Saturday, March 23, 2019

March Field Air Museum

   March Air Field is one of the oldest US military airfields. It was established in 1917 to train pilots to fight against the Germans in WWI. It’s role has changed over the years and now it serves as an Air Reserve Base.
   Airplanes from a replica of a 1903 Wright Flyer to a SR-71A Blackbird reconnaissance plane are on display in two large hangers. Informative exhibits with many artifacts and personal stories cover the history of military aviation in the US. The outside display has more than 50 planes and helicopters.

    The museum is accessible. The entry door and the door from the inside area of the museum to the outside are heavy but both have pushbuttons. The pushbutton to the outside display was not working when we visited. All of the other doors are light and easy to open. The audio in many of the displays was very low and hard to hear. We did not visit the outside display because of rainy weather. Sidewalks circle around all of the planes for easy viewing. The ground is covered with gravel so it may be difficult to get close to some of them.
    The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Museum  33.88415, -117.26724

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Malki Museum

  Cases with displays of baskets, pottery and native plants line both sides of the museum which is dedicated to preserving the cultural history of Native Americans in Southern California. The museum is very small and does not cover the history in depth. A native plant garden, with information of the usage of each plant, is located at the rear of the museum.
   The museum is accessible. The sidewalk to the garden has a slight drop to the ground. The ground is hard packed.

   All visitors must show ID at the reservation entry booth.

   The parking area is small with a narrow entrance and a tight circular driveway. Large RV should be parked along the road outside the gate. Museum   33.94941, -116.82485

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cabazon Dinosaurs

   Claude Bell, who had worked as a sculptor at Knott’s Berry Farm, built these two huge dinosaurs as a way to attract travelers to his restaurant. They’re constructed with a steel frame that was covered with a metal grid before being sprayed with concrete. The brontosaurus took 11 years to complete - from 1964 to 1975. The tyrannosaurus was finished in 1981.They’re both in excellent condition.
  In the mid 1990s the Bell family sold the property and the new owners added an open air museum with more dinosaur sculptures. This seems to be geared towards small children so we skipped it.  There’s no charge to view Bell’s dinosaurs and able-bodied visitors can climb the steps inside the brontosaurus to a gift shop and small museum.

     The sidewalks and curb cuts are all in good condition.

    Follow the signs for RV parking. The lot is large enough for any RV.  Dinosaurs   33.92023, -116.77233

Morongo Casino

  Two large lots at the east end of the casino property are marked for truck and RV parking. Truckers use the lower lot which leaves the upper lot for RVs but if the lower lot fills the upper lot is also used by truckers. All of the trucks and traffic on I-10 makes this a noisy stop. The scenery is beautiful though.

   There’s a small casino in the same building as the bingo hall and a larger casino in the hotel tower. Both are pretty far away from the RV lot. An accessible shuttle makes regular rounds. The card and money slots are easy to reach and the chairs are fairly light.  Casino   33.92199, -116.79278

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Southern California Railway Museum

    The museum’s collection started in 1956 when a group of young men, some still in their teens, bought a few retired Los Angeles trolley cars.The museum property now covers more than 20 acres and has over 100 pieces of rolling stock - some complete and operational but others just shells. Much the property is storage for all kinds of bits and pieces of railway equipment and is not open to the public.

    Weekends are the busier times with most of the buildings opened and the trains and trolleys operating on short runs of track. The grounds are free for self- tours but there is a fee for the rides and there may be a fee for guided tours. During the week the availability of volunteers determines whether the buildings are opened. We toured two car buildings and one engine building but none of the smaller buildings. The most interesting train cars (probably because we have never seen any like them) are the huge electric passenger trains that ran on the Los Angeles Inter-Urban Railway.
    The area where visitors are permitted is pretty small. Tours are conducted on golf carts.The golf carts are not wheelchair accessible but it’s easy to walk/roll the entire area. A bit of care needs to be taken when crossing the tracks which are all level with the pavement. None of the train cars that are open to tour are accessible. Car House #4 has a step up at the entrance. The other two buildings that we visited and the gift shop/station are accessible.
    The parking lot is large enough for any RV. This is a Harvest Hosts site so members may stay overnight. The gate is locked at 5:00. A back way was temporarily open during our visit but ask about a way out or an emergency number in case you need to leave during the night.  Museum  33.76051, -117.2315

Friday, March 15, 2019

Harveston Lake Park

   A paved trail circles around a little man-made lake centered in a beautifully manicured city park. The trail is only 3/4 of a mile long and mostly level so we did three loops. The pavement is is very good condition.
    The only parking lot belongs to the Lake House, a community center exclusively for residents of Harveston, so we risked the Temecula parking restrictions and parked on the street. A huge 5th wheel, also parked on the street, had obviously been there for a while which we took as a sign that the restrictions are not strictly enforced. Park  33.53615, -117.156

Temecula Valley Museum

   Until the 1980s Temecula was a tiny ranching town with a population of about 200 people. Interstate 15 was completed in the early 1980s and sprawling subdivisions took over the ranchland. It also became a tourist attraction after the  first grape vines were planted in 1968. The area now has more than 40 wineries.

    The museum which has two floors has very good exhibits. The first floor is basically one large room with the early human history of the area – Native Americans, Spanish explorers, Spanish missions and ranchers. The second floor features changing exhibits, a fun hands-on kid’s area, and an exhibit on  Erle Stanley Gardner, one of Temecula’s most famous residents. Gardner wrote 80 books starring Perry Mason which were adapted for both radio and television.
    The museum is accessible with an elevator to the second floor.

    RVs are not permitted to be parked on any residential street in Temecula “No person shall park or leave standing upon any residential public street, highway, or right-of-way within the city limits of the city of Temecula any of the following: Motor vehicles and motor vehicles with an attached trailer or nonmotorized vehicle, of a length, or combined length, in excess of twenty feet, or a height in excess of eight feet, or a width in excess of ninety inches, which width is measured from the widest portion of the body of the motor vehicle or attached trailer or nonmotorized vehicle, not including mirrors.” We parked in the far end of the shared parking lot behind the museum which is marked as Senior Center parking. The spaces are not long enough for vehicles over 25’.  Museum  33.49777, -117.15053

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pechanga Casino

    Due to presence of an RV resort on the casino property we weren't sure if overnight stays in the parking lot would be permitted. Good thing that they are because the RV sites fees are between $60.00 – $110.00 a night! We stayed two nights in a large level lot just across the street from the resort for $0.00. :-)

   The lot is located on Pechanga Resort Drive between the gas station and the RV resort. There’s a shuttle bus stop close by.

   The shuttle bus is not wheelchair accessible but the walk to the the casino entrance is fairly level with good sidewalks and curb cuts. The machines have easy to reach money and card slots. The chairs are bit heavy and awkward to move. Casino  33.45397, -117.10239

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dos Picos County Park

   This small park is located in the mountains northeast of San Diego. The campground has RV sites with water and electric and tent only sites without hookups. Other amenities include a dump station and restrooms with showers. The adjacent picnic area has nature trails, a playground and a small fishing pond. Most of the parking pads are roomy, fairly level, and paved. Spacing between the sites is good but there’s not enough vegetation to provide privacy.

   Two accessible sites are in the farthest loop on the hilltop. One has a paved path to the restroom and a concrete pad for tow or towed vehicle parking. The RV space is gravel and there isn’t a path to the picnic table. The other site is farther away from the restroom but it’s possible to park an RV close enough to the paved parking pad to deploy a wheelchair lift onto the pavement. There isn’t a path or pavement for the picnic table. We camped in one of the valley sites. All of these have paved parking pads. Most are wide enough to deploy a lift onto the pavement which is even with the ground. The tables have long overhangs. We did not check out the trails as it was rainy and cold during our visit.
  Park  32.99804, -116.94225  


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Barona Museum

   Kumeyaay/DiegueƱo people were the first inhabitants of southern California but as settlers began arriving they were pushed east out of the valley. A move farther east came in 1932 when the city of San Diego bought the reservation land to create a reservoir. The tribes used the money to purchase part of the Barona Ranch which was originally a Spanish land grant.

    The museum is very small and does not have a lot of early history.  The two main exhibits when we visited covered Native American athletes and resettling the village after the move in 1932.  Taking photographs is not permitted.

   The museum is accessible.

   The parking lot is large enough for any RV.   Museum  32.94187, -116.85578

Friday, March 8, 2019

Creation and Earth History Museum

    Young Earth creationists believe in a literal translation of biblical stories which includes an Earth that is only 6,000 years old, dinosaurs living with humans, and the rejection of evolution. Since all of this is in direct conflict with scientific evidence we were curious about how the museum would explain everything. Unfortunately the museum exhibits are dull with hard to understand text. Some displays even contradict others.

     The museum has two sections. One covers creation and other stories from the Bible. The other has detailed exhibits about human anatomy.
     The museum is accessible.

     The parking lot is not large enough for RVs and on-street parking of RVs is prohibited. We visited on the weekend and parked in the business lot (closed for the weekend) behind the museum lot.  Museum   32.84543, -116.95983

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Heritage of the Americas Museum

    For most of his life Bernard Lueck studied and collected ancient artifacts and dreamed of establishing a museum to showcase his collection. In 1993 the museum, designed by Mr. Lueck, was opened on Cuyamaca College campus. Each of the four wings is dedicated to a different theme- natural history, archaeology, anthropology, and art. Most of the artifacts are from the Americas but there are also a good number of items from Chinese.

    The museum is small but filled with many outstanding artifacts, however, items seem to have been collected with minimal consideration given to the origin, usage, or time period and the amount of information given is disappointing.


    The museum is accessible however viewing everything in the slant-top cases may be difficult for some visitors in wheelchairs due to the height of the cases.

    RVs will fit in the lot if parked across the spaces. Museum 32.74266, -116.94091