Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Fantasy Springs Casino and on to Borrego Springs for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday morning, we packed Sol and headed for Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. They have a nice parking area for RVs and we planned to spend the night there before heading to Borrego Springs, California, for Thanksgiving.

Once we were set up, we headed into the casino to take advantage of the new member sign-up award. Bob received his card the day before and I was going to get one this time.....except, the computers were down! We went back to Sol and I made a shopping list of things we MIGHT need while in Borrego Springs. Off to Wal-Mart and WINCO! We purchased the items on my list plus a few more. Then it was back to the casino to see if the computers were back online. They came online just as we walked in the door!

I received my player's card and it was off to the slots for us. The new player promotion gave you $60 when you played $20! Bob had done well on Monday so now it was time for me to add to the winnings. Yes, we left with more than $80 above what we bet to get the 'free' money.

Back in Sol, we prepared for a travel day on Wednesday. We weren't in any hurry to get to Borrego and there was no checkout time at the casino. Sol left the parking lot a little after noon. We made one stop at Red Earth Casino, near Salton City. The casino has the best price for diesel in the area. They also have a dump station ($10) and free potable water. We emptied our grey and black tanks, then filled with fresh water. We also filled our 6 gallon jug so we could add water when the tank got low. We planned to be in Borrego Springs for 2 weeks----boondocking in the desert.

Red Earth Casino is only about 20 miles from Rockhouse Road in Borrego Springs so we didn't have far to travel. What a pleasant surprise---the road from Salton City to Borrego has been repaired! It is not longer a wavy, bumpy roller coaster ride. There is still one spot that will get you if you aren't watching, but it is much better than it has been.

We arrived at Rockhouse Road and saw that Connie and Larry had pulled in just before us. Christine and Rob were the first to arrive and they had their Canadian flag flying over their rig so we knew where to park.

Time for Boomer activities to begin!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park

Once again we arrived at the BLM area south of the Cottonwood entrance to Joshua Tree NP. Our plan was to find a campsite in the park, but being retirees, we forgot to check to see if it was the weekend! As it happened, we not only arrived on a Friday, but on a Friday beginning a 3 day weekend! There was no room at the park. After talking to the rangers, who informed us that the area was hit with flash floods in October (remnants of Pacific hurricane), we headed south hoping to find space at the BLM area. The rangers told us the northern BLM was washed out and in need of maintenance, but the south had fared a bit better. They also warned us that Cottonwood Springs Road had one lane washed out just south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. So, we made our way to the south entrance to the park and found the BLM area had sustained some water damage also. We were able to find a spot that was not too difficult to get into---just beyond us, the road was partially washed out.
 Saturday morning we decided to hike Porcupine Wash. The parking area for Palm Oasis hike was washed away in the flash flood! As we hiked Porcupine Wash, we saw evidence of the flood in the wash. These cacti were healthy and nestled in rocks above the wash.

 The rock formations were interesting. This rock has other rock running through it.
 When it eroded, many years from now, it will resemble this rock.
We hiked about 3 miles out the wash before stopping for a picnic lunch, then we retraced our steps to return to the car.
Then it was time to head back to Sol for an afternoon of relaxation.
It was Veteran's Day, so we decided to go to La Quinta to visit the brewery. What a surprise, veterans received a free beer in thanks for their service! Bob and I enjoyed our beers--me a porter, he IPAs. The bartender gave me a sample of a seasonal beer that was excellent--Chai Solstice! It tasted like chai tea! It would be a great  cold weather beer, but since it wasn't cold, I stuck with my porter.
On the way back to Sol, traffic was stopped so a semi could be removed from the median. When we drove into town,we saw where the semi had gone off the road and we thought it would be gone when we got back....no, traffic was backed up for miles!

When we arrived at Sol, the wind had quieted a bit, but unfortunately, it was not to remain quiet! The next day we drove to Coachella and then back to Indio to do some shopping. We decided to see how bad Box Canyon Road was after the flash floods. Let's just say it was no longer there! We were able to drive to the canyon, but after that the road was GONE!
Bob and I continued on  through the canyon, noticing the changes since we last drove through several years ago. There were areas of trees then, but now there are only on or two trees left in the canyon! The next two pictures show the remnants of the paved road. We were driving on a single lane dirt road.
We made it to Mecca and then to Coachella to Sam's Club. From there we drove back to Indio for Wal-Mart and Winco. After making a quick stop at Fantasy Springs Casino, we decided we would bring Sol for some fun on Tuesday!