Daily Archives: March 9, 2013

Day 9 – posted March 9 from Brawley, CA

This is almost a non-post for a day that very little happened. On the other hand, the daily routine keeps me busy enough that I’m really tired & it is 6:19pm.  We left our RV spa & I dropped Dave off on the bike route in El Centro, CA. The highlight of my morning was enjoying my first Starbucks coffee since I left my home hangout on February 15.  I stumbled on one on the way to the grocery store & totally enjoyed it.  Those of you who know me well know that I’m a Sbucks regular, so this was special.

Everything takes a little longer when one is unfamiliar with everything — the roads, the towns, the grocery store, the bike route.  Makes it interesting. For instance, I spent an hour in Von’s grocery, sizing up the aisles and studying food that could be easily cooked on a Coleman grill/stove and stored in our small refrigerator and food bins.  I’m trying to buy a few days’ dinners at a time to make sure we have back-up and yet not overload the refrigeration. It’s a challenge to buy chicken, pork chops & sausages for the grill that come in small packages. We also don’t have the storage space for leftovers, so I try to cook just what we eat for dinner. This takes a lot of mental energy for someone who is not used to preparing a meal every night. No wonder I’m tired.

After I left the store, I drove to a spot on the route about 20 miles away & parked on the berm.  Dave was either ahead of me or behind me.  I didn’t know which one, so I thought I would wait for a while & watch for him.  After a 30 minute phone call & some Facebook checking & some campground recon on the internet, no Dave. So I called him & he was about 8 miles ahead of me!  Fortunately, in a vehicle, that means very little time to catch up.

The route today is still within 30 miles of the Mexican border –  pure desert with irrigation ditches that water fields and some nurseries.  The water is diverted from the Colorado River. We are entering the Imperial Dunes Wilderness Area, southeast of the Salton Sea. There are no choices for camping in the area. I was getting all excited about camping tonight on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land until I investigated on the internet & found it would be $40 for a weekly permit, when all we would be using is a one night campsite with a pit toilet & no water!

When I picked Dave up outside of Glamis, CA, we turned around & drove back to the Brawley WalMart  (open 24 hours).  We asked & they gave permission to camp overnight in their parking lot at no cost. This will be our first WalMart camping experience. WalMarts all over the country allow RV camping with permission. Who knows, here people who get up in the middle of the night may have a desperate need to shop!  Instead of cooking, we went to the Mexican restaurant across the road.  Las Chabelas happened to be recommended by my BFF TripAdvisor as the #1 restaurant in Brawley.  Very authentic & fresh food.  I tried the Menudo, a tripe vegetable soup & it was almost as good as my grandmother’s Bohemian tripe soup.

Tomorrow, the route goes right through the dunes area & I hope to get some good photos. Today everything looked pretty much like this: