Saturday, April 27, 2019

Starting Our West Coast States Adventure

After months of planning and preparing, we began our adventure the afternoon of Sunday, April 21—Easter! We had shopped at several of our favorite grocery stores prior to this day; and on our way out of San Diego, we stopped to fill up on gas and propane and washed the Roadtrek.

We traveled through “our” lovely Anza-Borrego Desert State Park before heading north and skirting the west shore of the Salton Sea. We arrived at our overnight destination of Chiriaco Summit Dry Camp at 6:00 p.m. It was quite windy and in the mid-70s, so nighttime temperatures were very comfortable. Margaret and I heated up delicious leftovers of Sesame Tofu Drops and her “famous” Herbed Lentils & Rice Casserole for dinner and watched the first episode of Bosch, Season 5.

Photo by Virginia.
The next morning we shifted our stuff to “driving mode” in the Roadtrek and drove the few hundred yards over to the General Patton Memorial Museum. We spent a couple of hours looking at all the exhibits and watching a documentary in this fascinating museum.

Entrance to General Patton Memorial Museum. Photo by Margaret.
Photo by Virginia.

After leaving the museum, we headed west on I-10 for just a few miles and exited at Cottonwood Springs off-ramp before entering Joshua Tree National Park. I had never been there, but Margaret had been there sometime in the 1980s for a three-day backpacking trip. We made a stop at the Cottonwood Springs Visitor Center where Margaret used her Senior Interagency Pass for free entrance. We cruised through over twenty miles of the park before arriving at White Tank Campground, where Margaret’s pass got us a 50% camping discount.

Photo by Virginia.
Our campsite at White Tank Campground. Photo by Margaret.
The campsites are interspersed between the most amazing (and huge) outcroppings of granite boulders. We were able to find an available campsite, and with her pass were able to get two nights for the price of one. While getting things ready to camp, there were several light rain showers and rainbows. What a welcome! It was quite breezy and in the low 70’s—the kind of weather to be thankful for. The sites are small—mostly tent campers seemed to occupy them—but the Roadtrek and a few other small RVs fit, as well. There were visitors from all over, based on license plates and a multitude of foreign languages I heard being spoken. This park, which is so surreally beautiful, is quite the draw.

On our second day at White Tank Campground, I took the short walk (about a half mile) to Arch Rock and enjoyed the beautiful weather, rock outcroppings, and desert flora. Margaret took Peaches for walks around the campground. (Dogs are not allowed on the trails.) Margaret and I had delicious Tofurky sandwiches for dinner and watched two more episodes of Bosch. We very much enjoyed our stay at White Tank and plan to visit there again in the future.

Find the rainbow! Photo by Virginia.

On our drive out of Joshua Tree National Park, we spied this beautiful Joshua tree specimen:

Perfect Joshua tree! Photo by Virginia.

[Note: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view. If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've written about, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.]

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