Now You’ve Pissed Off Grandma!

This was the rallying cry of our group calling ourselves Progressive Senior Patriots as we joined the Women’s March in San Diego. More than 40 of us joined the march from our home base in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort. We wore yellow hats to distinguish ourselves from the thousands of other marchers.

Disembarking in San Diego

We stayed pretty much together throughout the two hours of the march and certainly saw people of all ages and backgrounds. Although we were prepared for counter demonstrators, we saw none and everyone was peaceful and friendly.

This is a panorama of about half the crowd that made it into the Civic Center Plaza. As we learned when the march started, there were many more people who couldn’t get into the plaza waiting on the surrounding streets for the instruction to move out. It took us almost 30 minutes just to get out onto the street.
So why were we there? To make ourselves heard that Human Rights are Women’s Rights and Women’s Rights are Human Rights. To protect people whose healthcare is being threatened, to protect the right of women to control their own bodies and to let the new administration know that a large portion of the nation does not accept their stated objectives. 
The Alternate Fact is that we didn’t vote (we did) and we are a minority (I doubt it since the popular vote was heavily Democratic). He is the President and it is our duty to attempt to remind him that he is EVERYONE’S President. 

Catching up – Friends in the Desert

Where has this past week gone? It has been pouring all day here in Jojoba Hills in the high desert – probably close to 3″.

Back tracking: Just over a week ago we pulled into the parking area of Windmill Tours just west of Palm springs. We met Victor and Joyce there as planned for a tour of the wind farm they had found out about from yet another friend. I took some pictures of the wind turbines, but even with people for perspective there is no good way to show the size of a turbine with blades that are 125 feet long on a tower that is over 250 feet tall. The most impressive thing I learned is that each turbine is autonomous. It senses wind speed and directions and adjust its own direction and the feathering of its blades to make the best use of any wind.

We had happy hour on the coach and dinner out after which we turned in for an early day on Sunday. Sunday we drove to Quartzite, a locale known mostly to RVers. this town of fewer than 1000 in the summer swells to massive numbers, over 100,000 most winters as RVers from all over the west flock in to attend the Swap Meets and Big Tent show while camping for free in the desert. We wandered and we shopped and we had lunch at the Quartzite Yacht Club before heading back to our coach in Indio for happy hour and dinner out – there is a theme here.  But not before taking the Jeep off road past the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) on BLM land. We forded a dry wash and climbed a hill and the descent was more exciting for some than the ascent. All well within the Jeep’s capabilities. The ride back to Indio was uneventful. I have no pictures, Carol and Victor do.

Monday I had thought we would go right to Anza Borrego, but as most of our plans are in Jello, it occurred to me that a jaunt to Slab City might be interesting and only 70 mile or so out of the way. Our first stop there was Salvation Mountain.

From there we wandered deeper into the Slabs following intriguing signs to East Jesus.

Which is an art colony and collection of sorts.

Even Amber has painted toenails!

We left Slab City and headed for Anza Borrego with a stop at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wild Life Refuge where we hiked out a bit and saw the many birds resting there. Finally we made it to Anza Borrego where we took the four mile dirt and sand road in to Font’s Point which is a great overlook of the valley. We found some kind souls to take a group picture of us with the rugged terrain in the background.

Dinner at Carmalitas rounded out the day leaving us with a drive back to Indio to rest up for yet another special day.
When we first set this meeting up 7 months ago the primary agenda for Joyce and Victor was Joshua Tree National Park which Carol and I have seen several times. With Victor driving their rental car we set off into the Park with plans to take a couple of walks without taking the car onto primitive roads. On our second walk at Barker Dam we had a bit of excitement. It is a loop hike and on the return side of the loop we got to talking and missed this clear indication of the trial:
You see Carol posed to step over the logs blocking the route, suggesting we keep the logs on our right. This is after we retraced our steps. We were so engaged in conversation we stepped over two such barriers and continued until we noticed that we were all alone and there were very few human tracks on the trail we were on. We met another couple apparently headed out on that route as we retraced and mentioned to them that it seemed to not be the trail to the parking lot. Adventures were not over. When we left the park I thought we might have time visit one more site and told Google Navigator to take us to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. I thought it would take us to the visitor center. I was a bit confused when it lead us on to Kickapoo Trail and eventually to Powerline Road. Roads with names like that generally are not readily passable in a conventional front wheel drive car. I convinced Victor that descending the next grade was not a great idea and we backed to the top of the grade we had just descended and turned around and retraced out to 29 Palms Highway. Carol suggested that after happy hour in the coach we have dinner right there as well so the chatter could continue and we could say goodbye in comfort. 
What great companions and fun people to spend three and a half days with. We had a blast and got to show off some of our favorite parts of the west.  
For more on our recent time please see Carol’s two newest Blog Entries

In Jojoba Hills SKP Resort

We are settling back into life in Jojoba Hills getting involved in too many activities and generally keeping busy. I even have joined the tech group, called J-cat, which meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 AM to field the tech calls in the park about cable TV, internet and phone – yes we actually have wire line phones at each site, necessary primarily to reach each other and 911 – cell phones could seriously misdirect a response also the wires carry our internet connection. I am not giving out that number as it is useless unless one of us happens to be in the coach.

If you know me, you know I am very unhappy with the direction our Federal Government is headed. I find that my tolerance for the news, has reached the lowest I can remember in my life. I log in to NYTimes and scan the headlines, turn to Opinion and then to Tech or Science or anything but the front page. We turn on Morning Edition on NPR and proceed to not listen to anything but the special features. I cannot even begin to number the people on Facebook who I have muted or blocked because I really cannot believe they mean what they pass along or if they do I don’t want to know. Some are people I enjoy spending time with, especially in the park where it is considered bad manners to talk about politics or religion in the common areas. Sex is not an issue given our average age. I even try not to pass along posts and such that reflect my views because it is altogether too much, I fail at this more often than I like.

Geology! Too many coincidences. I picked up a book by one of our members “Memphis 7.9”, by Sam Penny, which is a work of fiction exploring the very real likelihood of a major earthquake on the New Madrid fault and the possible implications for the entire environment of the US and beyond. Last night during dinner we had Smithsonian channel on (I said I am avoiding news) and the show was devoted to the Super Volcano that is Yellowstone NP waiting to blow up the entire western middle of the North American continent some unknown time in the future maybe distant and maybe not. All of this while sitting near too many fault lines in southern California and hearing about earthquake swarms near Salton Sea, not far from where we will be in 9 days.

I suggested to Carol that we may need to rethink our normal food stocking arrangement. She thinks the ideal way to shop is just before there is nothing left to make a meal out of in the coach. This mean that on any given shopping day we are buying what we plan to eat in the next 5 to 7 days. There are a minimum of staples in the cupboard and enough wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables to consume before it is no longer fresh. I keep our tank of diesel full! I top off the propane tank weekly. I keep our 90 gallon freshwater tank full and turn it over every couple of weeks. And I keep our holding tanks relatively empty, I can dump the black tank in five minutes. In the event of disaster the coach is ready to move in under 30 minutes. But, if it is near the end of a shopping cycle, we will have very little food with us. I am not paranoid, nor am I a prepper, just thinking things through.

On a happier note Yechiel and family were here for a few hours on Sunday and the boys had their mountain bikes along and even in the cold they were delighted to hit the trails in and around the park. My favorite sight was Avi starting out on the dirt taking the steepest trail in his field of view. I can barely ascend that trail on foot without my hiking sticks. He made it about half way to the top before losing power and traction. Dan and his gang are in Glade Park CO (just outside Grand Junction) keeping warm and enjoying the company of Malena’s sister and brother-in-law. And we will head for Indio CA on the 14th to meet up with Joyce and Victor who are in Palm Springs for the film festival now.

I was about to say “we don’t let any grass grow beneath our feet” but given that we are in the desert, even with the rain, there is no real grass to be seen.