All Spread OutMy routine most mornings here has been to go for a walk and listen to a podcast to get the blood flowing in my body and brain. It’s my morning commute. Today got away from me though, it was a busy day in my office, so my walk was at 5 p.m., just after the sun went down.


Since it’s my last evening here, I decided to walk sans ear buds and soak up the surroundings a final time. It’s a decidedly different place in the evening than first thing in the morning.


The smells – someone’s working on a stir fry, pork chops over there, is that pancakes? and oh that is certainly steak. I listened to the familiar chi-CA-go of the quail, crickets and nighttime critters chimed as I felt pockets of cool and warm air roaming up and down the hills of the resort.


Nestled in the hills of Aguanga, CA about 30 miles from the coast and 17 miles from Temecula, we spent the past couple weeks at the Escapee park, Jojoba Hills, a lovely 55+ community. By we, I mainly mean me and the Bighaus. Jim worked a long week on the east coast and west coast>east coast>west coast travel made for a very short weekend in between. Lots of amenities combined with a busy work Inbox made the time go by very quickly though.


Some of our stops, like this one, are more about the logistics of needing to be somewhere between the spots that are a deliberate destination. This is a layover of sorts, between where we were and where we’re headed.


One of the questions people often ask us is, “How do you get your mail?” On a longer stop like this we can have any physical mail we need forwarded General Delivery to the local post office. That was an interesting visit, as I waited in line in the small one-room space where everybody knew everybody and I was clearly an outsider. “Have you been on the mountain long?” asked one friendly Aguangan. “Mountain,” I thought to myself remembering the GPS said we’re at about 2,000 foot elevation. Mountain living, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder I guess.


California Pepper Trees



Residents are very active here, from the library, card room, fitness center, billiards, lap pool, mini golf, pickle ball, the list goes on. It’s all volunteer driven and the place is immaculate – even a couple of guys cleaning the pool early one morning when the low the night before was 31 degrees.


One of my favorite things here is the California Pepper tree, a tree that looks like it’s related to a willow tree with long flowing branches that sway in the breeze. Hummingbirds and a number of other colorful song birds seem to love it too!


The range of temperatures was amazing for our short visit here – as high as 92, too hot to go for a bike ride to low of 31 degrees, I put a beanie hat on in the RV. Thank goodness I don’t have to use my webcam for work! We were dry camping in the boondocking designated lot and with each breath from the winter storm Brutus I watch the lot fill up a little more with passersby.


For a great write-up about the park along with photos of the hills, flowers, sunsets, amenities and more read the post Becoming Jojobian by Don and Sara Schultz.

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