After spending two weeks in Paso Robles (California) visiting the family and attending to doctor’s appointments, we headed out on February 23 intent on getting to Texas this time to become real Texans. I spent the morning nervously following behind the truck/trailer in the Jeep, watching one of the trailer tires that seemed ready to blow. It never did, but as we were climbing up the Grapevine heading into southern CA on I-5, Terry suddenly jumped from the #4 lane to the shoulder with flashers on. I knew that couldn’t be good, and sure enough something was seriously amiss with the truck. It would not go more than 10 MPH on that big grade. We tossed around our options and decided to limp it down the hill to the Hungry Valley SVRA (an acronym for a state riding area) so that we could park the trailer and prepare for an extended stay.
We stayed here for a little over two weeks in February 2010. The weekly rate was $230 with a Good Sam Discount. The nightly rate was $35.
The campground is small, but well-kept. Sites are somewhat small, but ours was level and easy to pull into. At least 50% of the units in the park seem to be permanent, so there is some noise in the morning when people leave for work. If you enjoy the Paso Robles Wine Country and are looking for a relatively inexpensive place to stay this is a good choice. Easy access off of Hwy. 101.
Paso Robles RV Ranch
398 Exline Rd.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Little did we know when we headed out in the Jeep today that we would see one of the rarest and most astounding sights in the desert: a small herd of Bighorn Sheep. We were creeping along in the Jeep, stopping occasionally to grab a geocache, when we rounded a corner and saw the grand heads of two young rams. I was so excited and afraid of scaring them that I turned off the Jeep without even putting it in park. We slowly drew the camera out of its bag and started shooting pictures through the windshield. They spooked and ran down the wash, only to exit on the other site in full view.
Meanwhile, we spotted more bighorns on the hill next to us, including one who was resting and a massive ram standing nearby. It gave me chills to see them.
I usually stay behind and work while Terry forces Kurt to go geocaching, but since this particular trip seemed to involve some dirt and Jeep driving, I volunteered to be the driver. What I really wanted to do was go four-wheeling, but this was close enough.
After spending some time figuring out which dirt road to take out of town, we finally found one that seemed to wander off in the right direction, so we headed out. Quartzsite seems to be the only town that I’ve ever seen that seems to be surrounded by dirt and various and sundry washes. In fact, we had to pull two trucks out of the washes earlier in the day after they decided to use the wash as overflow parking for the giant flea market. I think their shopping day was cut short a bit.
We had heard about Quartzsite, Arizona as the snowbird capitol of the RV world, so we decided to make this our first stop since it’s January and we don’t want to get too cold.
Here is the info:
It’s located about 20 miles west of the California border along I-10. It is easily accessed from the interstate by taking the Quartzsite exit. We are staying in a campground managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in one of their long-term visitor areas (LTVA’s). They really do allow you to stay long-term — 7 months to be exact. For a mere $180 you can stay from September 15 to April 15 without having to move. You can buy your permit at each of the kiosks at the entrances. If you get in when the office is closed go ahead and park, then go by the office as soon as they open (9-4).
There are no hookups, so come with full and empty tanks (you know which ones are which). Dumpsters are available at all sites, and dump stations and free water are available at La Posa South LTVA. BLM trail maps can also be purchased at the kiosks.