|....To water, to electricity, to major shopping opportunities, and now to faster internet! A change of scenery was in order after our 5 weeks in the Anza Borrego desert, every day of which we thoroughly enjoyed. So we drove about 70 miles north to Lake Cahuilla in La Quinta, a town described in Wikipedia as a resort city in Riverside County and the nation's leading golf destination! Sounds right up our alley!
Lake Cahuilla is a Riverside County Park and one we have visited often. It is situated around a reservoir framed by the jagged peaks of the Santa Rosa mountains and bordered by PGA West, though somehow able to maintain a remoteness from nearby city influences. We are parked in the newly opened horse camp facility which reserves 10 or so sites with electric and water for regular RVers at a very reasonable $90 per week.
But back to being connected....Our internet reception had gone from slim to none with no help from the antenna/booster. Howard thinks a pin had broken off inside the modem where the antenna snapped in. Verizon informed us that we were due for an upgraded modem, thus the change of location took on more significance. Our upgrade connects to the "new" Verizon 4G network, which is currently only in large metro areas, with a Pantech modem, probably not as good as the LG, but the only one that had an antenna port. Now we have had to order a new cable to connect between the antenna and modem.....just so we can stay connected in limited service areas, like Anza Borrego!!
Therefore, we must now be connected to a real address in order to receive a couple of FedEx packages and fortunately the park allows us to use theirs. One FedEx package will contain a replacement Direct TV receiver for the one that died, enabling us to stay connected to all that's exciting on TV these days. We have been enjoying PBS, a new feature for Direct TV, as well as the Damages series and Harry's Law!
We're also more closely connected to friends here. Earl & Gail have a winter home at nearby Rancho Casa Blanca in Indio. We spent a great afternoon with them recently and enjoyed grilled hamburgers in the club house, sightseeing via golf cart, and catching up on family and friends!
It's nice being connected to hiking trails and jeep roads, getting away to beautiful spots for some photo opportunities. On one of our jeep drives and hikes, we met up with a group that asked if we had been up to the waterfall. Waterfall, in the desert, are you kidding? No, they said, it's about a mile and a half up this rocky wash to a narrow canyon. Well, we went back the next day and started out figuring we were indeed on a Snipe Hunt, only to be pleasantly surprised after all my moaning and groaning, to find water flowing down a vertical 25' granite wall.
The lush agricultural fields of the Coachella Valley connect us to street corner stands selling fresh strawberries, broccoli, & asparagus grown locally, and in the middle of winter no less! We watch the news and hear from friends scattered all over the US, Australia, Panama & Costa Rica dealing with extreme weather conditions and consider ourselves lucky to be where we are at this moment....At least until we get sandblasted by Santa Ana winds.
At this writing, a few days have passed so an update might be in order. I can't tell you how frustrating, from a consumer level, our experience with Direct TV has been. Customer Service representatives, we have dealt with 7 to date with over 4 hours of cell phone time, can only deal with what the computer allows them to do. Even so, when they type in our physical address here at Lake Cahuilla for our 2-day FedEx delivery of a replacement receiver, which is standard not HD.....the computer reads...Aha La Quinta is a high-def area so it automatically changes the order to a HD-receiver. We now have two! But, more importantly, the people we have talked to and the assurance we have received with absolutely no results. When asked what we should do with these 2 receivers, one guy told us to consider them a gift should we ever upgrade to an HD-satellite, we don't want them back. The next lady said she will send us return packing, and finally we were told to "return to sender"! Will our replacement arrive by our departure day next Tuesday...I wouldn't bet on it!