Sunday, March 20, 2011

GOOD-BYE ARIZONA

I LOVED Arizona ! I realize it’s not for everyone but I also found it to be incredibly scenic. And of course you can’t beat the weather during the Winter months. And in the words of The Terminator….." I’LL BE BACK…..".

However, I fear I left you too soon. The temps. were getting into the low 90’s and that’s too hot for me so I thought it was time to mosey on. Unfortunately, the temps in Southern California are still cooler than I would like and it’s been raining here for a long time….as I am told.

I left Ocotillo Wells heading for Oceanside, CA (a mere 95 miles) as I was longing to see the Pacific Ocean. I took the 78W and before I get on with my story I have to tell my fellow motorcycle riding friends that this is one seriously wicked route to take on your bike. And I met numerous bikers on the road doing just that. Lots of great twisties, beautiful scenery and great road conditions. Driving 42’ of vehicle though not so much. You didn’t dare take your eyes off the road and there were lots of areas where there were no guard rails and some very scary looking places looking waaaaay down. I climbed to an elevation of 4,000’.

There were a few (not many) places where you could pull off the road and let the long stream of cars behind you pass. I took this one opportunity to snap a few pics. Wish I could have gotten more:

0102

I drove through the little Town of Julian which was very pretty with lots of bikers there taking a break. I (clearly) got distracted by the quaint little stores (and the bikes) and missed the sign saying 78W continued by turning LEFT. Next thing you know I was on a country road and knew I was going the wrong way. I pulled slightly off the road where there was a wide driveway and saw two women walking. Yup, CONFIRMED – I had to turn around. These women told me this was the only place to BACK UP and get myself turned around for miles. They stayed to help and I obviously got distracted by listening to their directions when I heard CRUNCH !!

0304

0506

Upon further examination today the whole fender on the RV is bent.

Between the three of us we did manage to get me turned around and off I went to find this mysterious sign indicating 78W. And do you know I missed it AGAIN – I maintain it simply wasn’t there !! LOL And there I am on a road I shouldn’t be on and have to turn around AGAIN ! I swear I won’t have a nerve left with all this ‘relaxing’. Thankfully this ‘driveway’ I pulled in to was much wider and I did manage to get turned around. Eventually I did see this elusive sign and on I go. Yes, I know – it’s a wonder I’m able to get up and dress myself in the mornings !! LOL

I make it to this lovely little Town of Ramona where there is actually a parking lot I see that is big enough for me to (safely) get in and out and I pulled in to have something to eat and a wee nap. I’m now only a mere 38 miles from Oceanside. YIPPEEEE ! Not so fast…..it continues…… I had pulled off the ‘main street’ going into Ramona so just got back on this ‘main street’ and continued. It was miles and miles before I see any sign and when I did it said 67…..hmmmm, I thought I needed to stay on 78W ?? Next thing you know I’m in Lakeside, CA (the first Town after Ramona) and I pull in to ask someone WHERE I WAS ??? I am informed that I’m nowhere near Oceanside, in fact Oceanside is now 45 miles away. It’s about 4:00PM by this time and I’m really, really tired. I (thankfully) asked where the local Walmart was and was given the directions. I figured it best if I didn’t continue driving.

I pulled into this beautiful Walmart parking lot that was right up on a hill in Lakeside and the view was gorgeous. I make a cuppa tea, pull out my lawn chair and see NO OVERNIGHT PARKING signs !!!!!!!!! I rested for a bit and thought about what I was going to do. Went into the store and asked the Greeter about parking there overnight and was assured it was ok. She even checked with the Manager who advised the parking lot security people and thankfully I was settled for the night.

Yesterday (Friday the 19th) I proceeded to this elusive Oceanside going back through the same area I had driven the day before. Once I got on the I-5 it was madness. I thought I’d have a leisurely drive along the Coast for awhile and then head inland to Riverside, CA where I knew a gorgeous campground awaited me. I had discovered by then (by posting on one of the RV websites) that I was not going to find any ‘free’ parking anywhere along the Coast and the RV Parks in Oceanside got terrible reviews.

Despite the fact that I was off the I-5 and on a ‘slower’ Highway (or so I thought) the traffic was still madness.

07

It was FAST and bumper to bumper all the way through CA133N; CA241N; CA91E. Riverside is barely a very teenie weenie dot on the Map and I figured (WRONGLY) it was a tiny little Town. As I entered it I saw it had 12 Exits !! I took the second one and started asking if anyone knew where this park was. First of all many of them didn’t speak English and no one knew where this street was. I eventually found a place to pull over (not easy when you’ve got 42’ behind you) and called the Park. The young woman who I spoke with was fabulous and naturally I was no-where near where I needed to be. I had to get back on the Highway and take the last Exit. I was a victim by the time I got here !!

One of the reasons I chose this particular Park was because of the online reviews. They all were raving. And the rates were very cheap at $20.00 a night. I was not disappointed. After camping in Arizona for so long it was nice to see GRASS and TREES. Another reason I wanted to find a spot for awhile is because the weather for all of Southern California is cold, windy and rain for the next several days. I knew I didn’t want to be driving nor boondocking.

There is everything in this Park from the tiniest little pup tent to the most expensive Class A around. Tonight it is just pelting raining and I wonder how this poor soul across from me is making out:

08

I saw her come out of the tent today with a very small dog. I sure hope they are warm enough tonight.

So that’s all the drama of the last couple of days. I’m going to stay put here for at least two more days and then figure out where I want to go next. The weather will be the determining factor.

12 comments:

  1. The wild adventures of Sassy and Bennie, ya gotta love it!! Sure sounds like alot of fun and "I do have a good chuckle" every time I read your blog. Drive safe and that little bit of damage is just another story to tell again and again and will bring back great memories every time you look at it or tell the story!
    Take care and continue to have a great time. I was out ridinglast Friday forabout 4 hours, great day at +6 or so....LOL!!
    HarleyB

    ReplyDelete
  2. So NO doesn't always mean NO! (As in NO overnight parking). Good to know!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Little fender bumps just give a rig character. Did you think about Flagstaff? The weather is still temperate there. Also, both of my daughters live in Eureka, California. That is a wonderful place, plus you get the redwoods.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Eeks! having to back up with a trailer is one of my least favorite nightmares!

    I'm glad you didn't head to Boulder Beach. It was freaking snow here a little while ago!

    I left Cali many years ago due to the insane traffic. But I still go back as often as I can. Usually, driving between 12am and 6am.

    Enjoy the beach! Oh and share the name of the park, please!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't mind the damage to the trailer as much as the NAMELESS (**hint-hint**-see prior post) RV. But I have to live with it.

    Kimmer, Ya that was strange and I was sure glad I checked because I was so tired.

    Cyn, Sorry, I thought I had put that in. It's Rancho Jurupa Park in Riverside. I'll try to get out today to get some pics but thunderstorms are again in the forecast.

    I'm thinking now of heading towards Vegas. I haven't been - at least I don't think so - the 70's are a bit of a blur LOL

    ReplyDelete
  6. So sorry about your crunch. We have a few dings on our rig to bring back memories of tight turn arounds. Maybe you shouldn't have thrown Betty out the door. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. hI DENISE......take the trailer to a good welder when you get a chance......I believe the damage part is aluminum....takes a welder with experience on aluminum but with a little heat applied it will likely go back to its original shape....then a small weld on the crack and it will be good as new......I know it worked on my water tank which looked like an exploded bomb with jagged edges.....the welder said watch and presto it went back together in a minute when the heat was applied.
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, what a wild ride! And welcome to my world. I live with that traffic every day, which is why I work from 7 to 3:30. No way am I going to do rush hour in San Diego County! But in spite of all your troubles, it sounds like you're having fun. And that RV park sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had a weekend home in Julian for several years and as I read your post I could easily visualize the left turn at the end of town and Farmer Road which is the continuation of Main Street.

    In those days I never drove anything bigger than a pick-up truck so missed turns were nothing but added adventure.

    Glad you made it with minimal damage! Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dave, I maintain the sign at that left turn is hidden by trees !! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  11. We were thinking of swinging through Calif when we headed North, but you just talked me out of it...What a time you had....
    As Al says "The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL."
    I love that quote! Hopeing for better days ahead for you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm going to make a suggestion that may sound a bit harsh but I don't mean it to be.

    Your problems with finding the road that you want or the RV Park that you are looking for can be reduced a lot by studying Google Maps and making Notes on 3x5 cards - BEFORE you start the trip. These cards can then be placed in your cup holder or on your visor for quick reference as you drive - or even stop and study them when necessary.
    The more complex the route the more Notes that will be necessary. To find a street in town I always make a note of a major cross street that I will cross BEFORE the street that I want.

    ReplyDelete