January 28-31, 2019
Never ones to turn down the opportunity to get out the door for an RV trip, we jumped at the chance to join our long-time travel buddies, Dick and Karen. This time we were set to explore some sites practically in our own backyard.
Our destination for the first three nights was Valley Center. Located in San Diego County, it is about a two-hour drive south of our cabin and twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean.
This is avocado heaven, and the surrounding hills are loaded with trees. San Diego County produces one-third of all avocados grown in California, and California produces 95 percent of all avocados grown in the United States. Growers took quite a hit by the recent water shortages in California, but hopefully with our reservoirs now replenished, they can thrive once again.
This is also citrus country. Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit were abundant and the ground was littered with what had fallen off the trees. I hated seeing them going to waste. Wishing a food bank could gather them and provide to those in need.
I’ve got to be honest, the reviews are less than stellar for this place, and there are some valid reasons. The bulk of the RV Park is occupied by year-round inhabitants, and there is a waiting list for full-time slots due to the recent fires.
But if you can look past some of the run down conditions, ongoing construction projects, and eccentric personnel & residents, you will discover a lot to enjoy. And that is just what we did…
The highlight was the duck pond that we were able to park right along side. With a little juggling we extended the canopies and created our “compound”.
Sitting along the bank, we enticed the ducks to come close for a snack. We even stopped at a feed store to pick up special duck treats that included mealy bugs.
Nighttime was quiet except for the occasional coyote howling. Two large egrets nested in a bald tree at the end of the pond.
There are several hiking options that we took advantage of. The Lilac Trail covers about one mile. The scenery included passing a couple more ponds, scrub oak, Chaparral, a small creek, tent camping areas, amphitheater, picnic areas, and large granite boulders.
I read that in the springtime the hills are covered with wild lilac (hence the campground name).
The guys fixed us a hearty breakfast one morning that included bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Karen prepared the bulk of the evening meals that included BBQ chicken one night and steak another. We do eat well when we travel.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we could look beyond what others have found fault with. Sitting by the duck pond, soaking up the sunshine and nature was so relaxing. Enjoying a glass of wine over hors d’oeuvres, playing cards well into the evening and laughing until we cried created more wonderful memories. And of course, sharing the experience with dear friends made it all the richer.
COMING NEXT: A special Travelzoo offer Karen found for a winery and lunch in Temecula.