Monday, April 3, 2017

Happenings at Jojoba


All is well at Jojoba Hills here in southern California. We’ve been playing pickleball most mornings, doing some strength training in the fitness room, and also getting in a couple of nice hikes. Terry and LuAnn have been most hospitable, and we’ve also visited with some Lazy Daze friends who are members here, Andrea, John and Linda, and Pete and Frederika. John helped Jim diagnose a possible propane leak, which seems to be coming from our Kozy World heater. No more propane smell since we disconnected it, but it’s something that still needs to be checked out. I also visited with Judy, former writer of the the blog Travels With Emma, whom many of you know. She seems happy here in her retirement from wildlife refuge volunteering.

We spent four nights down in the boondocking area then moved up the hill to a real site, a pleasant lot with nice shade.


John and Linda have a beautiful view from their site by one of the ponds.


One day we took a 40 plus mile drive to Escondido for a hike to the top of Bernardo Mountain, 7.5 miles round trip with close to a thousand feet of climbing. It wasn’t too bad except for a few steep spots, but it warmed to the low 80s before we got done, and then we missed a turn coming back down. Luckily we were using the BackCountry Navigator app on our phones and found our way to the car. On the way home we stopped for a very late lunch at an interesting restaurant, The Yellow Deli, located in rural Valley Center, in the middle of nowhere. I failed to take photos but we sat outside by their pleasant gardens.

The first mile of the trail is paved and runs beside I-15, then passes under the interstate. Terry and I were in speed walking mode to hurry and get away from the traffic noise.


Soon we were on a dirt trail passing by Lake Hodges and the longest stressed ribbon bridge in the world.


A few wildlife sightings.




Flowers were plentiful.




The trail goes by some very nice houses.


We even had a little shade and a stream crossing.



Nice views on the way up.





Jim, Terry and LuAnn at the summit, happy that it would be all downhill from here.


Another day we hiked in the Beauty Mountain Wilderness Study Area, about 13 miles from Jojoba Hills. LuAnn’s friend Jane and her cute border collie Pippa joined us for a 5 mile loop hike. There are lots of trails in that area and we’d like to go back and do a different loop another time.

Lots of nice rocks and the flowers were even better than at Bernardo Mountain.








We took the Culp cut-off, but maybe next time we’ll do the Tule Peak.


Looking down into Culp Valley.



I learned a new tree, the redshank or ribbonwood, and it’s pretty obvious where both names come from.


Jane and pretty Pippa.


Although Pippa just wanted us to hike or throw a stick, she was very patient and well behaved when we stopped.


Happy hikers Terry, LuAnn, Gayle,  Pippa and Jane. A good day on the trails.


We have more hiking planned, a day trip to the coast, and of course pickleball. Yesterday I did my first Zumba class, a great workout but it just confirmed how uncoordinated I am. The pool and hot tub felt really good after. I think we’ll give Tai Chi a try tomorrow for something different. Jim’s getting burned out on hiking so it’s been nice having some other alternatives. 


  1. When you get to the Brewy in Temecula I want a full report. Maybe Jim wouldn't be so burned out on hiking if there was a brewery waiting at the end of the trail...
    Sounds like you guys are sliding toward the California abyss... what's next, quilting classes? :)
    Actually, Bobbie loved their quilting equipment and supplies. I liked the hot tub.

  2. Thanks for the update on Judy. We keep wondering how she is doing.
    I have never met LuAnn, but from her writings, she seems like a lovely lady!
    The pond area is gorgeous! Beautiful hikes. I love seeing the desert floor come alive.

    1. Judy has had a few health issues but is doing well now.
      Too bad you never met LuAnn and Terry. Very nice people!

  3. I was thinking about Judy and Emma just yesterday! Tell 'em hi for me.

  4. Ahhhh, Judy!! We really miss her blog!! I will never forget the afternoon we spent with her at Callaway Gardens. Very nice lady! Glad she's doing well and enjoying!!
    Great hikes...beautiful countryside!!
    You guys are certainly staying busy!!

  5. Really nice to see Jojoba Hills. Seems to be a popular place. Glad to hear Judy and Emma are well and happy. Sorry we don't hear from her any more. 7.5 miles, 1000 feet and 80 degrees by the end. Whew, you guys are troopers. Glad you got to the bottom of the propane problem. Beautiful flowers on those hikes. Tai Chi/Zumba - those certainly are some alternatives especially if it's hot outside.

  6. Beautiful trails through the flowers and lush grass. Love the handsome lizard!

  7. I was shocked to see water in the part of Lake Hodges that goes under the stressed ribbon bridge! Once upon a time Lake Hodges usually had water in that portion...but as you can tell by the size of the trees in that area of the lake (especially east if I-15), it has not had water there for a very long time...possibly 10 years! Wonderful!

    We have not hiked up Bernardo Mtn before, but have ridden our bikes on the trail along the lake several times. The trail becomes single track eventually and is quite pretty as it approaches the dam at the west end of Lake Hodges.

    1. I wondered about the water given all those trees. It's nice to see the lakes so full for a change.

  8. Jojoba hills and the surrounding area is looking really nice, especially since it's snowing in northern New Mexico!

  9. Glad to read you are enjoying your time in Jojoba Hills! Spending time with Terry and LuAnn is always fun...lucky you! Both hikes look lovely and that bridge is amazing!! Say hi to Terry and LuAnn:)

    1. Yes, we are enjoying LuAnn and Terry's company. And she's a great cook, too!

  10. So glad to have you two here for a few weeks. Looking forward to more pickleball and hikes.