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.