January---Indio, Cerritos CA and Quartzite AZ
Mar 8, 2012
|January---Indio, Cerritos and Quartzite CA
Arizona, just like the rest of the county had a mild January. I got a lot of afternoons at the pool, and Kim started another hobby---golfing! His brother had given him a used set of golf clubs, when he retired, but he hadn’t gotten on a golf course until this winter. He has gotten into a four-some and golf’s a couple times a week. He is really enjoying it!! He loses some balls every week, but he has gotten a couple of pars! I think mostly the guys just have a great time! He has now bought a set of clubs, and it seems like the bag is getting fuller every week---seems like he is either finding clubs on the course, or buying more!
There always seems like there is lots going on in the southwest in the winter. Kim and I headed west to Indio CA for a Family Motor Coach Rally for a couple of days, great time checking into new items and information about the motor home. Indio is 26 miles east of Palm Springs, 70 miles east of Riverside, and 125 miles east of Los Angeles. But once you get to Indio---it almost seems like a suburb of Los Angles! It lies in the valley of the San Bernardino Mountains and is actually below sea level.
Indio is the Home of Shields Date Garden---I never knew that there were so many different kinds of dates (other than “blind” or “first” :-) We had a great time sampling Medjool, Blonde, Brunette, Honey, Abbada, Khadrawi, Barhi, Zahidi, Deglet Noor, and a few more! See---there are lots of different kinds of dates! I think I have even figure out which palm trees are actually “Date Palms”, who knew there was so much to learn in retirement!
Since we were so close to Los Angles—actually Cerritos we decided to visit Villa International—to order a new sofa and recliner for the motor home. The rally was on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so we had a day to kill before arriving there on Monday. We decided to take the scenic route to Los Angles. We ended going over a mountain pass to Idyllwild, CA. "Mile-high Idyllwild" is a popular southern California mountain resort about one mile in altitude. Residents call the area "the hill." Idyllwild is flanked by two large rocks, Tahquitz Rock (also called Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, which are famous in Southern California rock climbing circles. One of Idyllwild's attractions is that it offers all four seasons, yet in snowy winter is only an hour's drive down to the warm desert on the scenic Pines to Palms Highway. The town has kept its "small town" atmosphere. It appeared that it was a great weekend get-away from the traffic jams, and the noisy city life in Los Angles.
From Idyllwild, we went through Helmet, to Lake Elsinore, passed Hell’s Kitchen (Biker Bar, named Hell’s Kitchen a borough in New York, famous for its melting pot of various cultures all in one area. It's known as a rough and tumble part of town. Most importantly, it's now known as the area which experienced the greatest loss of life to their firemen in the 9/11 tragedy which rocked our great country.) To San Juan Capistrano, then I-5 to Cerritos. We planned it so that we would arrive on a Sunday, thinking that the traffic wouldn’t be too bad---but wow I-5 really rocks and rolls! Got the sofa ordered the next day and on the road back to Apache Junction by evening. We had dear friends ready to help us back in, probably would have gone better, if they hadn’t started with margaritas around noon that day!
At the end of the month, we headed west again to Quartzite AZ, for the RV show that is hosted there for a couple of days.
Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it! According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s, converge on this sleepy little desert town, located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. This phenomenon started over 40 years ago and is now billed as “The Largest Gathering of RVers in the World”… I would explain Quartzite as the Sturgis for RV’ers. I think the partying is almost the same, except that most of the camping is on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) with no water, sewer or electricity. People just pull out in the desert in a circle (just like the wagons in the old west) and “boon dock” or dry camp. The wind always blows and it is really dusty!