Published: January 29th 2011January 11th 2011
Valley View from Keys Point
Cities in the valley below provide warm winter temperatures and sunny skies
Confidence about battery and propane power quickly fell away when it was discovered the hot water heater had stopped working and planned showers were not going to happen. What now? I did a quick trip to Starbucks and got on-line to find a RV repair shops in the area (1). Additionally, I checked out authorized dealer for the hot water heater and again there was 1, but it was located in Indio. We decided over breakfast to head to our next camp site – Jumbo Rocks, stop by the repair shop on the way, and if the water heater could not be fixed, go to Indio.
Although getting into the shop was a little difficult - narrow (roadway and deep ditch), the one person shop said there was a backlog of a week to 10 days. He was gracious enough to do a quick check and found a corroded connection on the 12V (battery) connection to the pilot. He cleaned and showed me what I needed to do if it happened again. The price was no-charge, but we made a contribution to his favorite charity.
It appeared our luck was changing since we had all systems go. Emily was
This large inland lake was formed from overflows of the mighty Colorado River
hungry and a sandwich shop appeared within a block of the turn-off into the park. It was as if fate had tired of challenging us with normal trailer camping learning moments and was now like a gentle breeze pushing us forward.
We got to Jumbo Rocks after a great drive through the center of the park and got to see and experience what we came for although we did think SoCal desert would be warm (the lowest morning temp was 26 with a steady 15-20 mph wind). After parking the trailer and setting up camp, we headed out to Keys View. It was about 30 minutes away on the top of a ridge overlooking the southern valley below as Palm Springs and Indio were bookends for a large community of probably .25 million people. Salton Sea was to the east and ever present snow covered mountains loomed high above the valley.
The overlook was a little over 5100 feet and was unprotected from the winds so often present in the desert. Today they were at gale force over 30 mph and with a temp in the mid forties making the view an agonizing experience especially for coat less
Snowcover Peak Across the Valey
The majesty of these 10K plus peaks are always with us
Emily and KC. "Dennis the Tough" took on the elements to walk the viewpoint trail taking photos. His bare legs were covered with several layers of goosebumps and the camera was shaking (wind and shivering). He bravely called it a day and headed back to TT and the heater going full blast.
Back at the HoW the wind was also up and the temperature down. The dynamic duo were pleased with the day and reminisced over warming vegetable soup. Vowing to protect trailer resources the thermostat was lowered, hot water heater turned off, and use of lights reduced. Yes, we were in conserve mode, but happy that our difficult experiences lead to a better understanding of what it takes to survive when boondock camping.
There are more photos below