Monday, February 27, 2017

San Diego Botanic Garden

  Over 25 small themed gardens, including two children’s play areas, are filled with plants and trees from all over the world. This is very well tended garden with a large variety of beautiful and unusual plants.

 

        

       

The terrain is very hilly so the gardens are not accessible without assistance. About half of the paths are paved, the rest are hard packed sand.

  If the main lot is filled RVs can be parked in the overflow lot.

Garden    33.05211, -117.28051

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dixon Lake Recreation Area

  The campground sits on a high hill overlooking the lake on one side and the city of Escodido on the other. It’s so high that we could watch birds soaring below us as they rode the wind currents in the valley. Our campsite, #18, had a large living area, a great view of the city and, a rare thing for us, full hookups.

  Only 10 of the 45 sites are full hookup, the rest have no hookups. The hookup sites have paved parking pads. The website gives very good descriptions of each site. None of them are listed as accessible but the ground is hard packed and the tables have a bit of an overhang so many are usable. The park also has an accessible cabin for rent.

  The main activities in the park are fishing and hiking. Due to the rugged terrain neither is accessible.  Park    33.15712, -117.04727

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Harrah's Casino Rincon

  The official oversized parking lot is at the south end of the casino property near the gas station. This is where the buses and trucks park. We didn’t want to be surrounded by all of the noise and fumes so we parked in lot 33. This lot gets little use, is very quiet, and fairly close to an entrance.

  The casino is accessible with easy to move chairs and easy to reach card and money slots.  Casino   33.27044, -116.95596

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Soboba Casino

   RV parking is in the lot farthest from the main entrance. Employee parking is on the right and RV parking is on the left. The lot is very big with plenty of room for everyone.

   The walk to the casino is level but a bit of a trek. It may be possible to get a ride on the employee shuttle (not accessible).  We also saw an accessible shuttle but it didn’t seem to make regular rounds. The casino is accessible with easy to reach card and money slots and easy to move chairs.   Casino   33.7772, -116.91969

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sawtooth Canyon Campground

  Surrounded by a ring of rugged, rocky hills, this campground feels isolated but it’s only a mile away from a paved state highway.  Camping is free and the sites have tables on concrete pads with shade shelters, fire pits and grills.

The concrete pads are not flush to the ground so the tables are not accessible. The ground is covered with gravel which makes rolling around a bit difficult.

The sites are large enough for any RV. The three sites in the photo above are close together but most of the others have more space between them. The dirt access road is a little rough and has one dip that will become a mud hole in rainy weather but should be fine for any RV in dry weather. Campground   34.670395, -116.98423

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Borax Visitor Center

          

  The first large borax mining operations in the US occurred in Death Valley but transporting the mineral out of the valley was hard and time consuming. In 1925 a huge underground deposit was discovered south of Death Valley in the flat lands on the western edge of the Mojave Desert. What started as an underground mining operation is now an open pit and the world's largest borax mine.

  Borax is a very versatile mineral and is used in glass production and leather tanning; is added to cosmetics, soaps and cleaners; and is a fungicide and insecticide. We were surprised to discover that mining and processing borax causes little environmental damage (other than the big hole) and it’s almost completely non-toxic in all of its different applications.

  The visitor center is fairly small and includes a short video; displays about mining, processing and the uses of boron; and a view, from a window or the roof of the building, of the pit and processing plant.

  The visitor center is accessible. The roof top viewing area is accessed by a steep ramp, covered in large, loose gravel, and is not accessible.

  A long, steep dirt road provides access to the visitor center. Any RV will fit in the lot.   Visitor Center    35.02855, -117.68606

        

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Red Rock Canyon State Park

  The colorful formations of Red Rock Canyon have served as a background for movies and the canyon itself has sheltered Kawaiisu Indians, 20-mule team freight wagon teams as they transported borax from Death Valley, and the Arcane and Bennett families who got lost and almost died crossing Death Valley.

  The park has a small campground, a picnic area, a visitor center, hiking trails and 4 wheel drive roads.

The campground is in a scenic setting with cliffs towering over the sites. Amenities include water, vault toilets, tables and fire rings. The accessible sites are very good with wide, paved parking pads, paved paths to the toilets and water faucets, extended table tops and shade roofs over the tables.

         

  The visitor center wasn’t opened but it looks accessible. None of the trails are accessible due to loose sand.

The park website has the maximum RV length at 30’ but the sites looked like they could accommodate larger RVs.

Park    35.37308, -117.99102

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dove Spring Road Boondocking

  The BLM land along Dove Spring Road is a large and popular OHV (off highway vehicle) area. We usually avoid camping at OHV sites because of the noise, dust, and torn up appearance but they’re good for an overnight stay except on weekends, summer vacation time and holidays. We spent a quiet and peaceful Sunday night at Dove Springs.

  Dove Creek has many large, flat spots where any RV will fit. A lot of vegetation and a few Joshua trees have survived so it’s not a barren wasteland.  Boondock   35.41895, -117.99052

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Maturango Museum

  Exhibits on natural history, Native Americans, paleontology and recent local history fill the small galleries of this museum. Changing works of art from the museum’s permanent collection are also on display.

  The museum is accessible. A small xeriscape garden featuring historic mining and farming implements, sculptures and a labyrinth has sandy paths which are accessible with assistance.

  RVs will fit in the lot if parked through two spaces. Museum  35.62997, -117.66907

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuttle Creek Campground

   Situated at the base of the Sierra Nevada Range with views of the snowy mountain peaks to the west and the badlands of the Owens Valley to the east, this is a wonderful primitive campground in a very scenic location. Amenities include tables, fire rings, vault toilets, a dump station and water (off in the winter). We had planned to stay  for several days but I forgot to take the elevation into account. It was cold! So south we go. :-D

  I did not see any campsites marked as accessible but all of them have tables with extended tops, high fire rings and low hooks on the lantern posts. The sites are hard packed sand.

Many of the sites are large enough for any RV but the ground slopes to the east so leveling is neccessary.

Campground   36.56403, -118.12944

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park

  Joshua Tree National Park is home to thousands of  strangely shaped yucca trees but it also encompasses a diverse landscape of huge, weathered and fractured monzogranite boulders; palm tree oases; an area of densely concentrated cholla cactus; and the meeting of two deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, each with different and unique ecosystems.

  A large part of the park is wilderness. Two entry roads, which provide access at the north end of the park, join together in the center of the park and continue south to I-10 so it’s easy to drive through in a day if you’re pressed for time. I don’t recommend that because there are many interesting places to stop and learn about the park.

  Most of the parking lots have long RV spaces and the pull offs along the roads are large enough for RVs. The road to Keys View Overlook was a warning for RVs and trailers. It is not a difficult drive but the parking lot at the end is small with limited space for RVs. We did not drive on any of the dirt roads.

  We stopped at only one of the three visitor centers, Oasis, which has spaces for RVs along the edge of the parking lot and a fresh water faucet for filling RV tanks. The visitor center is accessible but one of the display cases is hard to view.

  Four of the trails are considered accessible - Bajada Nature Trail, Cap Rock Nature Trail, Oasis of Mara Trail and Keys View Overlook. Bajada is hard packed sand with a few spots that are loose. Cap Rock is hard packed sand but we came to a small washed out section so wheelchair users may need to have some help if this is not repaired. Oasis of Mara is paved with one slight hill that can be detoured if necessary. Keys View has an accessible overlook with two short parking spaces that is separate from the main overlook. The main overlook has an accessible view point and a very steep, paved trail to another viewpoint which can be accessed with help. Cholla Cactus Garden trail, although not marked as accessible, is hard packed sand except for one section that is very loose sand and stone. Two bridges over small washes are not flush to the ground. The trail is accessible with help or by using both the entrance and the exit and skipping the middle section. 

  There are eight campgrounds in the park. Two of them are suitable for RVs 25’ and under. The rest will accommodate large RVs but in a limited number of sites. We stayed at Black Rock for one night. The sites are very sloped. The accessible site has a large paved parking pad. We also stayed at very scenic Jumbo Rocks Campground. Most of the sites are just pull offs parallel to the road. The accessible site is very short and located next to a restroom. If the sites are all full, which can happen on the weekends, it’s possible to boondock on BLM land at the south entrance of the park. 

 Park    34.09297, -116.26393

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

South of Joshua Tree NP Boondocking

   This mile wide strip of land between I-10 and the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park is a patchwork of private and BLM land. A dirt road provides access to 10-20 good boondocking spots. Most are fairly level and large enough for any RV.

The park service promotes this spot as a good place to camp if the park campgrounds are full so don’t expect complete solitude. It’s also easy to access from I-10 which makes it a nice place to overnight when heading west or east on the interstate.

Boondock   33.674534, -115.802651

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