San Diego may be the ideal city for hiking and biking. Most of the major roads have bike lanes on both sides of the road. Hike/Bike trails are everywhere. San Diego is green because of condensation. It’s still desert, but with a green tint. I had forgotten that.
We are back in the desert near Temecula. 80+ in the daytime. 40/50’s at night. Full hookups. Five 4G bars.
Stopped at Dudley’s Bakery on the way up. I wanted to buy one of each type of bread they make. Settled for three types and a huge Apple/Walnut Strudel.
Jojobo is a nice place. An Escapees RV park. Everyone is extra friendly. Dozens of activities. The members do most of the maintenance, but they also employ a paid staff. There are over 20 LD’s there and we met a few of the people. Our last night in the hookup sites, we were going to host a cocktail party, but the Santa Ana winds came in and someone did not want to get their do mussed so our friends, Bill & Carolyn, had all of us at their rig. I brought the food, etc. and a good time was had by all. I love entertaining.
Our home for a week. Full hookups, plus cable, pool, etc. $23 a day.
Temecula surprised us. It looks like the whole city was built in the last few years. Well, it was horse country 25 years ago when Jojoba was built. Miles and miles of stores now.
We wanted to tour the area a bit. Driving the loop around the Palomar Mountains won out over going to Palm Springs, Indio, etc. And so we did. The north side, the Jojoba side, is around 2,000 feet. The observatory is at 5,400 and the valley on south side of the mountains is only 500 feet. Which explains why they grow oranges only on the south side of the mountains.
The map showed that we could get down the mountain two ways – both twisty curvy roads. One went through the state park, so I choose that one. Perhaps not the best choice. That is the Nate Harrison Grade Road, which is maintained only as a fire road. Downhill 17 miles on a mostly decent dirt surface.
It was well after lunch when we reached the black top that went through orange groves and nurseries. The first commercial place we came to was Jilberto’s Taco. It did not look great, but we were hungry. Inside, the decor and furnishings were sparse. There were a few locals, no other tourista’s. We both ordered the Chile Relleno plate. It seemed to take forever to come to the table. When it came, the plate was overflowing with two of the largest peppers we have ever seen. Of course, there was salad, beans and rice and HUGE homemade tortillas'. The peppers were stuffed, I think, with Oaxaca cheese. Devine. We waddled away. Back at Jojoba, we had a short nap and went to the pool.
Remember the steel sculptures in Anza-Borrego? Well, here are more at the artist’s place near Temecula.
We did provisioning the day before we left Jojoba. Our stops included BevMo!, Winco, Costco and Petco. Do you see a pattern? We have been to BevMo’s before, but this one had everything. Dorothy had some wine on the 130-foot yacht in San Diego that she said was the best she had ever had. She bought a half-case at BevMo! for $9 a bottle. Winco is discount grocery store that has an excellent selection. The only reason we stopped at Petco was that is was next to Sprouts, where we bought more produce, and the humane society had lots of puppies for adoption there.
We had lunch at La Cocino which has been recommended to us. I could not understand everything our server said as she really rolled her r’s, but she explained the special dishes with such enthusiasm that I wanted them. I understood one was salmon and Dorothy loves that so I got that for her. It also had shrimp over rice. I really did not know what the second dish she described, but the words were so enticing that I ordered it. It turned out to be carne asada with the most divine sauce. To me, sauces are what turns food into a memorable experience. Oh and the appetizer was 16 small tortillas stuffed with shrimp and another divine sauce.
Southern California counties are huge. Consider that Rhode Island is 1,200 sq miles. Consider that San Diego county is 4,200, Riverside is 7,200 and the largest in the state, San Bernardino 20,000 square miles. You determine how many Rhode Islands will fit into San Bernardino county.
Sunday February 15 – We are on the way to Death Valley. We broke the trip up by over-nighting in Inyokern. [Combines the names of two counties, Inyo and Kern] We could not believe all the dirt worshippers along 395 south of here. It’s dead flat BLM land and nothing scenic, but all manner of dirt bikes and quads are out there in the dirt making dust.
So far this trip has been in civilized areas. Now we ready to get off the grid.