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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jojoba Hills SKP Resort, Aguanga, CA


We were hooked up and pulling out of San Diego at 9:05 Sunday, much earlier than our usual departure time, but we hoped the traffic on Sunday morning would be light. We were right, and it was an easy drive north on I-15 to Temecula, where we stopped for gas and a few things at Walmart before the last 15 mile winding climb east to Jojoba Hills. We were last here in January 2011, and it was as nice as we remembered. The office is closed on Sundays but you can stay in the boondock area, which we did.

There were only a few other RVs there, and it felt like paradise after our month in San Diego.



Suzanne arrived on Saturday, and Debbie has been here for a week, so after working out in the fitness room I joined them in the beautiful pool. No photos of any of us in bathing suits!


That evening we had a little get-together at Suzanne’s site, since she managed to score one of the nicest in the park. It was another mini blogger fest, with Suzanne (Take To The Highway), Judy (Travels With Emma), and Terry and Luann (Paint Your Landscape), whom we met for the first time. The beer, conversation, and laughs flowed freely.

Jojoba Hills SKP Park, CA

Yesterday we moved up the hill to a very nice full hook-up site. I forgot to take photos so I planned to do so this morning. What a surprise when I got up and it was raining, which was not in the forecast that I looked at yesterday.



We took a hike on the adjacent BLM land yesterday afternoon, where there are miles of roads and trails. We were hoping we could ride our mountain bikes here but there is too much deep sand for our liking.




It was a pretty warm afternoon, so it was nice to be able to go for a swim when we got back from the hike. While soaking in the hot tub, we saw someone wave, and it turned out to be Pete and Frederika, Lazy Daze owners we met in Quartzsite, and who have since purchased a lot here. This is a very nice park and we understand why so many people use it as a home base. We aren’t quite ready for that, but we’ll just enjoy the peace and quiet (and the amenities) while we’re here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Last Days In San Diego



Our month in San Diego is nearly at an end, and although we’ve had fun here sightseeing, brewery hopping, and hanging out with friends, we will be glad to get out of the city.

We’ve been having some issues with the touchpad on our five month old Dell laptop, and Jim has spent much time on the phone with tech support trying to fix the problem. Finally they decided we needed a new touchpad, and wanted us to send the computer in for replacement. There is no way we were going to do that, since Jim is convinced it’s a software problem anyway, so he asked if they could just send us the new touchpad and he would replace it. We got an email back saying they would send someone out, even though we did not purchase the additional in-home warranty. Now that’s great service! And it’s a good thing Jim didn’t attempt to do this himself since the entire computer had to be disassembled.

Don’t try this at home.


Sadly the same problem has happened again once since the touchpad was replaced, but luckily a restart resolves it. Computers can be very frustrating.

That afternoon we took Suzanne, Jim, and Allison to the Ocean Beach farmer’s market for some interesting people watching, then to nearby Pizza Port for dinner, our third time there. After the excellent pizza and beer we walked off our meal along Sunset Cliffs. It was a beautiful evening.






The waves were pretty tame but there were still quite a few surfers out there .



Lots of crazy kids were jumping in the water above the hole in the rock. 



But that was the easy part. Getting out looked to be even more of a challenge.


This is a really beautiful stretch of the Pacific coast.




We hung out until it was over. 



Yesterday Jim and I decided to tour the waterfront area of downtown San Diego and stroll along the Embarcadero.








Our favorite part of the walk was watching the planes coming in for a landing at the airport, which is right next to downtown.

P1000381      P1000390

After our tour we met Jim and Allison and Suzanne at Slater’s 50/50 for our last brew pub experience. It’s been fun.

Then last night Suzanne and I took a sunset bike ride around Fiesta Island. It was another lovely evening on Mission Bay.



We’re glad we experienced San Diego, but I’m not sure even the breweries could lure us back. Tomorrow we move on to Jojoba Hills near Temecula, a much quieter locale.