Monthly Archives: April 2018

Greetings from San Francisco

Actually, from Pacifica, a few miles south of San Francisco.

RV Talk: We’re in San Francisco RV Resort, a Thousand Trails “Collection” park, an Encore member. So instead of whatever price they charge everyone else, it costs $20 a night to have your windshield facing the ocean. And a constant 5-15mph “breeze” off the water – the windsock on the cliff is almost never without air and usually at a 90-120° angle off the water – the wind whips up the cliff, providing good conditions for new-age aviators:

Now the negatives:

1. A near constant 5-15mph breeze off the water that makes a 70° day feel like 60.

2. 99% chance the cliff you are on will collapse when the San Andreas Fault is tickled again, make that 100% if an alien ship crashes into the cliff below us. Look at those odds – this is insanity:

Unless you have a parachute.

3. And the sites are extremely tight:

Back to plusses, it’s a short walk to a beautiful “multi-purpose trail” to the north of the park with nice views. This looking south:

Then north:

This was our sunset the first three nights:

And this guy apparently likes the view from the edge:

Pretty damn cool when the sun dips beneath the clouds, which it has done every night so far. Thursday night we had about an hour of varying “heavens”, you know, when the sun peaks out from the clouds and it looks like rays from Gort. Sorry, young-uns, the first ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ was better. Michael Rennie would not have gotten his role in ‘War Games’ had it not been for his link to anti-nuclear arms in the best sci-fi movie of the ’50’s. (No, ‘Forbidden Planet’ was not better.) Now, if they had ever made Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Childhood’s End’ into a movie…..

But, I digress.

Shall we take a few moments to enjoy the last few minutes of the nuclear clock?

That was in Golden Gate Park, near the entrance (this is at the entrance:)

to the de Young Museum (and this tall monstrosity is it:),

currently featuring the exhibit, ‘ The Cult Of The Machine’, presenting works of the Precisionists. If it sounds like I know something about art, forget it. I know something about Art. But, to further enlighten you with my memory of what I just read moments ago, a ticket to this museum will also get you into one we visited earlier in the week, The Legion of Honor.

That’s ‘The Thinker’ on the pedestal and from this position he is more known as ‘The Stinker’. Such is my knowledge of art.

Let’s go back to the area around the de Young Museum. Next to it is the Japanese Tea Garden. Across from the museum is the California Academy of Science. Between the two is a circular fountain in which we found, down on his luck, Tony Bennett, looking for coins.

A few minutes later, Andrea gave him the remains of our lunch, a very spicy, curry chicken dish. He thanked her, ate it, and ran for a bathroom.

Behind that fountain is the California Academy of Science. We considered coming back with our Luna for that, but their planetarium show this month is about underwater life. What’s with that? I want to see stars and space stuff, or Rick Wakeman in concert, or a Floyd Laser Light Show. We’ll pass. Looking north from that fountain, another fountain:

Let’s go back to The Legion of Honor with some great views of the city and harbor – even Luna thought so.

Right after we went out a northern exit we saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Nice viewpoint:

Zoom a little:

Then I switched to wide-angle mode. Usually, wide-angle is a bit distorted. This one worked better. I liked it.

We went to Chinatown on Thursday:

Luna photo-bombed this one:

That’s our blue Jeep on the right with the pointy building in the distance. “Pointy”. Such is my knowledge of architecture.

We finally got a peak at a sunset Thursday night:

That’s the Pacific Ocean Mountain Range in the distance. Wait, my editors are correcting me. Those are just more clouds. Such is my knowledge of topography.

Friday’s adventure was to The Giant Camera,

which was pretty cool. We got a 33% discount for being seniors. Paid two bucks apiece. We were the only ones inside, with Luna, in a 15′ diameter room. The guy who runs the place, a US Parks employee with quite a title, ticket-taker and giant camera operator, turned on the camera. That prism on top rotates and houses a lens

that reflects its images down on a giant wok.

That’s the ocean with a rock to the right. The image constantly changed as the lens rotated. Very cool, worth two bucks. The walls had a few old holograms, too:

On the way out, Parkman pointed out some pictures of the original amusement park on the site, as well as a copy of the oldest photograph known:

And from there, the deck below the Cliff House restaurant, the views were nice:

Of course, we had to go check out a windmill, in Golden Gate Park:

Friday night, the clouds on the horizon were the only ones in the sky until the sun dropped into what we had thought was the horizon:

And then the nuclear clock hit 12.

Such is my knowledge of photography, celestial events, and the fate of the planet. You kind of wonder that if Philosophy is the love of knowledge, and I got a degree in it, why doesn’t knowledge love me back?

And that’s all I got for now. We have few more days of this. Expect more from SF.

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Catching Up With The Odyssey

For some of you, it’s been a long time. Last time I posted anything we were on our way from Glacier National Park to Banff. Then I just lost it for writing. My damn back/hip/leg thing put a damper on everything. Lost my sense of humor for a while and if I can’t get that working, well, f it. My problem.

There are some new people on the address list. The addresses are always blind-cc. Brandon, Dr. Ford, Paul and Jackie, cousins who have not gotten one of these, and anyone who doesn’t want yet another email, please let me know if you’d rather not get these and I will remove you from the list. Hoping you’ll find some entertainment.

New format now. I’m not going to litter your in-box with 20 megs of pictures anymore. From now on, these emails are to let you know that a post has been added to carlinrv.com.

For the new people, we have been travelling the country in The Odyssey, our 42′ motorhome, since August 2014. These posts have evolved from a few emails to select groups, depending on the content, to postings on the website where I cleaned up some of them. The editorial staff here can be tough. The posts document our travels and sometimes contain tips for RVers, but mostly contain photos and “color” commentary of our journey.

So, it’s now April and we are on the move again on the Pacific Coast and I said f it to my f it. In the last few weeks I’ve created posts to fill in the missing months and get back to the present. They are all out there now.

The posts contain a bunch of photos and provide a lot of so-so commentary, which you may ignore and get a mulligan for disrespecting my attempt at entertainment because I was working on getting my ju-ju back. Maybe I was taking Rachel too seriously. Really, there aren’t many lunatic ravings so just enjoy the photos.

Anyway, here are the catch-up titles, in chronological order, of the continuation of the Odyssey’s trek over the last nine months now.
1. Odyssey Vacation Part 4 – July 2017
2. Odyssey Vacation Part 5 – Summer 2017
3. Southbound Odyssey – Uh-Oh! – October 2017
4. Gold Canyon, Superstition Stuff, the TSA, and OTB – November 2017

5. The Apache Trail – 11/14/17
6. Phoenix Christmas Lights – Dec 2017
7. Ramblin’ Roads RV Park -January 1, 2018
8. The Fountain of Youth RV Resort – 1/2-2/2/18
9. Salvation Mountain & East Jesus
10. The International Banana Museum
11. Desert Hot Springs – 2/2-3/5/18
12. San Diego – 3/5-3/22/18
13. The West Coast Adventure Begins – Lancaster, CA – 3/23-3/26/18
14. Rancho Oso RV Resort/Santa Barbara- 3/26-4/2/18
15. Morro Dunes RV Resort, 4/2-4/5/18
16. Yanks RV Resort, Greenfield, CA, 4/5-4/9/18
17. Santa Cruz Ranch & RV Resort, 4/9-4/13/18
18. Delta Shores Marina & RV Resort – 4/13-4/23/18

Just go to carlinrv.com if you need something to read on the train, the toilet, or anyplace you have some time where you can’t come up with something better to do.

 Delta Shores Marina & RV Resort – 4/13-4/23/18

So, here we are. Up to date, now Sunday, 4/22. Eighteen posts going out today. Make it nineteen with the “Catching Up With The Odyssey” job.

This is a nice place to relax. Very green and quiet, when the lawnmower guy isn’t at it. We’re about 60 miles due east of San Francisco, 30 miles southwest of Sacremento, and, about 15 miles northwest of Stockton, like you know where Stockton is. We’re on, hmmm, I was going to say isthmus but it’s not a narrow strip of land like our old NY home, Bayville – hello Cindy, John, Jeanine, Jeff – rather, we’re on a peninsula surrounded by a levee holding back water much higher than we are.

You have to go out to the road to see the water:

The address for this park is actually in Isleton, CA. We drove into town for surprisingly good Chinese food. Town consists of one, run down looking block of boarded up shops, many with old time balconies, a few “Antique” shops, a bar labeling itself as also a Casino and Chinese restaurant, and Pineapple’s, the name of the Chinese place we ordered from. Andrea posted some pictures of town. The town’s history is very interesting. If interested, Google ‘Isleton, CA’, the Wikipedia link.

From inside the park, the southern view is some houses on stilts and another RV park, the one we’ll be staying in next month. But, the real picture is of all the geese. Well, look harder.

Yesterday was 4/20 and we originally had planned on driving all the way into Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to join in the day’s celebration on Hippie Hill, and we were prepared, but decided that the drive was too long and crowds would be too big. By the way, when we were setting up in our campsite, I met our next door neighbor – let’s just call him Dude, as in Big Lebowski Dude. We hit it off right away, him noticing my Pink Floyd t-shirt and saying the Roger Waters concert he saw last year was the best ever – Resist, right? He talks so fast I was able to get half his life story in a few minutes. I need to ask him if I can post anything about him and his sister. Very interesting people. We’ll see them again in 11 days when we come back to the RV park down the road.

In lieu of a smokey day on Hippie Hill, we went to another major event in the area, The Annual San Joaquin County Asparagus Festival. Uh-huh. We ate battered and deep fried asparagus and asparagus ice cream and then had had enough asparagus. Nice day to take a walk though:

Or, you could take a ride in a monster truck:

And that’s all for now. Completely up to date. We’re chilling here through tomorrow, then going west through San Francisco to an RV park on a cliff in Pacifica, overlooking the ocean. Can’t wait.

How do you like our bathroom windows? Andrea got into stained glass while we were in Arizona. She bought these pieces of film at Home Depot.

Santa Cruz Ranch & RV Resort, 4/9-4/13/18

The less said about this place the better.

I posted a review on rvparkreviews.com. They ask you to post the price you paid before you make your comments and since they won’t allow a zero entry, I put in $1. This is my post :

“Actually free, part of Thousand Trails, but still NOT worth the price. You got slides? Good luck. This park was built before slides and now they have marked out narrow sites with white lines that you are expected to stay between. The fire department requires some magic distance away from the 30 amp electric socket. After getting read the riot act, very nicely, I might add, when checking in, we still ended up in a fierce argument with her when she found we were too much over the line. After I threatened to check every RV in the park to make sure they were in the lines, she gave us a few inches of leeway. She has a truly lousy job. Thousand Trails should be ashamed of themselves. RV’s with slides should not be allowed and at 42′, our MH leaves our Jeep out in the road, but somehow that’s ok. You also park opposite your neighbor. Horrible setup. We test the water. Decent tap water (210ppm) and fairly soft. Thousand Trails is two for two with us so far – two losers. Don’t come here. Santa Cruz is nothing anyway. The boardwalk is seedy.”

The boardwalk area – think Coney Island you east-coasters – was so creepy we didn’t even park. Walgreen’s was our major attraction – lots of prescription refills. As usual, the pharmacist was unsure whether she could fill the Tramadol and I had to wait another day. By now, I know California law regarding prescription controlled substances better than most pharmacists – yes, you can transfer the scrip within the state an unlimited number of times. It can only be transferred from out of the state once. Original paper prescriptions for controlled substances must be written on a special California form. So, I get my original in Colorado, have it filled there at a Walgreen’s, then can refill it multiple times in CA. Now you know the law in CA.

Originally, we thought that we’d use Santa Cruz as the home base for exploring Monterey-Carmel-Big Sur, but, with that horrendous traffic experience still fresh in our minds, we opted instead to go to a state beach and nature preserve just north of Monterey.

We think this was a Northern Harrier.

And the centered dude, an Egret, was photo-bombed by the Great Blue Heron on the right.

Also on our radar for the area was Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Our neighbors, Wendy and Kent, at the god-forsaken RV park, highly recommended it.

This oddly shaped root system of a toppled giant made me think of clouds and how you can see faces and animals if you look long enough:

At first I came up with The Thinker, Fox Version. Then perhaps, a wolf chewing on the leg of a Scottish Terrier?

Good riddance to Santa Cruz. Inland, for a 10 day rest from touristing.

Yanks RV Resort, Greenfield, CA, 4/5-4/9/18

We wouldn’t have driven up Rt 1 in the RV even if the road was open all the way to Monterey. Too extreme for too long. Yanks RV Resort and its excellent reviews came upon our radar and, when I couldn’t get a reservation at a couple of county parks on the way north and was not going to pay stupid prices for an RV site near Monterey, I booked Yanks for a few days. The drive out of Santa Cruz, east through the mountains, rather sucked. Too much weaving back and forth, up and down. Once we got to the 101, it was relax mode:

Having decided on Yanks, we figured we’d drive to Monterey, at least one day, cruise down Rt 1 to Big Sir, and then chill a day. What we didn’t realize was the primary attraction near us, Pinnacles National Park. What? How is it I didn’t know anything about this place?

We looked it up and found some interest – one of the largest congregations of California Condors in the world (California Condors are only found in, you guessed it, California), and a do-able hike that included passing through a cave.

So, let’s go chronologically. We headed for the coast. Our route took us a half mile out of the way so we could drive by the greenhouse-growfield that we were alerted to by someone in the park. Oooh, That Smell! Who sang that?

We got past that skunkiness, which was heavenly – why don’t the stinky candle makers come up with the odor of, say, Acapulco Gold, Cannatonic, Bubba Kush, or Alaskan Thunder Fuck, and, hey, who makes up these names, and drove into the mountains to emerge in Carmel. Carmel, on the weekend, is a cluster fuck. The traffic is horrendous. So don’t go on weekends. Who would want to live here?

Getting past the traffic, we headed south on Rt 1 to Big Sur. We went about 20 miles or so. If we hadn’t driven an hour and a half, the long way, to get there, we would have gone much further. Pretty damn beautiful!

We came upon a few of people who looked like they were rehearsing for that asteroid movie that created killer waves:

Quite beautiful.

And we think we spotted a California Condor:

Though, it also could have been a common Turkey Vulture. We’re going with the Condor gliding majestically around the cliffs of Big Sur.

Next day we drove up the 101 a little bit to Pinnacles National Park. Reading more about the hike to the cave we took off, hoping my friggin leg would hold out. It was a 1.6 miles hike – very short compared to the ones we took pre-surgeries, and 7 miles now seems like the moon – with the first three-quarters a climb among the pinnacles.

Oh, it was drizzling at times.

And then the trail squeezed down into a small stream

that led into the cave:

When we got back to the RV, we read the brochure in more detail – cell phone flashlights are not sufficient and because of scrambling over wet rocks, should be stowed away in a safe place to prevent from breaking. Oh. We used cell phone flashlights.

As we approached the cave, we ran into a large family that had just come out of it. They looked quite disheveled and a bit like deer in headlights. We inquired about the cave, specifically, about my ability to get through it. The mom looked at my cane and said, “No, turn back.”

So we turned back.

Are you kidding me? Tell me I can’t do something? That’s all I needed to hear. Onward into the darkness. And it was pitch black through a lot of it. Using the camera without a flash was not going to work. With the flash, it looks pretty easy:

As we were told, it took about a half hour to go through. With our minimally effective flashlights, we sometimes thought we were in dead-ends, but with some climbing up wet rocks and crawling on hands and knees through one narrow passage, we finally saw the light.

It wasn’t exactly sunlight but we were out.

What a hidden gem. Best surprise of the trip so far.

Glad there were no escaped inmate surprises.

Clint, you can keep Carmel-By-The-Sea and your hoity-toity golf course at Pebble Beach. Onward to Monterey’s northern neighbor, Santa Cruz.

Morro Dunes RV Resort, 4/2-4/5/18

Up the coast – it’s our mission. Morro Bay is truly a beautiful place. It’s a tiny fishing and tourist town and, so far, my favorite on the coast. If you come, do not miss a dinner at Taco Temple.

I was too late to book a stay at the state beach, The Strand, which, I understand, is a parking lot on the beach, but, hey, you’re right on the beach. This place, Morro Dunes, is right across the street from the beach. The beach/fishing marinas/tourist area is flat, perfect for senior biking.

We had lunch at a tiny, dog-friendly place across from the docks and the big rock in the bay.

Let’s go out to the rock.

Looking back to the “town” is interesting.
But, apparently, not interestingly enough to get a picture posted here. I don’t think the one above is Morro Bay but WTF. I’m blaming it on the Dude (here in Delta Shores). Remember, this is a Bill and Ted kind of thing – I’m telling stories about the past while trying to Be Here Now – everybody but Debbie gets to answer the question, who wrote ‘Be Here Now’?

Bye, bye, Morro Bay.

Rancho Oso RV Resort/Santa Barbara- 3/26-4/2/18

It was rather exciting to emerge from inland roads onto Route 1, at times known as the Pacific Coast Highway. A few miles north of Ventura, in Santa Barbara, we made a right into the mountains on a wild ride, the last five miles being among the more interesting, white-knucklers, we’ve experienced.

That sign kind of gets you wondering, and hoping the other guy sees you in the convex mirror.

It really was a ranch of sorts and had a very long and rich history.

The Rancho Oso area has been populated for over 3,000 years, most of it by the Chumash. Then the Spanish missionaries came with their smallpox, a much more effective method of extermination than the Crusades. In the mid 1800’s the land was turned over to an interesting succession of owners, the surrounding properties turned into national forest land, and a campground added about thirty years ago.

I booked this place a little late. All they had for our week was a site in the electric & water (no sewer), “camping”, section. So we squeezed the 42′ Odyssey among the “campers”. It wasn’t so bad. It had some natural elements that the RV section didn’t, like the daily Match of the Turkeys:

How did they know how to yodel at the same moment?
What’s with this one?

Show off.

We drove back through the mountain pass a couple of times to go to Santa Barbara. Not a real impressive town but, the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other? Well, you always know where east and west are.

One day we went to a dog friendly beach. Off the coast are the Channel Islands, the largest of which is Santa Cruz. I tried getting a shot of the surf and Santa Cruz Island in this photo but the bright sunshine prevented me from focusing in on the island just as the earthquake hit. Luckily, I got a nice picture of those playful dogs and a small tsunami coming in:

The same thing happened with this photo. During an aftershock, I thought I was seeing shiny, round rocks, but as you can see, the sunlight blinded me again. The picture was saved by that beautiful doggie bounding along the surf. All God’s creatures… And those waves – so perfectly curved, again, the hand of the One.

I began to wonder though, when God’s creatures, great and round, photo-bombed my selfie. What is wrong with people today?

Butt, we move on. Oh, I’m told there was no earthquake.

The only entertainment we had out on the ranch were the hummingbirds. We started out with one little feeder with two serving flowers. The activity got so frenzied that another day we drove into Santa Barbara just to buy another hummingbird feeder.

Check this out. I counted nine, maybe ten, looking for a sip of sugar water at one time. This picture has about eight or nine in them. A couple of blurs at the bottom of the photo count.

Then I just started snapping when the light was right. The camera on this phone is amazing.

This Acorn Woodpecker tried to get in the act but I think it was just another case of a Californian photo-bombing:

These guys appeared to be contesting the area:

And now, from a different angle.

The camera is good, but it wasn’t fast enough to make a distinction of the two wings seemingly joined as one (lower right). Weird, huh?

If you like these little buggers, and sometimes when they whiz by your ear they sound like bugs, get yourself a feeder. Stir one part sugar into four parts boiling water, let it cool, fill the feeder, and enjoy the show.

And that was Rancho Oso. Note to self, and other RVers – no phone, no internet. Limited wi-fi at the “Adult Lounge”.

The West Coast Adventure Begins – Lancaster, CA – 3/23-3/26/18

Since we didn’t do anything noteworthy in San Diego, I’m counting this place as the beginning of the West Coast Tour. And it’s not exactly on the coast, but it is north.

Antelope Valley Fairgrounds RV Park is a converted parking lot with full RV hookups, but does not belong to either of our clubs. However, it’s only $30 a night. It is right on the fairgrounds property so if you were going to some Spin and Marty Cattle Show, this might be the place to stay. Or, if you were going to the William J. Fox Airfield for the LA County Air Show, you would stay here. No grass, not at all dog-friendly, but close to the air show which was, at best, a three star affair.

We went to an air show in Clear Lake, TX, when we lived there, that was way cooler. And this one had just one vendor selling food. The line was over an hour long. Poor execution. One star off. The planes were good, just no Blue Angels or Thunderbirds. Take off another star.

The next day we went to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, wondering what-the-heroin this was all about. Certainly nothing on March 24th, and from a quick check on 4/18, a dud this year. But the web site’s picture is pretty.

On Monday it was off to the coast where the airborne creatures were more interesting.

San Diego – 3/5-3/22/18

For two weeks, we stayed at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park, a beautiful San Diego county park, about fifteen miles from the ocean.

It wasn’t spectacularly beautiful

but we got a few nice sunsets. Only two here but futsing (I think that’s a good, made-up word) with the camera settings can produce interesting shots:

A morning rainbow is a rarity:

I thought about cropping that one but the rainbow might have been harder to see. (This might like finding Waldo, or Jesus)

And for you old car buffs, this was one guy’s getting-around car:

We have been to San Diego so many times and seen just about every tourist attraction that we only went to the beach twice. Once to have lunch with Andrea’s old work friend, Marney, a like-minded anti-Trump spirit, and her husband, John, a Trump supporter. How does that work? Hi guys! The other time we went to the beach we went to the dog beach.

And that was our uneventful stay in San Diego. Let’s start the trip north. The goal? Oh, did I mention this before? Vancouver, B.C.

We decided that we needed to see the northwest. We’ve been to Alaska, sans RV, but not northern California, Oregon, nor Washington state. The plan is to zig-zag up the coast.

We joined another RV club, Thousand Trails, picking up a camping pass for two regions, the Southwest and Northwest, as well as their “collection”, a handful of nicer parks. With our Coast to Coast membership we’re trying to jump from one club park to another. That will work better when we get up to Oregon and Washington where both clubs have several parks on the coast. We expect to get to Vancouver by mid-July, then come back down to the Columbia River, east on I-94, maybe stop at Craters of The Moon, and then get down to I-70 so we can stop to see friends in Carbondale, CO. Back in Monument by early August. Something like that.

Join us as we start the journey up the coast.

Desert Hot Springs – 2/2-3/5/18

Finally, civilization. I wrote up a review of The Fountain of Youth for a site called rvparkreviews.com and though I gave it a decent review, I took off two stars (out of five), one for distance from civilization, one for the tiny site, door to door with our neighbor. The owner of the park called me to ask me if I’d reconsider and add a star. When I read the review again, it was very positive, except for the stars. Can I blame them for the pain in the ass drive back to the world? I guess not, it was our choice to stay there. So, I changed it to a four.

The site? Yes. That’s on them. However, in hindsight, I’d take an extra half star off the site, despite the view of the sunsets. Our slide almost touched the guy on our driver side, so close we heard his wife laugh at Stephen Colbert shows she recorded (they were in bed by 9), and it sucked to share such a tiny space with our other neighbor. They were in their site first and spread out – their outdoor carpet went under our awning. Then, another half star because it wasn’t worth five otherwise. And the entertainment was terrible and loud, disturbing peaceful nights. So, three stars at best. I might go back and change my review again. You should see the one I just gave the park we’re in now (Santa Cruz Ranch and RV Resort though they are in Scott’s Valley, and Resort is not a word that comes to mind). One more night here. Hope they don’t throw us out. I’ll include portions when I catch up. Did I digress?

We’ve spent a lot of time in Desert Hot Springs. Kind of in the boonies but only 7 miles from food shopping, a good Chinese restaurant, and a Walgreen’s. To me, the best part of our stay this year was the second day there. They brought in outside entertainment. We were trepidatious – the “Best Beach Boys tribute band in the world” at the Fountain of Youth sucked. This night we walked into a room that reminded me of a grammar school lunch room. Uh-oh. Just as we seated ourselves among the fifteen or twenty people there – another uh-oh – the band opened up with the first, very recognizable chords of Cream’s ‘White Room’. Really? And then they cranked it. Following up with ‘All Along The Watchtower’, ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Little Wing’, and on and on.

The guitar player tore through Hendrix, Clapton, Harrison, Santana, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page and just about every good guitar player you ever heard of – in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – EXCEPT THE BEST, DAVID GILMOUR! I was blown away. The group’s name was Ghosts of Kelso. Several years back, Andrea and I saw Neil Young and Crazyhorse in Denver and seemingly every song ended in one of those guitar and drum crescendos. Neil was rockin’. The guitar guy in Ghosts of Leon reminded me of that concert and at one point I leaned over to Andrea and said so. Their finale? ‘Rockin in the USA’, complete with behind the head, behind the head, and teeth guitar picking. He blew the roof off. As everyone flowed out of the room – and the crowd had more than tripled during the evening after they heard the music in the farthest parts of the RV park – I had to go up to the stage and shake the hand of the guitar guy. He was great. The bassist drove them well and the drummer kicked some ass. The leader of the band, singer and sometimes guitarist? Perhaps he should find a keyboard player with a good voice.

If you’re going to be in Palm Springs or nearby, these guys do regular gigs at some of the bars. You gotta like classic rock that rocks. They throw in some older stuff too, like ‘Wipeout’ for the drummer to show off, Chuck Berry (again, Kirk, the guitarist knocked it out of the park), one Jimmy Buffet, as well as some U2 (90’s?), but most of it is mid-baby-boomer boomers. Knock your socks off. The 55+++ audience loved it. As I said, if you’re going to be there and like classic rock, check them out – ghostsofkelso.com.

And, yes, I digress.

So, pictures? Not so many. If you recall, last year we stayed at a place and a site that had great views of the snow-capped San Gorgonio Mountain to our right and Mt San Jacinto to our left with a desert full of cacti and palm trees directly in front of us. Sunrises and sunsets were equally beautiful. That was Caliente Springs Resort. This year we decided to change up and try Catalina Spa and RV Resort for February. It’s less than a mile away. The sites are much smaller and the sights are fewer.

I took a couple of pictures of sunsets while driving to the supermarket on Dillon Road. Pretty sure I stopped the car for this. Maybe not.

As I mentioned, the views weren’t as good:

We need to go back to Colorado Springs every few months to get a grandkids fix. You know, that expression, getting a fix, is kind of out of the lexicon now, isn’t it? Used to mean injecting heroin for the addiction. Then we started applying it to anything that we need to do over in our lives that makes us feel better, like that Twinkies fix, or your morning coffee.

Well, when I looked up flights from Palm Springs I found really cheap deals and scooped one up for the second week of February. Next, hotel. Usually, Trivago first shows me The Broadmoor, at a price of $565 a night, and then the realistically priced ones. This time it came up as $175 a night. That’s still about $$$ a night more than we usually spend, but…it’s The Broadmoor! Book it, bozo! For some people, it’s a bucket lister. Count us in. Great deal? Well, there’s also the fine print – resort fee and parking, but they’re extra even at $565. Anyway, getting treated like royalty is nice. The service is deserving of the five stars. Room too. Oh, I have a story about the Broadmoor from my days at Acclaim Entertainment. I stayed in one of the biggest suites in the hotel in 1994. Kind of like the Pick-6 story. I got a lot of stories. I guess that happens if you hang out here long enough.

Some Broadmoor Pics:

We stayed in the West Wing on the first floor and walked about a quarter mile to our room (and to the half dozen and more dudes opening doors, and the valets – valet service might as well be mandatory on the west side, no parking within a half mile, ca-ching! $26 a night! JFC, I coulda stayed at a Motel 6!, is this addendum to a sentence over yet?). Anyway, we walked through several hallways, a couple of which were lined with photos of celebrities who’ve stayed there before.

Didn’t you love Jonathan Winters? If you’ve never seen a It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, you’ve lived a life without ‘the Big W’. Roll an esmerelda and find that movie. You will laugh for hours – even after the intermission. Really

During our stay the Olympics started. Late at night I got to watch a lot of my favorite sport. You think I’m kidding? Ten years ago I bought this t-shirt at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center:

No more smirks at the supermarket. We are Gold medal winners!

The weeklong visit was great. We saw the kids just about every day. Same with doctors. I guess that happens if you hang out here long enough.

Back in Desert Hot Springs, we spent most of the time picking up packages Amazon sent us. The rest of the time we repackaged half of them and sent them back. Just before we moved on, we visited the Palm Springs World War II Aviation Museum. As a teen, I had models of just about every one of these hanging from the ceiling in my room:

Later, after experiencing the world on a different plane, a four foot black light appeared in the room and they all got psychedelic day-glow paint jobs.

The museum also has a Korean War wing:

A few days before we left Desert Hot Springs, I attempted to become an Elks Club member in the local chapter. I didn’t realize how long that process takes. A month later they are letting me know I need to physically be there. Maybe I’ll try again in Colorado Springs. The Elks have RV hookups in many of their lodges.

On March 5th, we left Desert Hot Springs for San Diego. The coast!