After a fantastic hike among the rocks at the back of Sawtooth campground on Wednesday the 6th (the pictures in the previous post), it rains for the rest of my stay.
Not all day, never very hard, but the sky remains overcast and and the air is chill. Because of the lack of sunlight I ration my power use and don’t spend much time on the computer. Unable to get out and explore, it’s not an exciting time to blog about, but the plants sure are happy! I’ll be happy for them, this is good news for the drought.
Saturday, April 9
I depart the Lucerne Valley area bright and early (okay, still cloudy so not exactly “bright”) and set a course for Acton, CA. First I drive north on 247 to Barstow, then get on interstate 15 which swerves southwest through Victorville. Just past Victorville, I exit onto 18 going west which merges with 138 through the small towns of Llano, Pearblossom, and Littlerock. Instead of continuing into Palmdale, I merge onto 14 heading south. This may sound complicated, but it really isn’t a tough drive.
For a while the sun pokes through the clouds, but there are storms brewing the mountains which is where I’m headed. The clouds cover the horizon like a blanket and it’s a race against the clock, will I make it to my destination before the sky opens up?
I’m on 14 for only a few miles before exiting on Soledad Canyon Road, which follows the Santa Clara River right along the edge of Angeles National Forest. The road twists and turns through a narrow valley filled with cottonwood and other trees. Glimpses through the canopy reveal mountains all around, but it’s impossible to get a picture while I’m trying to watch for my stop.
Finally I spot it on the right, the Acton KOA. I’d made reservations just case it ended being busy on the weekend, but it wouldn’t have been necessary this time because of the weather. The first drops of rain hit the windshield as I get Cas backed into site #2. I get sprinkled on while unhitching but it waits until I’m all hooked up to start in earnest. Phew! It rains the rest of the day, and I stay inside.
Sunday, April 10
I rise with the sun before my alarm goes off at 7, this is unusual. Maybe it’s the fact that the sun is actually out. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I get some pictures.
For $45 a night, I have to say I was expecting more from the KOA. The grounds are tired looking. The paint on the playground is fading, the RV sites are dirt and not real level, and the shower house is old. It’s the location that drives the price up I’m sure, it’s hard to find RV parking closer to LA than this, and I imagine this is a popular weekend destination for the city folks.
It’s not all bad though. I have virtually no Verizon signal here due to the mountains, but the park WiFi is actually quite good and while old, everything is clean. There are a lot of cottonwoods for shade and the area is very pretty.
Speaking of location, the KOA lies right along the Pacific Crest Trail, which I’ll admit was a big incentive for choosing this park over others in the area. Someday I’m going to go backpacking on a trail like this, but not today. Still, it’s fun to be able to say I’ve been on it. I hike a short ways south up into the national forest. Just high enough to get a pretty amazing view of the valley.
The clouds have moved back in, and the air smells of rain. The PCT winds it’s way up through brush, the terrain becoming more arid higher up. The urge to climb to the top and see what’s there is strong, but I have other things to do today. It’ll have to wait.
By noon I’m driving down towards LA to meet three ladies that I don’t really know. Originally the plan was to meet at the KOA, but a phone call changes that. It’s just as well, as the forecast is calling for storms and getting three people and two dogs into the Casita would be a real clown car moment. Instead, we convene at one of their houses then take a walk through Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park. I have a good time and am there for well over three hours. On the way back home the promised rain comes. For those keeping track this makes four days in a row.
Tuesday April 12
After five days of rain, the sun finally comes out today and in the evening my “home” visit is completed! That means I can leave tomorrow for more remote (and cheaper) locales.
Okay, I’m ready to spill the beans about what I’ve been up to and why I came down towards LA. Are you ready?
Well, a couple weeks ago when I was still at Joshua Tree I submitted an adoption application with a dog rescue. It’s been very hard to keep it to myself but I wanted to make sure I cleared the first few hurdles before sharing.
Adopting from a rescue is often much more involved than adopting from a shelter, it certainly was in this case. I’m going to do a how-to post on the whole adoption process at some point and what RVers should take into consideration when thinking of adopting a dog (despite springing this out of the blue, I truly have given it a lot of thought and have been watching this rescue since 2012 when I first hit the road) but this one is more travelogue style to get you caught up to date.
In short, after I submitted my application on March 25th, my references needed to be checked which took a while. The day after I arrived at Sawtooth on the 1st I got a call from the head of the California/Nevada chapter of the rescue since that’s where I happened to be. Over that weekend we conversed back and forth to arrange a meetup for my home visit. A volunteer with the rescue needs to meet with potential adopters before they’re approved to make sure they’re good people and ensure their home would be a safe and positive environment for a dog.
The chapter head happened to live in the LA area, so my home being mobile and all, I decided to come down here to speed up the process rather than trying to arrange for her to meet me elsewhere. Originally she was going to come out on Sunday the 10th to do the home visit which is why I arrived on the 9th, but she got a call about two dogs that needed rescuing in Bakersfield, so she couldn’t make the drive out since it was the opposite direction from the way she needed to go. Instead I drove down there, and I got to meet her and her dogs, and her two friends who are each fostering one dog that is up for adoption.
Since I know people are going to ask, I did not put my application in for a specific dog so I have no photos or anything to share yet. I figured I’d worry about getting approved first, and then see who was available and where. The two fostered dogs I met at the park were adorable, but neither was “the one”. I wouldn’t have known for sure without seeing them in person so I’m glad I got the chance.
Anyway, the chapter head came this evening, looked through the Casita (and can’t wait until the day she gets to retire and go RVing herself), and gave me the thumbs up. I’m still not approved yet however. Now she has to submit the paperwork to the board (this rescue is a 501c3 Nonprofit, rather like the Yellowstone Association actually) and they have to approve me. If they approve, I finally get the green light.
Hopefully, I’ll be hearing back on this final step within the next week. In the meantime, I’m still stuck in a sort of limbo. There is another dog not terribly far from here than I’m interested in seeing, so immediate travel plans might take me up that way, but I’m not going to rush there until I hear back from the board. Wish me luck!
* * *