Friday, February 4: Happy Friday! Today is what we use to call a “zero” day. It meant that we didn’t hike at all and just chilled, either at our campsite or in town. These zero days usually took place when we were in town picking up our food drops and staying at a cheap motel with a laundromat, hot showers and a real bed. Today’s zero day simply means we’re staying put – no trips or adventures outside of the park. We did do some chores around the coach, like defrosting the fridge/freezer. Fester washed Zephyr’s windshield inside and out. Sadie and I took a pleasant walk through the Riverside County Nature Conservation area, which backs this park and is accessible thru a locked gate. Now, we’re both sitting outside enjoying the sunshine – I’m working on the blog and Fester’s surfing the net, while Sadie’s eating a chew toy. We will probably hit the pool after dinner. A lazy day. We have our full hook-up site through Monday night, and we’re debating what to do next. If we find we like the area (and weather the weather stays nice), we may move over to a dry camping site for a few days (or even check out some of the BLM land we saw yesterday).
Thursday, February 3: Another chilly morning, but the sun was shining brightly when we set out toward our much-anticipated visit to Borrego Springs. After a bit of research, prompted by Marc & Connie’s photos, we thought we knew what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to find each metal sculpture or grouping, much like a scavenger hunt. We got a brief glimpse of the metal sculptures as we made our way to Jojoba Hills on Monday… the three wild mustangs that appear to jump across the mountain.
Located in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, there are more than 130 metal sculptures created by artist/welder Ricardo Breceda. The sculptures are spread throughout the property of the late Dennis Avery, the land owner of Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs. Fortunately, there are designated roads throughout the desert terrain that allow people to drive to each location so they can admire and photograph these fanciful creatures up close. The sculptures include wild horses, bighorn sheep, mammoths, dinosaurs, camels, desert tortoises, a 350-foot serpent, and many, many more. Sadie enjoyed stretching her legs each time we stopped to take pictures, which was often. Although we saw many of the sculptures, we didn’t find them all, and set out for lunch, before heading to our next destination. My photos cannot do Berceda or his sculptures justice, so here’s a link if you’d like to check them out https://www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html.
While photographing sculptures, I noticed two strange looking cacti-like shapes that turned out to be sculptures by artist Tanya Aguiñiga. According to the sign posted at the site, the Two-Spirit Earth and Hallowed Mound are totems that emerge from forms of the surrounding landscape. These large forms are designed to channel moisture, encouraging growth and transformation as they slowly decompose and return to the earth. What a neat concept… truly living art.
Julian: On Monday’s drive to Jojoba Hills we passed signs for Warner Springs and Julian, both towns that we remember from our PCT hiking days. Call it nostalgia, but we wanted to revisit those places that were part of our hiking adventure 16 years ago. After all this time, we still remember coming off the trail at the crossroads to Julian, where we tried to hitchhike into town. We were hot, tired, hungry and just plain miserable and no one would stop to give us a ride. The wait got to be so long, that I left Fester on one side of the road, crossed over to the stop sign across the street and faked a limp/injured foot as motorists passed by. Sure enough, we ended up with a ride to Julian in the back of a pick-up truck. As we made our way down memory lane, we were happy to find that the Julian Hotel was still thriving, having survived Covid shutdowns. We remember spending a night at the Julian Hotel and savoring a meal at their restaurant while talking to locals about the happenings in their quaint town. After a stroll through Julian with Sadie, we headed back to the crossroads and found the PCT trail marker – talk about fond memories! It was a good day.
Wednesday, February 2: Our first bit of business this morning was waffles! It’s a real treat to be hooked up to power again, which allows us to use our electrical appliances (griddle, Instant Pot, Ninja, microwave/convection oven, etc.) without worries of draining the batteries. Life is good!
Fester just registered us for the 61st Escapade that takes place toward the end of June at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebenon, Tennessee. Of course we’ll make plans to visit Fester’s dad, Ken, in Asheville either before or after the event.
Apparently, Escapade is the largest and most extensive gathering of the Escapees Community and will be another opportunity for us to lean more about the RV lifestyle from professionals and experienced RVers. There will be a wide variety of seminars, social gatherings, and nightly entertainment during the five day event (sounds very similar to the Xscaper’s Convergence).We hope it will give us a chance to meet up friends we met at other Escapee events and on Plomosa Road in t Quartzsite.
We’re scheduled for a tour of the RV park this afternoon. Because George escorted us to our RV spot when we arrived on Monday, we requested him as our “tour guide.” George has a dry sense of humor and seems to know the park very well. George spent about 2 hours showing us the park’s many amenities and activities from the comfort of a golf cart. Imagine a Time Share sales pitch, but without the pressure. Escapee members are able to put their names on a waitlist to lease available properties at the park, as they become available. The co-op consists of 148 acres of rolling terrain terraced for spectacular views from each of its 283 RV sites. There’s a 35’ x 65’ heated pool, two spas, six ponds, a fitness center, as well as pickleball, tennis and bocce ball courts. In addition to the wood and metal workshops, there’s a pottery studio, arts center, community greenhouse, library and clubhouse. A perfect retirement community. It turns out, that even if we were interested in leasing a lot, our Zephyr is too old (20+ years). Oh well, we’re having fun while we’re here.