Thursday, May 3, 2018

Indio & 911 in 29 Palms


It was tempting to be sad about having only five days in Borrego Springs, but considering all the rallies and planned travels, we were lucky to get there at all. So, having crammed as much as we possibly could into a short period of time, we were off to the Elks Lodge in Indio.

Like Borrego Springs, we have made several stops here and it's one of our faves. There are fruit trees all over the property and though we were a bit late in the season, we managed to get a few grapefruit and lemons.

IMG_4306  Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail
Indio Elks Lodge is surrounded by palm trees.

Steven picks a few of the abundant lemons at the Elks Lodge in Indio.

Indio is always our stopover for provisioning, it seems we're usually heading off into either a remote location or an expensive one. Not that Indio is cheap, but it has all our favorites - Costco, Trader Joe's, etc. Also, it's a great place to meet up with friends who are passing through, as was the case with Clarke and Elaine Hockwald. They had spent the last few months working in Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon and were finally making their way back to their family in SoCal. Indio turned out to be the perfect stopover, which made us very happy! We had not seen them since the last time we were in Borrego Springs, which in our book was way too long!

With Clarke, Elaine, Kelly and Bill at the Indio Elks Lodge.

Since there was shopping to be done, the girls headed out to go to the fun places, while the guys went to the boring Harbor Freight and Lowes. I mean really, there's no comparison, right? Kelly, Elaine and I found the most wonderful Thai restaurant for lunch and the guys had Mexican. In the end, we all had a great time and that's all that counts!

When we stayed at the Indio Lodge in 2015, Steven and I headed out looking for a good hamburger. He pulled up Yelp on his phone and said there was a place in Desert Palm called Billy Qs that had burgers, so off we went. Only when we got there, no one was eating burgers. They were eating pizza. We followed suit, and went back again the next day. Then a few months later, we went again, this time with Clarke and Elaine. I simply couldn't wait to go there again! So off we went, again with Clarke, Elaine, Bill and Kelly! I think they all agreed that Billy Q's has some mighty fine pizza. If you're ever in the area, do yourself a favor and go there!

Eating at Billy Q’s. We can’t say enough good things about this place!

Clarke and Elaine are from Southern California and through the years have spent a great deal of time in the Palm Springs area. So while they encouraged the rest of us to take the tram up to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park, they did not want to repeat something they had done many times before. So it was just Bill, Kelly, Steven and me taking the making the trip up the mountain.

Riding the tram to the top to was awesome. It's a big tram that holds about 50 people. Maybe 30, I can't remember. But it was a lot! Kelly and I managed to snag a spot by the window but even then you have to hang on to your stuff, because the darn thing rotates. You can't hold on because it rotates, and if you set your backpack down where it touches the wall, it will rotate right away from you. So while you're enjoying the gorgeous scenery, you're also trying to keep track of your stuff and kind of hang on, even though you have to move your hands every few seconds.

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IMG_4335  IMG_4409
The tram ride up to the top of Mount San Jacinto was so much fun and fantastic views!

It’s so worth the effort! The views from the lodge overlooking Palm Springs all the way to the Coachella Valley were just gorgeous!

The views of Coachella Valley from the top were just amazing!

We decided to do the a hike, just over one mile, with several lookouts in every direction. But first, we had to make our way down the steep ramp onto the trail. Since it had snowed and frozen overnight, the paths were like ice rinks. We held on to the railing for dear life and still kind of skated our way down. Having made it safely, we decided lunch was in order before carrying on any further. We found a picnic table and enjoyed our spread, then hit the trail.

Fueling up for the upcoming trail hike.

There are five main overlooks along this trail and it is not well marked at all. You just kind of follow what looks like a trail, and if that disappears you look for humans and follow them. The first view was really spectacular, but as we sat there, the fog rolled in and it was the last view we saw. That didn't stop us from making the hike to every single lookout, we did, but we just didn't see anything. Still, it was a great hike!


Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail  Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail

Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail  Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail

Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail

Borrego Springs - Rockhouse Trail
Occasional views emerged out of the fog but the hike was great and we enjoyed frolicking in the snow!

That evening the Elks Lodge was having dinner and dancing, the latter of which appealed to Kelly. The rest of us just wanted to sit in the bar and visit, which we did. And bless her heart, Kelly just chair-danced because no one would go out on the dance floor with her. Jeez, that girl loves to dance!

The next morning Clarke and Elaine dropped by to say goodbye. It was so nice to meet up with them again after so long. They are workcamping in Maine this summer and we wish them safe travels and a happy summer.

A couple of hours later, we pulled out followed by Bill in Copper pulling Queenie and Kelly in her Honda. We had a whopping 65 mile trip to make to the Elks Lodge in Twentynine Palms. Our purpose there was to visit with Bill and Kelly's Goddaughter who lives there with her husband and two adorable little girls. 

Since we had planned to stay two nights at the Elks Lodge, we decided that Steven and I would stay home and relax and give Kelly & Bill a night to visit alone. We'd go the next day for dinner. They decided to leave the front door of their rig open so Callie Kitty could have some fresh air. My only job was to peek out my blinds every now and again and make sure all was going well. Bill wanted to leave us a key just in case we decided to go somewhere, but we assured him we were not leaving. "I'll just leave it here anyway," he said. And thank goodness he did!

Soon after they left, Steven decided to take a nap, and I had settled in on the sofa with my computer. The air conditioner was blowing and I was looking forward to a little down time. But I was having a hard time getting comfortable and as time went on, I realized I was in pain. You know, it takes a while to figure out what's going on. I thought maybe I had strained a muscle on our hike. But nothing I did would alleviate the pain I was feeling on my right side and it seemed to be getting worse.

So I did what any of you would do, I summoned Dr. Google. I typed in, "pain on right side". Dr. Google replied, "Appendix." Yep, that had to be it. As I was reading the symptoms and what to expect, it said that the pain would worsen quickly and that very soon I would throw up. Great. I googled the nearest hospital thinking Steven could drive me there and went and woke him up. Then I threw up violently, like, I had no idea my body could expel anything with such force. I knew then the only way I was going to get to the hospital was by ambulance. So, Steven made a call to 911.

The EMS came right away, but because of a shortage of available ambulances, it took a while for one to come get me. Once it arrived, I insisted on walking to it and getting in by myself. Yes, I was in pain, but not so much that I didn't see the ridiculousness of them trying to get me onto a gurney and out the door of Scoopy. I wasn't crippled.

IMG_9097  IMG_9100
EMS guys be like “Let’s get a gurney” and Linda be all, like, “Hold my beer.” Steven followed behind.

I was in the ER a total of four hours, and in that time I had a abdomen scan that showed it was not my appendix, but rather a 4mm kidney stone. Ugh. In the two years before we went fulltime, I was a surgery scheduler for a female-only urology practice. I've talked to many, many women suffering with stones. In the office, we all used to talk about how much we hoped we never got a kidney stone. But I guess it was my turn.

Hooked up for four hours at the hospital.

They sent me home with a strainer and a script for some pain pills. I used the former for several weeks and finally got bored of it. I still have the pills, just in case. I don't know if that stone is still rattling around inside me, or if it somehow passed unnoticed, but I've had no issues since our stay in Twentynine Palms.

NEXT UP:  RV-Dreams Reunion Rally


  1. Glad you are feeling better....we did the tram and hime...loved it also!

  2. Oh man , them stones hurt like double hell . I feel for you . I had one and they went in and blew the darn thing up . So take care ( you do know your the only way I get to travel )HA HA . Good health to you both. Vern in Boise

    1. Yeah, it does hurt. It didn't stop us from traveling, though, because I knew you were ready to visit new places. :) Good to hear from you. I actually said to Steven when he posted his Big Bend NP photo post "I think Vern will love this one." See? I'm thinking about you!

  3. Love the pics of you in the foggy trees. Someday I really have to brave that tram ride! The views are wonderful. Sure glad your painful incident was short-lived.

    1. The tram was not as scary as I thought it would be, and it was well worth it. It's just beautiful at the top. Do it! :)

  4. In the last photo, you appear to be showing how many doses of morphine you want. :) I remember requesting multiple doses with my last one. Darned things hurt like all get out!

    1. That morphine is the nectar of the freakin' gods. I wanted one more hit before they discharged me, but I didn't get it. :(

  5. Pizza at a hamburger joint sounds about right. Glad you are better. Put some of that lemon in your water.

    1. As it turns out, it was more like a hamburger at a pizza joint. I am so glad we gave up on the burger, but the pizza was awesome! I am still trying to keep up with my water intake just in case!

  6. Glad to hear you are better, sounds like a scary incident. Love the tram!

    1. Why do these things always happen when we're in dinky little towns? That was about as scary as having a medical emergency in the first place! But it all worked out in the end, as it tends to do most of the time!

  7. Oh no!!!! You scared me. :-( So glad to hear that all is well and that it was only a kidney stone (yeah, ONLY, right?). I've heard there's not much worse than the pain of a kidney stone. Take good care of yourself.
    P.S. Your misty hike looked magical! I wasn't brave enough to ride that tram when we were in Palm Springs a couple of years ago.

    1. Definitely ride the tram. The beautiful scenery will keep you mind off the scary parts. And even though we didn't get to see all the viewpoints, the hike was still amazing!

  8. Oh crap, yup, had a stone while camped in Q. Not a good place to be for that one LOL!! Glad you are doing better. And glad you got to do the tram, we have that still on our list.

    1. haha, I was thinking 29 Palms was a bad place to have a medical emergency, but Q might beat it. I'm sure they have medical facilities there, but I don't recall seeing them!