Monday, February 28, 2011


Which part of the brain is responsible for research and planning?  I’m sure it is a left brain activity, and wherever that particular clump of cells resides, mine usually are enthusiastic and up to their task. 

Not so this past week!  The research, planning and execution of our renovations, purchases, and installations must have worn the planning group out, as those brain cells went into hibernation as soon as we settled into Borrego Holiday Home Mobile Home Park (click here to read our review).  Where I would normally ferret out hikes and activities, instead I sat in my lounge chair, gazing out the window.  Doing nothing rose to the top of the priority list, and that is what we did for the first 24 hours.

I followed Odel into the Anza-Borrego State Park CampgroundThen, with a knock on our door, our social life organized itself (no thanks to me). 

We got to know Lynn and Jim Howe during our first trip to Borrego Springs.  Our friends Marlene and Richard Dopp were boondocking off Rockhouse Road; their friends Lynn and Jim were parked nearby, and we joined them for a few days.  Richard decided to build his second clay oven at that spot, and enlisted our aid.  Those of you who boondock at “the oven” off Rockhouse Road have seen the result, now an icon of the area.

We heard about Borrego Holiday Home Mobile Home park from the Howes, and they came looking for us.  After a short, lively reunion, they invited us to join them for an outdoor happy hour gathering with some of their local friends – and even offered to pick us up.  No planning involved; we just said “yes” and spent a (cold, windy) hour enjoying the company of a lively group of liberal foodies who like to hike. 

Two of Odel’s ex-coworkers live in Borrego Springs during the winter and on Saturday, Ross arrived to take Odel to Dick’s house to watch a basketball game.  On my own, I did whatever was appealing and spontaneous – a little shopping, a walk in the desert, and a whole lot of nothing.  When Odel arrived back at home, he had an invitation for us to join Ross and his wife, Kay, for dinner at Carmelita’s Restaurant.  YES!  Great!  No dinner to plan!

An appealing pool in Palm CanyonOnly one project challenged my hibernating brain cells during this time:  setting a time and place to meet up again with Al and Kelly, The Bayfield Bunch.  Kelly and I exchanged more than half a dozen emails on the subject, and finally set the time at 3 pm and the place as our site at Anza-Borrego State Park campground (click here to read our review), where we moved on Sunday.

Our move from the RV park to the state park was short and easy – we didn’t even hook the Jeep to the motorhome.  We were in our new site by 11 am, the sun was shining and the wind was still.  Birds flitted from bush to palm tree; fat, green arms of ocotillo beckoned us into the desert.  All my brain cells - left brain, right brain, and whatever prehistoric clump it is that rejoices in our natural environment – awoke and began to shimmy with anticipation.

As soon as we set up camp, we took off towards the west, up the Palm Canyon trail (where I had my Close Encounter with the Bighorn Sheep a couple of years ago).  Heavy rains from a week ago have carpeted the arid mountainsides in green; the ocotillo buds are bursting into blossoms; shrubs are covered with yellow, purple and red blooms.  Plenty of cool, clear water flowed in the streambed. The weather was perfect, just cool enough to stay comfortable hiking uphill and just warm enough to be comfortable heading back down.  Some kind of magic…

Early morning sun fires the mountains at Anza Borrego State ParkWe arrived back at camp half an hour before Al and Kelly arrived in their beloved new Jeep.  It was so good to see them again and conversation picked up where it left off after our first meeting at the Bisbee Breakfast Club a few years back.  We follow their blog, they follow ours, so we were already up to speed with each other’s doings.  Much of our conversation centered on upcoming travels and, since ours will be somewhat curtailed if Odel gets a knee replacement in Sacramento next month, we are very interested in their plans!

And now it is Monday.  I dropped Odel at the golf course for a round with his buddies and have a low key day planned for myself: blogging, groceries, a bit of hooping, and a desert walk.  Tomorrow we head north, making three short hops up to the Sacramento area.  No planning needed; we have traveled that road many, many times!


  1. I've recently discovered the joys of not having to plan. While I love to plan it is sure nice to have a break from doing so sometimes.

    Linda Sand

  2. Johnny had his left knee replaced last year for the 2nd time. (Not to worry -- the first time was almost 15 years ago) He was back to golfing 6 weeks later, so even if Odel does need the surgury he'll be up and around in no time at all!

  3. I too am usually "the planner". I've definitely had the feeling of "planned out" and time for a break to do a lot of nothing.

    Since I haven't followed you to forever, I have a lot of catching up to do and today the word hooping had me going back and searching for all posts containing the word hoop.

    I had a great time reading them all and especially enjoyed the video. I have a hoop but am not anywhere in your league. Hope we meet up on the road and you'll give me some lessons.

    This is a great blog!


  4. If Odel gets a Striker Knee replacement he won't have to have it replaced for 30 years. I now have two of them.

  5. Be sure to tape a sign or write with a marker on Odel's good knee "WRONG KNEE" before they take him in for the surgery.

  6. Well, darn. . . . I thought you two were going to be in the desert SW until the end of March and was thinkig that we might end up in close proximity at some point!! Had I known you were so nearby, I would have taken a jaunt over to visit with you and the Bayfie'ds yesterday too!! I'm over on S2 at Stagecoach Trails RV Park awaiting a mail package. Safe travels as you make your way up to the Sacramento area. If I end up visiting yougest daughter up that way, I'll give you a 'shout'.

  7. Sherry, fun to hear from another hooper! I peek at the video whenever I need a laugh. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

  8. Kathy, I'm sorry we didn't realize we were so near to each other! We would have liked to see you. Glad to see that you have started blogging. Yes, if you are in the Sacramento area before around mid-May, let us know. Or maybe we'll be heading to Napa sometime...

  9. What route do you plan on taking to Sacramento? We are currently on I5 and Route 33 in Los Banos. We're heading either west or south. Depends on some work stuff and where we'll need to be. It would be nice if we could meet up somewhere. If not, be sure to wave to us as you pass us by.

    Safe Travels!


  10. no planning is always a good thing once in a while!..nice that you got to meet up with Al and Kelly!! the shot of the campground with the sun coming up!!

  11. I'm a wannabe lol but I love eading about your adventures!