Monday, March 31, 2008

Tour of Morongo Preserve and Pioneertown

Reporting from Thousand Trails, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, CA. Yesterday the sky was blue and pretty but the winds were back and the temperature was only in the 60's. A chilly day for the desert this time of year.

Yesterday, March 30, we met Mr. Bill Clark, his wife Mavis and 23 other people at 9 am to go on a caravan to Morongo Preserve up on Hwy 62 heading toward 29 Palms. This is a preserve that has many walking trails and a lot of desert vegetation and artifacts. It is also a very good place for birders (people who like to sight the different birds). We saw much and enjoyed Mr. Bill's knowledge of the area and things along the trail. We were looking for the mountain lion and other big animals; but were unable to find any. We did see that there had been a big fire that had burned a lot of the trees and vegetation but it was coming back and the park will thrive.

We also went to Pioneertown. This was once a movie set used in making the Gene Autry and Roy Rogers movies back when they were famous. We had lunch at "Pappy and Harriet's Palace" and then walked around the town. We would have stayed longer and watched the "showdown" but it was so cold and the wind was blowing so hard that we decided to head on back to our little home here at TT.

Russ and I watched TV for the evening and then it was to bed for a good nights sleep. We really love being in our little house on wheels. Being able to move when we want, stay when we want and just doing it all.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thousand Trails, Palm Springs, CA.

On Thursday we moved the 20.1 miles from Catalina Spa & RV Resort over to Thousand Trails, Palm Springs at Palm Desert, CA. We decided to come over via Dillion Road and 1000 Palm Canyon Drive rather than getting on the I-10. Our way there was very little traffic and an easy drive until we got onto 1000 Palm Canyon Drive where we could really feel the wind coming at us from the west.

Pulling into Thousand Trails was an easy chore and we were able to get into our favorite area having 50 amp service and also being able to reach WI-FI from the adult clubhouse. Thousand Trails parks have the wi-fi but it is located in the clubhouses and not throughout the campground.

We were heading out to Trader Joe's when Russ spotted Joyce Dombroski, a very good friend of ours that we had met in 2005. We have seen them in all sorts of places in the past year. We were with them up at Soledad Canyon when we got word that the house at sold last March. We then met up with them in August back in Virginia at Chesapeake Bay. Then we saw them in January at Pio Pico in Jamul, CA.

After dinner Joyce and Steve came by and said that they were feeling lucky so were going down to Casino 29 so Russ and I decided to go see if we had any luck also and went with them. Russ was the only one to come out ahead. We also checked to see if we could get tickets for Engelbert Humperdinck but there was a big banner showing "Sold Out". Shucks!!! We then stopped for ice cream and then headed home. That was a fun evening.

Friday morning Russ and I took a walk around the park and then Steve and I went to the Manager's meeting at the adult center. Found out that nothing new happening with TT but did learn that there were going to be some adventures taking place from here. On Sunday, Mr. Bill, is going to lead a caravan over to Morongo Preserve and then to Pioneertown. Morongo Preserve is an important birding area and Pioneertown was built in 1946 as a movie set for western movies. It should be fun going and it look like there will be about 15 people going.

After the meeting Russ and I went to the pool for a while. The water was perfect and the sun was great. We then returned home for just relaxing. Russ did end up going over to Joyce and Steve's to talk about going golfing next week and to taste some wine that Joyce had gotten. They will golf on Monday because there is a coupon in the local paper. I know they will have fun.

Today Russ has washed and polished on the outside of the motor home. He is doing a really super job. Thank you dear.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


We are still at Catalina Spa & RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

For the past day and a half the winds have really blown. It feels like we are on a road with hills and we are constantly losing our stomachs from the gust that hit from all sides. Yesterday afternoon you heard people out putting up the big awnings and then a while later everyone was putting up the smaller window awnings as it was getting rough.

Russ and I decided to go out and get a few things that we needed. We first stopped at the Post Office for our forwarded mail, then we went to Costco for a piece of pizza and coke for lunch beings neither of us had had any breakfast. We then picked up a few items there at Costco. Next stop then was to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of small glasses for cocktails and tips for his pool cue.

Coming home I decided to take a different route just to find out where it would take us and if it would be better for us to take when we move to Thousand Trails on Thursday. We went up to Washington, then turned on Thousand Palms Drive over to Dillion to Corkill. Either way is just about the same so will see which was Russ wants to go in the morning.

Last night we went up to the clubhouse to the CATALINA Spa Dune Buggy Derby and had a good time. What this is is that they have a board set up with six little Dune Buggys. There are two officials that roll dice with descriptions on them that match each buggy. You bet 25 cents on which Dune Buggy is going to win. It was a lot of fun. I think Russ and I came out about $1.50 ahead. Last night was the last race also of the season.

Tonight Russ and I went up to the weekly potluck dinner. There were a lot of Italian dishes and everything was really good. We enjoyed hearing where everyone was from and what they were going to do for the summer. Most were headed back to their homes for the summer. There were a few of us who are full-timers and will be hitting the road for new destinations.

I am going to close for now and go and watch "The Moment of Truth" on TV. Some of these questions are and will get many people in deep water.

Take care and have a wonderful evening. Will see what in out there for tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Russ and I wish everyone a very Happy Easter.

We are still at Catalina Spa & RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA. We have been here since Thursday 3/20 and are enjoying the park very much. A lot of the snowbirds have already left but there are still enough people here that we can have activities and dinners for at least another week.

On Thursday night we played "Card Bingo." It is played using playing cards and the dealer calls out card suites and numbers randomly. We played 15 games with the first 10 costing 10 cent per person and the last 5 costing 20 cent per person. I was lucky and won 1 1/2 games and Russ won the last game. We did add to our dime jug. We sat with Sue and Paul that night.

On Friday, Russ played in the poker tournament that they have here. There were 35 people playing amongst 5 tables. They were playing Omaha and buy-in was $10 plus $1 for jackpot. He did not win but was not the first out either. He enjoyed the play and camaraderie. While he was playing poker I was at the pool. The water was nice and the sunlight was great. Had to get some color into the white meat and I did.

Friday night at the clubhouse they had all you could eat "Spaghetti Dinner" with salad and garlic bread. For dessert we had pudding with whip cream and a cookie. The food was very good. Afterwards they had entertainment. Russ went down to play cribbage.

On Saturday, I made a trip to Wal-Mart and Kohl's for a few things. When I got back Russ was watching the Busch Race on TV and when that was over we went to the pool for a while. Met and talked with a number of nice people and heard that Time Warner had come in and taken out the cable TV last week. Catalina is suppose to be working on the problem. A lot of people were upset that they do not have the cable and they could not get in TV.

Dinner on Saturday night consisted of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans with ice cream for dessert. Very good again. There was also a dance up in the clubhouse after dinner. We opted not to go but to just relax in our little house. It was a beautiful night with the moon out and a nice breeze blowing. I took a walk around the park at about 9:45 pm just because.

It is now Easter Sunday and Russ has made me a wonderful breakfast and then cleaned up the kitchen and picked up the living room. He is so good to me and I love him a lot for treating me like a queen.

He decided that he would go down and play some pool and I decided that it was time to put some more color on this white meat. I went to the pool for about an hour and a half. I then came home and changed so that we could go up to the ice cream social and then the jam session. Both were fun and we really enjoyed. Jam session got over just in time for hamburgers. A really good meal and for only $4. Thanks folks for feeding us really well this weekend.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Catalina SPA & RV Resort

This morning we leisurely got up and got the motorhome ready to move 38 miles down the mountain and over to Desert Hot Springs, California. Things were going well with neither of us hurrying to get on the road. There was some frost on the top of the car and the temperature was still in the 30's so we did not want to get out just yet.

At about 10:30 am we were all hooked up ready to go. Getting out of the campground and up the road was a piece of cake. Turning onto HWY 243 was where the problem began.....As we turned left there was a big bump and everything on the left side of the motorhome started to shift and fall. I went back to try and level things out and all of a sudden I find myself on my hands and knees and have also banged my left shoulder really hard on the kitchen sink cabinet. Oh it really hurt but I tell Russ that I am ok and to keep on going. I am just keep on going and I will get up when we are at the bottom of the mountain. Sitting there and not being able to see the actual road but everything that is coming to us was amazing. I wish that I had had my camera or even a movie camera. You would not believe the sights that were there.

Once at the bottom of the mountain I was able to climb back into my seat and we continued on to Desert Hot Springs. We arrived at a little after 12 and found our spot. This is a very nice campground and they have a lot of activities. Tonight we went up to the clubhouse and played Card Bingo. I won 1 1/2 games and Russ won the last game. We did come out ahead and had a very good time. I will get pictures tomorrow and add to the posting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Yesterday and today Russ decided to test his ability fishing again at the Silent Valley Trout Pond beings he had not caught anything on Saturday for the Fishing Derby. He was out there both days at about 9:30 am using the trout power bait. On Tuesday he caught 4 or 5 fish and then on Wednesday he really out did himself by catching 15. He was really happy as shown in the pictures.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snowey Sunday and My Birthday on Monday

We are still at Silent Valley Club, Banning, CA. We are approximately 13 miles from I-10 in the San Jacinto Mountains.
What has been going on since my last posting? Well, Sunday Morning we awoke to 4 inches of snow on the ground and surrounding area. It was really pretty and something that Russ and I have not seen for the past 20 years other than from a distance and the one time that I had to fly back to Richmond for a funeral.
Sunday: I was up and at ‘um somewhat early. Russ fixed up breakfast and then I went out walking in the snow to take pictures and just enjoy the beauty that was there. Many people had built snowmen, others were throwing snowballs and then there were those like me just enjoying the beauty of God’s earth.
I made it back in from my walk just as the NASCAR Race from Bristol, TN., was coming on. Russ and I watched and enjoyed the exciting victory by Jeff Burton. It has been a long time since we saw him win. After the race we just enjoyed the rest of the day with playing on the computers, reading the newspaper and Russ working on his crocheting, etc.
Monday: It is St. Patrick’s Day and my Birthday. Yes, 58 years ago today I was born to Ernest Floyd and Dorothy W. Crump back in Richmond, Virginia. I awoke to Russ singing “Happy Birthday to Me” and then giving me birthday kisses. He then fixed me breakfast in bed while I finished watching the “VIEW” on TV. I got up and showered and dressed and we decided to go down to Soboba Casino for a while. Between the two of us we lost $8.00 so that was not too bad. We left and went to the Farm House for lunch. They were having a St. Patrick’s Day Special which Russ had and I had their meatloaf. All was very good. They also have an antique store attached to the restaurant so we strolled around there just looking to see what was there. We saw many interesting things, but nothing that we felt that we could not live without.
After lunch we went to Wal-Mart to pick up some needed items and a few vittles for the rest of the week. We started out by doing a leisurely stroll around the store picking up what was needed as we went. We just had fun going about our chores.
Many people have left these past two days and now the Spring Break crowd is starting to come in. With Easter this coming weekend I expect that the park will be a little fuller than it has been. The weather is still chilly but it has been beautiful since all of the snow had melted. The personnel here have a lot of crafts and activities slated for the week.
Russ tried his luck at fishing again. Today he did have better luck actually catching three trout and having a lot of bites. He was much happier today than he was in not catching anything on Saturday. He must have been enjoying himself because he stayed gone all day. I’m glad he is doing something that he likes occasionally.
Tonight I will be switching between “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Big Brother. Thank goodness we get both east and west stations.
Until my next posting we wish everyone a very good day.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Unusual Day

We are still at Silent Valley Club in Banning, Ca. We are approximately 9 miles from downtown Banning up in the mountains. The elevation here is about 3500 feet and we are in a valley surrounded by mountains all around.
Today started out very early for us as Russ was to fish in the Fishing Derby that was being put on by the park. Everyone who was participating had to be at the pond by 7 am. We had heard the night before that it was to be really cold out so Russ had put most of his gear in the car so that he did not have to waste time retrieving it from the basement of the motor home. At 6:40 am he was out picking up his stuff and heading out with the others that were coming up the road. Mystee and I decided that it was too cold for us to be getting us yet so we just pulled the covers up around our necks.
It is now 8:45 am and I am up, showered and dressed headed over to see what the fishermen are doing. (What’s going on, I’m never up this early). As I am walking down the road I spy a Big Raccoon coming from behind a rig across the way. At about that time he spots me and we eyeball each other all the way down to the gate of the fishing pond. There are a number of guys who are fishing close to the gate and they see the raccoon and me eyeing each other. They just laugh at us and I go to find Russ and the raccoon goes towards the Ranger Station. I spot Russ on the other side of the pond and walk over to see how he is doing. NO FISH!!! I guess he is not holding his mouth right or these fish do not know what “hot dogs” are. He continues to fish until about 11:30 am when all of the tagged fish had been caught.
We had gone to Sizzler on Friday and brought home our steaks and baked potatoes, so decided to have them for our lunch. We ate and then decided to go over and play BINGO after checking out the little store. We played 10 games and I was fortunate to win one for $12. It was fun and we really enjoyed the few others that were there to play also. For blackout I only needed one number. Oh well, next time.
We went to the Club restaurant for dinner as they were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Corned Beef and Cabbage. When we walked over there it was very cold out and the wind was blowing hard. We were there for about an hour and were discussing whether to come back and listen to the music that was going to be provided. The decision was made for us as we walked home and heard a big roar of thunder. We had not been in the house more than 15 minutes when we began hearing something hitting the roof and side. We looked out and it was hailing. This lasted about 15 minutes and then it was quite. About 20 minutes later it started again and this time there was snow also. When I went to bed about 10:30 pm there was an inch and a half of snow on the picnic table. Will let you know how much snow is out here tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Trip to Idyllwild, CA

Russ and I have both wanted to see the Thousand Trails Park at Idyllwild so today would be the day to make that trip. We are staying at Silent Valley Club which is a private campground and they also allow people to come in on Coast to Coast and Passport America. We are here on the Coast to Coast reservation. Idyllwild is approximately 14 miles from here so once the clouds moved out we headed on further up the mountains. We could see snow still out there and were looking forward to being able to actually touch snow again as it has been a long time since we did.

The drive up was on a real snake road first curving this way and then that way but was fun and interesting. We drove all around the campground even getting out to play in the snow a little. Back to our childhood days.

We then drove into the little town of Idyllwild and looked around and then continued on down the mountain towards Hemet just for the ride and to see the difference in road conditions as everyone says to use the route that we did as the other one is a much harder pull and more curves. It was not that bad going down.

We did have to make a stop at Soboba Casino just to get our fix for this week. We both played $20 and then left. It was fun. On the way back to Silent Valley we stopped at the bank to make a deposit and then to Sizzler for a bite of lunch. It was then time to head up the mountain and our house on wheels.

Russ is going to fish in a derby that they will have here tomorrow. Hope that the weather holds out for it and that it will not be too cold even though they are calling for a winter storm. We will just have to wait and see......

Until tomorrow sweet dreams.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moving Day to Silent Valley Club, Banning, CA

We have spent the last 13 days at Soledad Canyon Thousand Trails and were ready to see a new area. We left at 9:30 am and headed for Pearblossem Road where we were to fill up with diesel fuel and propane. Donna and Cecil had called back on Monday telling us about an independent station (Jerry's Truck Stop) there that had the cheapest prices in the area. We had ridden down there to find out exactly where it was and we did stop and make our deposit. The price of diesel had gone up by $0.03 per gallon from Monday to Thursday.

We talked with Dan, whom Donna and Cecil had talked to and he was surprised at how we traveled, live and the communication between the RVer's out on the road. He will be watching for us to come back through on May 1.

We continued on down Highway 138 to I-15 then to I-215 and finally onto I-10 headed east toward Banning, CA. We turned off on Highway 243 and headed up the mountain for nine miles to Silent Valley Club. This is a beautiful campground and very fortunate to be here as there was a tremendous fire that went through this area in October, 2006. There were 5 firefighters who lost their lives in that fire and there are many people who are thankful to the other firefighters who were able to save these grounds. There were 200 people at the time trapped in this valley.

We met a couple (Ida and Bruce), from Romona, CA., who come up here on a regular basis. I would guess that there are about 150 different rigs in here right now.

They have a restaurant here that serve dinner meals Thursday - Saturday and breakfast on Sunday morning. The dinner we had last night was great (meatloaf or lasagna). They also had a full menu if you did not want their special.

After dinner we took a walk just to get better adjusted with the park and then watched some TV before bedtime. A really good day and we look forward to seeing more in this area.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Quiet Day

Writing from Thousand Trails, Soledad Canyon, Acton, CA.

For the past four days the Thousand Trails Travelers have been here for their monthly campout. We had 12 rigs of members, 2 rentals and a guest rig at this campout. Each morning we had goodies and coffee to share. The afternoons were spent either playing card games, shopping or visiting/resting and some were just playing pool or in one of the tournaments. The week did not provide much opportunity to be outside as the winds were blowing really hard and the temperature was cold.

We spent our evening meals together. On Sunday we went to Hometown Buffet in Palmdale, Monday was finger foods, Tuesday was potluck with a lot of different foods provided by our great cooks. Wednesday we had a Salad potluck and everyone seemed to enjoy these meals a lot. Wednesday there were also 11 ladies who dressed in their Purple Shirts and Red Hats and went to lunch at Carrows in Palmdale. Fun was had by all.

Each night there were games going for those who chose to play; Pegs and Jokers, Hand and Foot, or Hearts. There were winners and there were losers but all had fun and were ready for the challenge the next day. Good going all.

Yesterday Russ picked up the new blocks for the jacks from the office here. They had come in by UPS the day before and we did not make it to the office in time. He put them under the jacks today and hopefully it will prevent us from sinking into the asphalt or soft earth from now on. I also received word that the new sensor for the tires was shipped out and will be here by Monday or Tuesday. We had received two with the same serial numbers.

There are 4 rigs left today. We played pegs and jokers with Cecil and I beating Joe and Russ three out of four games. Cecil and Joe's wives were not feeling well enough tonight so Russ and I paired up with them for these games.

I received and e-mail from my niece Dana today that she had uploaded pictures (95) of her new baby. I was happy to get them as they are back in Virginia and we are here in CA. I want to watch this little one grow as Russ and I do not have any children of our own.

Time to close up for tonight but will be with you again soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Practice Day

Today has been a day for me to do some practicing of the things that I learned at the FMCA Rally. I had gone to the Microwave/Convection Oven seminar and decided today was the day to try and make a roast using the slow cook part of the convection oven. I bought a small roast because it is just Russ and I here to eat and proceeded to follow directions that were given to us. The roast turned out magnificient and with the potatoes and carrots was a great dinner.

I then decided to test my hand at some bite size brownies. I have never been a cook so this will be experimental for me.

Late in the afternoon I took a ride down to the lower end of the park and by the fishing pond. I found a gentleman fishing down there and he said that he had caught and released 16 catfish yesterday using worms. I did get a couple of pictures of him with his catches.

About 6:30 pm we went to the Adult Clubhouse to play cards and found that there was another group there having a potluck, and another group having a tournament card game. We were able to get 2 tables to play hand and foot while Russ, Darol Ruffner and Joe Gower played pool. We all had a good time. Watched a little TV once we got home and then off to bed for a good nights sleep.