Diamond Valley RV Resort

A PHOTO GALLERY

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Our Space

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How we rigged the sewer house…

0C736E71-3769-4959-BAC4-58457C514F63 The connection to the sewer is elevated, preventing gravity to allow the hose to drain properly. After walking around the RV Park, we noted how other permanent residents resolved this problem. So Jeff came up with an inexpensive alternative using plastic buckets, pvc pipes, and a hand saw that we took turns using, to create a “slide” for the hose. (TMI?) 


Other Spaces

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I know it doesn’t look like a Resort, but “don’t judge a book by its cover” which I probably did in my previous  post on Blythe, CA. (Mea culpa)

In between the long-term residents’ colorful and cozy spaces are a scattering of newer RVs. 

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Office and Ammenities

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145DD695-B5C1-47DD-AB39-067B797FA861 a beautiful outdoor patio

423CF3ED-5DF3-48F9-B711-B9FE81EB57E6 a heated pool and hot tub

A39A23E1-09A6-4EC8-8977-ED5A193A6FD8 For $5.50 we can wash and dry 2 full loads of laundry! 

6378F755-7540-44AA-B624-152D5019796C the Club House

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5F9B7536-8940-4759-A340-2DEE65C69C20 and lending library


On November 21st every resident was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving catered dinner. But wait, There’s more! After dinner each RV space received a raffle ticket and then we played Bingo. Jeff and I yelled, “Bingo!” twice and took home headphones and a rotating light show projector of stars and moons. During the Bingo Games raffle tickets were drawn. From grand prizes of a computer laptop, big-screen TV, and a multi-purpose mini outdoor grill, each RV space received a prize.  We won a Cuisinart toaster with Bagel, Defrost, and Reheat settings. Meanwhile we met Diana and her daughter, Alex, and schmoozed with others. (Well, at least I did!) 

As the dinner experience broke up, people piled up paper plates with leftovers and desserts. Really? Even the edible decorations were disassembled and taken home! Against the wall was an arrangement of fruit, kind of like a cornucopia minus the goat’s horn, flowers and corn. Among this array of fruits were light red-orange, small, apple-looking items topped with green blossoms. I thought they were some kind of pepper or tomatoes. When we left, all of the bananas and apples were picked over. So I figured no one would miss a few of these mysterious fruit whatevers. I took 3. Later I learned they were persimmons. 

160D14C6-1D13-4CCD-9007-89297208931D A gentleman told me to let them sit out for another week until they were very soft. To eat them, he suggested I cut off the top and simply scoop up the insides with a spoon. So I followed his advice and enjoyed mildly sweet spoonfuls of soft red-orange goodness, reminding me of the consistency of a kiwi fruit. 


D2519EAF-BAA5-4B60-B819-256EB6A9EE2A The dog park even supplies its own “poopie” bags! However, someone does not pick up after their dogs. Seriously? 

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3A0C2B35-D51F-4AAB-9C73-C1969369C195 When we first arrived the grass was green but daily hose-watering cannot compete with the desert sun. 

4B83A2D6-B886-4653-B821-8D5294F0192E Here we have met Vickie, another Diana, and Rick. Rick helped design and landscape the dog park and takes pride in its appearance. So, we all are appalled by the person or persons not picking up after their pets. We suspect the same culprit but cannot prove it yet. According to the RV Park rental agreement, failure to clean up after your pet results in a fine of $100.

Beside the dog park, a passionate gardener is planting a community vegetable garden.

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But I would say that the biggest amenity here is the people! Residents are outgoing and friendly, starting with the management. Mooshy runs the office. Ron is the resident handyman. Abraham lives and works here too. Behind us lives Janey and her 3 dogs. Maggie just moved in with her dog, Piper. Across the street are another Rick and Allison. Marla lives down the street. Elliot and Sherry’s space is surrounded by a garden of potted plants. (Sherry is responsible for cultivating and planting the vegetable garden next to the dog park.) Good people. Good energy. A caring neighborhood.


Outside The Gates

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Diamond Valley RV Resort is nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains at the corner of State Street and Ramona Boulevard. Avid walkers, Jeff and I pound the pavement daily for an hour or more. When sidewalks end we travel on dirt or the street encountering many homeless people, churches, schools, trailer parks, tire stores, Mexican markets, and lots of litter. Not exactly pretty, but wait… 

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60B25F98-6B6F-4F73-9D4D-C405276F5624 persimmons

96D3B8E7-B282-4180-84DE-34833B5A1321 a massive tumbleweed!

ECB59FD5-E1DF-4DBD-A5F5-94D162FC1C07 We collected a bouquet of these on the ground along Ramona Expressway. Don’t know what they are but they look great on top of our nature “curio shelf.”

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DD22AAE0-5390-4E70-AC19-B4660C207FA5 Seasons’ Greetings from the desert…

20BABEFA-738C-4251-A79C-3CDFA51D8B9D St. Anthony Catholic Church

B43EDD6E-D1D6-4A40-B3BF-A4C7D5521BCC a tiny shrine to St. Anthony built from stones

0DAC056D-44D1-4CAA-B53F-1C9AED811E49 by F.J. Walkowiak in 1936


 

Heading West Part 3

Phoenix, AZ to Blythe, CA… November 11th

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Today’s drive is a short one. The distance between Apache Junction, AZ to Blythe, CA is only 185 miles. Just outside of Phoenix we catch Interstate 10. After crossing the Colorado River, we enter CA. Blythe is the first town off of the 10 at the junction of US 95. We spend the night at Burton’s Mobile Home and RV Park because of its easy access off and on the Interstate.

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The picture below is the space we pull into, parallel to the chain link fence and scenic view of residents’ coiffed back yards.

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Lovely, isn’t it? I bet you can guess what we nicknamed Blythe. Here are a few more pictures in case you need a few more clues:

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If the word Blight crosses your mind, you are correct. It doesn’t help that the day is overcast. And we aren’t here long enough to meet anyone or explore the other parts of the city. According to en.m.wikipedia.org, Blythe is an agricultural area in the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert along the Colorado River. Since it is 4 hours away from 10% of the country, it is a great stopover city, especially between Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA.

I know better than to judge a book by its cover because its pages may be precious. Such is the case with Blythe, as I discovered after we left.

Look closely at the picture below.

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Can you see a head, body, arms, and legs?

This is one of the Blythe Intaglios or Geoglyphs found in the Colorado Desert about 15 miles north of downtown Blythe. Intaglio is an art term applied to burial mounds referring to a design cut into a hard surface. A geoglyph is a gigantic figure incised on the ground by humans for some unknown reason. (en.m.wikipedia.org) Best viewed from the air, the Blythe Intaglios include 3 human figures, 2 four-legged animals, and a spiral.


Final Destination… Blythe, CA to San Jacinto, CA… November 12th

Another short day as we continue along Interstate 10 West through Desert Center…

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…and the Coachella Valley along the southern edge of Joshua Tree National Park.

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We stop for gas and notice the evidence of the homeless population…

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…and the widespread litter problem we have observed in the lesser known cities of California.

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Continuing along the 10 West, we pass through Indio…

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…Thousand Palms…

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…and Cathedral City…

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In Beaumont we exit the 10 and catch State Highway 79.

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San Jacinto is about 15 miles from Beaumont where 79 becomes Sanderson Avenue.

We arrive at our winter home in San Jacinto at the Diamond Valley RV Resort shortly before 1:00 PM.

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Heading West Part 2

60 West Into Arizona to Apache Junction, AZ… November 10th

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Our planned destination is Globe, AZ, about 260 miles from Magdalena, NM, where we stayed last night.

Springerville, AZ

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When we reach Show Low, Route 60 dips south and we enter the White Mountain Apache Reservation. The spectacular drive south presents picture perfect postcard moments of photo ops.

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Meanwhile, we call all the RV Parks in Lake Elsinore, CA (our preferred winter destination) only to find out that our opportunities to stay there are not looking good. No place has room for us this year. Why this area in southern CA? It’s affordable, for one. As you look closer to the ocean or San Diego, the monthly rates skyrocket out of our comfort zone. And more remote places in the eastern desert offer great rates but no internet or cable, and very iffy cellphone reception. (We investigated the costs of Hughes Net, Exede, and Dish, but the additional cash outlay for a short term solution would offset the savings.) We keep heading toward Lake Elsinore anyway.


The only RV Park in Globe is closed for remodeling. So we keep driving. Route 60 turns west again and we head toward Phoenix.

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For the next 30 miles I search for a place to stay overnight. We don’t need a gated resort with spa amenities that cater to the annual snowbirds. Nightly rates are a lot more than we want to pay. I just know there has to be a reasonable place for us.

Then Eureka, I find a spot in Apache Junction…

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This would be a great place to snowbird, in my opinion, at least. It’s clean, affordable, no frills… And Phoenix is only about 35 miles away. We just aren’t quite ready for this part of Arizona yet. But check out the saguaro cactus up close and personal here in the Sonoran Desert. This species of cactus can grow up to 40 feet high.

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Before we retire for the evening, we find a place to stay in California that is about an hour east north east of Lake Elsinore and about an hour west south west of Palm Springs. Diamond Valley RV Resort is located in San Jacinto. ETA… Sunday, November 12th.

 

 

Heading West Part 1

Denver, CO to Springer, NM… November 8th

Interstate 25

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It really feels good to be back on the road again. Even with a dirty windshield, the view from a motorhome never disappoints. I have no trouble switching into my photo-journalist role.

We spend the first night just off the Interstate at the Old Santa Fe Trail RV Park in Springer, NM.

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Springer, NM to Magdalena, NM… November 9th

Back on I-25 we pass through the outskirts of Santa Fe.

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In Socorro, we take Route 60 West to Magdalena…

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…where we spend the night at the Western Motel and RV Park.

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According to en.m.wikipedia.org, Magdalena is a small ranching community that grew up in 1884. The mining boom of 1913 changed the status of Magdalena from Village into Incorporated Town. In 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau recorded 926 people living here.

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It is also known as “Trails End” for the 1885 railroad spur line that ran 26 miles from Socorro to Magdalena. Cowboys drove herds of cattle and sheep into town via the Old Magdalena Trail. The original stockyards are still intact.

The Public Library and Boxcar Museum are housed in the old railroad depot.

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As I snoop around taking pictures, I meet 3 local gentlemen and a dog who jumped out of the backseat of the white truck above. The owner of the dog verifies the Wikipedia information about the stockyard driveway. Between 1885 through 1916, cowboys from the west drove thousands of cattle and sheep to Magdalena to board the train. Besides these grazers, timber, wool, and ore were also transported. In 1971 the trains stopped running. 

The Santa Fe boxcar above is being gutted for remodeling as an addition to the Boxcar Museum. I walk up to the man working on this project. As we talk we became instant friends. First he shows me the gutted boxcar. It reminds me of a blank canvas for an RV or Tiny House. And being next to the library, I recall the children’s book series, The Boxcar Children. He proceeds to tell me how he settled in Magdalena from Southern California and now lives off the grid on land purchased in the surrounding hills.

A younger man, overhearing our conversation, joins us to share how he also lives off the grid. He and his wife purchased some land up in the hills. Solar panels, a well, and I don’t know what their toilet situation is… Property tax is $1 a year! The only drawback is the wear and tear on the truck going to and fro from their homestead. 


60 West into Arizona… November 10th

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The desert dominates the landscape as we continue due West on 60. Within 24 miles we see large objects spread across the desert.

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These objects are the immense dishes of the Very Large Array (VLA) spread across more than a hundred square miles of desert. They gather invisible light— radio waves— naturally emitted in space. The VLA is the most famous and powerful telescope of its kind. Precious information from space travels for billions of years to reach the Array. We learn about the birth of stars, the growth of galaxies, the power of black holes, and clouds of molecules that may be the building blocks of life. (Travel Brochure)

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Next time we’ll stop and visit…

After another 10 minutes, we approach the Cibola National Forest.

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By 9:50 AM we enter Pie Town, NM.

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Unfortunately, we arrive too early to buy a pie!

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Pie Town, NM is named for a bakery making dried-apple pies. Clyde Norman established the town in the early 1920s. On the 2nd Saturday of each September, the annual “Pie Festival” takes place. (newmexico.org)

According to en.m.wikipedia.org, as of the 2010 census, Pie Town had a population of 186.

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So we continue on 60 West toward Globe, AZ, crossing the border some 30 minutes later.

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Where Have I Been For 3 Months?

So, Where Did I Wander?

The last time I posted, Jeff and I were in Delaware, OH visiting my grandson in Ollie Land. We left August 28th and returned to the Denver, CO area where Jeff parked the RV in his son David’s driveway. On September 2nd I flew back to Columbus, OH

IMG_3090to help my son, Brian and daughter-in-law, Jen get ready for the birth of Oliver’s new baby brother or sister. Jeff stayed in Colorado with his sons, Andy and David and Andy and Daisy’s 4 children (Jernigan Land).

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When I arrive in Ollie Land, Oliver is potty-training…

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My son, John, spends a weekend and he and Brian paint a mountain mural on Oliver’s new bedroom walls.

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Meanwhile the new baby’s due date comes and goes…

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Until October 12th… At 4:04 PM the new baby arrives… It’s a girl!!!

IMG_3117 Reagan Rose

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Oliver immediately steps up to the plate and assumes his role as big bro…

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I am invited to stay for Halloween…

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But on November 4th I say goodbye…

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… and tearfully fly back to Denver where Jeff eagerly awaits with his own fun times in Jernigan Land.

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On November 7th… Another bittersweet goodbye…

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…as Jeff and I head west to California for a warm winter.

Columbus, Ohio

We spend an evening with Jeff’s sister, Jan, in Indianapolis. Bob and Jan bought a small camper that they park at Heartland RV Resort  in Greenfield, Indiana for the summer season.

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We were able to find space here as well, so Jan joined us after work on Friday, August 18th. She is a manager and sommelier (wine steward) at a restaurant in Indianapolis.

Saturday we arrive in Delaware, Ohio, north of Columbus and about 30 minutes from Ollie Land, where we spend the next 9 nights at Alum Creek State Park. (I should say Jeff spends the nights here. I stay at Ollie’s for 4 of those nights.)

Alum Creek State Park

Behind the RV, a path leads to a trail.

The summer wildflowers are beautiful but the humidity and biting bugs are unbearable.

 

Ollie and his dad (my son, Brian) drive me back to the RV on Sunday and stay for a quick cookout.

Hot!
…the fire and the outside temperature!

We stay inside the RV where the air conditioning provides comfort.

Oliver is not sure what to make of our home on wheels. And he hasn’t napped all weekend, so he is not a happy camper…

His po’d look…

But then he starts coming around…

 

And I manage to get the start of a smile…

Now he’s a happy camper!

His surprised face…
Peek-a-boo!
Pinching his nose…
Counting his fingers…
Tickling his knees…
Making a happy face!

Picking Our Way Through Iowa

Antique Archaeology

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz travel the back roads of America looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, they see as dollar signs. Each item they pick has a history all its own. And the people they meet are a breed all their own. They are the American Pickers and the stars of the reality TV series with the same name. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

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Jeff and I enjoy watching their series so we decided to include a stop at Antique Archaeology (Mike’s business and American Pickers home base in Le Claire, Iowa) on our way east to visit family in Indiana and Ohio.

Le Claire is a quaint Mississippi River town and the birthplace of Buffalo Bill.

The store is tucked away on a side street across from the Mississippi River.

We recognize many items from episodes of their shows. Most of the “picked” objects are for display purposes and not for sale.

Antique Archaeology is like a museum that sells souvenirs. You can purchase mugs, t-shirts, key rings, and other pricey paraphernalia.

We enjoyed just looking around…

Jeff was a happy camper!