We stayed in San Diego for another week. We went back to Mission Beach and walked the Boardwalk from Pacific Beach
|Pacific Beach Pier|
|Vacation homes behind Pacific Beach|
|Roller Coaster in Belmont Park|
|Some are modern,|
|Some are more rustic-looking|
|Some have many units|
|Some are single family homes|
|Looking back at Mission Beach|
with Mayan, Beerology, Mummies of Ancient Egypt, Mexico and Peru, and Footsteps Through Time- 4 million years of human development revealed through scientific discoveries. The Instruments of Torture display was really gruesome, Thumbscrews, Skull-Splitters, Iron Maiden and Chastity belts were monstrosities of metal. It is hard to imagine men developing these horrific methods of torturing another human. The Mayan exhibit centred around Stellae and their interpretations, and artifacts from the ancient Mayan civilization. Beerology was a fascinating history of Beer-making, and types of beers. To our surprise, we learned that Sake, Japanese rice wine, is actually a beer. The Museum Of Natural History has excellent displays with dinosaurs, fossils and geology of the San Diego area.
John went cycling with our neighbour Dave. They took the trolley from Santee, then the ferry to Coronado, and cycled around Coronado, and down as far as Imperial City. They took a break to enjoy a beer on the patio of the Hotel Del Coronado. They picked up the trolley in Imperial Beach back to Santee. They were both rather sore!! Kathy and I stayed home. She walked the dogs. I did a couple of loads of washing, took some more pictures of Santee Lakes,
|Trailers by the Lake 7|
|Picturesque Lake 7- to canoe or paddle|
|The ducks all come running, most are American Coots|
John and I took a drive to Coronado over the bridge on hwy 75. We parked and wandered around the downtown area.
|A main street|
|A Bank, part of a block-long building|
|The front of the Hotel del Coronado|
|The Dragon Tree Story|
|Islands of Mexico seen from Imperial Beach|
On the weekend before we left, we spent most of Saturday in Oceanside visiting with our friend Pete, and his lab Bella, on his boat. John really misses having a dog, and he and Bella were inseparable.
[No, we will not
be getting another dog until we decide to stop full-timing.] We had an early Valentines dinner at Karl
Strauss in Carlsbad, so I could try, [and John could enjoy again] their Cioppino.
It is a spicy bouillabaisse-type dish with a variety of seafood, and is really delicious! We have several recipes to try. Sunday we spent most of
the day getting the Airstream ready to travel once again. Having been a month in one
place, many things had crept out of their “travelling homes” and had to be
repacked. We went for dinner with our new friends, Kathy and Dave, to a favourite
restaurant of theirs in Imperial Beach, for a delicious Prime Rib dinner.
|John and Bella|
Sadly, it was time to leave Santee Lakes, and move on. We were supposed to be out of the site by noon; however, all our neighbours stopped over to talk, even Tucker and Charlie. We headed to Arizona via I-8. There were 4 mountain summits or passesas we didn’t actually go over a mountain top. In general, the landscape was much greener,
probably due to the recent rains. There were still huge boulders on the mountain slopes.
Once over the mountains, we were back into desert- dry, flat and hot.
|Dunes by a rest stop|
many with sprayers and irrigation pipes along the fields.
There were huge bales and even a feed lot.
We exited at Yuma looking for Paradise Casino signs, but couldn’t find them and had to use the GPS to find the site where we planned to stay for the night. They have a huge dirt and gravel lot for RV’s.
There are no
services, but it seemed that many folks were set up there for longer than just one
night, with generators and TV dishes set up. There are 7 or 8 wide lanes separated by a small berm. RV’s park on both
sides of these lanes, with plenty of room in between. There must have been 30 or
40 RV’s in the lot. We had dinner in the Casino restaurant, then noticed that
the Olympics were being shown on the TV over the bar. We ended up ordering
several drinks and watching Olympics until 10 pm.
|Paradise Casino, parking for RVs|
Next day, after our $2.99 breakfast, we were off again. It was a scenic drive, through valleys and barren mountains, with just a lot of cacti, not even scrub trees. Dome Valley was very flat. Further on there were saguaros [ Sah-WAH-rows], green bushes and green shrub trees. Saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert, in southern Arizona, with a few on the California border.The desert here has very interesting geology, basalt volcanic flows and lava volcanic flows in the same area.
|A Pile of Petroglyphs|
|A field of petroglyphs|
|Individual petroglyph rocks|
The desert here was quite fascinating as it had a green haze,
which we later discovered was many small grass-like plants with 2 or 3 leaves each. There were also large clumps of bright yellow flowers, bushes with small yellow flowers,
|The flowers in the forefront are on a Brittle bush, and those to the right are a Creosote Bush|
|Tiny purple flowers|
|The best Barrel Cactus we saw.|
|Morning coffee outside|
|Sunsets were amazing every night|
Next day we drove through back roads to get a better look at the mountains, to look for a memorial and the site of a massacre of a pioneer family, and to look at a dam on the Gila River. All we saw were some excellent views of the mountains with clumps of beautiful yellow flowers on their slopes,
|Basalt field [I was even allowed to pick up 2 rocks!]|
|A sitting Roadrunner, but we saw him running too|
|The perfect saguaro|
This was the perfect test for the new Lifeline AGM batteries we had installed in Corona, CA. They worked beautifully. In the morning, with the furnace on for part of every night, and using the stove, frig and hot water heater, the batteries were at 80-% - 85% in the morning and back to 100% by 10am.
On the way back to I-8, as we were leaving, we came across some interesting sights.
|A paddle wheel to monitor the flow of irrigation water|
|A field of saguaros and more green than I-8 desert|
We choose the area we want to visit, then look for interesting National, State or County Parks. This unique park offers interesting trails that wind up to the peak, and is relatively close to Tucson. Picacho Peak is a 1500-foot uniquely-shaped mountain
|Picacho Mountain- campsites at the base, in the centre [white dots]|
|From the Airstream - the little white boxes are Semis on the I-10|
Looking across the highway at sunset, the original mountain is beautiful.
Sites are level, large, and landscaped with a Paloverde tree [the bark is green so they can photosynthesize even without leaves] or Saguaro cactus, and a picnic table off to one side or behind the RV.
|Our site- 2 Paloverde trees|
We went into Tucson to see the Gem and Mineral Show. We only had time to see the exhibits in the Convention Centre. It was spectacular displays of public
and private collections of minerals and gems, both rough and
and many displays of jewellery, some vintage
and some for sale. The
crystals ranged from small single crystals to very large massed crystals.
|Columbian Emeralds and Diamonds designed for Tiffany & Co in 1950's|
|Smithsonite [turquoise], Descloisite [black], Gypsum|
|Beautiful, aren't they!|
We have been able to get a variety of TV stations using the antenna, so we've watched NBC Olympics each night .We are staying here a few more days [so more on Tucson soon], and then moving to Lake Pleasant Regional Park, closer to Phoenix, before we move on to Sedona.