Resting in SoCal

If you have been reading these entries you know that we are heading to Southern California and were under some time pressure. We were heading to an RV park. As far as RV parks go in the LA area go, there are not too many. There is a nice expensive one in Long Beach and many touristy ones near Disneyland. We were heading to one in the San Fernando valley. We were heading to the Balboa RV park in Van Nuys, it was formerly known as the Birmingham RV park.

I first heard about this park from Sean and Kristy of LoLoHo ( and their video from it:

I had always wanted to stay here due to the close proximity to a lot of things to see.

Let me talk about the RV park for a bit. It is located in an area of Van Nuys that has seen its better days but is not a ghetto in any terms. It is right next to Van Nuys airport so it can get a bit noisy and is a great place to watch helicopters. Once you arrive, you register, that is if you make it by 6pm. If you have a trailer or 5th wheel you disconnect it right at the entrance. Then the staff, in this case the owner, took his forklift and put you in your spot. I think I could have made it there but it would have taken quite a bit longer. It is a very interesting feeling to have someone else take your trailer from you and park it. They also assisted in hooking up the services. It is very tight in the park but not overly. There is a mix of permanent, semi-permanent and transient tenants. We also saw many rental motorhomes and the owner said they get a lot of foreigners in there.

The owner, and everyone else we encountered, were the ones that made the stay enjoyable Also the weather was pretty good too, compared to our last week+. I would highly recommended and we will be here again!

Here is where they put us, right by a wall which was great!

2014-07-18 19.28.58

We really did not do much while we were here for only 3 nights. We just relaxed. One day we drove through the Topanga Canyon to the ocean. Down the coast through Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Then up by UCLA, back over the hill and home. One day we went to a movie. Just a lot of down time in a nice cool temperature.

We left Sunday and headed home without issue.


1149 miles with the trailer, about 260 miles without. We averaged 12.3 mpg for the entire trip. The truck performed fantastic on the road. It only got a bit hot on real steep grades (Grapevine) with the A/C on.

Hightailing from the hot!

We had been at my mother’s for about a week. We have helped her transition, actually Roxie did 90%+ of the work, to a life of recovery at home. We cleaned out her pantry, 4 hour job, but got rid of 80% of it. Went through her shoes and purses, put them on an organizer but only got rid of 10% of those. We decided we would leave in the mid to late evening so we could beat some of the heat, much like we did on the way over. We were able to tolerate the heat there with the 30amp connection and we got to test out our A/C units too!

We got out of Sun City West around 7:30. We weren’t quite sure of the goal for the night but we wanted somewhere cooler. Going back on I10 was not going to make ‘cool’ easy. I was thinking of possibly staying at the Flying J truck stop in Ehrenberg, AZ. We did so in our February trip to AZ. But February weather is much different that July! As we came into Quartzsite Roxie asked about staying at one of the BLM areas we have done so before. With further thought that seemed like a very good idea. My thinking was it was not going to be very crowded and it might be a bit cooler since there is no asphalt near.

We got to the Hi Jolly BLM site around 11pm and it was 93°. Better than Barstow on the way out at least. We could see another vehicle or two way in the distance but that was all that we saw. We didn’t go too far in, checked we were level and stopped. Put down the tongue jack a bit, set the truck parking brake, disconnected the umbilical and we were set. We turned on the fantastic fan, opened all the windows and let the breeze go. It did start cooling down but slowly. We didn’t much care as we were tired. I slept very soundly and I think Roxie did too.

Here we are in the AM:

2014-07-17 07.23.37

It started getting hot right away. Time to leave! We had a quick breakfast at Steaks and Cakes in Blythe and continued west. It wasn’t getting much cooler!

As we kept on trekking we came across Chiriaco Summit. Roxie wanted to look at the dry camping spots that they had behind the General Patton museum. We looked at the spots and it is nice to have such free spots for travellers. We also decided to stop and check out the General Patton museum itself. It is something that we always say we should do sometime so this was ‘sometime’. We found it to be a very interesting stop. Not just Patton memorabilia but all branches of the service. It shows a relief map of the area with all the camps that were in use for the summer training. Patton chose this area of California, Arizona and Nevada for training troops to fight in Africa. This was very good preparation for what they were going to encounter. If you remember another post, they used the Salton Sea for amphibious training and that is what introduced the barnacles to the Salton Sea. Time to stream Patton from Netflix.

Here are some shots. Something you don’t see every day, a propeller on a vehicle with wheels:

2014-07-17 11.22.50

Then a statue of the man himself:

2014-07-17 11.25.28

We got back in the Air Conditioned truck and headed down the hot road. We started looking for lunch around Indio but ended up eating at Ruby’s Diner in Cabazon as we did in an earlier trip. We filled up on diesel at Morongo and headed to our RV spot for the night. We had to be there by 6pm or we would be in the overflow area. We didn’t want to do that. The GPS said 2 hours but this was going through LA and we had 4 hours available. Did we make it, find out on the next entry…