Monday, April 27, 2015

Peaceful Jojoba Hills



It’s been a relaxing week here with no children, no traffic, and no noise. What a pleasant change from our month in San Diego. After our first couple days of pool weather a front came through bringing clouds, wind, intermittent drizzle, and highs only in the 50s.

Before the weather changed we took a hike on the Dripping Springs trail, just a few miles down the road towards Temecula. We hiked this trail once before in 2009 but forgot how nice it is, with a gradual climb and good views. And we only saw two other people the entire 6.5 miles.



Suzanne and Jim doing what they do best.


Vail Lake.




Leave it to Suzanne to do a search for Karl Strauss Brewery, finding one in Temecula that still had some of her favorite beer. And funny how we finished our hike at happy hour time so we could partake in another $4 flight.


We also had to check out a newer brewery in Temecula, Garage Brewing Co, where we just got a couple tastings to see how their beer compared. The Marshmallow Stout and Belgian style Tow Truck were pretty good but the Old Strangler Imperial Russian Stout was superb! We were pleasantly surprised, and had a nice chat with Lou, the owner. It really used to be an auto repair garage, but is now a squeaky clean brewery and pizza joint. We had eaten at Karl Strauss so didn’t try the pizza but it looked good and we may have to go back before we leave.

One evening we attended a vegetarian dinner here in the park. They have them once a month, and everyone is asked to bring something healthy and vegetarian or vegan. I made this Layered Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole, which is really good by the way. There were lots of interesting loafs, salads, and quinoa dishes. We had the chance to taste something I’ve seen recipes for but have never tried, vegan brownies made with black beans. Let’s just say that even though I love black beans, brownies are not the place for them!

About 4 years ago at an RV park in Silver City, NM we met a nice couple, George and Tina, who happen to live in Hemet, about 25 miles from here. We hooked up with them again in Silver City the following year, and again near Mammoth Lakes when we did our 395 trip in the summer of 2013. They love to hike, and their beautiful house is located within walking distance of Simpson Park, so they invited us to come by for a hike, along with LuAnn and Suzanne.

The canyon setting for their house is a park in itself.



We hiked a loop of about seven miles up and down the hills. There are miles of trails that are also used for mountain biking, but we would be doing more pushing our bikes up the steep climbs than riding. In fact we saw several guys along the way doing just that.



Tina pointing out the sights.


Their sweet dog Jessie didn’t like it when we stopped to talk or take photos. Here she is telling George to get moving.


Tina said it was a good spring for wildflowers but we were a couple weeks too late. There were still a few stragglers.




The green fields in the valley are citrus groves.


Diamond Valley Lake in the distance.


Interesting rocks with Hemet in the background.


After the hike George and Tina invited us in for some walnut-raisin bread with almond and peanut butter, along with fresh pineapple and dates. We also got a tour of their lovely house filled with artifacts from their overseas travels. It was a very enjoyable day.

We are paid here until Wednesday but still have a hike or two we’d like to do, and since they allow you to wash your vehicles at the sites we intend to wash both the car and Lazy Daze, so we may have to extend a few days to get everything done. We’ve decided to head to Sequoia and King’s Canyon when we leave here but haven’t figured out for sure where we will stay in those areas. If anyone has taken an RV into either of those national parks we’d be interested to hear your experience.


  1. "... no children, no traffic, and no noise".

    Ahhhh! The hikes and beer look lovely!

  2. We have had such crappy weather. So nice to see sunshine and blue skies.

    Sequoia and King’s Canyon...two of our favorites. Can't help you with the camping. We stayed at the Visalia Elks Lodge in Visalia, CA.

  3. We stayed in King's Canyon a few weeks ago -

    It was still pretty cold and just one section in Azalea Campground was opened. We were very surprised at the number of people in the campground - most of them in tents -brrrr.The spaces are on the small side and not very level but you should be fine. Vehicles over 22 ' were not recommended on one part of Generals Highway at that time but now it look's like they are prohibited because of road construction. So no driving from one park to the other with your motorhome. It's not that far though and staying at one park and driving to the other in your car is a good option.

    And don't forget to fill your gas tanks before starting out - no gas anywhere in the park.

    1. Thanks, I had actually looked back at your posts just a few days ago because I remembered you had recently been there. Not sure it's worth the aggravation of driving into Kings Canyon with our 30' and car and trying to find a large and level enough site, but we just like staying in the parks if we can. We may just stay nearby and make day trips into the parks.

  4. Really beautiful pictures of the views on both of your hikes. Love the RV park that lets you wash your vehicle and is also QUIET! Sounds wonderful! I'll be interested in the responses to your Sequoia/Kings Canyon question. I've been there but not with Winnona so I'm no help. Sorry.

  5. First LuAnn piqued my interest in Jojoba Hills and now you. We may have to add this to our itinerary. Looks like a lovely Escapees Park with some beautiful hiking. Looking forward to hearing about Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP.

    1. Yes, this is definitely the nicest RV park we've stayed in, but then we usually try to avoid private parks altogether unless there are no alternatives.

  6. Sounds like wonderful hikes right near the park. How cool to have a local guide show you what all those beautiful views are. Two breweries!! Jackpot!!

  7. You find some of the prettiest country, and nicest people, wherever you go. Oh yea, and beer. Mustn't forget that. Never been to Kings Canyon or Sequoia so look forward to that.

  8. Aftershock brewing is in a nondescript building just south of Old Town Temecula and I remember having a very good Horchata flavored milk stout there.

    1. Thanks, we saw Aftershock but two breweries in one day is our limit! Next time.

  9. I've never thought of Hemet as a destination but your friends have definitely found a pretty corner! Great views of Diamond. I remember when they were "building" it! Drove through part of the Inland Empire yesterday and the winds were horrible on I-210. Staying awhile where you are sounds like a good plan :-))))

  10. It has been such a pleasure to meet you and Jim. Thanks for the invite on the hike, or perhaps it was my pleading to come along. ;) Between you two and Suzanne, I should have a plenty buzz on for some time to come.

  11. We will have to try your recipe. Sounds delicious

  12. We've only stopped briefly at that park. Never knew there were such nice hikes in the area.