A bit of England in the middle of a desert?

Of course, most people know the answer to this one…the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.  I was a young girl the first time I visited Lake Havasu.  All that was there of the London Bridge, at that time,  were some numbered blocks inside a chain link fence. Where there were a few homes and a tiny town became a thriving and growing city.

We stayed at the Elks here, in Lake Havasu City.  $25 a night for full hookups.  Spaces were nice and level and gravel.  The downside to this location is there really wasn’t a dog friendly area to walk your dogs.  They are expanding so there will be even more available spots.  The food, though!  Tiger prawns almost as big as your hand, and you could have them lightly battered and fried, or grilled.  I had them both ways, and both were delicious!  I heard their prime rib was also good…I just couldn’t break away from those prawns.

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Lake Havasu is dog friendly though.  Lots of outside dining.  There is a roomy dog park, Lions Dog Park, just on the other side of the London Bridge from town.  It’s popular, so expect company.  If you continue on though, there is a dog beach for swimming.  That is where I went each day with my girls.  There was only other dogs there on one day, the other days I had it all to myself.

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A memorable adventure we went on while there was to visit the Desert Bar, aka Nellie E Saloon.  It was built on the site of a former mining camp.  It is located in the Buckskin Mountains, with the nearest town being Parker. It’s only open Oct-Apr, Saturdays and Sundays only, from high noon until 6 pm.  They have live music Oct-March (depending on weather) on Sat from 1-5pm and Sunday 12:30-4:30. It is all run off-grid. Solar panels power the place.  It’s mostly open air with seating under cover and out in the weather. The saloon is an inside building.  There is food offered upstair and down. While the burgers, etc are more reasonably priced, they are pretty tasteless and I wouldn’t buy one again.  Downstairs they have a bigger variety, and more expensive choices.  I can highly recommend the Gyro fries though, if you like Gyro meat.  Crispy fries with feta cheese and Gyro meat…and enough for 2-3 people!  I don’t recommend taking your dog(s) there, though some people do.  It is very crowded and can be very hot for your 4-legged friends. Oh yeah, and BRING CASH! No cards accepted.  You can make it there is a 2 wheel drive car, though I would recommend all wheel or 4 wheel mostly for ground clearance.  It’s a long washboarded and rocky 5 miles.

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Back to Lake Havasu. A great place to sit and have a libation (good margaritas and fruity drinks), enjoy some fresh chips and salsa and watch the people and boats going over and under the London bridge is the Javelina Cantina.  Though there are many locations that would be enjoyable all along the waters edge.

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Leaving Lake Havasu, we headed to Quartzite.  Stopping at a now favorite, Mexican Restaurant, Maya’s Restaurant and Sports Cantina in Parker.  Some of the best salsa I’ve ever had (and they have a salsa bar so you can try different types).  Delicious Chile Rellenos (though they were out on our 2nd time stopping) and tacos.  As a side, the charro beans are tasty choice.

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Last 3 days in the CA desert….

Our last three days in the California desert were spent at the Coachella Eagles.  This is quite a deal for members (Todd was a member so he signed me in as a guest).  It’s a little rundown, but for $17 a night, you get full hookups.  Also, there is a washer/dryer, and shower you can use , not to mention a swimming pool.  There are cement pads to park on, nice and level.  Other than Hwy 10 that is not too far away it is peaceful quiet.  I did hear some coyotes at night and early evening.   Roadrunners appear to include this place as part of their territory.

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Didn’t do a lot during the time we were there.  We did however go to lunch at the Empire Polo Club, at their Tack Room Tavern.  The food was good and reasonably priced.  The décor was perfect.  Saddles to sit on if you were in the mood (though they were western saddles) and polo artwork, mallets and saddles adorn the walls.

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We then went  and visited the Eldorado Polo Club.   Dogs are welcome at the polo clubs on leash.

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Back when I was a kid the only polo club was Eldorado and it was tucked up against the mountain in Palm Desert. I used to watch from above, sitting there on the mountainside with my Shetland Sheepdog buddy, Patches.  My Mom used to love watching the polo games and did so until she left the desert around 2007.   I looked for, but was unable to find some historic photos of the old location.

A little history on the club.  The Eldorado Polo club began in 1957. Then, 11 polo players got together and bought the original parcel of land. “They were Willie Tevis, Peter Hitchcock, Erwin Anisz, Willis Allen, Larry Tailor, L.C. Smith, Gayle Medicott, Bob Haney, Bill Gilmore, Ted Pierce and Frank Yturria. They had a meeting in San Francisco, at the Olympic Club, to purchase 38 acres from Bob McCulloch for $500 an acre. McCulloch was the developer of the Eldorado Country Club. He had some extra land that didn’t fit into his master plan. “Fortunately for thousands of polo players,” says the Eldorado magazine article written by Russell, “the land was perfect for polo.”Each of the men contributed $5,000 to build the Eldorado Polo Club. Homes starting in the low millions now occupy the land the club originally sat on.
It was McCulloch’s idea to name the club Eldorado. He offered the founders a membership in his country club if they did so. “A funny anecdote regarding the free social memberships came after a polo game,” Russell wrote. “Five players rode their horses down the wash over to the Eldorado Country Club. They tied the horses to the trees at the main entrance; at that time there were orange trees at the club entrance where there are palm trees today. The five players in dirty shirts, britches and boots went straight to the bar. As they relived the game, they had a little too much to drink and the group became a little rowdy. As the players partied in the clubhouse, the horses left their calling cards at the entrance, and with that came the flies. The ladies and club members began to arrive after church and were absolutely disgusted. Several days later Tony Veen informed them that Mr. McCulloch, upset over their behavior, had revoked their social memberships.”  – poloplayersedition.com

The location of the original club became too valuable and they ended up moving to Indio in 1979.  “ the facility now is one of the most prestigious country clubs in the desert, called the Vintage Club. I mean, Bill Gates lives there. That’s how good it is.” -poloplayersedition.com

For a bit of even older history of polo in the CA. desert:

“Colorful History of Sport in Village

By FRANK ROBERT  Desert Sun Feb. 27, 1958 Few people will remember Tom Mangan at Smoke Tree Ranch in 1927 and 1928 pulling out the Cresote, and Smoke Tree bushes with a team of horses, and a log chain. By the end of 1928 he had a smooth skin field watered down by hand, and patiently dragged with a team hitched to a large twelve by twelve timber. Tom who at this time was over seventy years old played Polo most of his life in many east, and west games, as well as many high goal international games. He had coached the great Eric Pedley and mounted him in most of his greatest matches With the building of the Field Club in Palm Springs real Polo on a beautiful turf field became a reality. By 1938 fourteen goal Polo with the best players in the west were a regular weekend event. Bill Gilmore, Red Guy, Walt Disney, Harry Patee, Carl Beal, Charity Farrell, Hal Roach. Will Rogers and many other famous names of that time were seen in the various tournaments. WORLD WAR TWO brought all Polo activity to a stand-still in Palm Springs as well as the rest of the world. The only thing left from the old Polo days was the Palm Springs Polo Club, a social group organized to entertain the Polo Players at a cocktail party after each game A special little club house was built for this purpose. and still stands in the same location at the present Polo Grounds in Palm Springs”  – California Digital Newspaper Collection

I understand the “new location” is also in the process of being bought for development.  They say that there will always be an Eldorado Polo Club, and that they will just move further out.  I guess that is to be seen.

From Coachella we headed to Lake Havasu, Arizona.  Along the way we stopped at what once was a gas station to let the dogs have a break.  It ended up being a place that accumulated shoes with laces.  Not sure how something like this gets started,  I wouldn’t want to toss a perfectly good pair of shoes up there.

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Looking forward to getting to where Kylie and Korda can go for a swim!

 

New desert and old desert

Driving to Palm Springs to meet with a friend for lunch I was in for a pleasant surprise.   While most of the desert along Hwy 111 had become overgrown and more like cities, Palm Springs has managed to keep it’s village feel.

Palm Springs is very dog friendly, everywhere you look people are walking their dogs along the sidewalks.  There are many restaurants and cute sidewalk cafes with outside dining so your four legged friend can remain at your side.

Maureen, spends her winters in Palm Springs and summers on Whidbey Island, WA and Montana.  She suggested a quaint little restaurant called Farm.  It is located in the downtown La Plaza shopping center. It is set back off the walkway fromm the retail shops.  The history of La Plaza is an interesting one.

“Back in the 1930s when Palm Springs was in its Hollywood heyday, the city boasted four large hotels – El Mirador, Desert Inn, Del Tahquitz and Oasis; the Chi Chi Club attracted nationally known performers; and the city had more swimming pools than any other place in the country, according to the late mayor Frank Bogert’s “Palm Springs’ First Hundred Years.”
Liz Ostoich, owner of Farm Restaurant, told us that La Plaza was developed by the wealthy Julia Carnell, of the National Cash Register Company. The story goes that she was friends with Palm Springs pioneer Nellie Coffman, who built the Desert Inn and invited Carnell to visit. Apparently Carnell loved the village, but lamented that shopping, entertainment and dining was too spread out. So she built La Plaza in the center of town that encompassed not only shops, a theater, probably a restaurant, but also housing for those working in the shops. Automobiles could park in the cobble-stone plaza near the shops; La Plaza was actually the first “strip mall” in California, if not the country.” -The Desert Sun

When you walk in you feel transported to a lovely French Café.  Most of the seating is outside, with umbrellas and flowers on the table.  Sitting there, enjoying lunch, we had hummingbirds darting around the flower on our table…mesmerizing.  I took a quick walk inside and there were beamed ceilings and fireplaces.  Antique furniture and paintings grace the rooms.

Ah, and the food! So delicious!!  The food is locally sourced, produce, eggs and meat and are used to create traditional French dishes.  I had the Brie sandwich, consisting of Pear, Brie, Date Jam, Arugula, and Walnuts. Served warm on a Baguette.  Maureen had the Croque Madame, Jambon de Paris, Gruyère, Béchamel, and Sunny Egg.  There were so many choices it was hard to pick just one and I doubt you could go wrong with any one of them.  They had lots of refreshing sounding drinks too, and are known to create the best Bloody Mary.  2nd and 3rd photos courtesy of The Desert Sun.

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As we parted, I promised that I would be back!  I would love to go hiking with Maureen and her dogs in the canyon behind her home.

On to the old desert….I stopped by the Palm Desert Historical Society.  It’s a small building manned by docents.  It’s located in the original first fire department in Palm Desert.  It was constructed in 1951.  In two rooms you’ll find a collection of historical photos, newspaper and magazine archives.

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I learned a couple of things that I didn’t know about the town I grew up in.  In the 1940s General Patton established his Motor Pool on Portola Avenue.  The Motor Pool supported the training of troops prior to battling the Germans in North Africa during WWII.

The 2nd thing I learned is that Bing Crosby was the one who built Silver Spur Ranch.  He also had a home there and it was rumored that at that home he entertained John F Kennedy.  It’s also the location where a tryst with Marilyn Monroe happened.  Originally, John F Kennedy was planning on spending his time in the area at Frank Sinatra’s, but after finding he had an “alleged” link to the mob he switched to Bing’s.

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My home for most of my childhood was on Feather Trail in the Silver Spur development.  I had some of my best memories of my childhood there, hiking in the desert daily with my dog, Patches, and my Siamese cat, Suki.  Riding my bicycle all the way to town (a rather steep couple of miles) to go listen to Harriet Oberhaus read stories at the library, or to get a slush at the Circle K with friends.

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There were some pics of Shadow Mountain Country Club.  We’d go to many functions there, and I spent a lot of time in their pool (even though we had a pool of our own).  I ended up babysitting many evenings for the tourists and golfers staying at the country club.

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Mr. Keedy was also represented, he started with a grocery store in 1942, the only other choices were to drive to Palm Springs or Indio.  He later opened the fountain and coffee shop where we often had breakfast or lunch.  It still exists today and when you walk inside it’s a time warp.  Looks exactly like it did in the 60s.

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I was surprised to see pics of White Sun Guest Ranch, since technically it is located in Rancho Mirage, but I was pleased to see them.  I have many fond memories of the times I spent riding there.  I often rode a cantankerous pinto pony named Sony.  My mom said she and dad would just laugh watching him buck all along the top of the wash as we were riding out.  I got to be really good at sticking in the saddle. 😉  In my teens I was hired as a horse wrangler and met lots of fun people from all over the world.

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The last pics are aerial shots of Palm Desert in the 60s and 70s, followed by a pic I found showing what the area looks like today (wish I could have found a shot from the same angle!).   PD historical society19PD historical society18PD historical society17palm desert today   If you get a chance, and you’re in Palm Desert. Please stop in and support this worthwhile museum.

Palms to Pines

I took a drive up to Idyllwild to have lunch with a facebook friend.  I was really looking forward to meeting, in person, Tamandra (Tammy) Michaels who is a talented photographer and fellow dog lover.  https://www.facebook.com/HeartK9/

Hwy 74 is known as the Palms to Pines Hwy.  It had it moment of fame when it was depicted in the opening scenes of the 1962 movie, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. There was a car race and one character drove off the mountain to crash on the desert below (that location is known as Smiler’s Point).

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The movie starred Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, and Ethel Merman, and featuring cameos from Buster Keaton, the Three Stooges, and Jerry Lewis.  It won an Academy Award in 1963 1963https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/smilers-point

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It looked the same as I remembered (last time driving it was in 1979),  climbing up into the mountains.  It’s about as windy of a road as you can find.  Lots of hairpin turns that you need to slow way down for.  Gorgeous vista views of the desert floor below.   The vegetation changes as you go, ocotillo and cholla, then pinyon pines and juniper to ponderosa and sugar pines.

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When I got to Garner Valley, that was when I saw some change.  It used to have one ranch and now there were many homes with acreage and horses.  I remember when I lived here how I thought it was SO green in Idyllwild…that was until I saw the real green of the Pacific Northwest!

Idyllwild itself had grown but it is still a small town.  We ended up eating at The Mile High Café.  I really can’t endorse this restaurant, it has a eclectic menu..Korean food, Teriyaki, tempura, udon, as well as hamburgers and traditional fare.  Tammy and I both decided to go with the Korean and were disappointed in our choices  (I had bulgogi and Tammy had Bibimbap).  We might have enjoyed a different choice.   This location, as well as many restaurants in Idyllwild are dog friendly, with nice outside decks.  It appeared that the whole town was pretty dog friendly, lots of dogs accompanying their owners around town.

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The Mile High Café was right next door to what used to be an art gallery .  It was there that I took art lessons in pastels from Jon Gnagy.  Jon was the original television art instructor, on NBC with You Are An Artist.  I still have 3 of my “creations” at home.

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From there we wanted to find a place where Tammy could take some pics of our dogs and let them burn off some steam.  We chose to go to Lake Hemet.  It was brisk out and the lake was very cold.  That didn’t stop the girls from doing some serious swimming.  I  finally had to tell Kylie “no more” because she was shivering.  Of course, when I turned my back, in she went for one last swim.  Tammy’s GSD, Justice, really had a great time romping with the girls.  He loved being chased and was hilarious to watch. A big thank you to Tammy for the great pics!!

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When the dogs were finally exhausted, Tammy and I stopped to have a cup of coffee before we started our journeys home.  I wanted to be down to the desert floor before dark, as the two lane hwy 74 is known for accidents and the narrow, windy road is best done in daylight.   The girls and I slept well after such a fun filled day.

Scrub a dub doggies….

I finally had to break down and give the girls a bath.  On a recommendation from a friend, I went to the Barking Lot in Cathedral City.  $17 per dog for self wash.  Individual stations with a gate, worked perfectly for having both dogs in with me at the same time.  A plus when the weather is warm!   They have a selection of shampoos, a conditioner and a blueberry facial scrub.  Towels are supplied as well as brushes, ear cleaner and cotton balls.

It was all very clean and I can definitely endorse utilizing this facility!  http://thebarkinglotpalmsprings.com/

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Song of the desert

I’ve been at Lake Cahuilla almost a week.  It’s been a great place to stay.  I get a peaceful, easy feeling here.  😉  You are serenaded at night by coyotes and owls, and in the morning doves and mockingbirds.  Herons and White Pelicans share the lake. lake cahuilla1lake cahuilla2lake cahuilla3lake cahuilla4

Spots runs $35 a night for power and water. There is a dump.  Dogs are an extra $2 per dog, per day.  This is one of the places your Passport America can be used and save 1/2 of the daily cost on a few days a week.   They have firewood and ice at the entry kiosk.

The sites are clean, wide and offer beautiful views of the mountains and the lake.  There is a bathroom with showers (.50) There is a dog walking area right by the campsites, though there are numerous trails just outside the park that you can take your dogs on a hike.   If you want something a little more remote there are equestrian sites down a washboard dirt road into a private cove.  The only downside is there is a police gun range at one end of the lake.  Though, I have to say I only heard them one day.

 

If you are here, it’s nice to bbq and sit by a fire at night…though there is a myriad of great eating places.  Mexican food being one of my favorites, I ate at a couple of different ones and enjoyed each of their offerings.   The three places we tried were El Mexicali Café, Macario’s Grill and Mariachi Mexican Cuisine.  They were all delicious and had a variety of things to offer.  Macario’s has a buffet that is worth checking out for a plate full of different, delicious dishes.  Macario’s used to be a date garden and shop back when I was a kid. 🙂

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We also visited an old haunt of mine, Ciro’s Pizza.  I was a bit disappointed in the pizza itself, though I would consider going back for a lunch or dinner special for a pasta dish.

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There are many dog friendly restaurants, due to lots of outdoor dining, as well as dog friendly hikes, all around the desert valley.  There are trails and areas that dogs are not allowed, as well, typically due to wildlife in the area.  Do NOT ignore those signs.  I tend to not like to go where it’s crowded,  with people or dogs, so choose more remote trails in washes (less stickers, cacti in the washes) I can find.   I drove out to Whitewater Canyon, which has a few dog friendly hikes.  The road ends in the canyon at a parking lot, and though there were two signs on the way saying “lot full” I found there was room when I got there.  I found the trails more crowded than I like, so chose to leave after checking out the displays in the ranger’s station.  There are bathrooms near the parking lot.

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I did a lot of driving around, visiting places I lived, worked, learned and played.  Many of the places were still there, but a few were gone.  The one that I was the most sad about was White Sun Guest Ranch, that is replaced with a housing development.

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I did most of my riding as a child there, and became a horse wrangler for a couple of years.  I can still remember the smell of the dusty, covered boardwalk in front of the saddle room.  The chairs lined up in front where we would wait to take guests out on rides in the desert.  The horses all saddled, with heads down and rear legs cocked, all along the pipe corrals. It was a low paying job but probably one of most favorite.

White Sun began it’s life as the Eleven Mile Ranch (because it was 11 miles between Indio and Palm Springs) in 1925.  In 1934 it became a school for asthmatic children.  Will Rogers funded the expansion to include the school.  Unfortunately, with the crash that claimed Will Rogers life it almost destroyed the school.  Were it not for the dedication of a group of Rogers’ friends, including Roz Russell, Mike Romanoff, Basil Rathbone, Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer and Tom Mix, the school would have closed due to lack of funds.  The school was run successfully until WWII depleted the teaching staff.  It was bought in 1946 by Jack Dengler who turned it into a dude ranch.  The White Sun Guest Ranch became internationally known, and blossomed from hosting a dozen guests to nearly 200 in its heyday.  I have a couple of books written by the wife of Jack Dengler on the history of White Sun.  They are one of my most cherished possessions.

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I drove by the home I spend most of my childhood, at Silver Spur Ranch, on Feather Trail.  I drove slow reminiscing over events that occurred there.  Flying around “the circle” on my bicycle, hitting some gravel and crashing.  Being carried home by an older boy who I was infatuated with after being struck in the ankle with a rock by a bully.   Hiking daily into the desert cove with my blue merle Sheltie, Patches.  Raising a baby hummingbird and releasing it back into the wild.  A rattlesnake next to our front doors.  Coyotes howling nightly….ahhhh I could have stayed there for days just thinking about things.  The olive tree my mother had planted was still there, though the ocotillo my grandfather had planted were gone.

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Across from Silver Spur Ranch is the Living Desert Reserve.  Back when we first lived there it was only some cactus that had been planted there.  My mother and I volunteered to water the cactus through the summer (we were one of only a handful of families that stayed during the hot summers).  When they started to finally develop the reserve, I worked there for a year.  There was only one building with dioramas housing things like kangaroo mice and lizards.  There was a Chuckwalla (large lizards) pit in the entryway.  About the time I left the desert they had a mountain fenced with Bighorn Sheep.   Now it’s the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and is a full fledged zoo. http://www.livingdesert.org/

When we sold that house, my mother had another house built on Setting Sun Trail further down Portola.  While it was being built we lived in Idyllwild in the mountains. We would travel Hwy 74 daily to the desert floor,  so my mother could go to work and I could attend school.

This is the house that was built.  I only lived in it a couple of years. My Mom stayed there until she remarried and moved to Oahu.

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Most of the stores and buildings are gone or remodeled and replaced.  A few still exist, like Keedy’s.  It was a soda fountain and we also ate breakfast there now and then.  I stopped in and it was a time warp..the interior still looks like it did when I was a kid.  I almost expected old man Keedy to walk out drying a glass.

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I have to say, Palm Desert was a great place to grow up in the 60s and 70s.

 

 

They say you can never go home again…..

Yes, the desert has exploded with new homes, shopping centers, golf courses, schools etc.  but it still felt like coming home.  I miss the desert, though I’m not sure I could deal with the hot summers anymore.

The first week and 2 days I’m spending at the Indio Elks. $25 for power and water.  Level sites, small citrus laden, grassy patch.  There are some nice dog parks in the area, and you can walk to a grassy depression to walk your dogs.  I, however, prefer heading out into the desert.

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The location of this lodge is very convenient to most everything.  Laundry and grocery store are within walking distance.  Costco and Walmart are close.  Lots of shopping, anything you need.

Another huge plus is there are mobile wash/wax companies that show up at the lodge.  Really reasonable rates, wash/wax for my RV was $250 (and it was badly oxidized), $60 to wash/wax the Jeep.

I had most of my issues with my RV taken care of in Fontana.  I have a couple more problems that I will address when we get to Arizona.  I still have to have my HWH leveling jacks fixed, as well as remove or stow a extended stay propane tank line, and my toilet is still leaking somewhere when I’m moving.

I did need to get my Jeep’s headlights (new LED) aimed as they were blinding oncoming traffic and whomever I was behind.   I looked online and decided to take it to Crawlur Offroad  https://www.crawluroffroad.com/ here in Indio.  I chose them because I was hoping they could also fab some screens for my windows.  With only 2 windows that roll down the interior of the Jeep can really heat up, even though I had all the windows tinted.  Stan, the owner, also let me know that my shocks were shot and that I really needed to replace my Jeep tires that were over 11 years old.  Sigh.  I do so well with being careful spending my money and then my vehicles sabotage me!

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I highly recommend Stan, if you are in the area.  He made some great window screens, replaced my shocks and aimed my headlights (which also had a bulb installed wrong).  He also came out to where the RV was parked, measured and made a part so that I would be able to get my spare tire down.   Now, I will have an available spare in case I ever have a flat again (hopefully never!).

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I’ve taken my dogs out for walks in the desert, where memories come flooding back.  The smell of the creosote, the washes from rains, the smoke tree and Palo Verde trees…I love it all.   I happened to stumble on a nice trail, the Boo Hoff, when I was checking out moving to Lake Cahuilla.  There is a nice write up on some other dog friendly hikes here: https://visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/articles/trail-tails-dog-friendly-hikes-in-greater-palm-springs/

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There is a nice dog park here in Indio.  It’s right across from a reclamation facility (fondly known as the Turd Farm…thanks forever for that one, Todd Legg!).  If you need to dump your black/gray tanks this is an easy access, free facility.

Anyway, the dog park….  It’s called Mulligan Dog park. It’s separates the small dogs from the large.

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There is a staging area going into both sides.

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It is almost always empty, one dog showed up when we were done on the first visit.  It’s a large grassy areas with places to sit.  Unfortunately, it appears that some people don’t watch their dogs…as there are droppings here and there that weren’t picked up. There really is no excuse, multiple stations with poop bags and garbage cans.

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In preparation for the fireworks I know are going to happen on New Years (there were some on Christmas) I decided to move up to Lake Cahuilla State Park.  Fireworks are illegal here, as well as in La Quinta, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs.  Unfortunately, Indio allows them and also many of the residents think it’s a great idea to shoot off their guns.   I’ll continue my blog from my new location.

 

Time for repairs…

Our next home for two days, is at the Fontana Elks.  We were originally going to stay at an RV park in Jurupa, but they no longer offer the Passport America discount which made it too expensive.

The Fontana Elks turned out to be one of Korda’s and Kylie’s favorites.  It offers water and power for $20, but the selling point for the dogs is a huge, grassy fenced in area.  The girls found racing around the large, center bbq and meeting place, to be heaven.  They would race around one way for about 4 or 5 times then turn and race around the other way.

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One of the reasons for choosing to stay here at this location is there is an RV repair place about 5 minutes away.  Those of you that have RVs know, but for those that don’t…it’s a constant process keeping things working.  The jarring of going down the road can play havoc on the vehicles.  That, as well as my coach is an 2004 and only had 10K miles on it, so it sat quite a bit.

Anyway, from the day I left my stabilizer jacks stopped working, my slide was starting to stick and not open/close smoothly, and my air conditioner wasn’t working.  None of it was much of a problem at this point, but I was going to need air conditioning and I didn’t need my slide to get stuck while out.

I called a repair place before we were expected to arrive, and German (pronounced Herman) answered, said he was just down the road and to give him a call when we got settled.  Herman Dominguez is the owner of Foothill RV Center, and I highly recommend him if you are needing service in the area.

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He came out and worked to find the most reasonably priced fixes for my problems.  He ended up lubing all the moving parts on my slide and replacing a fuse, and it appears that problem is fixed.  The air conditioner he replaced a capacitor, but it had more issues so we decided the best fix would be to just replace the unit.  We decided to go with a more powerful unit, a 15,000 BTUs instead of 13,500 BTUs, for a little more money.   The HWH leveling jacks he suspects a circuit board and will try switching it out to see if that fixes the problem.

Herman told an interesting story yesterday when he first came out to see what my issues were.  He was standing at the shop and a dove flew down, flew right by a customer and his employee and landed on his head!!  The dove let him take it in his hands and caress it.  He said it looked as though it might have been attacked by a hawk, there was blood on the back of it’s neck.  He gave it some water, and it drank.  When they left for the evening, he left it in the shop with water and they planned to bring some food for it the next day.

Next, my hometown area!  I grew up in Palm Desert, CA and went to high school in Indio.  We will be staying at the Indio Elks.

Orange ya glad you’re in CA? …

Yes, it’s $45 a night with the Good Sam’s discount, and yes that seems expensive…but for full hookups and being surrounded by orange trees loaded with fruit? Priceless!  This will become one of my favorites, you can walk around and just pluck the sweetest Valencia oranges right off the tree.

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The spots are roomy, there are two off leash areas for dogs as well as a track around the property to walk them.  There is a laundry room and bathrooms, as well as a pool.

A fruit and nut stand is within walking distance of the park.  There are samples galore, and all kinds of tasty treats.  We went, hoping for a date shake, but they were all out until the next day.  There is a factory for boxing  and shipping the delicious oranges from the area.  I found it a bit sad, because obviously the ones being boxed up in the factory were on their way overseas.  It’s the same with the apples and other produce in WA. The best is sent elsewhere, and we’re left with the poorer quality in our grocery stores.

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There was a fun car with a colorful wrap parked out front.  It was owned by an old hippie who was as colorful as his car. 🙂

Sadly, we are only here for one night, but we intend on being down to Indio for Christmas…and it’s getting close!

 

A peaceful setting…..

After a long drive, we arrived at Success Lake Campground outside of Porterville, CA.  This campground is also known as Tule Lake Recreational area.   Power and water spots are $30, and they have a place to dump.

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This campground is next to a lake created by a reservoir. I’m sure this campground can be very crowded in the summertime, but we had lots of elbow room with only a few other RVs and a group of tent campers.  It was so peaceful and the light at sunrise and sunset plays across the mountains like watercolors.

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There are houseboat rentals, fishing and boating.  Bird watching was fun too, as the lake is a draw for migrating birds, as well as natives.   I saw Canadian Geese, American White Pelicans, large groups of Coots, a few Cormorants and I witnessed two Blue Herons doing an air battle for a choice spot along the water.

 

I wanted to let the dogs swim, though there was only a couple of spots to access the lake.  The banks are fairly steep, but there is a boat launch and a spit of land out by the houseboat rentals.  I let them swim from each location,  the water was a bit cleaner by the house boat docks(floating debris).

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This location was loaded with goatheads and other stickers.  My dogs couldn’t walk far without holding a foot up to have the sticker removed.

We went in for lunch to Porterville on our 2nd day.  Janet picked the best Mexican restaurant in Porterville!  I had Barbacoa tacos as well as a cerviche and fish tostada.  I also couldn’t leave without buying a cookie and piece of Mexican sweet bread.   Highly recommend if you find yourself in Porterville, the name is Panaderia Tortilleria Carniceria and it’s located 150 Main St.

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Next, on to Bakersfield!!