Beer Sommeliers Invade Jojoba Hills!

We have begun winding down our time at Jojoba Hills, turning our attention to organizing our 5th-wheel and preparing to wedge, cram, and squeeze all “travel must-haves” into our truck camper, so we weren’t expecting to meet any full-timers until we hit the road again.  Much to my surprise and pleasure, a female solo traveler whose blog I have followed for some time dropped me an email.  She had remembered that we were wintering at Jojoba Hills and let me know she was heading our way…yes!  It was none other than the lovely Suzanne from Take to the Highway!  Before we knew it a few of her other friends also descended on the park, and we had ourselves a regular mini bloggerfest goin’ down at happy hour.

L-R: Terry, Judy, Debbie, Suzanne, Jim, Gayle.  Note that Jim’s sole focus is on the beer!

Judy from Travels with Emma is also a solo wanderer, traveling with doggie Emma and Jim and Gayle write the engaging blog Life’s Little Adventures.  Terry and Debbie live the leisurely life reading other bloggers’ musings.  My apologies to Suzanne as I snapped the photo above when she was enjoying some yummy snacks, but that’s the way it goes sometimes when candid shots are taken.  In fairness I have posted a lovely image of her below enjoying a few of her favorite craft brews.

As the number of brews continued to grow, I felt I was watching beer sommeliers in action, with words like full-bodied, caramelly, and creamy mouth feel being tossed around.  Beer drinking just got elevated to another level!  Unfortunately I was on a restricted diet at the time and beer wasn’t on the list but you can bet I was taking copious notes for a later date.

 Suzanne and her many friends

After our little gathering Terry headed east to assist his mother with moving into new living  arrangements and I was entrusted with preparing our rigs for departure, a daunting task but I was up to the challenge.  First item on the agency was to take a break from all this planning and head for the hills to hike with the gang.  A girl needs exercise too, right?

Jim and Gayle’s friends George and Tina, who have a beautiful home nestled into a canyon outside Hemet, invited the group for a hike in Simpson Park.  We enjoyed a rolling 7-mile hike on the Fireman Trail, with lovely views of Diamond Valley Reservoir and citrus orchards providing a brilliant verdant backdrop to the surrounding mountains.

Fireman Trail with Diamond Valley Reservoir in the distance

L-R: George, Jim, Tina, Gayle, & Suzanne

Suzanne happily capturing wildflowers still clinging to the trail’s edge

A brilliant splash of green provided some captivating views

A couple more happy hours rounded out our time with the gang.  We are thankful they included us in their little group and feel certain we will all meet up again somewhere down the road.  When we do, I better have a notebook handy as I’m sure there will be brews to add to the list.  I see some homework in my future. 🙂

The past several months have sped by for us while we were busy establishing a new winter base, making new friends, and developing new interests.  Although it is difficult to say goodbye to such great folks, we leave with the knowledge that we will all gather back at Jojoba Hills next winter with lots of tales to share.  Our travels will take us to the Northwest this summer and we’re looking forward to reconnecting with many friends who are heading the same direction.  It’s shaping up to be a great summer.  Hope yours is too!

Spring brings new life to the ponds at Jojoba Hills

We are heading up the 395, something we have not done in the spring.  Tips for places to stay, things to do, and trails to hike are always welcome.

Next Stop:  Lone Pine, CA, where the Alabama Hills are calling.