Squaw Lake BLM, CA

Again we found a nice quiet campground, next to the Colorado River.  We’re nested between mountains and a  dam, and internet and phone service is out.  Many ‘snowbirders’ spend time here.  The camping fee is minimal ($7.50/day w. senior discount).  There is a 14 day limit so there are no long-term campers here.

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Landscape on the way

We went to Yuma, AR this morning to get laundry and shopping done.  Yuma is about 30 miles South of the campground and right on the Mexican border.  To get here we drove thru desert and beautiful farm fields, all irrigated by a pretty complicated irrigation system.  We’ll planning on spending a few days in the area of the campground.  Camping here is pretty spread out and if often seems you’re free to plop down where you feel like it.  Bathrooms and showers are only at a few selected locations though.  The weather continues to be fabulous!

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Looking at the campground from the dam

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Our spot in the park

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Ocotillo Wells, CA

LAT/LON: 33* 7′ 20.51″N, 116* 2′ 24.65″W

After spending a great week with the Janis’ in San Clemente the time has come to move on.  We went East into the California desert.  After a nice 2-3 hour drive thru the mountains, we reached our original destination, the Borrego State Park.  The State Park was filled and had no room for us.  Thanksgiving is a big camping weekend in California, and that has caught us off guard.  After some checking and another hour drive we ended up in the Blu-In RV Park in Ocotillo Wells, CA, a private park on the edge of a 85,000 acre State Vehicular Recreation Area.

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The park caters to ‘OHV’ers, or Off Highway Vehicles.  There seems to be at least one of those for every acre in the park and wherever you look there is a cloud of dust for miles, kicked up by these things.  The plan was to stay for a couple of days, but we may change those and move on tomorrow.  The weather continues to be fine, 85 and sunny!

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Our Campground

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Gathering of the OHV’s at the souvenir stands outside our campground

San Clemente, CA

Today was our last day along the beautiful Pacific Coast.  We were fortunate enough to spent Thanksgiving day with Joe & Vickie’s family.  What a great bunch!

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Nancy & I with the Janis Family

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Watching our final sunset

The weather was phenomenal, sunny and in the 80’s.  Joe & I even went in the water for a while.  Tomorrow morning we’ll be heading East again.

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Joe & I in the Pacific

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My new friend Joe James Janis

San Diego, CA

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San Diego – Santa Fe Railroad Station

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Famous World War II Victory Kiss

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Today Joe, Vickie, Nancy & I took off to Oceanside, CA, parked the car and took the train to downtown San Diego.  Sunny & 75 made the waterfront shine.  We visited the Maritime Museum, took a harbor tour and ended our day in San Diego with a great fish dinner before taking the train back.  Many folks we know have bragged up San Diego over the years, and today we found out why.  A great place well worth a visit!

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San Clemente, CA – Day 2

A nice lazy day in the state park today enjoying the summer weather in the park.  We walked the beach to the Nixon ‘West White House’, where Nixon spent his ‘off’ hours during his reign.  The park is pretty well filled up and it is nice have neighbors to chat with at times.  There seem to people in the water surfing from sunrise to sunset.  I know the weather is hard to beat, but does anyone work around here?

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San Clemente State Beach

We rode our bikes thru the park somewhat, but not quite ready to take them out into the S. Cal. traffic yet.  The beautiful climate does attract large numbers to the area, and we have yet to find any real quiet spots around here.  It seems as if every square inch is filled with people, cars, or homes.

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Footpath from the campground to the beach

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Sunset at the State Park

We did get treated to another nice sunset in the afternoon.  How can you not love this weather!

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LAT/LON: 33* 24′ 10.99″N, 117* 36′ 0.85″W It’s hard to believe for us that have spent most of winters in the ‘North’ that campgrounds can be full in November.  But here in San Clemente we cannot get a spot for he Thanksgiving weekend.  Everything is booked.  We’re fortunate to have good friend  like Joe & Vickie Janis who have opened their home in beautiful San Clemente for us to stay a few days.  Joe & I served in the army back in the early seventies and have stayed in touch over the years.  Joe & Vickie have big plans to ‘remodel’ house they now live in next spring.  The house is near the beach, and when the remodel is done the second floor will allow a view of the ocean

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Joe & Vickie’s home

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Joe & Vickie’s new home plans

There is a lot to see and do in San Clemente, and the Janis’ have are doing a great job showing off the area.  The plan is to spent Thanksgiving with them before moving on and start heading East  again toward Arizona.

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Sunset at the San Clemente Pier

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Refugio State Beach, Goleta, CA

LAT/LON: 34*27′ 51.36″N,  120* 4′ 14.34″W

Sun, shorts, sandals, palm trees life is good!  Last night we spend the night at the Los Padres National Forest in another quiet out of the way spot.  No internet, no phone service, no blog posting there.  This morning we took the drive South again, stopping of near San Simeon Beach, where hundreds of Elephant Seals were laying on the beach.  Quite a sight!  Thanks for the tip Joe!

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A couple of seals playing around

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Elephant Seals on the beach

After a couple of hour drive South we ended up at the Refugio State Beach.  The weather is sunny and in the mid 70’s.  Time for shorts, sandals and a cold beer. The plan is to find a site N. of LA tomorrow and leave early Sunday morning for San Clemente where we plan to meet up with Joe & Vicky Janis.  We’re hoping to avoid the notorious traffic in LA we’ve been hearing so much about somewhat this way.

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Refugio Beach

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Enjoying the S. Cal. weather