our trip to date. We are on our way to the Canadian border from Portland, Oregon.
The drive to Portland, from Talent was uneventful. We had time to stop at our favourite stores, Cabella's and Camping World, along the way but, by the time we arrived at the outskirts of Portland it was rush hour and we hadn't experienced that in several years. What a pain! Our destination was the home of other cruiser freinds, Chris and Sandy, SV Faith, another boat for sale in Guaymas by our broker, Marisa. Looks like most of our friends have swallowed the anchor and have decided on another conveyance to continue their adventures. Chris and Sandy have a big motor home parked in the driveway, ready for another big trip this summer. We spent 2 days with them, got a chance to do some more shopping in tax free Oregon and see two other sets of friends, Mike and Judy (Pura Vida) and Trish and Doug (Ke-Em-Te). We had met the latter in Magdalena Bay on our first trip down the coast in 2008 and have been fast friends ever since. This morning, after leaving Chris and Sandy's we met up with Trish and Doug (Ke-Em-Te) for a quick breakfast visit. We had first met Trish and Doug in Magdalena Bay on our trip from San Diego in 2008 and had sailed with them, on and off for the next few years. Cruising friends are a very special breed! You can never get enough of them.
16:30, Sunday, 10 April, 15. Waiting at the ferry terminal, Tsawassen
Home is within sight. We are sitting outside the ferry terminal Starbuck's shop. Our ferry doesn't depart until 18:40 and we have been here for 2 hours already. It is sunny but quite cool, something we will have to get used to again.
Last night we stayed with Janet Jackson in White Rock, our normal stopover when she is home. We were pleased to see that she has recovered very well from her medical issues of a few years ago and the loss of her husband and appears to have a whole new lease on life.
With our ferry late in the afternoon we had time to loiter in Vancouver so we had lunch with our grand-daughter, Jessica and her beau, Sam, shopped for dishes for the boat at IKEA and bought a new mainsail that we had seen advertised on a Craigslist ad by a chap in Vancouver.
Holy shit! $215.00 for the ferry ride to Mayne Island! What a rip-off. Almost feels like they are punishing us for leaving in the first place. On the other hand, it is a beautiful day and the weather is ideal for a cruise in the Gulf Islands, so why complain?
Well, this season has been a learning experience, to say the least. We have concluded that RVing is very different from cruising in a sailboat. In an RV park you are stuck with the residents, good and bad. You can't go back to your floating, isolated refuge to escape. Don't get me wrong. There were no really bad people in the parks we went to but, at times, getting away from it all, can be a good thing.
We have also realized that we could have been better prepared for the conditions we encountered. Meal preparation, dining, lounging, entertaining in a 17-foot trailer can be difficult. Our awning was a godsend but an enclosed shelter would have been much better. We now have one thanks to Amazon.com and our Arizona delivery service, (AKA Bill and Linda). A camper-kitchen setup is on our shopping list, but all of these new acquisitions require storage/carrying space, something we are short of with the set-up we have now. Before we head out again we will have to re-examine our capabilities and decide whether our existing truck and trailer combination will be adequate. With the new boat on the horizon we will not be using the trailer that much but we still have not seen much of the north end of Vancouver Island and that is on our bucket list for the near future.
Here are some stats about our Winter trip: (conversion rates from mid-April)
Total mileage: 8550 miles, 13,760 km
Total road tolls in Mexico: 3708 pesos ($272.00 Cdn)
Total fuel costs: Mexico: 9100 pesos ($667.43 Cdn)
USA: 632.81 ($809.43 Cdn)
Gas price in Mexico was 13.57 pesos/li ($1.00 Cdn) the entire time we were there.
Max gas price in USA: $3.00/gal just south of Bishop, California
Min gas price in USA: $ 1.88/gal in Tempe, AZ.
Total fuel consumption: 482.1 (US gal), 1825 li.
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