Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Goodbye, Arizona, hello, California.

Yesterday morning we got up early in hot Tucson to hike before we had to check out of Catalina State Park and begin our westward trek. An unnamed trail heads south from the Romero Ruins, and we wanted to explore it.

About 45 minutes of hiking brought us to a narrow ravine, where we heard burbling water. We were surprised to find a few small pools surrounded by lush, waving grasses - a pleasant place to pause before we turned around, clomped on home, hot and sweaty, closed up camp and headed off towards Yuma.

It was a HOT day of driving (bottom photo, taken on I-8 heading towards Yuma), with temperatures in the high 90's when we arrived in Yuma. We did something we rarely do: paid a premium price to stay at an RV park with a swimming pool! Araby Acres is a true "snowbird" park, mostly permanent park models in endless rows, side by side by side. Since the snowbirds haven't arrived yet, the park is mostly empty of people. An hour after we checked in, we were in the pool, splashing and relaxing, no one else around. It was worth the extra bucks!

This morning we got up early, topped off our propane tank at the cheap propane dealer in Yuma, and were on the road by 9 am. Another HOT travel day through the low deserts of California - darn unappealing this time of year, so hot, dry, and dusty that I didn't bother with a photo. Since we usually travel this road in winter, when tribes of boondockers throng to the sand dunes and desert; it seemed very strange to see empty desert on both sides of the road.

During Odel's treatment, our "home" in Loma Linda will be Mission RV Park, 3 miles from LLUMC. We had scheduled an extra day in our travel plans - a bit of wiggle room in case we ran into travel problems - so our reservation doesn't start until tomorrow. Today, we stopped 2o miles short of Loma Linda, in Beaumont, and set up at the Elks Lodge, then jumped into Jules and went off to check out Mission RV Park and scout out tomorrow's route.

Wow, we have definitely been living life in the slow lane, and there doesn't seem to BE a slow lane on Interstate 10 (which we will now refer to as "The 10" in the language of Southern California). Driving the speed limit (65 mph) was scary - faster than we usually drive, but dangerously slow compared with the rest of the traffic. It's a different world here than Bisbee, for sure.

Though rush hour was not far off by the time we arrived to check out Mission RV Park, we took a few minutes to check in with Boomer friends Jeanne and Jack Albers, just wrapping up their stay at Mission RV Park. Jack finished his PBT treatments about a week ago, and they are heading to Arizona on Friday. They have been a fabulous source of information for us as we approached Odel's treatment.

Leaving Loma Linda, we chose a back road through a rural area that looked to me like "old California". Instead of new subdivisions of huge homes packed together on tiny lots, we saw ranches and farms, orange groves and eucalyptus trees. It was lovely. Just before our two-lane canyon road intersected The Ten, a banner on the wall of another brand-new subdivision proclaimed "Up to 7 bedrooms. Prices starting in the $300,000's!" Ugh. Seven bedrooms???

We probably will be in Loma Linda at least 10 weeks - by far the longest we have stayed anywhere since our travels began. The couple who runs Mission RV Park was exceptionally friendly when we stopped in the office, and our site was fine. We mapped the closest Trader Joe's (very close), Costco, AAA office (we need area maps), Weight Watcher meeting, and the location of the Sunday Farmer's Market. Once we learn how to drive southern California style, we'll be able to do some real exploring.

1 comment:

  1. We heard you were heading to Loma Linda through Jeanne & Jack. We hope that Odel's treatments will be just as successful as Jack's treatments were. 10 weeks does sound long, but, at least you are in a nice part of the country with good weather and lots to see and do. We are up in Walnut Creek selling pumpkins, (we're in the home stretch) and then it will be Christmas trees. You'll probably still be there when we head down south again, you never know, we may stop by and say hi. Keep us up to date on how Odel is doing.

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron