Thursday, November 15, 2018

We Turned a Ten-Hour Drive into a Seven-Day Trip

October 23-28

After a week in San Luis Obispo we made our way to Tucson by staying away from LA freeways and driving no more than 150 mikes a day. We are slow but sure. Plus we like to see new places -- even if all we see is a campground.

First stop: A night in Bakersfield, CA, at the Kern River Run RV Park -- a well-maintained campground we visited after our 2017 trip to see Paul and Kat.  Last time we explored the town and went to brew pubs.This time we walked the dogs around the RV park.  Also last time the Kern River was full and flowing. Now the Kern is a completely dry wash.

Boron, CA: Odd little campground (Arabian RV Oasis) with super nice staff. Boron is a town of about 2,500 people named after an ore discovered here in 1913. According to Wikipedia, Boron is home to the largest borax mine in the world. Main Street is called “Twenty Mule Team Road”

Twentynine Palms, CA: We’ve long talked about visiting Joshua Tree National Park and got the chance when we stayed in Twentynine Palms, a city of about 25,000 people. It's home to the main entrance to Joshua Tree and also to the world's largest marine corps training base.

The campground we stayed at --Twentynine Palms RV Resort and Cottages -- left a bad first impression. The site we were assigned looked like a trash can. Seriously, it was a mess so we asked for and got a new one. Two very nice guys quickly came out to clean the old site plus trim the bushes on our new one so we could back in properly. 

Jim didn't recover from that first impression but I kind of grew to like the campground. There was a work out room, a really nice indoor pool, and lots of room to walk the dogs.  We stayed there two nights and that was the only two-night stop on our way to Tucson.

Day two at Twentynine Palms was spent at the national park. Dogs can’t be on most national park trails, but Joshua Tree has one short dog-friendly trail near the visitors center, plus dogs are allowed on dirt roads. So we got in several miles of dog/park walking.

Next stop: Ehrenburg, AZ,  where we stayed one night at a place called Desert Oasis, right on the Colorado River. Again we just walked and walked and walked around the campground.  

Then it was another one nighter in Gila Bend at a KOA where we didn't even unhook the car. The campground sites were huge and the place was spotless.

October 29 we got to the Davis Monthan Fam Camp, an Air Force Base RV park we’ve stayed at least part of the winter for the last eight years.  We signed up for a five month stay which will be our longest Tucson stay ever. 
A typical town scene in Boron, California. It was a little dry and dusty.
Bev and Maddie at Joshua Tree National Park, which became a national monument in 1936 and a national park in 1994.  The park includes parts of the Mohave Desert and the Colorado Desert. They'd had a huge rainstorm  that caused damage a few weeks before we arrived, but we didn't see any evidence of it.
Bare boulders and Joshua trees make up most of the park scenery that we saw, giving the park a kind of "moonscape desert" look.  Joshua trees are actually a type of yucca plant.  I read that the plant got its name from Mormon settlers who said the plant reminded them of a biblical story in which Joshua raised his arms to the sky in prayer.
The Colorado River at sunset as seen from the Desert Oasis RV Park in Ehrenberg, Arizona. This photo is much prettier than most of the RV park. But it was good for an overnighter and had great access to the river.
The KOA in Gila Bend has what they call a "pet house suite"-- an RV site with a patio, grill, and a fenced area for dogs.  We did not take the "pet house" -- instead that's our rig next door.


  1. 5 months in Tucson. Are there that many Brew-Pubs?

    1. OK, who wrote this? I've got some good guesses. But yes, it seems that there are.