Welcome to San Diego

Santee, CA

OK, so it’s been a while since the last blog.  But we really haven’t been doing much since we last posted.  We left Indio and moved back to Bakersfield, where we had an appointment to have the cover to one of our side camera mounts replaced.  While there in October having a new door awning installed, one of the techs at Camping World bumped it with a ladder and broke the mount.  Since we didn’t have any pressing plans, we just stayed in the Bakersfield area for ten days and kept busy cleaning the car and motorhome.  The motorhome is now all clean on the inside and has a fresh coat of wax on the outside.

While in Bakersfield, we did visit a park just outside of town to do a little hiking.  Hart Memorial Park, about seven miles north of us, straddles the Kern River.  The water from the river and two small lakes creates an oasis effect, as the green park is surrounded by desert.  Just to the south of the park is a steep rise to a mesa that provides many hiking and off road trails.

View from atop the mesa (the Jeep is in the lower center)

View of one of the lakes

On our first hike we had trouble finding the return trail and ended up walking back to the car along the road.  So a few days later we returned to explore a different trail up to the mesa.  This one ran along the side of the hill at a nice, easy ascent.

The easy part of the trail up

After a bit the trail turned and began to go back down the side of the hill.  But we wanted to go up to the top, so we picked a narrow trail along a ridge and headed up.  Although not a long walk to the top, the trail became very steep in some places.

The not so easy part of the trail up

But we survived the ascent, walked along the top of the mesa for a bit, and found a return trail that meandered through a canyon for about a mile.  Since we couldn’t see very far, we just kept walking with the hope that we were going to come out somewhere near where we started.  Fortunately, the trail ended up in the parking area where we had parked the Jeep.

The winding canyon trail

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, one you would think two retired people would avoid when planning a move.  But with our laid back lifestyle we sometimes lose contact with the calendar and don’t consider the rest of the world.  Our departure from Bakersfield would be an example of that, as we scheduled it on Sunday, thinking it is the best day to find light traffic and forgetting about the Thanksgiving rush.  So first thing Sunday morning we pulled out of A Country RV Park in Bakersfield and headed south to Santee, CA, just outside of San Diego.  We made a wide arc around the Los Angeles area and, although there was a bit more traffic than we like, made it to our destination without mishap.

We’ve booked a month at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, a 200 acre park and campground built along seven man-made lakes used to filter waste water used for local irrigation.  Our site is a nice wide and long pull-through.  If you have much experience with RV parks, you know that they are usually near railroad tracks, an interstate highway, or both.  But Santee Lakes is at the end of a canyon and is super quiet, especially at night.  The only sound is that of Coyotes calling each other in the hills above the park.

Today we drove into San Diego, a trip of only about fifteen miles, for a stop at the visitor’s center.  It’s not the best visitor’s center we’ve visited, but we did get some useful information about hiking and biking in the area.  We then made a stop at nearby Mission Beach to say hello to the Pacific Ocean.  With temperatures in the high sixties the beach was pretty empty, but it’s always nice to walk along the shoreline.  We plan to spend some time here on the beach if the temperature rises during our stay.

As we said, we will be here for almost a month so we have plenty of time to explore the area.  Since we didn’t get to spend time with our children for Thanksgiving this year, we will be flying to Atlanta in two weeks to visit our son, Kevin, for a few days.  Then our next stop will be ten days over Christmas in Huntington Beach, just south of Los Angeles, where our much thinner daughter, Jessica, will make an appearance.

More on that later . . .

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2 Responses to Welcome to San Diego

  1. Marsha says:

    Awesome photo of you Pam at the top of the mesa. John looks OK…hehe Boy I do miss that area.

    Looks like a pretty steep climb. But I am sure it was nothing for you two youngu’ns.

    WOW…you hit the jackpot with that site. Huge is right!

    Enjoy that beautiful beach and all that the area offers.

  2. Vince says:

    I like the Wake Forest T-Shirt, John! Doesn’t sound like we are too close, but I will be in Victorville for the next two weeks. Maybe we will be in one of the SoCal airports at the same time?

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