Current Location: Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, near Yuma, Arizona
While swimming, soaking, and hiking in the warm winter temperatures of the Coachella Valley are high on our list of favorite pastimes here, we do manage to do a few other things as well. For complex reasons, we decided to travel north and east through Yucca Valley to 29 Palms to check out the Marine base.
It was a billboard advertisement that called our attention to the murals in the small desert town. Murals are always fun to find, but in this case many of them were on north facing walls, making photography a bit challenging. I suppose this might be to reduce fading on the paintings. A few of the murals were done fairly recently, and one especially was interesting because the signatures indicated that it was completed in just a weekend in May in 2013. Quite the project.
As we headed back west through town, this amazing fence caught our eye. It was in a parking lot of a now closed Farmers Insurance building, and the building was just as creative, with walls and windows of rusted mine metal and old brick, even though the building was fairly new.
Although I don’t care to travel the distances that Paulette travels hunting for quilt shops in Southern California, there are two pretty nice shops in the valley. On Saturday, with gloomy skies and needing a day of down time, we drove south toward Palm Desert and found both shops in the vicinity of I-10.
As is usually the case with quilt shops, these two have entirely different styles and offerings. In previous years I have found great patterns and fabric and made quilts when I got home from the goodies found here.
This time was no exception, as I added considerably to my stash, and bought enough fabulous batiks to make a quilt similar to a sample I saw in the shop that melted my heart. Can hardly wait to get home to get started on it. The colors are so gorgeous.
Sunday after our swim and leisurely breakfast, I drove the short distance to The Sands for a visit with Rick and Paulette. So nice of them to invite me for coffee and “dippers”, a Trader Joe delight that Rylie thought she should share as well. Rylie was adorable, as usual, full of energy and such a sweet face. Rick and I have talked often about computer stuff, and I follow Paulette’s quilting blog, so we do have some things in common beside simply traveling in an RV.
Our days usually included a walk through the park, checking out the rigs and the people. It was especially interesting to notice how many sites were empty this year. Surprising considering the cost of fuel seems to have many more people on the road. Even though we stay here most every year, we have never gone to any of the sales pitches, or actually figured out the ownership style of the park. Who knows. We aren’t buying anyway.
Some people seem to have bought more than one lot, and just down the road from us in the lower park, an owner was installing landscaping, and gravel on one lot next door to his motorhome space. It looked quite nice. I was curious how long these owners are allowed to stay in the park, or if they have to leave as some of the other kinds of park memberships require. However, I didn’t care to find out enough to sit through a sales pitch!
On another note, I learned again to make the trip to the upper park laundry rather than using the one in the lower campground near our site. Once again, as in years past, I lost money in the machines with no way of getting a refund. The office was closed on Sunday, the machines are owned by someone offsite (according to the lone person around in the guard shack). The only way to get back my 1.25 in quarters was to fill out some extensive paperwork and after the problem was resolved, they would mail the money to me. Right…I never did ask if I had to pay for the stamp for that service which would have cut my return in half.
The other minor thing to keep in mind at Catalina is the soft sand and uneven sites. We put pads under the front levelers, but had nothing under the back ones. When we lifted the levelers, the back one had sunk at least four inches into the sand. Be sure to have supports for your levelers and plan on complicated leveling. We have semi-automatic levelers, so can only manage two at a time, and it gets a bit crazy sometimes in these uneven sites.
Don’t want to end thoughts of our stay at Catalina Spa with negative stuff, however. I still give this park a 9 out of 10 for one of our favorite parks to spend time in the winter. The pools are the best part, and I will continue to come south for my allotted seven days as long as this park honors our Passport America. I would NOT pay the regular price of $65 per night no matter how good the pools were!
We left yesterday morning, traveling east on Dillon Road toward Quartzite and then south toward Yuma.
Next: Visiting Judy and the birds at Imperial National Wildlife Refuge