From Bend to Bakersfield, via the USA travel blog

Dec. 13, we headed west again, leaving Yuma and Arizona for Southern California. Linda is no fan of the desert, with her anxiety levels going up the more the surroundings seem hot, dry and barren, so as we hit the “real desert” a few miles into California, she was not comfortable. The scrub along the roadside gave way to sand, with large dunes completely devoid of vegetation and sporting dune buggy tracks galore with a few hardy folks dry camping around occasional clumps of palms. Fortunately for Linda, we were soon past that area, moving through some foothills with wind farms all around, and then into the Imperial Valley, with lots of water (though not “naturally occuring”) running through canals to irrigate fields of vegetables. The harvest, I think, never ends, as there were crews picking something from almost every field we passed.

Well, coming to El Centro, I decided we should get some gas in the tank, but after passing a couple of gas stations with prices much higher than Arizona (by about 25-30 cents a gallon!), we had to turn around. So I headed around the block through a small residential neighborhood. Since some of the streets did not seem to go through, I slowed down to check one before turning left back to the main street. As I slowed to check the street and turn, a pickup’s driver decided I was stopping so began to pass me. Well, it didn’t go well for the pickup, or for us. Our first accident! It now looks like our RV has a black eye, what with the duck tape I am using to hold things together until we get home. But the pickup -- well, most of the bed was gone, in pieces on the ground, from the back tire to the cab! No amount of duck tape would be able to hold that together, though it was “drivable.” Guess one more experience for our scrap book, though not a very positive one! Well, it was Friday, the 13th.

We were able to continue, and arrived a bit later than planned in Jamul, CA at Pio Pico. The campground was quite nice, although we were without many amenities we were hoping to have -- no cable TV, or reception with the antenna, no cell phone reception, and, although they said there may be wifi in some sites, we did not find any. So I will be quite behind in keeping up with the blog.

Yesterday afternoon, I heard crows causing an uproar, and looked toward them. There, in a large, apparently dead tree toward the end of the campground, were a pair of hawks perched on one of the highest branches with the crows trying to dislodge them. The crows eventually were successful, and the hawks flew off toward the hills. What a beautiful sight they made soaring off! But, coincidently I’m sure, the next day a tree service spent the day taking down the 2 large dead trees where the hawks had perched. I was certainly glad to have seen them when I did.

We plan to take in some of San Diego and visit with my sister-in-law in La Mesa over the next few days before heading north. Probably have wifi then.

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