Winery tour from Colorado through Idaho

Wineries and Farms

When we were at the RV Show in Quartzsite Linda, John and I had met with Don and Kim of Harvest Hosts and told them we were making a trip to Canada.  They had suggested we stop at some wineries along the way and had mentioned several that we might enjoy.  Linda did the planning including contacting them along the way to make sure they knew we were coming.

Our first stop was at St. Kathryn’s Winery in Palisade, CO which I mentioned in the last post.  Now we were headed into Utah where we spent the night at a farm in a little farm community south of Salt Lake City called Santaquin, UT.  On the way we saw some fabulous Utah scenery.

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We stayed at South Ridge Farms.  They had a fabulous store that included all kinds of preserves, great apples and cherries, apple cider and even ice cream sodas.  After we ate dinner in our rigs we went in and had an Ice cream soda.  Yum!

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Stopped at the Elks Club

The next day we had to drive through the Salt Lake City area.  Lots and lots of cars.  But we made it through all the traffic without a snag.

We stopped at the Elks Club in Roy, UT. We did some shopping at the Walmart in the area.  Sorry but I forgot to take any pics of our spots. That ended our trip through Utah.

Off to Idaho

Our first stop in Idaho was Snyder’s Winery located in Buhl, ID.  They weren’t open for wine tasting, but they did let us spend the night there.  Again I forgot my camera, so no pics.

Then it was a short 57 miles to our next winery and overnight stop.  This one was in Hammett, ID at the Cold Springs Winery.

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Our favorite winery

Bill was the owner of Cold Springs Winery and he introduced himself and showed us where we could park.  After we got all set up we went over to the tasting room, which he had opened up just for us.  Bill was a very friendly guy and told us all about the history of the winery as well as the local area.

We really had a great time there.  There was a big lawn where the dogs could check out all the wonderful grass smells and romp off leash and they loved it.  Here is Sadie enjoying all the smells.

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Here are a couple of pics of Chica racing around on the lawn.

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We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

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Another whopping 83 miles to the next winery

We only had a short distance to travel to the Woodriver Winery in Eagle, ID.  We had to travel through Boise, ID and the traffic was horrible.  We couldn’t believe it even though it was Saturday.  It was very nice here but a bit more commercial then some of the smaller wineries we have enjoyed.

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Heading for Baker City, OR

Today we are heading for Baker City, OR to meet up with the Northwest Lazy Daze GTG.  This is where we will also meet all the folks going to Canada.  I am really looking forward to this rally and see friends I haven’t seen in quite a while.  Fortunately we don’t have to travel very far.

Our travels to the wineries

I really enjoyed all my travels to the many different wineries and farms while heading to Baker City.  We did a lot of wine tasting and met a lot of really nice people.  It also helped to restock my wine supply with some very good wines.  We were really treated well by each winery/farm and I would highly recommend this to others in making their travel plans.

I would also like to thank Linda for making all the plans and calling ahead to verify that we were coming.  It was well planned and we had a great time.  Now for the rally and then into Canada.

Beginning our journey north

Meeting friends at Salida, CO

My next stop was Salida, CO where I will meet up with John and Linda and caravan up to Baker City, OR for a rally there and then begin our Canada adventure.  I had a bit of trouble finding the place John had designated to camp and eventually meet, but a couple of calls to John straightened me out.  It is the Arkansas River Recreation Area and runs all along the Arkansas River.  Here is my no hook-up site.

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I was watching out across the river and spotted this car driving near the railroad tracks.  I thought it a bit odd since it’s trunk was open and it had a Dominoes pizza delivery sign on top of it.  There was a guy walking along the tracks guiding the way and several people in the trunk dangling their legs out the back just enjoying the ride. Maybe he was delivering pizza to the railroad. HA!

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Here is a pic of the sunset that night.

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John and Linda meet up

The next day John and Linda came down and they treated me to a great pizza at Amico’s in town.  That pizza is soooo delicious.

Then we took off and our destination was a winery at Palisade, CO.  We had to go over the Monarch Pass.  It was 7 miles going up and 9 miles going down.  Very slow going both ways.  I took this pic at the summit which was 11,300 feet.

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It was pretty smooth sailing once we got over the pass.  We stopped at the American Legion Memorial Park in Gunnison, CO for lunch and to let the dogs run.  It was a beautiful day.

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Final stop

Our last stop of the day was at the St. Kathryn’s Winery in Palisade, CO just outside of Grand Junction.  It was a beautiful winery and after the long day some wine tasting was in order.  They had some really great wines.

Then we pulled up our chairs and had wine and cheese.  Thanks Harvest Host for finding us this great spot to spend the night.

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Long day…

It was a long day but it was good.  Tuesday we will have even a longer day driving, but then it will be some short days after that.  Our goal will be to reach another winery outside of Santaquin, UT.

South of Taos and no cell phone/Internet

Free night at a winery…

I spent Sunday night camped at the Anasazi Fields Winery just north of Albuquerque.  It is in the little sleepy town of Placitas, NM.  The road into the winery is very narrow, but I made it.

Anasazi Winery is a member of the Harvest Hosts network of wineries, orchards, and farms throughout the country where you can stay free overnight.  They usually have a designated area for us RVer’s with no hookups but Anasazi offered to let me hookup up to electricity which I declined since I have solar panels.  All the places that I have stayed at have been extremely friendly.  They don’t require that you purchase anything from them, but I usually buy a bottle of wine to stock my wine cabinet.

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Then I was greeted by Terry and told where I can park.  They had an overflow area that worked out good.  After getting settled in I went to the tasting room where there were others also wine tasting.

The Anasazi Winery does not use grapes in the making of their wine.  Instead they use fruits.  Normally I do not care for fruit wines, as they are very sweet.  However Terry explained that to his knowledge, the Anasazi Fields Winery is the only winery that makes their fruit wines dry.  I liked several of them.  The wine tasting was free and Terry explained each and every wine in detail.

Heading north…

My goal the next morning was to reach the Orilla Verde Recreation Area just 17 miles south of Taos, NM.  Jim and Gayle of had told me about it while I was Rockhound State Park.  They mentioned that there were a lot of hiking trails and beautiful scenery.

I stopped at the Pilar Campground and was greeted by the host Pat.  He was a real friendly guy and told me a lot about the area.  I found a nice electric/water site and signed up for three days.  The electric/water sites were only $7.50 (half price) with my Geezer card.

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The campground is located in a big canyon next to the Rio Grande River.  The river is much larger then in the southern portion of the state because of all the snow runoff up here.

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I had planned on doing some hiking while in this area, but the day after I arrived I came down with a very sore throat.  I rarely feel ill and this had me stumped.  My nose was constantly running and my throat felt horrible.  I was not in any mood to get out on a trail.  I will return to this area though as it is really nice.

One other thing that put a damper on my time here was the lack of cell phone and Internet services.  I could not even get anything with my booster.  What was weird was that my phone could send and receive messages intermittently.  For example I would get an email, but it could not download the content only the subject line.  I guess if I really had to get any type of important email I could tell the sender to write it all on the subject line.  HA!  Even that was very sporadic.

Here is a pic of the sunrise coming over the plateau.

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Off to Taos

I am hoping I can find a reasonable campground closer to Taos so I can check out the town.  By the way, I have finally gotten over the sore throat although there was one night I could not sleep due to it.

Potty training Chica…

There are times when little Chica makes a mistake inside the rig.  I have tried everything including changing her feeding time.  I take her outside several times during the day for walks, which she really enjoys.  Sometimes she does her duties while walking and sometimes not.  I always take her out late before I go to bed hoping that will take care of it.  NOPE!!

I know this sounds gross but I sometimes wake up in the morning and she has had an accident.  She sleeps on the couch on her bed under a cover.  Then she will have an accident on the blanket at the other end of the couch.  I scold her but it does not make any difference.  It is really hard not to scold her very much as she has those sympathetic eyes.

Last night I left a small light on and she went potty on the mat I have put out for her in front of the toilet.  She is smart enough to know that is where she should go potty.  I think the problem is that she cannot see in the dark to get back on the couch.  She has to use the first rung of the ladder to jump onto the couch.  She is too small to jump up on the furniture, which is good.  But without using that first rung she can’t get back into her bed.  I don’t think she can see the step in the middle of the night so she just goes where it is convenient so she can go back to bed.  Leaving the light on allowed her to see therefore she was able to get down and go on the pad.

I am going to try leaving her bed on the floor and see if that works.  I don’t like to sleep with any lights on, but if it helps her I guess that is what I will have to get used to doing.  I am wondering if Chihuahuas have a large enough bladder to go the entire night without having to pee.  Does anyone else with a toy Chihuahua have a similar problem?

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Love Trader Joe’s and the Apple Store

Off to the Apple Store…

I entered the Apple Store on my Garmin and it said it was about 16 miles from the Enchanted Trails RV Park.  I had scheduled my appointment online for 2:00pm.  I got to the store at  1:00pm so I went to the Genius Bar hoping they could take me sooner.  No such luck.  They are very busy and told me to come back closer to the time I had scheduled.

The Apple Store is located in a very high class shopping area know as Uptown.  Lots of very expensive stores.  I did find a Starbuck’s and stopped in there for a coffee and “Very Berry” coffee cake.  Then I just walked around until my appointment.

The Apple Store is really a very friendly environment.  I walked to the back where they checked me in and then they found a seat where I could sit until they could wait on me.  They had all my information regarding my speaker problem with the phone. Within a few minutes I was showing another guy my phone and he was writing all the information into an IPad.  Stuff like what I had done to see if the speaker would work, etc.

He took my phone and said they would check it out in the back and replace the speaker if needed.  He mentioned it could take about 25 minutes.  Within 10 minutes he was back with my phone and demonstrated that the speaker now worked.   GREAT!!  I can now hear when someone is calling me.  That is what a phone is for, isn’t it?

They were very professional and when I asked if there was any charge he said absolutely nothing.

Trader Joe’s in the same shopping center….

I walked out to my car and happened to notice a Trader Joe’s on the other side of the parking lot.  I haven’t shopped at a Trader Joe’s for a long time and had to go.

I usually buy my groceries from a list that I create on my IPhone.  Whenever I think of something I immediately write it down.  I usually don’t buy anything else unless it is on the list.  It usually keeps me from overspending.

However I only had a couple items on my list when I entered Trader Joe’s, but went ahead and shopped the entire store and bought my items that weren’t on my list.  I love eating seafood and if you check out the seafood in Walmart it is rather bleak.  Most times I usually buy any seafood from a good grocery store instead.

However, I did see some great seafood items at Trader Joe’s that I just had to have.  That and a packet of sushi that I used to enjoy many years ago.  I had the sushi for dinner that night.  YUM!  YUM!

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I also bought my favorite Italian Roast coffee.  I used to drink this coffee for many years before fulltiming.

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Very windy…

The rest of the day was very uneventful.  I was glad to get home after shopping as the wind was blowing very hard. New Mexico winds can get rather gusty at times.

Billy as in Billy Goat…

When Jim and I went 4 wheeling in Rockhound State Park he suggested a name for my Suzuki Samurai.  He said it was just like a Billy goat since it could go just about anywhere.  So Billy it is!

My Lazy Daze “The Breeze” as in the song by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Billy.  That sounds cool.  They make a great pair.

Will leave here on Saturday…

Saturday we will be heading north.  I didn’t want to travel on Friday because Amazon will be calling for my interview.  I missed the last time they called because my IPhone speaker wasn’t working and didn’t even here the call.  So they rescheduled it and I really need to get it right today.

I am leaving in the morning and found a Harvest Host winery that I can stay at for the night just north of Albuquerque.  Harvest Host offers many great places to stay like wineries, farms, and orchards and it doesn’t cost anything.  These places are located in every state even Canada and Mexico.  They don’t have hookups but with solar panels who cares anyway.  Besides I need to try a different wine for a change.

 

Come one come all!

Come on down…

I get a lot of people who are either headed this way or already here and wondering where our group is located.  I copied these directions

Quartzsite 2013 Directions

 The Camping area we will be using is called La Posa West Long Term (LTVA). The entrance is just South of the I10 overpass on Highway 95. BTW, Highway 95 runs North and South. There is another Highway 95 that runs East and West in town and actually crosses the “main” 95 but I am told that this is the business extension/loop of the N&S Highway 95. This can be confusing.

The off ramp from I10 for Quartzsite is just West of the “center” of town at the Pilot and Loves Truckstops. (Exit #17) Get off and go North over I10 to Business 95 that runs parallel to I10 on the North side of I10. Go East about a mile on Business 95 to the “main” 95 and turn South (right) over the overpass. You should be able to see the “Big Tent” (might not be up until the middle of January) off to your right. Just past the Big Tent on the right, is the entrance Kiosk for La Posa West is about 1/2/mile. For those of you that have GPS, here are the co-ordinates: N 33* 38.734’   W 114* 13.198’. Be sure you use the same format.  There are at  least 3 different formats on my Garmin.  Once these are recorded, at least mine will guide you right to the campsite as the BLM roads are on the Garmin maps.  It is Road 532 on the left as you go South and we are about 200 yards “back in”. If you come in from the South from the Yuma area, a GPS might try to take you in the “back way”. Just pass this up and come to the entrance kiosk for La Posa West. There was a “back way” in last year but I went looking for it this year and it is blocked off.

The RV Show has begun…

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On the way you can see a big RV balloon flying over the tent.

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We started by walking around the tent before going inside and fighting the mad throngs of people.

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We even spoted this fancy golf cart.  They had all varieties of carts.  REALLY COOL!!!

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Lots of people…

There were a lot of people inside the tent making it hard to move around and get a close up of each vendor.  There didn’t seem to be as many people as last year, but it was still very crowded.

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I checked out a vendor with some car wax and John and I went in together for 2 bottles.  Now you know what I will be doing today.  I tried to see my friends Don and Kim Greene from Harvest Host’s but they were very busy talking with people so I will go back another time.  I also want to drop in at the Amazon booth to say hello to my friends there as well.

Hot dog!!!

We had a hot dog, pulled pork buffet with a ton of other goodies.  YUM!  YUM!

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The end to a fun day…

Our campfire was a great ending to a busy day.

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2nd Year on the Road

On July 12, 2012 I just completed my second year of fulltime RVing.  I can’t believe I have been on the road so long.  So once again, as I did last year, I will summarized this fantastic year with some of the highlights.

Remember you can click on any pic then click again to enlarge.

Working in Texas

To start I was in Texas and decided to work for a month to help defray costs of traveling to Texas to see my family.  What a mistake that was.  It was 106 degrees and higher the entire month I worked.  Oh well I will definitely know better next time to stay away from there during the summer.

Grand Canyon of Texas

After my work duties were over I headed to Palo Dura State Park in northwestern Texas.  It is know as the Grand Canyon of Texas and a very beautiful place.  While there I hiked the Lighthouse Trail and took this pic of myself standing on the plateau in front of the lighthouse.

Taking advantage of my NM state pass

Then it was off to New Mexico where I wanted to take advantage of the last few months of my New Mexico State Pass.  My first stop was Clayton SP.

Then on to Sugarite SP, just south of the NM/CO border.  This next pic shows Lake Dorothy just north of Sugarite SP.

My next stop was Cimmaron SP and the town of Cimmaron.

Fulfilling a boy scout dream

I also visited Philmont Scout Ranch, which had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a Boy Scout.

More of beautiful new mexico

After that it was Eagle Nest SP, Coyote Creek SP (where I saw a bear), Storie Lake SP  and then on to Villanueva SP where I got my semi-annual haircut.  Finally it was off to Hyde Memorial SP.

Then in October I met up with all my good friends at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I stayed and partied for 10 days.  Even had a balloon land on top of my rig.  HA!

After the Balloon Fiesta I drove south to Poncho Villa SP to enjoy a Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.  Of course that also included a trip to Palomas, Mexico where I had to have some dental work done and make sure the margaritas still tasted as good as always.

A visit to the Whitehouse

Next stop on my route was Canyon de Chelly (pronunced d’Shay).  Located on an Indian Reservation it is a beautiful place and a must see for anyone in that area of Arizona.  Of course I had to hike the Whitehouse Trail, which is so beautiful.

Monument Valley

From there it was to Monument Valley, UT.  Talk about a fabulous area, don’t miss out on seeing this.

On my way to Amazon

Then I drove north to Interstate 50.  It is known as the loneliest highway in America.  And believe me it really is.  You could drive for miles and miles and never see a car or truck in either direction.  You would not want to break down on this road.

My destination was Fernley, NV, where I worked for Amazon for 8 weeks.  By the way it was probably the hardest job I have ever had.  Thankfully the 8 weeks went by fairly fast, although it took a couple of months to get healed from the aches and pains I suffered at that job.  OUCH!!!  On top of that it was very cold as well.  Four degrees when I left there.

I then drove to Reno, NV and parked my rig and flew to SO CA to spend a week with my family over the holidays.  It was really great seeing everyone and getting caught up.  I even played some golf.  Actually I tried to play some golf.  HA!  What a joke!

Time to warm up

Then I hit the road to get out of that cold weather up north and drove down to Quartzsite, AZ.  There I met up with a whole bunch of Lazy Dazers (about 20 rigs at different times) and relaxed in the wonderful Arizona sunshine.  Of course I also saw the crazy RV show and even saw a concert by Paul Winer (the Naked Book Seller) although he was fully clothed.  Great show by the way with SRO.

With the help of all my friends I was able to upgrade my rig with new LED lighting, another 12v receptacle and an outdoor motion sensor light.

Next stop – Imperial Dam

In February I left Quartzsite and headed to Imperial Dam just outside of Yuma, AZ  I really enjoyed my stay there with more friends.  Got to do a lot of hiking in the desert.  Plus don’t forget the wild donkeys.  HA!

Heading south of the border senor!

Then it was south of the border to Mexico with the Harvest Host Wine and Whale Watching Tour.  What a fabulous trip that turned out to be.  Visited 5 wineries, with great wine tasting at each.  The wineries were located in the Valley of Gaudelope with very beautiful scenery around.  Also stopped in Ensenada for a day, where we had a great lunch down at the fish market and an opportunity to stock up on lots of great seafood.  Of course we also had to have some cervasa’s (brewskies) at Hussong’s Cantina.

Later visited La Bufadora (the blow hole).  Another very scenic spot.

The wineries were great plus the wine was even greater!  Even got to see a colt that was born that very day.  How exciting!

I am NOT an illegal alien!

After crossing back into the US I drove to Tamarisk LTVA where I stayed for a week and met some really wonderful people.  We hiked ever day in the desert and one day we were surrounded by Border Patrol cars who thought we were illegal aliens.  No comprende  Senor! What a trip that was!

One of my very favorite spots

After spending so much time with so many wonderful people, I needed a break and decided to head for one of my most favorite spots in the Clark Dry Lake bed of the Anza Borrego desert in southern California.  It is 7 miles outside of Borrego Springs.  This place is so peaceful and always gives me a chance to reflect on my future plans.  It was here where I made my resume on workamper.com and emailed it to various people.  Within 10 minutes I had a call for the job I would be working at this summer. More on that later.

Back to the coast

Then it was off to the west coast to Oceanside, where I parked my rig at the Elks Club and took the train up to Orange County to see family.  It was back and forth visiting different members of my family and it was great seeing my Mom.  Love you Mom!

Heading up north

Then it was time to hit the road and head up north.  My first stop was the Trona Pinnacles outside of Ridgecrest, CA.  It is like a trip to another planet.

From there it was off to the Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine, CA.  This has been one place I always dreamed of venturing to even before I had an RV.  An absolute MUST SEE.

From there it was off to Mona Lake, where I stayed for about 5 days and ventured around the area seeing the tufa’s at the edge of the lake and the weird cloud formations.

I also took a side trip to the old ghost town of Bodie, CA.  Much of the town is still intact as it was a hundred years ago.  Really neat and another MUST SEE.

Then I finally made it to Oregon where I stayed at Goose Lake SP, La Pine SP and finally Crooked River Ranch.

My workplace for the summer

I met up with my area managers who I would be working for the summer in Prineville, OR.  I am the camp host at the Ochoco Divide, a NFS campground.  It is on the summit (4,726′ elevation) of Hwy 26.  This campground is nestled among giant (200′) Ponderosa Pines among other pine trees as well.  I have now been here 2 months and love this job.  I get to meet a lot of interesting people and have lots of areas to hike in.

Well that about wraps up another fabulous year of my fulltime RV lifestyle.  There were some tough times (truck breaking down) and some great times (caravan trip to Mexico) as well as taking time out to see my family, which is very important to me.  I had lots of times spent with great friends and even some time to myself to ponder how lucky I am.

I almost can’t believe it has been two years since I have set out on the road.  I would also like to thank all my wonderful followers who have been with me as I experienced each and every day.  Every day is a new adventure.

Wine and Whales Tour – Final Day

Breakfast at Adobe Guadalupe Inn and Winery

Our last day in Mexico was spent at Adobe Guadalupe Inn and Winery.  The weather was beautiful and an excellent day for driving back through the mountains.  We all went over to the house where we had a fantastic breakfast with Tru Miller.  She was a very gracious hostess.  We had lots of fresh fruit and could have either an omelet or Huevos Rancheros.  I chose Huevos Rancheros and it was delicious.

I have a couple of pics of the long table in the kitchen where we ate.  That is Tru Miller in the pic on the right with the great big smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big surprise for everyone…

She told us all about how she and her husband happened to purchase the grounds and build their beautiful home and stables.  She also had a surprise for all of us.  About an hour before we sat down to breakfast one of her mares gave birth.  How exciting!!  At first she named the new baby girl Sophia, but she had to change the name to Maxmillian II since it turned out to be a male.  She then offered to let us all go out where the baby was  to catch a peek.  How cool is that.

We went out back and all the mares were motherly guarding the baby.

Mares were soooo friendly…

Here I am with two mares that were so friendly.  They trotted right over to say hi to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The newborn…

Here is the newborn standing up.  He was so beautiful!

Ready to head back to the USA

We then returned to our rigs and prepared them for the trip back across the border at Tecate and our return to the USA.  Don and Kim went over those items that we could not bring back into the US.  It was about 50 miles back to Tecate.  Then you have to go up a long hill to the border crossing.  Naturally there were many vendors along the way.

I finally made it to the top and went thru a check point where I showed them my passport and they took down my license plate number.  Then I had to proceed to the secondary check point area.  A customs inspector came out to my rig , asked me what I was carrying aboard.  I had to declare the wine I had purchased, but since I have Texas plates I was allowed to bring more then one bottle.

It took me about 2 1/2 hours to go thru customs.  The only thing they took out of my rig was 3 eggs.  Finally I was on the road.

Where am I going next

I was planning on heading up to Anza Borreggo but it was too late in the day.  Instead I checked the nearby campgrounds on my GPS and found two that I could stay at and both were LTVA’s (Long Term Visitor Area).  Since I had bought the annual pass in Quartzsite for the La Posa LTVA I could stay at either the Hot Springs LTVA or the Tamarisk LTVA.  The were very close to each other and a short distance from Holtville, CA.  I headed to the Hot Springs LTVA but the bridge was washed out so went to the Tamarisk LTVA instead.  There were only 5 other rigs including the host so it was fine with me.

Wine and Whales Tour Evaluation

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wishing to experience some of the beauty of Northern Baja.  Many of the people I talked to prior to signing up said not to go because Mexico was too dangerous.  Even our State Department discourages travel into Mexico.  I did not experience anything that could be remotely described as dangerous.  We visited some beautiful wineries and experienced the beauty of the Mexican countryside.  The people we came in contact with were extremely gracious and always made us feel at home.  Don and Kim are world travelers and have spent a great deal of time in Mexico.  The planning of the trip was impeccable.  Everything was taken care of for us including many of the parking spots to visit Ensenada and La Bufadora.

The meals included in the trip were to die for.  Plus the people that I met on the trip were so much fun.  This trip opened up my eyes to the real Mexico and the real Mexican people.  You can read more about it on the Harvest Host website which you can reach here.

Harvest Hosts Link