Meeting up with another blogging mentor

Rick and Paulette at dinner at La Casuela'sLast year when we were in Desert Hot Springs, Rick and Paulette were still tucked away at home in British Columbia, but since I follow Rick’s blog I knew that this time our visit would hopefully include a meeting with the two of them.  I emailed Rick and we said we would catch up with each other sometime during the week.  Rick didn’t waste any time and as we were relaxing with tea yesterday morning I heard the sound of a diesel truck slowly passing our site and looked outside to see a familiar face.  Rick was hunting us down!

Rick caught this photo of us during morning teaAs is so often the case with RV bloggers, it was instant recognition and familiarity.  We sat in the warm morning sun for awhile visiting and making plans to get together on Monday night at a local restaurant.

After our day circling the Salton Sea we were happy to spend Sunday relaxing, swimming, going for some park walks, and for me, knitting.  I will be working on my daughter’s birthday sweater for a very long time.  KarenInTheWoods saw a comment of mine regarding sock knitting and sweetly sent along a sock pattern to me.  She called it a simple pattern, but I don’t exactly think it is THAT simple, Karen, but Thank You!!  I’ll keep working on the sweater and try knitting up these fat warm cozy socks next winter.  Karen mentioned that she loves to knit while riding along in the motorhome.  I love that as well, although the bumpy California roads have made that attempt a bit awkward.

That is Mt San Jacinto in the west toward Desert Hot SpringsThe warm weather and gorgeous sunshine is conducive to real relaxation, and we planned another day of the same on Monday so that we could watch the Rose Parade and then the Rose Bowl with our home team, the Oregon Ducks actually winning the Rose Bowl.  Fellow blogger Merikay is actually in Pasadena seeing the parade and the game and I am looking forward to her stories about that fulfilled dream of hers.

winding roads off in to nowhereAfter the parade and before the game we decided to drive out Dillon Road to the east to find Blair’s RV shop, highly recommended by Rick for obscure RV parts and an extensive knowledge base tucked away in the owner’s head.  We found the small part we needed to fit the smaller than usual sewer pipe at Catalina and were on our way farther east to check out Thousand Palms Oasis.  Our plan was to hike with Abby, but even on the east side of the Coachella Reserve we found signs saying “No Dogs”.  Ah well, there are lots of other places where we can go with Abby and tomorrow we will head for one of them.

boondock site on state land north of Dillon Road.Mo and I both love roads that wind off into nowhere and as we drove back north toward Dillon road, we found an old worn out once paved track leading up into the hills.  Let’s go!  The road was rough, but the Tracker can handle that and we followed the path through the desert. The desert seems to be a very popular place for people and guns, because scattered along the road were several groups of people shooting.  I noticed most of them had targets that looked like human silhouettes, and while shooting at bottles or bulls eyes seems innocuous enough, those human targets really bother me.

check out the shooters on the little plateau on the left.  We weren't too comfortable being in their line of fireThe road looked like it would wind back toward Indio Hills but instead we ran into a complete dead end right in the middle of a large group of young, somewhat rowdy looking shooters.  They all had plugs in their ears and basically ignored us except for some irritated looks as we attempted to turn the tracker around on the half lane dirt track.  I had a close up look at the guy’s pistol, black and pretty scary looking. 

We found several places that looked as though they might be great boondock sites, but I didn’t think we wanted to compete with the shooters or listen to the gunshots all day long.  The desert has an earned reputation as a haven for independent sorts of people that don’t particularly like rules and treasure their freedom.  My favorite of all time, Ed Abbey, was one of those types, as are these gun toting shooters.  Philosophies as wide apart as night and day, and yet both still at home in the desert.

Sue, Paulette, and MoTrundling back to our safe and sane site at Catalina, we turned on the game and spent the rest of the afternoon cheering along (and sending little encouraging emails to Russ) when the Ducks kept getting touchdowns. The game started at 2 and our dinner get together was scheduled for 6. It was an exciting game, with each team scoring like leap frogs, but the Ducks carried it off in the end.  Our only problem was we had a half an hour drive to Palm Springs and had to leave during the last four minutes of the game.  I fired up the phone and Mo fired up the radio and we managed to finish out that last four minutes while heading for town along Dillon Road.

Palm Springs at nightDowntown Palm Springs was all lit up with Christmas lights and people were walking the streets as usual in the warm desert evening.  Parking wasn’t a problem on a side street and we saw the smiling faces of our new friends waiting in front of the historic restaurant.  Rick took some great photos and wrote about the restaurant as well, so I won’t try to do it all over again. 

I will say that we had a great time talking about some of the similarities and differences between our two countries.  My favorite part was learning that watching American politics is a spectator sport in Canada!  Of course, Paulette and I share the delight of daughters, she has four and I only have three, and each of us has only one son.  Discussing adult children and their various life choices made for some funny observations for all of us. Paulette is a lovely person with a great blog of her own all about her quilting passion and I so enjoyed having time to visit with her.

Sue, Rick, and Mo in front of Las Casuela'sI must say that meeting Rick was wonderful.  Back when I first discovered a blogging community, Laurie pointed me to Rick’s tips about how to manage blogger and blogging in general.  I learned a lot from Rick, and he has never failed to almost immediately answer any question I have asked him via email with excellent instructions.  I discovered in person a kind, funny, easy going man who is willing to spend time writing about stuff that many of us haven’t a clue about in a way that is understandable.  There are times when Rick’s instructions get right to the point of some hidden trick and I really appreciate that he takes the time to put it out there. 

Thanks, Rick.