Oasis in the Desert

Friday, November 12, 2010

California -- A Great Place To Visit

"Okay, who put a 'stop payment' on my reality check?"

Cindy and I moved to Orange County, California from Denver in 1980.  We moved to the community of Mission Viejo which was just a few miles from Laguna Beach.  There we live for the next two years.  Homesick for Denver drove us to leave California and move back.  We sold our California home in about two weeks and moved to Evergreen, CO.  We have spent 20 years in the Colorado Rockies, but California was fun adventure!

In 2005, we had an opportunity to return to California for six months in the Ventura-Santa Barbara area.

Our intent was to settle in the San Diego Area for the winter. But, a dream part-time job as an Ambassador with Camping World was offered and we could not refuse. The task is to call on RV parks in the central California area. We could stay at any of the RV parks in the area and move about from one to the other. They included the coastal RV parks from Malibu to Santa Barbara and inland from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez Valley wine country.

The bonus is that Camping World stores are nationwide and the same program is offered throughout the USA. We could travel coast to coast and in between. There was one short side to the offer. We had only a few days to traverse the Southwest and present ourselves in Valencia, CA.

Our intent was to leave Austin (after a few days rest) at our leisure and visit family and friends along the way. We had planned to stop at every tourist trap and tour along the way. We previously had a month to accomplish this, now we had only days. We contacted all with our regrets and the next day after arriving in Austin, we took our RV out of storage, prepared the rig and ourselves for the journey, and hit the road.

Weary from our Mexico trip, we only traveled 60 miles before we stopped for the day in Fredericksburg, TX. At this rate, we would never get there! Off again the next morning, we made our way to Fort Stockton, TX. The next day we traveled to Deming, New Mexico. From Deming, we journeyed to Tucson, AZ.

In Tucson, we met with the local Ambassadors with Camping World for a training and orientation meeting. Off again, we bypassed Phoenix and arrived at Quartzsite, AZ. What a place! This city of only a few thousand residents in the summer swells to over a MILLION during the winter months. It is a winter RV Mecca. Thousands of RVs can be seen for miles. The attraction is the modest living cost, almost perfect climate, a wild and crazy bunch of people, and access to many recreational activities in the area.

One night in Quartzsite was enough for the two of us, but we were pretty well worn down from all of the travel. We had three days left and decided to take a two-day break and rest. Our choice was to stay in Laughlin, NV. We settled in a quiet RV park located at an Indian Casino outside of Laughlin. We vegetated for two days. When we got bored we went into town for fine dining and played a few of the machines. We did not win nor did we lose.

Rested (well sort of), we drove on into Valencia and set up camp in the Valencia RV Village. Fortunately, we made it without incident and arrived in good spirits.