Posts Tagged With: Oasis

The Big Aha!!!!

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Sadly Mary is struggling with health issues. To see the latest about her situation, click here
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I’m currently in my 24th year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click here

The Big Aha!!!!…



Yesterday I drove the motorhome 56.9 miles from Palm Desert, California to my mysterious destination… an oasis in the desert,  that I’ve hinted about in recent postings. For a short time longer, I’m going to remain unrevealing as to exactly where the motorhome is parked.


I’m doing so because I’ve had a lot of fun giving the mysterious location clues and I want to continue having more fun for a little while longer. Actually I have a couple of followers who are going slightly crazy themselves, being unable to identify the location from the provided clues. So more clues will follow until I either run out of clues or they figure out the location. 🙂



So far, the clues have revealed these facts about this mysterious destination…

  • 1) It gets really hot here in the summertime.
  • 2) It’s in California
  • 3) It’s a place of beautiful sunrises and sunsets
  • 4) It’s an oasis… an island in the desert…
  • 5) It’s in Riverside County
  • 6) the elevation is 722 feet according to Google earth
  • 7) the population was 204 in 2010 according to Wikipedia
  • 8) It’s 62.9 miles to the nearest Costco




And here’s another clue #9… It’s 52.3 miles to the nearest Walmart.



And here’s a bonus clue #10… Remember I’m an Ex-Engineer, which means read the clues carefully!  🙂




Now, all that remains to be disclosed is the mysterious destination location and the WHY I came here.


I’m wondering if any of you have figured out that the WHY, is a WOMAN!


So, that is the BIG AHA!


It’s truly hard even for me to believe, that for the first time in 36 years, I’m going to be living full-time with a WOMAN!


The other really big news is because I’m starting a new life with this woman, that after 3,713 postings in 3,686 days, this will be the LAST BLOG using the otrwjam wordpress address.


That means as of tomorrow morning if you desire to continue following our new life adventures, you will need to go to your URL address box after 7 AM (PDT) and enter the new blog site address of… or come back and click this link…



By going to that address, the first blog will explain all! I hope you will be joining us as she is a most unique gal and there will be LOTS of adventures and laughter!


In the meantime, here’s my usual parking location photos, which also provide clue #11… there is a lake here. The lake has also been visible in several of the photos shown so far.




As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view…





Entering the oasis…




My parking spot through the front windshield…





the usual dinette window photo…





And a side shot from from the patio…





Also here’s a Google earth image showing my location. The motorhome location is shown as a yellow marker…






The first breakfast… all Keto… yummy…





The first supper… smothered pork chops…all Keto… yummy…




Here’s another big clue of what awaits you…

In the new blog site my new lady and I will use the pseudonyms of…

Brucie Bulldog and Rosie Eliza Looney! Let the fun begin!!!!


See you there or be square! 🙂

PS: don’t forget the new address you must enter in your URL address box after 7 AM is… or come back and click this link…



See you tomorrow on the new site! Oh what to heck… here’s another clue…

osclb are the initials of our new blog site…

Our Slightly Crazy Looney Bin!



PPS: For those who wish to continue following Mary, my former travel companion, you may do so by going to her personal blog site at…

(You will note her last post is dated March 24, 2018. In my recent visit to her home she indicated to me that she hopes to resume publishing in the near future.)


I hope you enjoyed the photo.

Forecast for today is sunny and 84 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…





Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2019

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We’ve left the Urumichi area, which means oasis. It is part of the Gobi desert and we saw oil refineries that the government controls.  We are headed for Guilin, pronounced guay-leen and the roadsides are lush with terraced gardens. In 1998, this area flooded and 1500 people died. The government let the area return to farmland and forest. Makes me think of New Orleans, where the best solution is to let the river have its way, but we don’t have an autocratic government, we have property rights and developers rights and political sensitivity.  The horrifically expensive taxpayer fix will result in  more flooding, reduced wetlands necessary to buffer severe storms, more loss of property and life, and eventually the City of New Orleans will  sink anyway. The Army Corps of Engineers keeps building levees and moving sand from one beach to another ignoring science and heeding the popular political fix.

Clustered housing here is practical and uses less land than individual farms. A collective. It is a method that can stifle innovation and experimentation. But, Vicki says, it is tried and true. After all, people have occupied the area along the Li River since 214 B.C.  Why not high rises? Because no one can build higher than 20 floors so not to obscure the view of the beautiful mountains. Oh, my. A sentiment to admire.

Guilin was destroyed by Japanese bombs, but has been rebuilt. We are aghast when Vicki calls Guilin a small city of only 640,000 people covering 67 kilometers. We stop at a tea factory for a formal tea tasting.  As in days of old, tea is packed into bales, bricks, wheels and multiple sized rounds. We find the same shapes we saw in Jiliang that we didn’t recognize as tea. Not a tea bag in sight.

Everything here is loose leaf and smells divine. The city is famous for its osthumansis (acacia) trees that are in bloom. Intensely fragrant, like orange blossoms, they are used to make wine, tea and perfume. Guilin has 13 nationalities. The Yau and Dow are predominant. There are 3,000 caves in the mountains here, many of them open to tourists.

This magnificently carved wooden Buddha tray is outfitted with a gas burner and we are about to taste ten different kinds of tea. The rules are thus:  First, you smell the cup. Then you sniff the tea and chew the leaves a bit to make sure it is good and strong. Then hot water is poured in the cup to warm it while the tea is brewing in hot (not boiling) water. You surround the cup with your hands to warm them. You can drink the water or pour it out before the tea is poured. Then you slurp noisily. That is considered the best way. It was fun. Then there was theatrics of tea. A dragon tea pot that turns from green to red when the hot water is poured into it. And a baby boy tea pot that pisses into your cup when the water heats it.  There was a lot of slurping and laughing and talking and comparing. They sell aged, 28 year old  Puer tea, said to reduce blood pressure, cure diabetes and clean your liver. You can use the leaves nine times before the flavor and benefits disappear. Hmmm!  I bought some. It stayed flavorful for about four cups made with the same leaves. Their cups are smaller than mine, though.

We get to our beautiful hotel and Michal is taken by a carved jade dragon boat. Priceless. It is a free day for us and we can wander the town and eat anywhere we want though Vicki warns us to beware of pick pockets and even some merchants are rip-off artists. Our stop here is to boat up the Li River and see a part of old China and some famous, mystical rock formations.

Guilin is quite modern and university students go to coffee shops like Western students do. The whole city smells like orange blossoms though we don’t see the trees. The Dau people hold a folk song festival in Guilin in the spring. The Dau people have a beautiful courtship ritual. A woman throws her bouquet at the man she wants. If he catches it, that is his acceptance and they are one.

As we gaze around we run into Vicki and she points out a modern Chinese pharmacy.

Kind of reminds us of a fish and herb market. But, there are lizards and insects and worms and animal parts, very clean and dried.

The Chinese have centuries of medicinal experimentation with herbs and such and it seems prudent to respect it, even while we know many remedies don’t work, such as rhinoceros horn and other animal parts. Our own drug companies have learned much from the Chinese. They are healthy people.

After dinner we load into a boat near these Twin Pagodas for a ride on the Li and Peach Blossum Rivers as they merge together and form four city lakes. These pagodas are joined underwater and one can swim into and out of them. At night they are lit up beautifully.

Pictures are impossible, but you get the idea, anyway. The lake shores on all sides are lit up like Christmas trees. Entertainers sing from various famous boat replicas, like the Marble boat from the Summer Palace, and a dragon boat. Bands play modern and traditional music every section of the way.  You see people dining on shore or in pretty boats as  you continually pass under bridges, all replicas of famous bridges. Twelve of them. Each has frescoes of great beauty and interest. We point and guess, the Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate, Glass Bridge, Cambridge Math Class Bridge. We didn’t recognize them all.  It was another dreamland journey as we stayed mesmerized by the passing scenes. Near the turning point we saw  fishermen night fishing with their cormorants. The boatman smacks them with his cane if they try to steal a fish out of the basket and pretend they caught it.  He calls to them, “Ai, ai, ai!”  The birds continually fly out and back. We see live fish, flopping in the baskets that will soon be delivered to a local restaurant. Another magical experience that clings forever in memory.

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From a distance, desert gives way to what appears to be some strange, fat palm trees clustered together in batches. Its a sure  indication of water. The Visitor’s Center for Choachella Desert Preserve sits in the middle of this stand of palms.

The center is a three room house from long ago built entirely of palm wood. The exterior has totem type carvings.

We elected to hike the McCallum Trail to Mirror Pond. We power walked three miles earlier in the morning and this trail is one of the shorter ones, though none are particularly rugged.

And those fat palms are the same graceful species we see everywhere, except in their natural, un-groomed state, they retain their fibrous, dead fronds like a cloak. Its easy to see how the desert foxes, coyote’s and cougars can find cover in this dense stand of palms.

On hot days, hikers can find respite in this spot trimmed to provide a shaded sanctuary under the palms.

The palms grow so clustered together, they make a solid front to the wind, homes for birds and smaller animals and birdsong greeted us as we approached the pond.

The pond water is constantly replaced, rather displaced by what appears to be a running creek. The center explains that the water is displaced and forced up from underground by the San Andreas Fault.

The amount of fiber these trees produce is overwhelming. The fiber is coarse and strong. One can imagine native populations choosing it for clothing,shelter, building, waterproofing and fuel.

The frond stems are tough, strong and barbed.

Layers of leather looking “shingles”  adhere to the trunk where the fronds break off.

The green fronds have fiberous threads and are also tough and unfriendly to the hands.

On the edge of the cluster, the wind keeps the trees “trimmed”. We saw lizards and a rabbit on our hike, but none of the larger mammals in the preserve. Hikers we met who took the 4 mile loop saw a coyote and a wood rat.
It was a beautiful, cool day to hike. If you go, don’t forget to bring water. For more pictures, click my link.

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Where It All Began In Las Vegas, Nevada…

Jim says:

Yesterday Mary and I visited the Old Mormon Fort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The following words come from the Nevada park’s brochure…

“More than 150 years ago, a spring-fed creek flowed through this valley, creating an oasis in the desert. With the only free-flowing water and grass for miles around, the site attracted native Paiute people as well as traders, emigrants and gold seekers traveling the Old Spanish Trail to California. The Spaniards called the place Las Vegas, Spanish for the meadows.”

Like so many other notable places in the desert southwest of the United States…an oasis in the desert was the attracting element. Water! The stuff of life…without it we would not be here!

We started with photos from the Visitors Center…
Here’s a view depicting The Meadows before the arrival of the Mormons


Here the Mormons are arriving…


Here an oxen-pulled wagon approaches the fort…


Every 4th Saturday of the month, volunteers Jim Edwards and Evie Ward dress in period costumes and greet visitors…


They even get visitors to dress in costumes…


Out on to the fort grounds for photos…
Here’s an interior view of part of an original wall over 150 years old, still standing…


A picture of the barracks before restoration…


An old wagon…


The facing wall is the only part of the original fort…


The Yankee Colonel and his lady on the fort grounds…


The volunteers were very knowledgeable about the fort’s history and greatly added to the enjoyment of our visit. It was really neat to learn about the beginning history of this very unique city.

Here’s the official website link…

Here’s a link to the National Park Service lesson plan…

Here’s a Wikipedia link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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From Mary’s desk:

Everyone was up for the 1.4  mile hike into the oasis. The terrain was rough and steep but the weather was mild in the early morning. Joshua Tree has many designated hikes like this one, with well marked pathways. Hikes are designated by their difficulty and length, some long, some short.

Everyone had hats and we carried plenty of water. You feel quite rewarded when you’ve hiked a hill and come around a harsh rocky corner to be greeted by a fragile beauty such as this one.

Cactus are complex and fascinating plants. Its hard to imagine that a barrel cactus less than a foot tall,  is older than the kids.

There were skinks and lizards scooting around rocks. Some lizards do “push-ups” which the boys loved to watch.

We met birders on the trail who helped us identify some of those we saw and heard.

It helps to be part mountain goat between flower or special rock sitings. On the hike we didn’t see vast swaths of wildflowers. That came later when we drove through a lower elevation of the park.

Cactus blooms are showy;  the wild flowers fragile and often tiny to survive the harsh environment.

The oasis was a refreshing goal, a place to sit and rest, have an energy snack and head back. We found things we missed on the way in, just a different perspective. The hike was well worth the three hours it took to hike in and out. We met people with even younger children that our 8 and 10 year olds.

Back at camp, Theo discovered a pit viper in a little crevice of rock where he’d been climbing all afternoon. It was chilly by then and it tolerated all of us looking at it. Nearby campers to came to look at it as well.

The snake is poisonous and very small. When discovered, it was next to a rock and hard to see, it was so well camouflaged. It moved about 10 inches into some covering plant debris and stayed quite calm with the flash going off half a dozen kids and adults watching it.

Our drive into lower elevations of the park brought us a grand vista of flowers in the fuzzy Cholla garden, the ochetea were blooming, and huge yucca plants along with the joshua trees.

We spent the evening around the campfire, eating s’mores and enjoying the day in review.

The next day we drove home past Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve.

Room here doesn’t allow for the many photos we took. For a link to more photos, Virginia’s Picasa album address is:

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From Mary’s desk:
I once heard Joshua Tree described as a bunch of rocks and cactus. And it is. Wouldn’t I like to have one of these spectacular rock formations in my back yard to wake up to each morning?  The rocks gradually turned from grayish brown to golden as the sun rose around the bowl of rocks we settled in. We arrived at night and the stars were set crystals.  Obviously a special place, before we ever ventured out to see cactus in bloom and the desert wildflowers.

Once fully lit, the rocks were a child’s playground, and since we just happened to have children with us, know that this was a “mountain climbing” adventure of great beauty and adventure. We big kids enjoyed the easy climbs on giant granite too.

Above, young adults who may want to challenge a mountain some day, find friendly, shear rock faces a great place to practice with mountain climbing equipment. They were having a great time and we watched them get over the top. Safe to say, this is a rock climbing heaven.

Joshua trees live in a narrow band and are forever protected from development where housing is mowing them down on private lands. Not a true tree, they wait for a wet year, like their cactus cousins, to bloom. This was one of those years where the odd looking fibrous “tree” gave quite a show of football sized blooms.

We drove to areas of the park that had stands of Joshua, Cholla and other desert beauties also in bloom with the unusually wet weather. And, we hiked to an oasis created by a fissure in the rocks. We weren’t disappointed. On the way home we made a distant stop near Antelope Valley to see the poppy preserve. More on the hike, and desert wildflowers tomorrow. If you’re going, the parks website link follows.  (I couldn’t get this link to work, sorry.)

For my web album of pictures click the link below:

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