California in the Fall

I’m a little late sharing our Fall 2022 road trip adventure from our home in Colorado to California and back.

Started out, we sold our home on wheel, aka Lily, and purchased a new one within a week. A bit crazy to take a new camper on such a long trip without a few shake-down trips, but I guess we enjoy a challenge.

black truck with trailer

Introducing our new 2022 Grand Design 17 MKE camper, or as we call her, Wilma!

This 22 ft. trailer is just a bit larger than the RPOD 180 we had. We wanted to stay under the 5,000 lbs. but with a few extra features that would make our longer trips just a bit more comfortable. After a year or more of YouTube and RV shows, this was it for us.

My list of must haves: walk around bed; more storage, bigger counters in the kitchen and a larger refrigerator. What a difference it made on our 10-day trip to have just these extra features.

On to the trip…

Our first full day on the road we stopped overnight in Cedar City, Utah. The 345 miles was just enough of driving for one day. Nice town for a overnight, and easy to get back on the interstate the next day. Second day on the road was a shorter drive, taking us to Willow Beach Marina. This great campground is located on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. Both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area administered by the U.S. National Park Service. This was another overnight stay, but I really hope to come back and stay several days. Great access to the Colorado River; fishing and kayaking would have been great.

marina on the colorado river

Joshua Tree National Park – 3-night stay at Indian Cove Campground, Site 13

Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in southern California, between the towns of Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree. It’s characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Named for the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees, the park straddles the cactus-dotted Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, which is higher and cooler. Keys View looks out over the Coachella Valley. Hiking trails weave through the boulders of Hidden Valley.

There are many hiking trails available or just walks among the Joshua trees for all levels. We didn’t do as much hiking as we expected since the temperatures where in the 90’s by 11 o’clock, but enjoyed the 43+ mile drive through the park with many pull outs and trails along the way.

Enjoyed a day of golf in the near by town of Yucca. Hawk’s Landing Golf Club was a fun little 12 hole course; 2 6-hole loops.

Next stop, town of Borrego Springs, CA. Before arriving in Borrego Springs via Hwy 86/Borrego Salton Sea Way, we drove through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park landscape for several miles. This is the largest state park in California with five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. We saw many road runners and mule deer all over. While we visited in October, there were still many wild flowers. Probably because of the rain the park experienced in August and September.

camper trailer with picnic table and man waiving

Originally we had reservations at the state park, but ended up staying at The Springs at Borrego RV Resort. And what a resort it is!! This was our first time staying in an RV Resort of this quality. Well spaced sites, palm trees, pools, laundry facilities, and a golf course. Could not ask for more. We enjoyed a cool dip in the pool in the afternoon after wondering around town. Since we visited prior to the snow birds arriving, the park was fairly quiet. Did a day trip to the near by town of Julian where we met our oldest son and his wife for dinner and drinks, and of course partake of their famous apple pie for dessert. Cute little town with shops and restaurants.

metal serpent sculpture in the desert

We drove around Borrego Springs to view the metal sculptures I heard so much about. These were produced by artist Ricardo Breceda. Spread over 1500+ acres of undeveloped desert land, these larger than life creations welcome the public to discover and enjoy art outdoors, surrounded by the rich and diverse desert environment of Borrego Springs. The Galleta Meadows, owned by the late Dennis Avery, has most of the 130 large scale sculptures which he referred to as Sky Art. A map of the sculptures location can be found on the Under the Sun Foundation website along with more detailed information on the art pieces.

From the desert of Borrego Springs to the oasis of Palm Springs, CA. We spent several days enjoying the ritzy lifestyle of Palm Springs. Stayed at the Indian Waters RV Resort. Nice and clean resort with all the amenities. Loved their staff; from their front desk to maintenance crew. Planning our return!! 🙂 –

As we started our return trip to Colorado, first stop was Prescott, AZ. Overnight stay at White Spar Campground, site 29 (double site). This was a Forest Service campground among the pines just a short 3 miles from downtown Prescott. Nice campground just off the highway, but not too nosy; traffic dies down at night.

Our next overnight stop was at the KOA in Monument Valley. On our way there, we decided to take the back roads through the towns of Jerome and Sedona. While I totally recommend these two very popular towns, I wouldn’t return pulling a trailer. The roads leading to and from both these towns are narrow, very winding and with 7+% grades. Add the tourist walking along the roads or streets, it made for a fun adventures ride. But, since we were driving so slow, it gave us the opportunity to enjoy the vistas around us.

A quick stop at Palisade Basecamp RV Resort in Palisade, Colorado, and our journey came to an end. Just a little over 2,200 miles and 5 states. What a great trip. Our new trailer pulled great. Had a little mishap with the battery on the camper, but nothing that the purchase of a new battery didn’t resolve the issue.

Where are you planning on going on your next road trip?

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to make.”

Angela N. Blount

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The Chicken Divers Club is a group of friends that share the love for travel; diving enthusiasts, wine lovers and adventure seekers.

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