October 7 Nearly our ‘hood

Today we left Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails and headed south into San Diego County. We have now finished our grand tour ’18 in which we passed through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (where we had a nasty tire and trailer damage issue due to a tire tread separation), Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah (with another destructive tire tread separation and more trailer damage), Nevada and back into California – a bit over 20,000 miles.
I’m old and we will probably stay in southern California for a while because I have to sign up for Medicare, go to a doctor and a dentist, we need to fix the trailer damage from the tread separations, we can visit our kids and hobnob with old friends. Unfortunately, due to some restrictions on our lengths of stays in Thousand Trails RV parks, we will be moving around large expanses of southern CA to stay in compliance with the stay regulations. The weather today when we arrived was great – about 78 degrees and less than 50% humidity – and a long stay in this part of the world doesn’t sound too bad. We know we will never again make the mistakes of being in the south during summer, being in the desert southwest in the early autumn or being in Mississippi in the spring. We had more than our share of torrential rainstorms, tornado warnings, spectacular lightning, sky-cracking thunder, oppresive, humidity-infused environments and broiling deserts on this year’s trip so we have vowed to plan better in the future.
This blog will become somewhat intermittent for the next few months since I am positive nobody wants to read about colonoscopy, crown reattachment, trailer maintenance or a visit to the Ford dealership. If anything interesting happens, however, I’ll try to write a compelling story with my old guy’s not necessary truthful but possibly entertaining point of view. Thank you very much.
Viejo Geezero

October 4 Breceda Sculptures

We are still hanging out in the Wilderness Lakes TT facility in Menifee although it seems Hemet is closer. We have spent the last couple days watching the birds, going to Fart & Smile and dumping the tanks. We have had excellent satellite reception, pretty good wifi and pleasant weather so we did not feel compelled to do a lot of exploring, particularly since we have few places to go around here.
But today was a bit different. Back when we were on our way out of San Diego early in 2018, we stopped for a few days near Borrego Springs which is kitty-corner across the county from metro San Diego. Borrego is a strange oasis in an otherwise unforgiving desert environment by having large estates with acres of bright green lawns, emerald golf courses and fountains. They also have some amazing public art alongside the roads.
The art consists of large metal sculptures of animals, dinosaurs and, in one massive case, a dragon that looks like it is half-buried with half of it above the ground. All of this sculpture art is made by a guy named Ricardo Breceda who has a facility/welding shop/residence in nearby Aguanga. We elected to pop in at his crib to check out the stock on hand.
After stopping for fuel and getting our initial experience with current California exorbitant prices, we headed southeast on CA-79 until we made it to Aguanga. Breceda’s place is along this road and it is plainly evident since there is a concentration of fanciful metal sculptures on both sides of the highway. We pulled in past a stagecoach with a 4-horse team sculpture, a 30′ long gigantic rattlesnake sculpture and a myriad of metal dinosaurs. We caught the welder/cashier as he was sitting down to lunch but he was very nice and turned us loose in their outdoor studio.
This place is full of the creative efforts of the Breceda clan and is also free to visit. When we were there another visitor came up and asked if they had some small barrel cactus sculptures and, sure enough, they did. They also had two gorgeous puppies who seemed quite happy licking us, chewing on loose parts of my shoes, taking back rubs in stride and wrestling in the dirt. They had teeth like needles.
On the way back to No Wilderness Nor Lakes RV Park, we found some back roads that took us through this section of Riverside County. It is a bleak environment although they do have some nifty rocks.
We got some heavy metal pix. Click the asterisk *

September 30 Barffo to Menifee

Today was another travel day. We left the absolute butthole and cultural wasteland of Barstow and hopped on I-15 to continue our westward trek to the coast. The road from Barffo, at about 2000′ elevation, starts a long, slow climb to the 4200’+ Tejon Pass above Riverside and San Bernardino. From that point we began the 6% drop into metro area east of the San Gabriel Valley. Strangely, descending from the pass we must have gone by an idiot stockpile because for the rest of our drive we were accompanied by wild-eyed swervers and lane changers, hotrodders changing into our lane before clearing our vehicle, high-speed freeway racers, screaming crotch rocket riders doing no less than 100 mph between cars in the well-designated but crowded traffic lanes and bored truckers with gutless tractors unable to climb even the slightest inclines.
We took I-215 around the Riverside metro area and the number of lunatics subsided somewhat. We eventually pulled off I-215 in Menifee and into the Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails where we will take a break from travel for a week or so. Since we are members, we get to stay free. Strangely, there is no wilderness nor lakes within or near Wilderness Lakes RV Park. We have full hookups, good satellite TV reception, a great spot and much cooler temperatures than the desert inferno where we have spent the last 2 weeks. We even got a space at the end of a row which is quite large and, so far, very quiet. There is an unexpected bonus – due to the location of our RV space and its proximity to a large pasture area, there are lots of birds here. We already spotted a Cassin’s kingbird, a couple black phoebes, a ruby-throated hummingbird and some yellow warblers fooling around in the shrubbery near our trailer. And in the canal-sized trenches with highly suspicious-looking water in them within the RV park, we noted a flock of Canadian geese, a bunch of ducks, numerous coots and a two black crowned night herons. I had no idea when I was younger that I would take such an interest in birds in my dotage.
There’s a few bird photos. Click the asterisk *