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0331 Ojai, CA

0331 Ojai, CA

In the morning, we walk over to the edge of the mountain where the other van was yesterday. The wind is still VERY intense coming up the side of the mountain. It’s hard to stand in place. The steepness of the angle is deflecting the wind over the top of the spot we’re parked. Who made that parking selection?
I’m amazed at the number of times a spot to park or camp has been show to me and it’s turned out to be the one spot out of the wind, shielded from rain, or in the shade most of the day.
We’re off toward Lake Arrowhead. The Idyllwild-Banning Panoramic Highway is wonderful and get’s us to Banning. On the way…



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0330 Idyllwild, CA

0330 Idyllwild, CA

In the morning we start our Plum Valley hike about 7. I want to take our time and be done before the mid-day heat begins.
Beautiful early morning light. Sunlight and earth spin bringing the day’s warmth into the canyon.

Wildflowers along the trail.
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0329 Anza-Borrego State Park, CA

0329 Anza-Borrego State Park, CA

We’re only about 10 hours from Ojai. Am I ready to zoom across from here to there? It does’t feel right. So, if were going to take a few days, what back roads shall we drive on? What’s between here and there that I don’t know about?
Poking around on the map, I find the Anna-Borrego Desert State Park in CA. Never heard of it. A quick look shows that it’s in midst of it’s spring bloom. Wild flowers and cactus. Nice! So, that’s where we’re headed.
On the way we drive through Aho. The downtown is vibrant. Big murals painted on buildings downtown. Classic Spanish/Mexican architecture. I’m surprised. Looks like the mines are still supporting the town.
I drive through other small towns in AZ on the way. Very sad. The majority of businesses are closed. Houses empty. In Tacna we go to the park. It’s in total disrepair. The playground is overgrown with weeds. The only sign it’s ever used are two chemical toilets — 90% full, and a stack of women’s magazines on one of the broken picnic tables under the pavilion roof.

I can understand how this is Trump country. Anyone promising to improve the despair that must be a prevailing emotion here could get people’s attention. Make America Great Again could be heard as doing something to revitalize our town. Open the restaurants again. Return the tax base to clean and paint the buildings and signage. To make this a place we’re proud to call home again.
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0328 Aho, AZ

0328 Aho, AZ

On the road about 8 toward Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I’m psyched about this one. Every review I’ve read about this park has been awesome.
About 100 miles from the park I start seeing Saguaro Cactus occasionally along the highway.

As we go, they get more common. About 50 miles from the park I see the first Organ Pipe Cactus on a hill off to the right of the highway. I see a couple more as we approach the park, but the preponderance of Cactus are Saguaro. On the hills they are more numerous than the flat desert areas. Must be climatic, but I don’t know the details yet.
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0327 South of Tucson, AZ

0327 South of Tucson, AZ

We went for another walk on the road in the morning. We went further than last night and came across the biggest animal poops I’ve ever seen in the wild!

Then footprints as big as my feet!

What the hell makes these? Bison? Haven’t seen any. Maybe those cows that were as tall as I was near Carlsbad Caverns.
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