When I left Monterey, the skies were pretty dreary. The weather turned overcast and cold as we headed towards the Santa Barbara area. We left the Monterey Elks Lodge in the early afternoon and only made it as far as a truck stop near Paso Robles where we spent the night. The next day we made it to the Goleta Elks Lodge where we stayed for a few days.
One day we walked the streets of Solvang. I had been to Solvang once before in the mid-sixties but it is totally different now. Actually, I wasn't too impressed; so much so I didn't even take any pictures.
There is a nice Thousand Trails Park in the hills between Goleta and Solvang which we checked out. It originally was an working ranch.
A wood pecker has neatly placed acorns in this tree stump.
Joel met up with his sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Santa Ynez not too far from Solvang and we had a nice dinner with them. They live in a beautiful, large, stick house, on an acre parcel.. I'm reminded how I am enjoying not having all of the stuff and work that goes along with a stick house since my stick house is rented out and managed by a property manager.
We also visited the old down town part of Santa Barbara and the old Presidio. I forgot my camera so no pictures of our excursion. We did take in a movie while downtown. I highly recommend the movie, The Kings Speech. We had previously seen the remake of Grit while in Monterey, which was good, but the acting in The King's Speech was superb and the story much more unique and interesting.
From Santa Barbara we headed over to Simi Valley and stayed at the Elks Lodge. The folks there were very friendly and the camping area was a pleasant surprise. It's off the beaten path and very quiet. We walked around Corrigan Park which is where many old western movies were filmed (some John Wayne as well as Rin Tin Tin), and within walking distance of the Elks Club. None of the buildings are standing, and the terrain is your typical western rocky motif, but interesting.
We toured the Reagan Memorial Library which was very impressive. I'm going to do a separate posting on that.
Our final stop before reaching Quartzsite was in Deserts Edge, a small unincorporated area near Desert Hot Springs. Joel wanted to visit his old friends, Wanda and Stanley who have a small home base in Joshua Springs. Wanda and Stanley graciously let us use the pool which is fed by a natural hot spring. What is unique, is that there are three pools. The hot spring flows into a small spa with jets and then flows into another small pool as the water cools down, and then finally flows into a larger swimming pool that is luke warm. The pool water is then used for irrigation purposes, so no water is wasted and no chemical are needed because the water is constantly flowing. Also the pool does not have the sulphur smell that some hot springs have. What a wonderful treat! We also went to lunch with the folks of the FMCA Louis and Clark Chapter, which is based in the North West and which Joel is a member. Every Monday during , the snowbirds from the chapter get together and have lunch, thus keeping in contact with their Northwestern friends.
We took an early morning walk in the hills of Deserts Edge. I was amazed at the huge wind farm in the Chochilla Valley
There is still snow on the mountains even though the temperatures were in the 80's.
We left Deserts Edge pretty early in the morning so we could arrive in Quartzsite before the crowds. After stopping for groceries and checking out several rest stops for water (none of the dump stations were open) we arrived just in time for happy hour at the Escapee Boomerville location. We forgot about the time change! More on Quartzsite and Boomerville later.