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:
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 !!
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.
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: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.