Archive for December, 2014

Trailer Trash Meets the Spa

Sams Family Spa & RV Resort

Sams Family Spa & RV Resort

We have been hanging out in Desert Hot Springs, CA at the Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort. Sounds pretty fancy. But the reality is it’s an “older” RV and mobile home park…with hot spring pools.

We came here to visit our full time RV superheros, Wheelingit and Technomadia, who have a steaming spa induced gravitational pull to this area about this time every year. And now that we have experienced this place for ourselves, we may find ourselves doing the same.

Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort was built in 1971 on over 50 acres with underground hot mineral water springs. The therapeutic pools are naturally heated by hot mineral water pumped from three underground wells, which are constantly flowing through the pools.

Hot springs spas...yes please!

Hot springs spas…yes please!

It is a pricy place, but the $50/night camping fee includes endless use of the outdoor hot spring fed spas, large heated outdoor swimming pool, steam room and sauna. And if you stay 6 nights you get the 7th night free, stay a month and it is $525 plus electricity. Everything is a bit tired here, but the super nice staff, the spotless grounds AND the spas more than make up for it.

It is an ideal location for everyplace that either starts or ends with a Spring, Palm or Dessert all with the backdrop of snow topped Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains.

Outstanding view

Palm trees and snow capped mountains…oh my!

Our intent was to stay for two nights, collect our mail from the Post Office and move on. But the two-day delivery turned into seven and it was necessary to soak in the hot springs wait for things to arrive. Hey, you do what ya gotta do!

There are tons of things to do and see here. There is endless hiking just outside the resort and Joshua Tree National Park is just around the corner. You can also take a tram to an alpine forest, do a driving tour of celebrity homes in Palm Springs and ATV to your hearts content.

Thousand Palms, Joshua Tree National Park

Thousand Palms, Joshua Tree National Park

Located within Joshua Tree is Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. This preserve is a little grove of palms, an oasis, in the middle of the desert that is watered by underground springs and shallow ponds. We walked the trails through the ancient palms smack dab on the San Andreas Fault. It was a sight to behold and free to boot!

We’ve met some interesting and wonderful people here in our short 7 day stay.

Our first night in the spas we met a very intoxicated Californian who had a habit of asking very philosophical questions unrelated to any other conversation happening at the time. And just as anyone would begin to answer he would submerge himself underwater for about a minute. We all wished he would stay under so we could have a normal conversation.

Giant Palms

Giant Palms

We met John and his wife emigrated from Romania during the height of Jewish persecution. He plays hymns on his saxophone every morning outside under the pavilion as praise to God in gratitude. They sent us off with a wonderful prayer from Numbers 6:24-26.

We also met Dave, a recently retired commercial photographer. He and his wife just sold everything in Pennsylvania 3 months ago and bought a Class A motorhome, their first RV ever. They are at the tail end of a cross country journey to see their kids on the West coast for Christmas. He is still learning how to maneuver 40’ of home into small RV spots and admits he still doesn’t know how to work half the buttons in it.

Well, we have stocked up at Walmart and are heading to Borrego Springs next, a winter hotspot for boondockers from Canada and the US.

Until next time…go out and play!

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Boondocking and Booties, Lake Havasu City, AZ

After a brief two night stop over in Quartzite, AZ we moved on to Lake Havasu City. Not sure how we landed on going there but think it had something to do with water. It usually does.

Lake Havasu City is an interesting town and has been featured in the “Best Places to Retire” lists in Money Magazine, Portfolio.com. It is a mecca for ATV hobbyists, northerners who come here to stay warm for the winter and Californians to utilize the beautiful lake in the summer.

LHC boasts 300 days of sunshine and less than 3″ of rain a year. Summers are extremely hot averaging over 100 degrees.

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There is many opportunities to boondock close to town. So we stayed at Craggy Wash just north of the airport.There is a camp host who issued a free 14 day pass. The entrance was quite crowded with many RV’s…some that appeared to have overstayed the 14 day limit. But as we traveled further in, the RV’s thin out and we had plenty of private options to choose from.

There are many hiking opportunities here and we were able to see some wild burros and big horn sheep. Sam got a little more up close and personal. We were walking the wash when we heard him way off in the distance. Finally seeing movement up on a mountain about a 1/2 mile away, big horn sheep were scattering on the hillside as a little white fur ball gave chase.

Crazy dog! He sliced up his feet pretty good and he walked around tender footed for a week. This put a damper on our other hiking plans since he goes with us everywhere. So we stopped in at Petsmart and bought a set of doggie booties for his tender toes. It was hysterical to watch Sam walk around the store for the first time with his new shoes. But once we arrived at Dead Burro to hike this 5 miler, Sam was in happy mode.

After about 3 miles, however, he had run so much the shoes started falling apart. We returned them on the way back home. We were happy with the fit and how well they stayed on his feet, but the quality of construction had some obvious issues

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Shredded Booties

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Sam's new shoes

Sam’s new shoes

 

Dead Burrow was a great hike…once we found the trail. There are no real trail markers around these parts so we were left with other hikers directions to find the trail.

Description for this hike went something like this. “Drive the wash until you pass the hills on the left, then take a jeep road to the right and go to the right on the hill to the left. Back track to the other side of the mountain and take the small wash around a curve that will take you to a mesa. Cross the fence on foot and look for a poorly defined trail. Follow this trail to another wash that will traverse the right side of the canyon”.

If that wasn’t confusing enough there were unlimited hills, washes, jeep roads, mesas and burro tails that will take you off in directions not even close to the canyon you are trying to find. After taking many jeep roads and poorly defined trails, by some small miracle, we actually found the right canyon. It was definitely a great hike overall and like nothing we have done before.

The adventure was fun and it challenged us mentally.

If you happen to come here for yourself just be sure to take the second wash on the right.

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Very important to elevate your feet after a strenous hike!

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