12/9

The park in 29 Palms had a great hot tub, sauna, and huge pool.  We were lucky to meet nice neighbors, Ben and Darlene, who were starting out on their RV adventures.  We've kept in touch and they're doing fine in Texas now.

12/11

Desert Hot Pools is a member of the outfit called Western Horizons (Stan calls it Western Harassment).  They push you to listen to their spiel and join their pricey club.  Not our kind of place at all, too much attitude.

12/12

Literally just a block away we found a place more our speed.  We had excellent wireless access, and here we waited happily for our mail to arrive (thanks, Brian and Vicki!).  We're still eating the delicious cookies. 

12/16

The full moon was rising as we drove north into the Mojave for a couple of days at the Calico Ghost Town.  We'd go back here.

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12/18

In Bakersfield we stopped to see the Kern County Museum and pioneer village. 

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We like seeing this part of the state, where the agriculture meets the mountains: vineyards and citrus groves with oil pumps in their midst.  More feedlots than we'd remembered.

Through Lompoc to Jalama Beach.  Stan immediately was accosted by another ham (they have a way of finding each other).

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A gorgeous sunset ended our day. 

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We saw the former camp hosts and neighbors we had on our last stay here.  Our days were extremely busy. 

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Note Amtrak crossing the trestle, and in the foreground note the tangles of white wire straddling the fence.

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And lo, at night, the transformation!


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Our Christmasy neighbor was a sad character.  His wife stayed in their trailer except for one brief nonverbal appearance.  He was a lonely soul.  Right away he put up decorations, and he was quite serious about them.  He explained to me that the buck, whose head moved side to side, was "guarding the herd."  The doe, who appeared to be impaled on a fencepost, limply tried to raise her head.  According to our neighbor, she was "grazing."

It was hard to keep a straight face!  However, when we left the day after the neighbors had gone, we saw their entire pathetic Christmas gear slung into the dumpster, boxes and all.  We'll never know the story behind this tragedy.

Jalama had a wide open wireless, which although slow and sporadic, was our only connection out.  Forget about cell phone.

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The extremely high surf deterred most visitors, although the dolphins did not mind it at all.  Our week was quiet and relaxing.  Our only complaint (minor) was the showers, which ate quarters and gave out practically unbearable discomfort.   Just to add to the fun, they were unheated and unlit, and open only until dusk.

12/26

Did we hate to leave Jalama?  At least we had a scenic route through Buellton and Solvang (much of this area used in the shooting of the movie "Sideways").  Maybe they're just tourist traps, but they are pretty.  Solvang means "sun meadow" -- wonderful name.

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Fog rolled up at us as we came over the San Marcos pass

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and descended into the land of flowers, Santa Barbara.  Had our first In-N-Out burgers of the trip in Ventura and cruised through LA for a night at Lake Perris in Riverside, close to March Field (airplanes).

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Flight Line F-104 From Burlington, VT Corsair II, Short Little Ugly Fella
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B-47 A9 lost out to A10 First US Jet Type
Early Nedco


12/27

We like Glen Ivy in Corona.  Beautiful big trees, live oaks.

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In Vista we saw an antique steam engine "museum" where we wandered around for hours.

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12/28

For three nights we were off the beaten path near Escondido, so of course we had to go to the Wild Animal Park.  Animals, great; people, not.  Don't ever go here during vacations or weekends.

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12/31

Oops, we were supposed to stay up and watch the ball drop (EST at least) but we both pooped out.  We'd had enough of too many people and cars, so we headed for the Anza-Borrego Desert.  The wind howled and the rain did its best to get at us while it was drenching the Rose Bowl Parade.  Liz wallowed in football.

At Agua Caliente County Park (and airport) we met nice neighbors, Barbara and Lee, and their pet, Puff, an Australian bearded lizard.  The other lizard fed the California Quail.  The large hot tub was most welcome.

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1/4

Rose Bowl!  Wow, what a game.

Lake Jennings county park has 360 degree views of great mountainous scenery. 

At San Diego's waterfront saw the Maritime Museum and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here are the Star of India, a brig,

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and the Surprise, used in the movie "Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World." 

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The Berkeley with its beautiful appointments served as a ferry from San Francisco to Oakland.

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The Medea, a private yacht was next door.

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At lunch we saw a really odd-looking dog. 

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Then it was time for the Midway Museum, aircraft carrier.

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We celebrated Stan's birthday by doing absolutely nothing.

1/8

San Clemente is one of the few state parks with hookups. Serious surfers in these waters!   

The next day we were fooled by both our navigation software AND the California atlas, our bible.  Beware of Route 241, which looks like a nice shortcut from Mission Viejo to Corona.  A hefty $5 toll for this, but it was indeed a terrific road.  We were glad to be off I-5 with its 4-6 lanes whizzing along.

1/9

Our regional park for the night was pretty enough, with a lake and golf course, etc., but it was adjacent to a stinky feedlot and the California Institution for Women.  From there we went to see the home of Lazy Daze, an RV that Liz particularly likes. 

After an In-N-Out burger we headed east on I-10 to Hemet (our usual Golden Village Palms).  It is particularly comfortable and homey to us on our fifth stay.

We're here for the week 1/11-17 to enjoy the hot tubs and pools and dogs (well, some of us enjoy them).  About half of the park is dog-free, so Liz can make friends with all the dogs she likes.

Stan has become interested in a new ham method called Olivia and his very first contact was with New Zealand!

This weekend is wall-to-wall football, so the slightly chilly weather is OK with us.  We even had rain late last night, after another full moon.

From here we may hit some hot springs near the Salton Sea, and the following week will meet with our friends in Quartzsite, AZ.

We're both healthy and happy and having a great time and we hope our readers are enjoying the winter, wherever you are.