Saturday, June 11, 2016

6/11/16-Part 1, Los Padres National Forest-Palm Springs and Rose Valley Campground

Our ultimate destination was Santa Barbara, but we went from Ehrenberg to a Denny’s in Palm Springs with the intention of sleeping for several hours and making a run through Los Angeles in the middle of the night. Thank you for planning that out, Colvin!

We had dinner there and their staff was very friendly. We were surrounded by hotels and truck stops so it was easy to find a little place to tuck away in their parking lot for a few hours and get some rest. On occasion throughout the evening, we would get a beverage and borrow their facilities. The 2nd time I went in, they wouldn’t even charge me! Very kind.

It was surreal being in Palm Springs. I was married to wealth once upon a time and we had a cottage in Palm Springs at The Vintage Club. (My niece, Samariah, is scanning all of my photos for me. When I have an e-copy of any pics from those days, I will add them here.) Until then I have borrowed these from The Vintage Club website.

The Clubhouse

A Typical Cottage

When my ex-husband had “work” to do during the annual Board of Directors meetings, this is mostly where he hung out.

I spent most of my time by the pool or playing tennis.

I share this with you because so much of my life is fragmented, and I tend to truncate the fragments. What used to be is no longer, and that’s true all the way back to my childhood so I rarely acknowledge anything from my past. However, all of it makes up my life and contributes to who I am today so I’m trying to get better at incorporating it all .... everything, the so-called good and bad.

The memories of my times at The Vintage Club were from a very long time ago, eons in thoughts and emotions, actually. And yet this particular evening, this moment in time when I found myself back in Palm Springs – in a Denny’s parking lot, living in my van, traveling with Colvin, I was happier than I ever dreamed possible. Life sure can throw some crazy curve balls.

So we left Denny’s and made a midnight run through LA. Colvin had told me that no matter what just follow his tail lights and ignore the traffic. That was our game plan and we stuck to it. It worked. I didn’t look at anything other than my mirrors and Colvin’s tail lights – that was all I could do! L.A. traffic, even in the middle of the night, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Wowza! It is hard to believe I used to be comfortable driving in such traffic - from L.A. to Dallas to New York - no problem. But this night, concentrating on following Colvin kept all of the lights and constant motion from triggering a seizure. It was an exhausting jaunt, but we made it through just fine. It was a huge milestone and major success for me.

We got to the other side and stopped at yet another Denny’s. This one was in Newbury Park, and this time we didn’t even get out of our vehicles. We rested again for a few a few hours, and right at dawn we headed up 33.

It turned out my friend Tracy wasn’t going to be home for a few days so Colvin picked out a wonderful place for us to hang out. It was the Rose Valley Campground of Los Padres National Forest outside Ojai, CA. Even the drive getting there was fantastic! It was just amazing to me that we went from the desert in Ehrenberg the day before to parking lots to S-curves on the edge of beautiful, lush hills that were so steep it took my breath away. Vandwelling is definitely an adventure!

TWO Tunnels

We kicked back for awhile at our campsite.

And then we took a walk to the Rose Valley Falls. Colvin had already walked the trail and told me how stunning it was. Still, I was not prepared for the mind-boggling beauty of it. I am in awe of this great land of ours and its remarkable diversity. My mind could not catch up with all the changes I had seen in just a few days, and pics cannot do it justice.

The trail leading to the Falls.

The Falls cascaded down the entire wall of rocks.

It may look like just a trickle, but it wasn’t. And it was everywhere.

The plants in that last pic actually had little white flowers on most of the leaves.

It was so crisp and cool in there, and everything smelled so sweet. I felt like quite the explorer, a lucky one at that.

There was another trail that started right at our campsite. We walked it a few times for exercise. You can see why from the next few pics. It was rugged and steep!

That’s our campground at the bottom of the hill.

In this next pic there is a group of people starting to come up the trail.

We were headed down and passed each other. I turned a few minutes later and took a pic of them high on the trail headed to the top where we had just come from.

At the beginning of the trail is this “No Shooting” sign. It looks like it is painted white with black or brown lettering, right?

Actually, the lettering is cut out. How ingenious is that?!?

Stay tuned for Part 2!


  1. Wow what a wonderful place to camp, those waterfalls!!! Really enjoy following along on your travels, and interesting how society would judge what you have however you are so happy with less :) Like how you put it moving on from your past.

    Take care and can't wait for part 2.


    1. Thanks Tina! Glad you're enjoying the journey. Thanks for being here!

  2. i like both the falls and the desert and would be happy in either as long as there was no heat involved. i hate hot weather.. i hve no brain injury and could not drive in LA. yowsa.. that was brave. i dislike traffic as much or more than heat

    1. I'm with you on the heat thing Sandra. I don't like it too hot or too cold. One of the best things about vandwelling is traveling with the weather. I was REALLY worried about the drive through L.A., but was in good hands. I am learning to faith it.


I love to hear from my wonderful readers.
Please subscribe! Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.