Anza-Borrego and the Salton Sea

Jan 28

Anza-Borrego and the Salton Sea

Anza-Borrego and the Salton Sea – that sounds like a band name.  Or a Harry Potter book. Actually, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California (and the second largest in the country). We’ve spent the last few days at the Palm Canyon campground which is tucked up against some mountains near the park headquarters. For one of the first times on this trip, we really feel like we’re camping. The vistas are wonderful and the sunrises have been stellar. The nearest town, Borrego Springs, was designated as California’s first International Dark-Sky Community which means the nighttime sky is just as impressive. With very little light pollution, the stars are stunning. Yesterday was a work day so we spent part of it sitting outside at our table and as it got dark we could just look up to see the night sky dissolve into an immense field of stars. Today we made our way down to Salton City on the Salton Sea. Rich told us that the east side of the Salton Sea was much prettier, and I totally believe that but we really wanted to see Salton Sea Beach. Back in the 50’s Salton City was going to be the next big resort destination. Another Palm Springs. They designed a pretty big city, laid all the roads and ran the utilities. Then people just didn’t move in. By 2000, only 978 people lived there and while it’s up to nearly 4,000 now, that is still a very small percentage of the intended population. Much of the original infrastructure is gone now but there are still some areas that are abandoned – modern ghost town stuff. The Salton Sea is a popular place for birds, though. We drove down Seaport Avenue near Yacht Club Drive (where there is neither a sea port nor a yacht club) and saw lots of white and brown pelicans, seagulls, egrets and some species of crane that did a great pterodactyl impression. I found it interesting that the birds tended to segregate themselves by species. Maybe they just don’t speak the same language, or perhaps the seagulls can’t afford the same waterfront lots that the pelicans get. The beach itself is unusual. Since Salton...

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Seacocks and Spelunking

Jan 25

Seacocks and Spelunking

It’s a funny thing when you tell people you’re going to be RVing full-time. They tend to assume your life will now be margaritas on the beach 24/7. They think of the best times they’ve had in an RV, or, even more likely, the pictures they’ve seen in magazines, and they think that’s the lifestyle. Well, just like anything else in life, it’s part of the lifestyle. But there’s still regular old life that happens, too. Case in point: clogged toilets. This new Airstream of ours has a macerating toilet, which means it shreds up the “contents” of the toilet before it flushes them into the black water tank. I’m not sure why this is considered a useful feature. Perhaps one of you readers can tell me. But I will tell you this. The goddamn macerator gets clogged at the drop of a hat. Oh, this also means our toilet is an electric toilet and anytime the macerator has to strain in the tiniest bit it blows a fuse. Yes, you read that last line correctly: Our toilet regularly blows a fuse. You can buy special RV toilet tissue that’s quite expensive but promises to flush and break up easily. It’s pretty much tissue paper. We’d heard that any toilet paper that was labeled “septic safe” would work, so we bought a roll of “septic safe” Scott 2-ply. This was the first time we discovered what owning a macerating toilet was really all about.  It spun that “septic-safe” 2-ply paper into cotton rope and jammed up good. Learning that lesson, we reverted to regular ol’ Scott one-ply. Problem solved. Except, if you use too much it still sometimes blows a fuse. Now to last night: I was very tired and cleaning my face with a disposable face wipe.  I absent-mindedly threw it in the toilet and flushed. The toilet immediately made the loud buzzing/roaring sound that we now know means the macerator’s jammed. “What did you do this time?” Chris asked from the bed. Here’s some free marital advice: Never ask that question to your spouse. Ever. We went to sleep and figured we’d deal with it in the morning.  The Sealand 8100 Series MasterFlush™ manual says to clear...

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Leslie’s Book is FREE today on Amazon Kindle

Jan 25

Leslie’s Book is FREE today on Amazon Kindle

Leslie’s book, Peeling Mom off the Ceiling: Reclaiming Your Life From Your Kids is a funny, helpful book about stress-management. And through the rest of today (Jan 25th) it’s FREE on Amazon Kindle. Even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can use Amazon’s free Cloud Reader to check it...

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Anaheim Resort RV Park and Disneyland

Jan 22

Anaheim Resort RV Park and Disneyland

Where do you go after three weeks on the road in an Airstream? We’re going to Disneyland! After being a bit ahead of schedule after last week’s planning oops, we figured a stop at one of our favorite places. The Anaheim Resort RV Park is about 1.5 miles from the theme parks, much closer as the crow (or Tinkerbell) flies. In fact, we can see the top of the Matterhorn from the Tardis and watch the fireworks from our picnic table. The park is clean and handy and not too expensive considering its location. Yesterday, we went to the parks with Tiki. She really liked riding the tram from the parking garage to Downtown Disney got to stay at the Disneyland Kennel Club and we got 1 day park hopper passes. The parks were almost empty – one of the real advantages of going on a Tuesday in late January. We started with California Adventure and, as is our tradition, the first stop was Soarin’ over California. If you haven’t been, it is a great ride where they lift you up into a giant IMAX dome and then play a movie where you are flying south across California, pretty much making the same stops that we’ve made over the past couple of weeks. We also flew over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park which is our destination early next week and San Diego where we’re headed at the end of February. After Soarin’ we walked around the rest of California Adventure. The most impressive part is the new Cars Land. The set they’ve built for the racing ride is a truly epic Desert Southwest re-creation and the life size Radiator Springs from the movie Cars is really cool as well. The afternoon was spent in Disneyland Park, checking out some new stuff (there’s quite the Xbox One exhibit at Innoventions, as well as a full set of Ironman suits and Thor’s gear) and visiting our favorite classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, both of which have had some updates since our last visit. Today was a work day and catching up on a few errands, one of which was giving the Tardis a bath. She needed it...

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Forgetting to Plan Ahead

Jan 18

Forgetting to Plan Ahead

After about a week in the Bay Area, it was time to get away before the championship game this weekend. Our intention was to make it down to Morro Bay and the Morro Dunes RV Park which is right by the sand dunes to and the ocean. We got a bit of a late start due to some work phone calls but we made it down to Morro Bay around 2:00. Our GPS put us on the wrong side of the park so we called them to find out where the entrance was and that is when we found out that they were full for the weekend, and so are the other RV Parks in town. Since January is such a slow time for campgrounds, we’ve gotten used to pulling up to any park we’re interested in and there being lots and lots of places available but this weekend is the 3 day MLK day holiday so more people are heading to the beach in central California. Oops! This wasn’t a big problem though. We just called head to our next destination in Buellton, CA and the Flying Flags RV Park had plenty of room for us so we continued south and were at our new destination about 90 minutes later. This means we are going to miss a bunch of the coastline touring that we were going to do this weekend including heading up to San Simeon but it also means that we are now 3 days ahead of schedule so we’ll have that much more time down the road. Most of the California coast is experiencing a long drought – the longest since the 1890s. For us, that generally means clear blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. We arrived at Flying Flags RV Park at around 4:30 pm and it was in the upper 80s.  Overnight, it got down to 36 and now, on Saturday afternoon we’re back up to 83 degrees according to my Netatmo weather station. We’re changing clothes more often than the Granthams in Downton Abbey. One of the fun things at this park is that they have a bunch of classic trailers that you can rent and stay in and many of those are...

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