We crossed into California, and right away saw these incredible sand dunes. And then mountains came into view in the distance, and everyone in the camper told me they were the Sierra Madre mountains, so I guess that must be them! The heat was still quite unbearable and we’ve noticed that the generator only works intermittently when it is this hot (I guess to keep the thing from over-heating), so we only had the dash A/C to keep us cool. After the sand dunes the terrain became very rocky, and as we began ascending the mountains it was even rockier! We started out at sea level according to a sign, and went up to 1000 feet, then 2000 feet, then 3000 feet, then over 4000 feet in a manner of about 15-20 minutes. When we got to the top, we saw a big line of wind turbines, and then the whole picture changed as we were coming down.
Green grass and high trees and lakes greeted us – lush is the best word to describe it. We had tried to contact the campground we wanted to stay at all day, but there was never an answer, so we determined to show up and hope for the best! The exit from the highway took us down this narrow windy road for about 15 miles through beautiful mountains, until our GPS told us we were at the campground, but we didn’t see anything! We kept driving and saw some people outside their vast property near the road, so we asked them if they knew were our campground was, and they indicated it was about a ¼ mile, get this, behind us – we had somehow passed it! With nowhere to turn around, especially not with a vehicle in tow, we pressed on until we found a turn out. Upon our exit from the camper we noticed another huge difference – the temperature was delicious!! After unhooking the car, I drove back to the spot where the campground was supposed to be, and from that direction there was a big sign at the entrance, which was surrounded by trees and not visible from the other direction from which we had come! So I proceeded through the entrance and found someone in the campground watering plants who said the owners were gone for the weekend (thus the no call back), but we were welcome to come in and hook up and pay them on Monday when they returned. Whew!!
After driving back to retrieve the others still in the camper, I led them back to the campground where we hooked up quickly and the boys immediately found a small outdoor court with 1 hoop and played basketball to their hearts’ content. Tim got a shower as I started dinner. After dinner, we were getting ready for bed when I remembered I had left my purse in the car and it was unlocked. As I stepped outside a cool blast of air hit me! And then I looked up. It has been so many years since I have seen that many stars I can’t even remember the last time it was. I beckoned everyone out of the camper and we just all stood there in awe at the beautiful sight. Traipsing back inside for bedtime prayers, we had a lot to thank God for!
Here are some pictures to show what I'm talking about - 1. a dust tornado (you may need to click on it to enlarge it to see it), 2. the sand dunes, 3.the black fence at the border, 4. towards the top of the Sierra Madres and the rocky terrain, 5. Another of those 6. At the top with the wind turbines.