Traveling south to Desert Hot Springs

DHS_Trip_18 (16) Rain in the desert is often lovely, except when I have dreamed of blue skies and warm sun and planned a major MoHo run south to find it.  We have had snow and dark skies in Klamath for several weeks now, and my week in Florida was challenged by 20 degree weather.  A long trek to the Coachella Valley should be the remedy.  I think the weather forecasts show a bit of a break next Thursday.  Last night, however, the skies were beautiful, with soft shades of pink and rose among the gray, cream, and yellow lit clouds.

DHS_Trip_18 (2) A quick run south, leaving behind the cold and snow of Rocky Point, is only possible because we decided to store the MoHo in Redding this winter.  Enclosed, insulated storage isn’t cheap, and we tried for the smallest unit possible.  We also decided to forego winterizing thinking that the temperatures in Redding rarely drop below freezing.  The water tanks were all empty and the lines emptied out, but we didn’t do anything else before parking in mid November. It was with a bit of trepidation that we opened up the big sliding door.  Everything turned out just fine, with the trickle charger keeping the battery charged up and the house batteries were still even on 12.6.  We brought along a couple of gallons of water to fill the tank and everything worked just fine.  Although next time when we pull into the storage spot we will have some pink stuff in the drains, at least.

DHS_Trip_18 (5) See that gorgeous sun in the photo above?  The trip over Mt Shasta on I-5 to Redding was gorgeous once we left the icy freezing fog behind in the Klamath Basin and Highway 97.  Little did we know that was the last time we would see brilliant sunshine for a long time.  I am still waiting.  By the time we got to our stop over point in Lodi, the rain was coming down hard.  We hoped to get to the desert with only one overnight stop, requiring 400 mile driving days.  By the time we reached the Flag City RV Resort in Lodi we were worn out. We shared the driving duties, but it still is a very long haul.  Flag City is really nothing more than a reasonably comfortable stopover, with perfectly level cement pull through sites, and full hookups including fast Wi-Fi and cable.  I have no idea what else the park offers because we didn’t care in the least.  The MoHo was stopped, and everything we needed was right inside our cozy home.

On Friday we thought our trip to the desert would be about 8 hours of driving so thought leaving at 9 would be just fine for a 5 pm arrival.  We didn’t factor in the hard, driving rain, or the plan to take HWY 58 through Tehachapi rather than brave LA traffic.  As dark fell on the desert we still had 90 minutes to go before reaching our camp.  We took 247 south from Barstow rather than drive through Victorville and all the traffic there as well. It’s a narrow road with lots off ups and downs, but oh soooo beautiful.  It looked like a lot of BLM land, open and free, and in the coming desert twilight it was all I could do to keep from begging Mo to just head out into the desert and boondock. 

DHS_Trip_18 (7)When we finally arrived at the Desert Pools RV Park, I remembered again why we try to never,  never, never land after dark.  Everything was strange, the night person didn’t have our reservation, and offered to let us stay for one night only “off the road”.  Somehow I had messed up the reservation (they don’t take them) and instead I opted for the “just come in and talk to the hosts and you can stay for two days”.  Dumb.  Of course, the fact that the park had recently disconnected their cable service wasn’t exactly a good thing either.  After a long day on the road we at least wanted Wi-Fi and TV.  Otherwise I would be back boondocking in that gorgeous desert!  Mo is a little bit easier about these kinds of things than I am, and I wasn’t much fun to be around that night I am sure.

DHS_Trip_18 (6)In the light off day, the park was every bit as ugly as it appeared the night before.  The pool was small and brown as were the three spas. We took the dog for a walk and everyone was just so dang friendly!  The night host came up to us and urged us to stay, saying the park was “so much fun with a lot going on”.  I guess we aren’t very social, because that actually sounded just awful to me.  Although the hot cinnamon rolls in the dining room were pretty good. 

Our original plan was to spend six days at the Catalina RV Park and Spa, so we called them hoping for a chance to come in a day early.  Success!  With great relief, we packed up and didn’t even bother to hook up to drive the half mile back to the Catalina.  Through the gate and immediately we could see the difference.  Even though this is a very large park, with spaces fairly close together, there are trees and shrubs between sites, and while our site is on packed sandy dirt, it isn’t so bad that we couldn’t level the rig without blocks.  The cloudy, threatening skies were breaking here and there with a bit of lightness, so that helped my mood a lot as well.  Thank goodness!  Our plan now is to spend the day adjusting to the local area, do some driving around, and just try to catch up a bit. Wi-Fi is still an issue, but hopefully I can find a spot somewhere around to actually get on the internet.


Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

2 thoughts on “Traveling south to Desert Hot Springs”

  1. “The night host came up to us and urged us to stay, saying the park was “so much fun with a lot going on”.”

    “I guess we aren’t very social, because that actually sounded just awful to me.”

    Gosh, I would feel the same. Socializing is just not in my blood!


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