Feb 17, 2010

Settling in CA

Not much happened this week since we arrived California. We traveled a lot… from one site to another, but other than that – not much. Looking forward for the W/E

End of Leg II

Monday, February 15, 2010 – Woke up in the morning knowing we are going, but don’t know where. How typical. The first call I made was to the Escapees campground in Aguanga, see if they have available site for us. I was surprised to find out they had a site, and I made sure I was clear enough when I said we are coming for 3 weeks.
So we have a destination!
The first half of the drive was boring. The desert did not have even cacti or trees, just low brown bushes here and there. That was pretty much all the way until we hit the Joshua Tree NP area. From that point and on we could  see more plants trees and different types of cacti around us, and in front of us – snow capped mountains. Very pretty.
AguangaCA 005Our GPS decided we need to see some nice views, and took us through hwy 74 – a very scenic route with steep and curvy road climbing up the Cahuilla hills. Our truck did just fine, but at times I drove as slow as 30 mph. I had to take the turnouts to let the traffic behind me pass. There are some view points along the way, and we actually stopped to take some pictures. You get to see the whole Desert-Palm valley spread at the bottom of the hills. If you are in the area – this is a very nice drive (particularly if you don’t have to drive with your rig)
AguangaCA 006 This is the last point on our way west for this time around. From here we are starting to head north through UT all the way to MT. Our first leg was south – from PA to AL. Then we started going west, so that concludes our second leg, from AL to CA. We drove over 12,000 miles since we bought our truck and 5th in July. That’s a lot of miles!


Big Campground Culture

We arrived the campground and stopped at the office to register.
– “Sorry, no Credit cards. Checks or cash” the volunteer said. Since I did not have checks with me, I asked
– “Can I pay after we park?”
– “No” the answer was, “I can’t let you be escorted in without payment. These are the rules”.
You almost feel like you deal with the government. Rules. Regulations, procedures, no exceptions… wow! Is this a campground?
So we get a check, and she asks 
– “For three nights, right?” 
–  "Oh, no” I say, “This is three WEEKS, not nights”
– “I am so sorry, I thought you said 3 nights. We have nothing for three weeks”
– “Than find something”, I say “I drove many hours to get here, and I am not going to find a new campground at this time”.
iPhone 012 So the volunteer looks in the paper schedule book she has, and says:
– “Well, if you want, you can stay in site 670 tonight, and move tomorrow to 202 and on Friday to 918” Oh My God. Not a good start. After assessing our options and discussing with Patti, we decide to stay.
Now they need to locate another volunteer that will escort me to the site. He will than try to direct me to back up  my 5th (God bless Mirrors) and explain to me that the picket ball is in this building, and at 3 there is free ice cream, in that building, and if I need to do laundry I need to put myself on the schedule sheet, and this and that – at some point I just stopped listening. 90 minutes orientation for a site I am going to stay one day. and tomorrow – another escort.
iPhone 011They said that they have WiFi in the campground, but forgot to say it is in the “Friendship Hall” only. And it is not even free. So what’s the point? Not sure what did we get into, but it is the cheapest we could find in SoCal.
The sites are nice, and the campground is on hills, so you don’t get the parking lot feeling of campground of this size (I think over 240 sites). Most sites have a nice view and a pretty big lot, so at least that.
They have books of regulations, activities, meetings and what’s not. There is even a wood workshop on site.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 – Nothing much since we got here. Patti did not feel good yesterday and threw up all day. She gets those flairs from time to time. That is the Lupus, and I feel so sorry for her, but not much I can do.
iPhone 004We moved to our second site in the series of three. Not as nice as the first one, but still has some views. It is just across from the wood workshop, and they are LOUD! Why people have an urge to cut wood at 8:00am ??
This weekend I plan on visiting with my kids and hopefully go somewhere nice. There is a state park not so far and a state forest. There are hundreds of geocaches in that park, so that might be a nice activity with the kids.
That is for tonight. More will come soon. Thank you so much for following this blog!


  1. Yeah, all us SKP Parks have rules and regulations. They can be cumbersome for short-term renters, but the rules and regs are what keep the park in good operating condition in the long run. We have not visited the park in Aguanga yet, don't know if we will. There's a lot to see in the area, so maybe that'll be a place for us to light some day. Thanks for sharing.

  2. By the way - should have mentioned it first - we hope Patti gets over her nasty tummy quickly. We know lupus won't go away quickly, but at least some parts can settle down for a while!

  3. Hope she gets to feeling better and the stay there turns out better than it started.

  4. I hit the road full timing in 1985 and have been a member of the Escapees since 1984.
    Co-ops are managed by the rules agreed to by the majority of it's members.
    In other words, if the majority vote in favor of fuchsia sheds or 5 MPH speed limit, I would need to comply or start my engine.......
    Most co-ops are run by volunteers and thus, by necessity, need rules easy to comply with and in writing.
    Co-op living is not for everyone. Thus if one is not comfortable with badges, regulations and/or surrounded by fellow Escapees living one day at a time.... it maybe time to see what's over the next hill.

  5. I am really sorry that you didn’t experience the fun and beauty side of Jojoba Hills Escapee RV Resort. But not getting a site to stay in all three weeks in a row is a result of the popularity of this park (for both the members and visitors). As you experienced, this isn’t a ‘campground’ that has many open spaces during the ‘winter snowbird’ period. Each and every site is leased, year around, by a member. Those spaces that are available are put in the ‘rental pool’ by the generosity of members who are not here at the time. And these individual members, as you might not expect, get no personal financial benefit at all for providing spaces for renters.

    You did mention the beauty of the area. That doesn’t come as an accident. There are dozens of volunteers on the landscaping committee and when larger jobs need to be done, there is a small staff that runs the ‘really big equipment’. You probably noticed that people pick up after their animals, keep their yards free of weeds and trimmed (there is a Yard of the Week chosen honoring the best of the best), a schedule is kept on maintenance of the sheds, the paved roads have routine upkeep, the five ponds are maintained, the putt-putt golf course is neat and clean as are the pickle ball courts, tennis court, shuffle board court, horse shoe courts, pool table room, exercise room, library, Ranch House (where you can relax in front of a big screen TV, fire place, and get your WiFi there and the Boon Dock area as well as in Friendship Hall that you mentioned), separate saunas for men and women, covered and open hot tubs and a large swimming pool with a view of Mt. Palomar.

    Don’t even get me started on the individual interest groups that visitors are always welcome to attend. We have so many we have to publish a monthly calendar and when other special activities held, they are published to our TV’s channel 3.

    I hope that you can return at a time when you both can enjoy this park for what it is: a membership park.

    Sam Scherf (just a member)

  6. My experience with traveling around in an RV and hitting Jojoba Hills was quite different. I liked it so much I purchased a membership. That was 15 years ago and it wasn't a mistake. Sorry you didn't like your stay here. Most folks do and they come back. Ron Daves