Last Friday, January 15th was the official start of Project Escape, our year-long adventure to escape corporate America; the expensive and crowded state of California; and reorient our life a bit. January 1 would have been a much cooler date to start, but with our Thanksgiving trip to France (to explain to my mother-in-law what the hell we would be doing the next year); an unexpected return trip back to the San Francisco Bay Area for an RV fix; and a Christmas cruise, we weren’t quite ready to go on day one of 2016.
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As I have mentioned in a few posts, the unpredictability of El Niño weather is forcing us to adjust our original travel plans. We wanted to be deeper into the Southwest in the early part of the year, but we have now pushed that into April. We will get to New Mexico (Santa Fe and Kirtland) for three weeks in February, but for the first stop on our trip, we decided to spend three weeks in Borrego Springs, California.
The trip from Sun City West was uneventful (yay!). On the way, we made a second stop at the WeightMaster at the Escapees North site in Congress, Arizona. 53% of RVs are overweight and I am continually amazed to hear that people don’t weigh their vehicles. It is so important from a safety perspective to make sure you are underweight and balanced and getting weighed from time-to-time is invaluable.
After that, we hit the road for the California border, stopping first in Quartzsite to get gas. The price of gas or diesel is WAY cheaper in Arizona than in California. As we are on a set budget, every penny counts.
We had lunch at a rest stop (without issue) just after the border and headed to Borrego Springs.
Borrego Springs is a teeny town in the greater Anza Borrego State Park, a massive state park about two hours away from San Diego and about an hour and a half the other direction from Palm Springs.
Raise your hands if you've heard of Anza Borrego State Park.
I certainly hadn't! We learned about it after googling “RV Parks San Diego.” That is some strong SEO sauce, considering it is 2 hours away!
When I say that the state park is massive, I am not kidding. It is the largest park in the continuous United States – 600,000 acres, 500 miles of dirt roads, miles and miles of hiking and 12 different wilderness areas. Huge! We have been spending 2-5 hours a day trying to find the best spots for photos and enjoying little hikes here and there.
It is also one of the darkest spots in the U.S. and in the top ten for star watching. Who would have thunk!?
Mr. Misadventures is in photography heaven, there is so much for him to take pictures of that he is beside himself! Sunsets, sunrises, stars, and wildlife – he is one happy camper.
Me? Well all that is not always my cup of tea and so I am trying to work on my blog, an e-book, and other things that I have been wanting to do but unable to because of my pesky full-time job. I do have some interviews set-up with local farmers, so stay tuned for stories from the people behind some of the amazing citrus in this area!
Of course, we have been here a week and I have done very little of that because I have been helping Mr. Misadventures do photo scouting in the area.
Most of the roads are dirt roads, which is why I did the photo scouting with the hubby. Once he is done doing reconnaissance, I will be sticking to the RV most days to work and I wanted to be sure he is in a safe environment because trust me, when Mr. Misadventures is in photo mode, all bets are off when it comes to paying attention to anything else.
Like stepping on one of these guys and getting a giant clump stuck in your shoe, requiring your wife to use a wrench and pliers from the toolbox to pull it and about 20 needles out…hypothetically.
You need a 4×4 for the dirt roads and we have had some pretty interesting trips. The only other times I have 4×4’d were on trips with our Dreamland Safari Tours guide and in Monument Valley with our Indian guide, so it was the first time we had done it on our own. We have a brand new Jeep so we are totally equipped, and while sometimes it can be stressful, it is a lot of fun!
I will be writing individual posts on the best spots, which will feature Sel & Poivre (Mr. Misadventures) photos, he does have some gems from this week up on his site already, I recommend that you check them about as I think they are gorgeous, the desert can be so beautiful!
You can also keep up on daily adventures in real-time on Instagram.
One highlight of the week was discovering another teeny, tiny town called Julian, known for all things apple. And besides buying some amazing cider, we got a whole apple pie from Mom's and have been enjoying that every night after dinner. We will definitely be making at least one more trip there for their apple treats!
WiFi and cell coverage are terrible, a bit frustrating for me, although Mr. Misadventures being a network guy helps. He has a few tricks up his sleeves, but even his super powers don’t work all the time. There are no grocery stores to speak of, so we are really glad we have our food stores.
The RV Park we are staying at is super nice, but throughout our travels this week, we found cheaper places, even if they don’t have all the amenities our current park has. All learnings we will take with us and use throughout the next year.
Trip details and expenses on this leg of our trip:
> 360 miles
> $25 for the weighing (we got a discount because it was our second time)
> Love’s diesel fuel 41.885 gallons X $2.149 = $90.01
> TOTAL Expenses: $262.49
> RV Park: The Springs at Borrego RV Resort
That’s it for this week! Happy escaping!
What have you been up to?