Monday, February 27, 2012

Hot Spring LTVA - Near Holtville, CA

We arrived at Hot Spring LTVA on Wednesday, and as I posted before, since the bridge entrance was out, we had to go along the canal on dirt roads to get here.  Yesterday one of my neighbors, a very nice woman named Carolyn, told me there was an easier way out, and took me in her car to show me the way.  Actually the way I came in wasn't entirely legal.  She said the first part I took (from the bad bridge along the first part of the dirt road to the bridge that I crossed) was not a legal way to get that far.  There is another road, leading to another road, which takes you to the bridge you can cross, then turn right onto the dirt road leading to the camping area.

If it sounds confusing, well that's why Carolyn took me in her car.  I told her yesterday that when she first explained how to get out, all I heard was, "Nah, nah, nah, nah... Nah, nah, nah." 

Now I have an easier way to leave, it takes half of the dirt road off the way out and leads to Highway 8 east to Yuma.

Also, she said "they" came in the day after I got here and filled the holes in the dirt road, so... If you were planning to come here, it isn't as hard as I made it seem.  Sorry about that - it's all I knew at the time, and the way I was told to get here.

Another thing, though, if you are coming from Yuma in the east, the 10-mile frontage road, I'm told, is far worse than the road I came in on. Everyone recommends coming in from the west.

Katie and I are enjoying our stay here, it's surprising quiet, especially considering we have Highway 8 on one side, pretty close, and some sort of power plant on the other side, a little further away.  The lights of the plant are very visible in the evenings, but the noise from both isn't much, and I've been sleeping like a log since we arrived.

Our campsite at sunset

This is the third time I've seen a Roadrunner the first day at a campsite.  Usually I don't see them again, but this morning I saw another one running by my window and crossing the road.

Roadrunner spotted at Hot Spring

The terrain is similar to Quartzsite LTVAs, except there are more bushes, and they are larger.  Of course it has a hot spring, which I'm sure is the draw to this LTVA, but other than the spring, I much prefer the Quartzsite area which has a town close by, and a free dump site and water for my tanks.

This is the Hot Spring below.  It has a shower, you can see the spray on the left, and it's suggested that you rinse off in the shower before getting into one of the pools.  There are two small pools.  The entire Hot Spring is fenced, and there are no pets allowed in that area.

To the right, alongside the pool area, is the spring shown below, enclosed by palms.  You can barely see the water unless you walk right up to the trees.  There is no soaking or swimming in this water.

I wondered about the cleanliness of the water in the pool with so many boondockers using it. But I was assured the mineral water was clean, and in fact, the pool is thoroughly cleaned every week. Lots of the people here go to the spring every day, some in the very early morning, others during the day, others in the evening. 

In case you're interested, these are the rules.
Bathing suits only, and they are not optional.

There are two bathrooms near the Hot Spring area, very simple restrooms with vault toilets.

They seemed clean, and there was no odor, even though someone left the lid up on this one.

I keep thinking I'm in Arizona, but this LTVA is in California.  We have beautiful sunsets here every night.

 Beautiful Hot Spring Sunset

Super windy this morning, still a little breezy, but warm and sunny.  Another great day boondocking!

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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gavin's turn at Grammys, and the final Santee Lakes bird pics

Warning - lots of photos in this post, more than usual, I hope you don't have a problem pulling them up.

So, to continue my weekend with my Grandkids - on Saturday afternoon I dropped Kennedy off at home and picked up Gavin for an overnight in The Palms.  We arrived around dinnertime, and Gavin loves breakfast, so we had breakfast for dinner:

Hot chocolate, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon and Cheerios.

He at every bit!  We had little battery operated candles - gotta add some ambiance when you're having breakfast for dinner!  After dinner we watched one of the DVD movies he brought.  Gavin wasn't interested in having Katie sleep with him, so I got her back that night. :)

The next day Gavin was determined to swim, since Kennedy had been in the pool the previous day.  When we went over, though, there was a man with his daughters looking at the pools.  There are three, the large pool, a smaller one, and the hot tub (not for kids). He said the smaller pool was solar heated.  (Wow, sorry Kennedy!)  Gavin really lucked out, and he tried the smaller pool; it was still pretty cold, but not as cold as the larger pool.

Gavin swam back and forth a few times, played a little in the water, did a cannon ball, then got out.  He was pretty cold.  I had the heater in the car fired up to get him warmed up!

We also went to the playground so he could try out the various climbing and sliding structures.

 This one was really cool to climb on - both kids liked it.

 I'm going in, okay?

He fit inside - and discovered spider webs and ants!
But I love this picture of Gavin.  So typical little boy. 

Of course, Gavin also fed the ducks - I bought enough the day before with Kennedy to have some today for Gavin, so off we went to feed the ducks.  And do a little birding.  Gavin was a good birder.  As I was driving around the park, he spotted some birds that I didn't see, and we'd stop and get some photos. 

 This is how it begins.

 The birds went wild - swimming and running and flying as fast as they could get there.

 Gavin ended up with quite a crowd-they kept coming until the seed was gone.

And finally, more birds we saw during walks and driving around the park.  I fell in love with the Blue Herons and Egrets.

 Beautiful Blue Heron

 Funny little Egrets


 This Great Egret was perched on top of a tree

Double-Crested Cormorants - this is the first time I've noticed these birds:

 These two Cormorants were very snugly, they must have been paired up.

Dusk - lots of Cormorants roosting

And finally, a few more shots to end the Santee Lakes photos:

I don't know what this next bird is, he was perched behind the fence near the last lake. At first I thought it was an owl, but he doesn't match the photos of the three kinds of owls listed at Santee Lakes.  He has a very small beak.  Anyone have a name for this guy?

NOTE:  I had a couple of suggestions of White-Tailed Kite, and looked again at the "Birds of Santee Lake" sheet.  The only Kites listed are White-Shouldered Kite and Black-Shouldered Kite.  I checked both photos on-line, and he looks just like a Black-Shouldered Kite.  Thanks for steering me in the right direction. I've never seen a Kite before, and never would have looked that name up.  Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going with the Black-Shouldered Kite.

Black-Shouldered Kite

 Wooden float in the first lake in the RV area. Always birds sitting there.

On Sunday evening Tom, Trish, Kennedy and 2-year old Graydin came down and took us all out to dinner at a local steakhouse.   I wanted to post a photo of the family at dinner, but the restaurant photos were fuzzy.  It must have been the lighting.  When they went home, it was pretty quiet around here!

Monday I just took it easy, surprisingly I wasn't tired after having a few really busy days!  Tuesday was super busy - drove to town to shop, get gas, then the laundry at the park.  Dumped the tanks, filled the water tank, generally got ready to leave the park, heading east to the desert.

Next time I'll post about the Hot Spring LTVA and have some photos of this area for you.

From Me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We're BACK in the desert again... :)

Welcome to our newest Follower, Sharon Gulezian!  Sharon is a jewelry designer, (one of a kind, precious gems, pearls and crystals from all over the world).  Sharon, have you been to Quartzsite to check out their gem shows?  You don't show a blog or any other information, but let me know if you're an RVer and have a blog.  Welcome aboard!  Katie and I are very happy to have you following us on our adventures!  :)


I had over 800 photos to go through, deleting some, putting some in my "blog" file, and filing the rest.  I've been working on them for the last few days, but mostly I've been pretty lazy.  I get good TV and Internet here, so I've been catching up on the TV shows I've missed.  Thank goodness for Hulu!


We arrived at the Hot Spring LTVA  on Wednesday.  It was kind of a bear to get to, the bridge over the canal at the entrance of the area is out, and the only way in is to drive along a dirt road along the canal, I think it was around three miles, cross another bridge, and drive back along the canal another three miles.  The road wasn't too bad, but not too good, either. 


Pretty much washboard the whole road - I had to drive between 10 and 15 mph to keep things together. I could just see all the screws slowly turning as I bumped along.

As I was getting nearer to the camping sites, there was a very sharp turn, and as I approached it, another car, a van, came around the bend. I waved out the window and told him I'd back up, and he said, No, we're fine, as he drove into my mirror, re-adjusting it for me.  His wife seemed very embarrassed, and I wasn't too happy.  He said he was sorry, he thought he had enough room, and said, Everything looks fine, and drove off.  I couldn't open my door to see if there was any damage until he drove past me, and he kept going down the road.

After I got photos (and a closer pic of his license number, just in case - it's very handy to have the camera always nearby) I got out and checked the mirror.  It was fine, not even any scratches, so I re-adjusted it and continued to drive on.  Thank goodness the whole mirror, including the large arm attaching it to the body of the truck, is adjustable, otherwise it probably would have broken off.  That would have been a real pain! :(

Had I known it would be hard to get to, I would have kept going to another area.  By the time we were here, though, I decided to stay until we needed to dump the tanks and fill the water tank.  When we leave, we'll continue on to another camping spot. 
That's the bad part.  The good part is everything else.  When we found a spot to camp in and I got The Palms ready to live in again, I felt like I had come home.  The first thing I did was open all the windows and open the door and let all the fresh breezes in.  It's hot here - as I write this at 4 pm, it's 79 degrees, slight breeze, the fantastic fans are going, and I finally have a tank top on again.  It's pretty dry here - Poor Katie has white spots on her little nostrils - that always happens in hot, dry weather.  Does that happen with you dogs' noses?  Do you do anything about it?
It's a pleasure to walk Katie again, walking has gotten easier and easier and my strength feels like it's about back to normal.   There is one large dumpster for the whole area, and we walk down to it each day with a garbage bag to toss in.  The hot spring is a little further down past the dumpster.  We might walk to it, but at this point I don't have any desire to experience the hot spring. 
People go back and forth, usually with wet towels and hair on the way back, and sometimes with a full gallon plastic bottle.  I was told they use the water from the springs to wash their dishes and other uses.  It helps to extend the amount of water in their RV tanks.

Okay, enough about where I am now - I just wanted to update you on our location, and I'll post more about that in the next few days.


I need to catch up and post some photos of GRANDKIDS!  Today - Kennedy.


I picked Kennedy up last Friday at lunchtime, and we went to Coco's for lunch, then drove to Santee Lakes for an overnight in The Palms.  The last time I was at their house, last July, Kennedy and Gavin were scheduled to spend the night in my new motor home before I took off on the Great Adventure. Well...  as we were watching a movie that evening, Kennedy got sick, and went back into the house where she was sick all night.  So this was the first time she slept in The Palms.


We had LOTS of FUN! 


Snuggling with Katie
Kennedy wanted Katie to sleep with her soooo bad - I didn't think it would work, and that I'd be climbing down to get Katie in the middle of the night, but Katie got under those covers and didn't move until morning.  

Good night, Katie!
It was a one-dog and three-blanket night, pretty cold temps overnight. When Kennedy went to sleep, she asked for one more cover, and I added my last quilt to keep them warm:

Good night, girls!  (The bump in the middle is Katie.)


We bought some bird seed at the office, and Kennedy fed the ducks.  They came running!

Kennedy REALLY wanted to swim, I had her bring a bathing suit just in case.  The pool was not heated; it was ICY.  She has been in Lake Tahoe when the water was really cold (I think it's always really cold at Lake Tahoe) and she was determined to at least get in this pool.  It wasn't easy, though.  It took three tries of 1-2-3-go!

She did it!

Cooooold - thank goodness THAT’S over!

I was really proud of her, I wouldn't have even thought of trying to get into that water.  

Kennedy loves to do crafts, and is very artistic.  We got some of my craft things out, and she played around with them for a while.  In this photo she's making a "bug catcher," that's not what we called them, but I remember making these when I was about her age.    

We had a nice visit, did lots of things together, and had a great time.   Around 3:00 we packed up her things and drove back to the house.  It was Gavin’s turn to visit Grammy and Katie in The Palms.

Thanks, Kennedy, for visiting me and Katie – we miss you!

I had problems with this post, so finally copy/pasted it into Live Writer - it's still a little off, but... it's done!

From Me and My Dog, have a great Saturday, everyone!  :)