Adventures of Steve, Patti, Sami and Ozzie


Awesome hike in the desert

The weather is finally starting to warm up here so we decided to check out the Coachella Valley Preserve, just a few miles down the road.  We have driven past it so many times and we wondered what it was all about.  It is a preserve with over 17,000 acres and many different hiking paths.  It’s in the middle of the desert, but there are areas where there are a groupings of palm trees.  These areas are fed by the water seeping out of the San Andres Fault.  Luckily, we didn’t experience any ground shaking while we were there.  It is also home of the Coachella Valley fringe toed lizard, which is found nowhere else in the world.

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We headed down the path to the Mc Callum Pond trail.  It’s a short hike, only 2 miles round trip, there are other trails you can take to different areas that are longer, but the sun would soon be setting and it cools down quickly out here.

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We started our hike in lots of vegetation and palm trees.

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Then, after walking most of the way in the desert, we started wondering if it was worth the trip.  It was!  McCallum Pond up ahead.

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This is McCallum pond.  It is home of the rare and incredibly endangered Desert Pupfish.  Sadly we didn’t see any though.

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It was absolutely breathtaking, we only wish our pictures could capture it as we really saw it.

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We will be back, cant wait to try out the other trails.

On a different note, there are 2 new additions to the park here.  Just had to post these.  They are only 4 days old in these pictures.  Didn’t want to get to close, they are quite protective.

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It will be fun watching these little ones grow up.

As we mentioned, the weather is definitely looking up.  We hit at least 80 today and it looks to be nice for the rest of the week.  Started to think we brought Wisconsin winter with us for a while!!



San Diego, CA

San Diego!  What a beautiful city.  We only wish we had more time to explore, but I am pretty sure we will be back.  The drive from Temecula to San Diego was scenic with lots of hills and rocks.  Not sure if I would want to live in this house though, especially if there was an earthquake!  You can’t tell from the picture but that was a very large hill that the house sat upon.

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We arrived at Santa Fe RV park.  Not a bad place, had a nice pool and hot tub and the weather was nice enough to be able to use it.  Much warmer than in Temecula.

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We were really close to Mission Bay and took a drive there to check out the other RV park that was there.  Decided to stay were we were, the other one had nice views of the bay, however it was nothing more than a glorified parking lot.  Literally it was one large area of concrete.  The bay was nice though and there were a lot of people out having picnics, walking and kayaking.

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After checking out Mission Bay, we drove up into the hills to get a better view.  Some very cool homes, but this one was unbelievable.

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Great views in either direction.

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We never found the traffic to be bad at all in San Diego.  The stop lights seemed to last forever, but the flow of traffic was really good.  You just had to know where you were going and be sure to be in the correct lane in time and you were good to go.  We found down town to be one of the best features of  San Diego.  It is so clean and everything looks so new.

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Entrance to the San Diego Naval Base.  We were hoping to get some pictures of some ships, but civilians aren’t allowed on base.  Kind of figured that was the case, but we tried.

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Also drove by Qualcomm Stadium – home of the San Diego Chargers and Petco Park – home of the San Diego Padres.

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We also went back to the Embarcadero, the downtown waterfront area where the USS Midway was, to check out some of the other sights. Here is where the cruise ship terminals are as well as another museum – the Star of India.  Built in 1863, it is a historic tall-masted iron ship that is still sea worthy and makes a journey out to sea by volunteers each November.

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Below is the Luna Hamilton, it is a private luxury yacht owned by Roman Abramovich, the Russian/UK billionaire businessman.  It’s 115 meters long and was the largest explorer luxury yacht in the world, now 19th.  It has 2 helicopter pads, water toy garage, covered swimming pool, bullet proof windows and each bedroom has its own cinema sized TV.  Can you imagine the price tag on this baby?  In 201o, Madonna holidayed on this yacht.

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If you got tired of walking, you could always hitch a ride on one of these.

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We took the Coronado bridge which is 11,288 long and very high.  We checked out the Hotel Del Coronado area and headed south on the Silver Strand.  Stopped by a little place very close to the Mexico border and walked by the ocean.  It would be the last time we saw the ocean for a while, very sad.

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Cool art! Loved this bench!

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We left San Diego on January 5th and made our way back to Desert Hot Springs and back to one of our favorite places, Sky Valley Resort.  We are spending the winter here and planning on staying through April.  We liked this place so much, I applied here the last time we stayed, around Thanksgiving.  I was offered part-time work in their mail room and front desk.  It is the nicest place to work and I love it already, it’s a family run resort and everyone is just wonderful.  I don’t actually get paid, but hours I work are considered credit to our monthly rent and electric.  It will come out close to even to cover our stay here.  It will be good to be stationary for a while, although the weather here has not been very warm.  We have been below freezing the last few nights but the weather should change here over the next few days and warm up again.  We are also very excited that my Aunt and Uncle, Bob and Gretchen are here just a few miles down the road from us.  Looking forward to spending some time with them.  We will still be posting as there is still so much to see and do around here, so please stay tuned.

Wishing you all a happy and wonderful 2013!

Steve, Patti, Ozzie and Sami


USS Midway Museum

We left Temecula on New Years Eve.  We were so ready to find some warmer weather so we headed down to San Diego.  The whole area is just amazing, it all looks so new!  We have lots to share from the time we were there, however first wanted to share some photos and info from our tour of the USS Midway Museum.  The ship was decommissioned in 1992 and opened as a museum in 2004 with over 5 million visitors each year.

The USS Midway pilots shot down the first and last MiG of the Vietnam War and was the Flagship of the Persian Gulf air operations in Operation Desert Storm.

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The ship was built in 1945 and cost $90 million to build.  212,000 horsepower and 69,000 tons in total weight.  The crew was 4500 in numbers including 600 men in engineering, 225 cooks, 200 pilots, 40 corpsmen, 5 physicians and 3 dentists.  Below is a monument outside the ship in honor of  Bob Hope.

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There were veterans all over the ship talking about their experiences, it was pretty cool.

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View from the flight deck.

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This area was where the officers quarters were.  We missed the sailors bunks which were in the hanger deck.

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Small kitchens on this level for the officers, separate from the crews mess deck.  The mannequins took a little getting used to…

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You can’t be much taller than 6ft to move through these halls.

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Mess deck.

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Fun facts:  10 tons of food served daily, 13,500 meals served daily, 3,000 potatoes daily, 1,000 loaves of bread served daily, 4,500 lbs of beef when served and 500 pies when served.

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Above is a picture of the bomb elevator, the glass made it difficult to get a picture down the 3 levels.

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Mess deck above.  Medical and dental below.

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It was a really a neat experience and if anyone finds themselves in San Diego, it’s a must do.

Now for the rest of San Diego….that’s another blog in itself!!!  Working on that and should be posted soon!