Monday, April 13, 2015

More family visit photos, back in Hot Springs - Part 2. And scarey visitors and a move

I took hundreds of photos during my trip - it was hard to whittle them down.  Here are a few more.

Actually, Trish took this first one of a very tired Graydin.  Those iPhones really take nice photos. He didn't have the energy to walk up the stairs for a nap:

 Is this cute, or what???

 Trish's selfie of all of us around the table after Easter Dinner - Grammy is looking a little tired, LOL

Granddaughter Kennedy at soccer practice.  She was just accepted on a competitive traveling team.  I love these photos of her.  She's competitive, smart, sweet, and beautiful - an all around a great kid.  She just turned 12 in January, and is doing so well for a girl her age.  Kennedy is the one with the Origami Owl jewelry business.  It's still going strong.  Middle School next year!  :)

Tom bar-b-qued a wonderful beef loin for us one night.  Here is everyone around the table:

You can see how well the boys get along in these two pictures. 

Trish was trying to get a good selfie of herself and Tom.  He made some faces and the photos were pretty funny.  Here's Trish showing Tom:

 I won't post the funny photos here, Tom.  You're welcome. ;)

When we left San Diego, we spent the first night at Viejas Casino in Alpine, then drove on to Hot Springs LTVA near Holtville, CA the next day. We are allowed three nights per calendar month at Viejas Casino.  I took one night coming back to Hot Springs, will stay again on my way back to San Diego for my doctor appointment, and then the third night heading east on my way to New Mexico.  Worked out well!

The Scary Part

I had a great spot, of course, when I first got here to Hot Springs.  I was right up front on a paved pad near the vacant camp host's spot.  This is at sunset:

Look how empty it is:

Most of these areas were full of RV's; some had already left when I arrived on 3/9, and more left around the time I started toward San Diego on March 24th.  I thought some non-Canadians would still be here, but only two remain.  These shots don't show all the bushes.  There aren't many trees, but there are a lot of bushes, some short, some tall, some very full, and lots of greenery. 

Here we are to the right of the entrance: 

The entrance to the camping area - this is the camp host's site on the left:

To the left of the entrance and down the road:

I had my pick of the sites.  Nice!  It was quiet, the weather is great, I was a happy camper. I could see one Class A parked down the main road a bit, but that's all I could see.  Another car drove in and out a few times, so I guessed there was another person here, too.

Then after a day or so, in this empty campground, a red car, driven by a single man, parked two sites behind me.  I took these photos out the kitchen window.  He opened his driver's door and trunk and just stood there, looking around, playing with his long dark hair. 

He sat in his car with the door open for a while, then stood outside again for a long time. I was pretty nervous, and closed everything up, just open enough to peek outside through the bottom of my lace hemmed curtains.  As it got dark and with him still there, I brought everything outside into The Palms for a quick get-away, if needed.  I knew there was was at least one RV down the road from me.  I could see it, but it wasn't that close.

In the morning, the red car was gone.  As my neighbor, Sonny said, sometimes men feel better parking near another camper, too, not just women, and maybe that's all that was going on.  He might have been more comfortable being near someone. But I didn't want to take any chances.

Then yesterday I decided to walk down the road a bit to see who else is here.  I found the man in the Class A outside  his rig and stopped to talk to him.  He said it was only him, Sonny, another man, Roy over in another area, and me.

I told him about the red car making me nervous, and he kept looking past me, then said, are you expecting company?  I said no, and he said there's someone walking around your rig.  I turned around and saw a black car parked next to The Palms. 

I didn't recognize the car.  I started running down the road, pushing the stroller.  I stopped at one point and took photos of a nice looking black man and his car - a nice looking black BMW.  He walked up to my door and looked like he was knocking or trying the handle.  I stopped again, and screamed at him - over and over - "Get AWAY from my rig!" until he walked away from the door and toward me.  Then I started running again toward The Palms.

He started walking toward me, smiling.  When I had almost reached him, I said, in a serious loud voice, "What's going on?"  He smiled and kept walking toward me and said Hi.  Very friendly.  I said, "What do you want?"  very low voice, fast and serious.  Then he tells me he just came from Blythe and left his wallet there and needs money for gas.  I said, "I have nothing to give you.  Get your car away from my rig, and out of my campsite.  Right now."  He said, "Okay - no problem."  Something like that.  I said, "Don't EVER park that close to someone's motor home.  That's a really bad idea, and really rude.  Get it out of my site, now!"  He turned around, walked back.

He got into his car and left.  Whew. What a nerve!  I got a good photo of the license plate on the back, just in case, as he was driving away. 

You know, this is a fee-only campsite.  Anyone coming in here should have a season pass or have paid for a site.  It's not like a Home Depot or Wal-Mart parking lot where people are walking around begging for money.  (Never food, always money.)  We're also eight miles from Holtville, the nearest small town, so there is NO reason for anyone to be here asking for money. 

So then we walked back to Sonny's rig and told him what happened.  He said while we had been talking he saw the guy drive in, park next to my rig, knock on the door, then walk around the rig.  When I was running toward him, he had his hand up to the door again.  Knocking?  Checking to see if it was unlocked?

Sonny said while I was running toward The Palms he got on his golf cart and started down the road, so the man would see him.  He stopped and waited a little ways away until the car was out of the campground.  He said he didn't mind at all if I moved closer to him, so I decided to bring The Palms up to his area, and parked across the road from him, behind a bush, but still visible.  No more lone men in cars near my rig.

Maybe these two episodes were nothing more than what happened, no ulterior motives on their part. But when something happens like this, and it doesn't feel right, better to listen to our instincts and take precautions.  If Sonny hadn't been here, and been so helpful, I would have left the campground.

(That's one reason I like having a small motor home and no toad.  I don't put much outside.  If I had to leave anything I have outside, it wouldn't be much of a loss, usually just chairs.  But I don't want to lose Katie's stroller, so I always bring it inside at the first sign of anything I don't feel comfortable with.) 

We'll leave on Tuesday (tomorrow) and head back to San Diego, I have three nights planned along the way to overnight at free stops.

Next post will begin the RV Mod information.  YAAAAY!  I can't wait for you to see it.

It's been a while since I've welcomed new Followers, and today's the day!  We have four new followers, all women - and none of them has any personal information shown.  Ladies, if any of you have blogs, please let me know in a comment and I'll post it so we can all check out your blog, okay?

Linda Chapman
Karen S
Terrie Pressman  NOTE:  I just found her blog - Ponder in the Blue Yonder - that was started on April 5.  :)
Deb Dean   (One of my best friends in high school in San Mateo, CA, was Debbie Dean. Deb, let me know if that's you.  Wouldn't it be cool to re-connect?) 

Thanks to you all for following along with me and Katie - we are very happy to have you on board!

From me and Katie, have a great Monday, everyone!   :)


  1. That must have been a really scary and tense situation. I admire your tenacity and wonder what I would have done in the same situation. It's a good thing you were talking to someone who saw the entire episode. Please take care.

  2. Scary for handled it well...B safe...Can't wait to see mods!

  3. At times like that, maybe it would be nice for Katy to have a Doberman pinscher as a partner. One of my son's dogs is a Doberman and I really like that dog. It is very friendly but I wouldn't want it to get mad at me.

  4. I would be very nervous too. I'm glad you're getting out of there. Being alone or even fairly alone is not safe.

  5. I would be very nervous and rightfully so. Those things he said don't add up. Since you have the license number, why not call the police and explain what happened.

  6. Glad you took care of those men pronto! Strange. But nice to see you enjoy your beautiful family.

  7. I completely agree with Jan. This guy should be on their radar, so to speak. Well done!

  8. Those were both strange encounters. But the second one is the worst. I would have been very scared.

  9. I would have been very frightened. I took a CHG class and have a license but would worry about different state laws regarding handguns. You acted in aa very responsible way. Why would someone come to a deserted area to beg for money. Love your blog. Stay safe!

  10. Nice family pictures love the stair nap must be nice thick carpet.
    You sure let that fool have it but glad that the guy in the RV was ready to roll up on the creep. Really! looking for gas money in the middle of nowhere.

  11. see, I just find that really scary, to have unknown men prowling around my space!! My heart was pounding when you were running up to your rv, so glad nothing bad happened!! Why would a guy with a BMW be asking for money for heavens sake!?? Just sounds fishy, glad that other guy was there to 'back you up'

  12. We love the Hot springs area and other LTVA 's but always like yo park within range of other rv's for exactly that reason.
    Glad that everything worked out for you.

  13. Yikes, that sounds like too much excitement for me...

  14. I have had a similar experience many times. Man and women approaching a person for gas money. One person wanted to know if I could "loan" them $20 until the next day when they got paid. Said they were my neighbor even though they had no ID or wallet on them, gave me an incorrect house number for the street behind me, and said they got paid the next day. Then I thought, who gets paid on a Thursday? I have had my RV door knocked on in rest areas, been approached at gas stations, and after coming out of a movie. I think you did the right thing to move closer to another RV. You gotta wonder how a man driving a BMW doesn't have money for gas?

  15. You are braver than I am. Not sure what I would have done though. It's scary just thinking about it. Glad you moved your rig closer to Sonny. Be safe.

  16. These scary situations are good sometimes just to keep you on alert that there are times when you need to be on your guard.
    Glad things didn't turn out badly for you. Even though you like parking far from other people, sometimes the idea of the collective is intimidating for the people that don't have good intentions.

    Stay safe.

    1. I agree - sometimes we have to be reminded. I always dry camp, but never alone. I don't like parking away from other people. In fact, I like at least two other RVs within eyesight just for this reason. I don't think it's safe for anyone to park totally on their own, but some people have no problem with that. Everyone has their own comfort level. I DID wonder if I was too much out in the open when I parked there. Should have listened to my instincts. Believe me, I will next time!

  17. looks like you had a great Easter! Looks like you should've been asking him for money hes the one with the beamer. Be careful out there!

  18. OMG Barbara, that was scary. Just reading it made me scared!!! Glad you are ok. Love the family photos!!!! x

  19. Glad you were ok. You should consider carrying pepper spray. Cheap, easy to carry, non-lethal (legalities), but very effective. I would also have complained to the camp manager. They have a responsibility for security.

  20. We had a knock at a rest area back in 2012, I told the jerk to go away...ended up he was with other young men in their 20's trying to pull a scam on unsuspecting people. Poor guy next to us lost about $100 playing their little shell game. I did not know about it until I walked the dogs and he told me about it. When I lived in the RV park in Pine Bluff Arkansas I had a few knocks on the door during the big holidays....people who were lost mainly. I don't know how you do it living by yourself. --Dave (

  21. Hi Barb and Katie, I found my way here from the Bayfield Bunch. My late husband and I were full timers for six years and halftime for 5 years. His passing was quite unexpected so I had some big changes to make. I'm not ready to give up RZving completely and was asking about the small Winnie the Bayfield folks had. Anyway, I'm interested in your travels....and your independent travel. Right now I'm looking at Class C's...sold the big rig since I never drove it. I hope to make some decisions in the near future. Happy travels. PS we once had a little scare at a free rv parking area. It was not fun.


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