Friday, February 03, 2017

WE KINDA BOUNCED OFF THE EASTERN EDGE OF SAN DIEGO THIS MORNING AND THANKS FOR FLYING WITH CAPTAIN AL:))

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SUNRISE AT OUR HOUSE

Not having any idea where it is we might be at next week at this time we decided to do our San Diego/Julian California loop drive this morning.  Same drive I described in Thursday’s post.

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WATCHING THE SUNRISE……PINK JAMMIES AND ALL

We were up and at em early as usual and had the Jeep rolling by 8:20 Arizona time or 7:20 California time.  Even though we are in California we still go by Arizona time because it’s easier on our aging bods.  Easier for our many mentally stretched mind confusements as well. 

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ROLLING THROUGH BLAIR VALLEY……AGAIN

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STOPPED FOR A LEG STRETCH JUST EAST OF THE AGUA CALIENTE COUNTY PARK…A FEW RV’S VISIBLE IN THE BACKGROUND

Retraced our steps through the scenic Blair and Vallecito Valleys stopping for a leg stretch near the Agua Caliente County RV Park a quarter mile off highway S2 on the West side.  This Park is known for it’s soothing hot springs.  Was surprised to see a lengthy paved aircraft runway running alongside the highway out there on the desert floor for the most part in the middle of nowhere.  There is a helicopter training school in EL Centro and I think I read they use this strip.  In fact England’s Prince Harry may very well have landed here during his Apache Helicopter training a few years back.

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WITH ONE EYE IN THE CAMERA AND THE OTHER EAR TUNED UPWARD FOR ANY APPROACHING AIRCRAFT I QUICKLY SNAPPED THIS RUNWAY PHOTO AND TOOK OFF AT A GALLUP WHEN KELLY NOTICED A STATE TROOPERS VEHICLE APPROACHING…..I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE WHERE I WAS…..LUCKILY MY LEGS SCOOTED ME ALONG FASTER THAN  THE TROOPERS EYEBALLS

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LOTS OF WIND TURBINES NORTH OF OCOTILLO

We reached the small town of Ocotillo and the junction of S2 and I-8 shortly before 10 and swung up the I-8 ramp heading West.  A few years ago upon leaving Borrego Springs one time we decided to slip on down south of Brawley through EL Centro to I-8 and east to Yuma.  Didn’t care much for that stretch of I-8 and for some reason I wasn’t impressed with the rugged rock filled landscape west of Ocotillo either.  A gas stop at a Shell station in Jacumba took our needle off nearly empty and we were on our way.  Could see the Mexican border fence running through the desert paralleling the interstate about a mile to our left which of course would be south.  No sign of that blonde headed Washington character at the wall with his hammer and nails yet.

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HEADING WEST TOWARDS SAN DIEGO ON I-8…..VERY SUPRISED BY THE LIGHT TRAFFIC

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I had been curious about this area of California to see if it would be somewhere we might be interested in for future travels and boon-docking.  It was not.  Too many loooooong grades for our Motorhome and as mentioned before we weren’t big on the scenery.  We did get us just 41 miles east of San Diego though before catching highway 79 north to Julian.  I mentioned to Kelly as we made the turn onto 79 that this point was the farthest west we have ever been in our RV travels.

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THIS IS AS FAR WEST AS WE HAVE EVER BEEN ON OUR RV TRAVELS

Highway 79 heading to Julian is a scenic doozy of a mountain drive with lots of sharp curves along the narrow nicely paved road.  A lot of cozy quaint cottage type houses for the first bunch of miles.  While driving in slightly diffused sunlight we could see clouds sitting on mountain tops far ahead as we kept gaining altitude.  Our sun was soon gone as bits of fine drizzle appeared on the windshield.  Not too many houses after awhile as the terrain became more rugged.  Could see evidence of a major forest fire years ago. 

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BY GOLLY WE CANADIANS SURE KNOW WHAT THAT WHITE STUFF IS BESIDE THE ROAD

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CLOUDS AHEAD ARE SITTING ON THE MOUNTAINTOPS AND THIS WAS ABOUT THE LAST OF THE SUN WE SAW FOR AWHILE

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OUR SEMI-SUNNY DAY TURNED INTO A CLOUDY DAY AS WE GAINED ALTITUDE

Coming into Lake Cuyamaca I remembered seeing something on-line about a good place to eat and sure enough we spotted it along the lake side of the road so we wheeled in.  Turns out they specialize in chicken pot pies so that’s what we had.  They were yummy and we could have easily split one instead of getting two.  No matter, what we couldn’t eat we boxed up and had later for supper.

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LAKE CUYAMACA

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HOME OF BIG YUMMY CHICKEN POT PIES

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A FEW SPRITZES OF A FINE RAIN KEPT OUR INTERMITTENT WINDSHIELD WIPERS GOING FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES

Enjoyed this mountain road drive but would have enjoyed it even more had we had a nice bright sunny day to bring all the colors out.  On the south edge of Julian we did find a scenic overlook and could see sun splashes traveling along the desert far below.

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HIGHWAY 78 COMES DOWN OUT OF JULIAN OFF CAMERA TO THE LEFT AND RUNS OUT THERE ACROSS THE DESERT FLOOR LEADING TO PLACES LIKE SHELTER VALLEY, BORREGO SPRINGS, AND OCOTILLO WELLS……IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DRIVE

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THE FAINT HIGHWAY LOWER LEFT WINDS AND TWISTS IT’S WAY THROUGH THOSE MOUNTAINS TO THE BORREGO VALLEY WHERE OUR COACH SITS SOMEWHERE OUT THERE TOP RIGHT

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SUNSHINE WAY OUT THERE OVER THE BORREGO VALLEY

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SOUTHERNMOST EDGE OF JULIAN CALIFORNIA

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CLOUD SHADOWS PLAY ACROSS THE MOUNTAINSIDES

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AND OMG THIS IS THE ONLY PHOTO OF THE PHEEBS TODAY

Of course it was a cloudy day in Julian and isn’t it almost always in the winter months.  Stopped at ‘Grannys Coffee Shop and Cafe’ for one piece of apple pie and coffee to go.  Pheebs and I held the fort while Kelly slipped in and came back with the goodies.  Kelly cut the large piece of pie in half as we sat in the Jeep and smashed it down.  She managed a spare cup so we split the single coffee as well.

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WITH JULIANS HEAVY TOURIST TRAFFIC ONE ALWAYS HAS TO BE CAREFUL CROSSING THE ROAD AND ESPECIALLY SO WHEN CARRYING APPLE PIE AND COFFEE

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NOW HOW IN THE HECK IS SHE GOING TO GET THAT ONE BIG PIECE OF APPLE PIE EVENLY DIVIDED…..THERE COULD BE A STRUGGLE COMING HERE!!

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NORTHBOUND ON JULIAN’S MAIN STREET

From Julian it was straight to Santa Ysabel and the Julian Pie Company.  One apple pie to go as well as 2 quarts of the best sweet apple cider of ever anywhere.  We like the Julian apple pies but I did make the comment to Kelly later at home that if I had to chose the best apple pie between the Julian Pie Company and the apple pies made by the Mennonite Gals south of Bayfield Ontario back home I would chose the pies at the Mennonite Bakery on highway 21:))

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SIGN MEANS TO ‘BEGIN SMELLING’ THE APPLE PIES WHEN YOU ENTER

What lovely mountain top countryside it is in these parts as the land gently falls off away to the coast.  Julian, Santa Ysabel, and Warner Springs along highway 79 butt up against forests of green trees and wide stretching fields of grass and cattle.

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A SWEEPING GREEN VALLEY WITH GRAZING CATTLE SOUTHEAST OF WARNER SPRINGS

Less than half an hour after leaving Santa Ysabel we came tumbling down Montezuma’s Grade on the east side of the towering San Ysidro mountains.  Fifteen minutes after plowing into the desert floor far below and making our way around the west end of Borrego Springs we were back to our campsite.  And by golly we had us a couple welcome visitors.

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WE BEGIN OUR ALWAYS EXCITING FOR THE DRIVER TUMBLE DOWN MONTEZUMA’S GRADE:))  NOT SO EXCITING FOR THE PASSENGER:((

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FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS LADIES AND GENTLEMAN WE WILL BE TOUCHING DOWN IN BORREGO SPRINGS MOMENTARILY’

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LOVE THOSE CLOUD SHADOWS AHEAD

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‘PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR SEATS UNTIL WE HAVE COME TO A FULL STOP’ AND THANKS FOR FLYING WITH CAPTAIN AL AND BAYFIELD BUNCH AIRWAYS’

I recognized Doug’s Jeep before I saw Doug and soon Pheebs and Yuma were having themselves a grand old time.  Doug and Yuma had been out on a day trip when they took a wrong turn somewhere down around the Tamarisk Grove Campground which coincidentally led him to a point on the highway where he spotted our Motorhome sitting out in the desert.  Always nice to see Doug and Yuma.  Our kind of folks:))

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Winds kicked up in the afternoon but they were warm desert winds and that was totally Okay.  I don’t mind hot as much if it is tempered by a cooling breeze and with mid 70+ temps upon us now winds are a welcome wonder.

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SUNRISE OR SUNSET?……SUNRISE, AND THE SUNRISES AND SUNSETS DO GET THESE REDISH ORANGE COLORS OUT HERE

GROANER’S CORNER:(( A young boy, about eight years old, was at the corner grocery picking out a large size box of laundry detergent. The grocer walked over and trying to be friendly, asked the boy if he had a lot of laundry to do.  "Nope, no laundry," the boy said, "I'm going to wash my dog." "But, you shouldn't use this to wash your dog. It's very powerful and if you wash your dog in this, he'll get sick. In fact, it might even kill him."  But, the boy was not to be stopped and carried the detergent to the counter and paid for it, even as the grocer still tried to talk him out of washing his dog.  About a week later, the boy was back in the store to buy some candy. The grocer asked the boy how his dog was doing.  "Oh, he died," the boy said.  The grocer, trying not to be an "I-told-you-so" said he was sorry the dog died, but added, "I tried to tell you not to use that detergent on your dog."  "Well, the boy replied, "I don't think it was the detergent that killed him."  "Oh? What was it then?"  "I think it was the spin cycle!"

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Knock Knock
Who's there?
Thayer!
Thayer who?
Thayer sorry and I won't tell teacher!
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Thea!
Thea who?
Thea later, alligator!

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The computer in my high school classroom recently started acting up. After watching me struggle with it, one of my students came up and took over. 'Your hard drive crashed,' he said.
I called the computer services office and explained, 'My computer is down. The hard drive crashed.'  'We can't just send people down on your say so. How do you know that's the problem'?  'A student told me,' I answered.
'We'll send someone over right away.'

14 comments:

  1. Love, love love that header photo, Al. Such a great feeling. I can smell the desert night air. I also love that drive you described and photographed so well. It is a fun trip.

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  2. Incredible pictures, Al. As usual. What I would love is a video of y'all going down that Montezuma grade. Must have been exciting with you handling the descent and the curves with the camera in one hand! And Kelly holding her breath with wide eyes like you see in comics. I can picture it in my head. Oh, the thrill of it all! Not boring.

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  3. What a nice flight through the beautiful and rugged mountains of eastern CA. We were in Julian a few years back when we camped western San Diego for a week. We too experienced the apple pies with vanilla ice cream. Gourgeous photos Al. You are soooo enjoying your time now that you guys are once more "mobile".

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  4. We drove all those roads years ago camped in Ramona campground and Pio Pico south of San Diego. enjoyed the San Diego Zoo and a nice drive coming back through Julian. I agree with the apple pies by the Mennonite ladies are excellent as well and much less expensive as well.

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  5. Our home was flooded so my husband & I have been invloved with the repairs on our home, the repairs took 8 months. While the repairs were being made my husband & I lived in a small efficiency apartment with our 2 small dogs.

    Needless to say this was a very stressfu time for us. About the only time I used my computer was flood insurance related business.

    Now that we have returned to our home I decided to check an see what you'all were up to. I was very surprised to learn you had sold your beautiful AZ home an are again RVing full time. I really enjoy reading about your travels an especially enjoy viewing your beautiful photography. Enjoy your travels!

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  6. Al, we pulled into the campground east of Lake Cuyamaca and asked the guard if we could take a tour. While out on the western edge, we saw a juvenile bald eagle! Lovely campground and I want to return in the spring with our son and grandson. Not sure if hubby will join us. (He doesn't like camping...oh, well...). Anyway, we told the young man and he was envious! They apparently like to "sail" the canyon at the edge of the campground!!! Yes, I remember the fire portion of that road....sad indeed...

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  7. No matter where you park, friends can find you.

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  8. As always, your pictures are amazing. Thanks for the flight, Al!

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  9. Julianne's a great place to visit. I camped outside of Julianne just before I retired and hit the road, three years ago and the pie is yummy. When you were sharing I wish I had me a piece of apple pie with my morning coffee here in the dessert. As usual you got some great photos.

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  10. S-1 vice CA-79 is way more dog friendly, if you chose to make that loop again. The park has become less dog friendly than it once was. Ah but the Julian Apple-Mountain Berry pie is the best! Ok I haven't had the benefit of tasting the Mennonite offering ...

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  11. Enjoyed your flight, great road pics. Did your Jeep maintain speed with engine braking on the trip down? My rental car would not, a real pain.

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  12. I just pull the auto-trans back a gear with half flaps and bit of trim:))

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    1. Thanks and you must know how to land a plane. I think that rental was too cheesy for long grades like that.

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  13. What a pretty loop through the mountains. You were so close to the Pacific Ocean - you really need to get a look while you're down there :-))) Wonderful header photo!!!

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