Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pio Pico - Jamul, California

After a wonderful week in Yuma, we moved west to Jamul, California.  We took I-8 to Hwy 94.  This may be the time to mention that not only am I a 5 star resort camper, but I'm also a back road wimp.  While I-8 was a typical interstate through the desert, Hwy 94 wasn't really made for a truck towing a 5th wheel.  In fact, there was a sign that said vehicles over 40' were prohibited on that stretch of highway.  We were already committed to this route when we saw the sign, with no place to turn around, so we continued on.  The road was a little twisty for my tastes, and there were spots with drop off areas on the passenger side (my side) without guard rails.  There were tons of border patrol cars on the road - about every 4th or 5th car was border patrol.  Not sure if that was the norm for the area, or if there was something going on.  It was interesting, nonetheless.

We had made reservations at the Thousand Trails Pio Pico reserve, using our Resorts of Distinction membership.  I had made the reservations 90 days in advance, requesting a full hook up.  We arrived and were told that full hook ups were not available, and that we could camp in the north part of the park that had water and 30 amp electric.  Oh, and the water was not drinkable.  Oh, and by the way, there is no cell phone service nor Verizon air card service.  However, we could go choose our own spot, come back and let them know.  Every morning at 9am, we could report to the ranger station and see if there were any full hook up sites available.  I was not happy.  Okay, I can dry camp for a night or so, but any more than that, we would have to change campgrounds. 
We found a good sized back-in site so that we had a nice view out the back of our trailer.  It was a bit of a challenge as many of the sites had black garbage bags over the electric polls.  I was a little bit happier at this point, because scenery wise, this was a very lovely campground.

Our site at Pio Pico

Other campsites

The view out our back window

We decided we would spend the night and re-evaluate in the morning.  The next morning, we lost power briefly - sort of.  The UPS (unlimited power supply) alarm went off at 7:30am.  The power wasn't completely lost, but the voltage had dropped below 100.  We speculated that it was due to the rest of the park all waking up and turning on their electric heaters, hot water tanks, etc.  Because of the problem we had with the electric system in the rig while we were in Phoenix, and the cost to replace all our electronics, we do not like to take chances.  When we started running water to wash dishes and take showers, it was all milky - and not the air in the line kind of milky.  We made the decision to move on the next day, but for that day we had made arrangements to have lunch with my friend Leila in Carlsbad.  Lunch with her was the best part of that day.

In the meantime, once we got into cell phone range, I found a message from our daughter.  She is pregnant and due in March, but was having some serious contractions and there was concern she would deliver early.  So much for taking our time heading home.  We called and learned that the contractions had stopped, and the doctor felt the baby would not be coming now, but nothing was guaranteed.  We don't wait to miss the birth of our first grandchild, so we knew we'd be packing up and leaving the next morning.

We returned to the rig after spending the day in Carlsbad.  Double checked the amperage and it was still low, so we went to the Adult Lodge to use the park's wifi.  The Adult Lodge gets a 1 out of 5 stars in my book.  It needs updating and an interior designer.  We plotted a route home, deciding to come up I-5 to the Stockton area,  and then make the decision about whether to take I-5 or 101 up to Washington.  We wanted to avoid the Siskiyous if there was any chance of snow or ice.
The next morning, we packed up and headed out.  Next stop, Bakersfield, California.

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