In order to stay warm (chuckle) this winter, I opted to move to Southern California (SoCal). It turns out, SoCal has had their coldest winter in recent memory. My water hose started being unhooked in November (so as not to freeze) when I was still up north in Bishop. Thinking that I’d not have to do that once I moved to SoCal, I happily drove the five hours southward. Just last week, was the last day I unhooked my hose to prevent freezing. Hmmm, much like Maryland’s weather, except that there isn’t snow in January and February and constant mud in March because the ground doesn’t stay frozen.
During my stay near Temecula, I’ve stayed in 3 different RV parks (after getting Harvey fixed during the first 3 weeks of December). The first was a federal campground at $7.50/night (thanks to my golden age pass) because other than water, there were no other amenities. It was lovely but COLD. Even though I could run my generator all day – 6 AM to 9 PM, I was still cold. Since it was holiday time, I would visit family or attend Christmas Eve services, then arrive home after 9 to slide into frigid sheets and no heat. I paid for six nights, and still have 3 nights owed to me because I’m not as pioneering as I thought and I moved to a FHU (full hook-up RV resort). That resort: Vail Lake, was incredibly expensive (to me) at $320/week. The scenery was beautiful, but the owner is in bankruptcy and the park was showing the signs thereof. Unkempt and dirty. So I moved again.
Tucalota Springs is a lovely small backcountry RV resort. Tucalota means owl in the Cahuilla Indian language and the campground has been in existence since the 1970’s. There are still many owls in the valley, partly due to the owl boxes erected by one of the ‘work campers’ many years ago. I’ve only seen one owl flying but I hear them every night. I’m hoping to see some owlets before moving on. The coyotes sing every night, sometimes starting as early as 5:00 pm, then again around 9 or 10 and again around 4:30 AM (at least that’s when I hear them). I really like their song. I’ve seen the bobcats many times – mostly the female. She allowed me to take many photos last weekend and even walked closer to me (maybe 20′ away) before she decided I was too boring and she melted into the undergrowth behind her. Birds – did I mention birds? There are so many different birds here, I’m adding to my life list daily.
I’m a good distance from Temecula and Murietta, ever being green minded, I try not to make needless trips as gas prices are up to $4.29/gal last time I got gas – OUCH! That being said, I’m delighting in retirement and the routine or non-routine thereof. I’ve been taking photography classes given by a wildlife photographer at Santa Rosa Plateau – can you imagine 44,000 acres of my favorite kind of turf – wild! All the class fees are donated to the plateau for their school children’s fund. Dick Cronberg (the photographer and teacher) invited the Santa Rosa class to join the local photography club (which I’ve done) and they’re the nicest bunch of photographers I’ve ever met. Friendly and willing to share their expertise. Too bad they’ll be too far away for me to attend the monthly meetings when I travel north.