Saturday, April 28, 2007


Can you see that little green line, from Southeastern Arizona to the Central Valley of California? That represents four days of driving, around 950 miles, through the first heat wave of the year.

We rarely drive four days in a row, but the prospect of spending several hours a day in a campground in the low deserts of western Arizona and southern California was particularly unappealing as the temperatures were forecast to hit the mid-90's.

Our first day was short, from Rancho Mi Sueno, Jeanie's and Ray's ranch in McNeal, Arizona, to a "resort" park in Casa Grande, AZ - chosen by us because it had a swimming pool, which we used gratefully. Our second day ended on the banks of the Colorado River, the boundary between Arizona and California, at a county park near Parker, AZ, with electric hookups to help us battle the 95 degree heat.

Day Three was the longest drive, from Parker to Tehachapi, California. Tehachapi, at 4,000 feet, lifted us out of the 95+ degrees of the Mojave Desert to a lovely, 83 degrees, with a breeze and shade. Whew, did that seem wonderful.

Today, on our fourth day of driving, we dropped out of the cool, higher elevation of Tehachapi into the sweltering and smoggy central valley of California, heading to Coarsegold, California. We arrived early in the day, but the last of the available full-hookup sites had just been taken, so we pulled into a "boondocking" (which means no hookups, including no electricity) site until tomorrow's departures create an open site for us. No problem... except the forecast high temperature here was 90 degrees, and I am sure we hit it! We spent the afternoon in our chairs in the shade of an oak tree, watching quail and drinking ice water.

It is pleasantly cool now, at 10:30 pm, and we are happy to be in a park full of fellow Escapees, with a good shot at electric hookups and air-conditioning tomorrow. We plan to be here four days before we move on, with the weather cooling each day. Yosemite National Park is just up the road, so a day trip is in our future as soon as our behinds recover from four days in the saddle.

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