Snowbirds no more

We initially planned to stay for only one month in Desert Hot Springs, CA, but a complete breakdown of the drive moving the living room slide of the motorhome forced us to stay for one additional month. The gearbox and the shaft of the living room slide drive had experienced a total failure. It is hard to comprehend that the half-inch (1.3 cm) solid steel shaft moving the slide had been twisted like a candy cane. A torque limiter may be a viable solution to prevent that kind of costly fatal failure. Newmar, are you listening?

While the toolbox was already open, I fixed the motorhome furnace plus a gazillion other minor repairs and also performed generator and water-heater maintenance. At the moment most household systems – and there are many – are in a good shape. The solar system needs a thorough analysis. For unknown reason we don’t bring enough electrons into the battery bank, something may be wrong with either the panels or the cables or the charger. We will find out soon.

While we were in Desert Hot Springs we experienced two days of significant desert rain with plenty of water rushing down the washes. It was amazing to see how most of the water was rapidly moving on the desert surface instead of sinking into the very dry ground. We visited a date farm and sampled a variety of dates with different tastes and appearances. I have to admit that I didn’t even know that there are varieties of dates. We visited the Joshua Tree National Park and the decaying town of Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea. While we were in the Bombay Beach area we also again stopped by “the last free place” in America, Slab City.

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A visit to Palomar Mountain allowed us to not only enjoy some of the gorgeous southern California landscape, but we also saw the 200 inch (5.1 m) Hale telescope.

The dogs and I did a few hikes in the San Bernandino Forrest underneath the towering and snow-covered summit of 11503 ft (3506 m) Mt. Gorgonio with its enormous prominence of 8293 ft (2527 m).

On January 1, 2018 the consumption and sale of recreational marihuana has become legal in California. The city of Desert Hot Springs shows ambitions to become one of the big cannabis growing centers in California and partake in a multi-billion dollar business. A number of industrial cannabis grow facilities have started operation in and around town. Good paying jobs, sales taxes and property taxes will follow.

Btw, how cool was that SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, hu? There is a Tesla electric car orbiting the sun for the next few billion years displaying the immortal term “don’t panic” from the hitch-hikers guide to the universe.

At the moment we are boon-docking for a few days in the Scaddan Wash at Dome Rock Road in Quartzsite, AZ before we will move for a few weeks to Tucson, AZ. It is good to be moving again.

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Stay tuned.