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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back In Civilization

Edwards AFB FamCamp was a nice stay, with sunny, but cool and windy days.  However, it was way (way, way) out in the boonies and our Internet signal was all over the place, one minute it was strong, the next it ran away and hid.  Sometimes pages loaded, other times you'd go cross-eyed staring at the blinking hourglass.  It is amazing how much we've come to depend on the Internet.

We had a nice open site, with a clear view of the Southern sky, so we were able to lock on to our DirecTV satellite signal.

We awoke to a freezing cold morning.  Good thing I filled the water tank and put away the hose last night so we had no problems. 

Our goal today was drive a "short" 191 mile distance to Escondido, California.  It didn't start out very good. 

Edwards AFB is not just big, it's HUGE.  So huge it could easily swallow some New England states.  Rhode Island, for sure, probably with Vermont and New Hampshire thrown in.  Guess what happened to us.

We got lost, trying to get OFF the base.  Funny how desert sand, tumbleweed, Cholla cactus and creosote bushes all look exactly the same.  Now we understand how people died of thirst in the desert.  Our GPS was no help at all, it just showed an arrow pointing forward in a totally blank screen.  For once, the annoying voice inside the unit was speechless.

Figuring that if we headed in the direction we believed was South, we were sure we'd come across the major highway we were looking for.  We continued on, re-enforcing our bad choice.  And on, and on.  I swear we passed a few skeletons of unlucky people who made the same bad choices as we did. 

If I was a betting man, I'd put money on the fact that there are still Conestoga wagons loaded with pioneers heading West, wandering around out there.

Before we left, I had dumped the tanks (smart move that I'll get to later) and filled the fresh water tank.  So we weren't going to die of thirst or the need to use the bathroom anytime soon.  Still, getting slightly concerned, we pressed on, wondering aloud if we should turn around.  Turning around always sounds like a great idea, a lifeline to get you out of a bad situation, except for one thing:  There's never a good place to turn around when you need one.

Eyeballing the desert floor, it didn't look too sturdy.  It would be just our luck to try and turn around on the sand and get stuck.  Then, our very first use of our emergency road service would be disastrous cell phone signal.

We decided to press on. 

Finally, we were rewarded with a victory, the entrance gate to the base.  We roared through the exit at the breakneck speed of 5 mph and we were home free.  Almost.

A sun bleached sign indicated the highway we were looking for was just down the road...thirty miles.

Finally we merged onto the elusive highway we were looking for and headed on our merry way.  Shortly thereafter, to add insult to injury, we passed a sign with an arrow pointing the way to Edwards AFB, 10 miles! 

Just goes to prove, if there is a long way around to get somewhere, we'll top even that.  Our record is when we're faced with a 50-50 choice, we'll make the wrong decision 90 percent of the time. :cO 

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, except for the !*$%&%^! that whipped his Honda Civic around from behind us, zoomed past us on our left, then cut right in front of us and turned right.  A new learning experience, no matter how well you store items, no matter how carefully you tuck things tightly away, in a panic stop, lots of said items will come crashing down and scare the living you-know-what out of you when you are confronted with a tire screeching panic stop.

Good thing we carry extra underwear with us.

We finished our trip at another Passport America campground in Escondido, CA (near San Diego).  We booked for four nights, three at the PPA rate of $16/night and one at the regular rate of $33/night.  The campground only offers 3 consecutive nights with PPA, but who is complaining?  We love the discount, even if you have to go a little bit out of your way to get it.

The campground is an older campground, nestled in the mountains with old growth trees surrounding it.  No satellite TV signal here.  The only down side is the site is electric and water only.  Not a big deal since I had already dumped the tanks this morning.  Their dump station, however, looks to be very problematic to get to so we'll just have to be a little more conservative on our water usage, sort of practicing for next week at Quartzsite.

We have a pretty good Internet signal here, but not good enough to download lots of pictures from Picasa, so you'll have to use your imagination.  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Are you at Woods Valley? We were wondering if the sites were big enough for big rigs. If you are there, you must go to Bates Nut Farm just down the road.

    Mike and Dee

  2. Welcome to RVing 101. It seems there are people everywhere that can't wait to race in front of RVs just to see if your brakes are working okay. There have been some RV drivers who didn't have enough response time and found their brakes to be inadequate. OH WELL!

    It's about time

  3. We thought about staying at Edwards, but it was so far out of town we decided against it and went to the Saddleback Butte SP instead. Next time maybe we will try the base. Do have a verizon mifi or was it your satellite that wouldn't get internet there?

  4. Edwards sounded like an unexpected adventure, and the Honda driver to top it off. looks like you found a nice peaceful place to recover.

  5. We love the San Diego area. We just wish the traffic would go away. Check out the Famcamp on Coronado Island. We loved it! One of favorite places ever even though we did have to dry camp.

    See you soon!

  6. Sounds like we shouldn't travel together to much, I have a reputation for finding the longest short cuts.

  7. I was afraid you were going to say you ended up on a runway at Edwards! Glad you made a safe escape even if you did take the scenic route. Your current site looks nice.

  8. We've always wondered what kind of death wish those people have that cut you off. Apparently they think we can stop on a dime. One of these days, they're going to be surprised :)

  9. glad you found a new place to 'change the undergarments'!..some drives are better than others!!..good luck with the next one!!

  10. Somehow you are able to make most anything an adventure;o)))

    Yes, it's all about the JOURNEY!!!

  11. Look at it this way ... you got out of there without an aircraft trying to use you as a landing strip.

  12. Thanks for another great adventure. Glad you didn't end up as buzzard bait or on top that idiot driver.

  13. I often wonder what a Honda Civic would look like under a Freightliner chassis, or maybe we need a sign on the back that reads "It really is OK to drive behind a motor home for a little while"

  14. I'm glad you mentioned the fast stop. I drive behind Jim and sometimes really close so no cars get between us in congested areas. I didn't even think of someone going that close to cut in. I'll back it off a bit.

    Getting lost on base, now that's HUGE!

  15. As always, too, too funny. It is a bad sign when you even have the GPS stumped.

  16. Speaking of Internet signals, our Verizon Aircard was really fast when we first got to Quartzsite, but now that it's filling up, things are slooowwing dooowwwn. I guess that's understandable.

  17. Ahhhhhhh, welcome to sunny southern