Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now this is more like it...

I’m back to dressing like it's summer: capris, sandals, tank top. The high today is somewhere between 77 and 81 Fahrenheit, slightly overcast and humid. And I’m still in the desert, for goodness sake!

After I left Lake Havasu, I drove south to Yuma to spend the night there. As I drove south, I noticed veritable RV villages sitting in the middle of the desert. I discovered later that not only can you park there, some of these places charge a $5.00 per day fee and have people come in with trucks to vacuum out holding tanks and fill propane tanks.

As I drove into Yuma the landscape turned green! They irrigate heavily there and as I headed to the Escapee Co-op RV Park, I passed warehouses emblazoned with Dole and Sunkist. A large tractor-trailer loaded with oranges and lemons drove by. The RV park was surrounded by orange groves. Ahhh, yes, it was lovely after almost a month in desert country. And it was warm, too.

The next day I left Yuma and entered California which is just a few miles down the road. The first landscape I saw was, of course, more desert. This desert, however, was comprised of sand dunes and there were RV villages there, too. It was also a haven for ATVs. They appeared mostly to be driven by prepubescent boys (or maybe by those who wished they were) running them up and down the dunes.

Usually just across any state line, there is a large tourist information centre. I’ve gotten used to stopping there to pick up maps and brochures of things to see and do. But I’m beginning to think there are no information centres in California! When I checked in at the Indian Wells RV Park in Indio last night, I commented on the fact that I hadn’t seen one info centre in California. The women at the check in counter couldn’t remember seeing any and didn’t know of any in Indio either. So tomorrow I will check to see if there’s an AAA centre and pick up info there. Today I did run into another woman at PEP Boys Automotive (I was getting a new deep cycle Marine/RV battery as mine has died) and she gave me a 1-800 number that you can phone for information. She was travelling on her own, too and was driving a big motor home and pulling a horse trailer. She says she calls the 1-800 number and asks for the number of the Chamber of Commerce of the city she’s headed to and then calls them to find out where to stay – a little trickier with a horse!

Indio really the first small city you come to when you enter the Coachella Valley – another green visual delight! My next door neighbours here (fellow Calgarians) stopped by for a chat and one of things they told me is that Indio sits over one of North America’s largest aquifers. It is spectacularly lush here: lots of palms, deciduous trees that are in full leaf, bright flowers. And unlike Florida, there are no bugs! Just a few miles up the valley are Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

I also had another woman stop to say “Welcome”. She’s from BC and travels alone in a van the size of mine. She spends five months a year here living in her van – with her dog. As she says, you put out a table and some comfy chairs outside and you’re hardly in the van except to sleep.
So, I’m booked into this park tonight and tomorrow night. So many possibilities to think about.

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