Tuesday, February 18, 2014

City of Angels

Ponoma, CA – We’ve had a relaxing day today, covering the 100-odd miles between the Palm Springs area and our KOA campground in this suburb of Los Angeles before lunch.  We took the afternoon off to read, nap, and give Val a haircut with my handy-dandy haircutting kit!

It was already heating up when we pulled in our slides and prepared to leave Cathedral City this morning.  Val took a break from his outside duties to have a chat with our new neighbour, who pulled in last night. It turns out that our neighbour’s father-in-law had been a member of the RCMP and Val had worked with him.  Small world.

We headed north from our RV park to the Interstate 10 and found it was not completely grid-locked as it had been yesterday afternoon, to our relief!  We turned westward and soon drove past the huge wind turbine farm once again, where hundreds of the enormous blades were churning away in the wind.  There was also a great expanse of solar panels absorbing energy from the blue skies above.

Very little of our journey today was through territory one could call rural.  It did thin out a little after we left the Coachella Valley, but before long we were passing one small community after another – Banning, Beaumont, Yucalpa, Redlands, Loma Linda, Colton and Ontario. The terrain was mountainous to begin with, then simply hilly, and we could see the colour of the soil take on a reddish hue (hence the town name of Redlands, we presumed).

From a height of land as we approached the truly metropolitan area, we could see buildings on every contour ahead of us, except for the lowest section, which was shrouded in a brown cloud of smog.  It looked so thick we thought it might be smoke from the California wildfires we have heard about, but when we inquired at the RV park office, the host said no – there were no fires in the area “yet”. 

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US after New York, with about 3 million in the city proper and 16 million in the greater metropolitan area.  It is a leader in so many areas, including entertainment, fashion, industry, and medicine.  We will be learning more in the days ahead!

We have a nice spot in the park, which is attractively shaded with live oaks next to each site, and the temperature is quite a bit cooler than we’ve had the last couple of days. With the spare time we had, we researched places to see and what tours are available to make the best of our time here.  It is so good to have lots of resources, including notes and tips from friends who’ve been here, brochures from the park office and websites galore through our Wi-Fi connection.

Having some down time to rest and do some reading is also good, after our busy time in the Palm Springs area.

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