The grand total is in! Last year, we drove the RV 3,587 miles, although the biggest chunk was definitely the straight shot from Ohio to California. Southern and Central California had the highest concentration of stops–it looks like a jumble of noodles in those areas! You can click on the map for dates and details.
We had a great last day in the Borrego Springs, CA area, with a hike to Palm Canyon. This canyon was the reason that the state park was created in the 1930s, to protect the very rare grove of California fan palms that flourish because of the natural springs.
On Tuesday, we moved east to Arizona, to a Wildlife Refuge just north of Yuma. Mittry Lake is quiet and peaceful, with huge private sites surrounded by cattails. There’s millions of birds on the water, and hawks circling in the air. We also heard coyotes in the marshy area right next to us. Yet another amazing, free BLM area.
Yesterday morning, we headed south to go to Los Algodones, Mexico. Getting in is super easy–there’s a parking lot just before the border and then you walk across. There is just a turnstile that you go through, but no border control whatsoever. This town is known for medical tourism, with an emphasis on dentists and optometrists. You can find top notch medical professionals providing services at a fraction of the cost that it would be in the States.
We were quite early, and scouted out the 2 offices we would be visiting. We found one, but just couldn’t find the dentist. We headed back to the tourism office at the border, and asked for help. The said the dentist would send someone to pick us up. Five minutes later, the dentist himself pulled up in his luxury sedan to escort us! Dr. Cruz speaks fluent English and was very personable. Our appointment was efficient and professional. I had just a cleaning, and JJ had a cleaning as well as a filling replaced. Total cost? $110. We couldn’t even get one dental cleaning for that price in the US!
The optometrist was similar–just a great experience. JJ’s prescription had barely changed, so he decided not to get new glasses. We only paid for an exam–$20!
We set off in search of some lunch by getting away from the main drag. While we never felt unsafe, we were so annoyed with all the barkers in the streets. “Do you need a pharmacy? Dentist? Massage?” It was a gauntlet of people vying for your attention, and we wanted a more sedate meal. We came across a stand with our favorite: al pastor tacos. We had great lunch, complete with a huge tray of condiments. Total cost? $4!
We also stopped at the Paleteria, a small open air store selling paletas, or fruit and ice cream bars. JJ had pistachio and I had vanilla dipped in chocolate and coconut. Delicious!
Last stop was a pharmacy, where you can buy absolutely anything without a prescription. (You can bring back any drug that’s not a narcotic, provided it’s in amounts for personal use only.) We bought 2 Z-packs, an antibiotic. As a nomad, it’s good to have some basic drugs on hand to deal with things like sinus infections or cuts, because we might be in areas without easy access to doctors or urgent cares. Each one was $3.50, so total cost there was $7. Grand total for medical care for the day was $147–we threw in a $10 tip for the dentist.
Last night we had a quiet night in with Dave and Max to celebrate my birthday, and I made all foods that sounded very birthday-like. The menu was hamburgers on the grill, tater tots, cucumber salad, and ice cream. (And here’s the best park–one of the grocery chains out here is owned by Krogers, so I was able to get a pint of Graeters, my favorite Ohio treat!)
We will be at Mittry Lake a few more days, because I want to go to the farmer’s markets held in Yuma on Saturday and Sunday, and JJ wants to go see the new Hobbit movie in the theater. Oh, and did I mention that temperatures here should be in the low 70s all week? It’s a radical change from the arctic Ohio winters that I hate! This is exactly what I hoped to find in my winter travels!