Thursday morning (3/8/18) rolled around and it was time to lift our jacks and drive away from the Carefree Village Rv Resort and Yuma and head toward the Jojoba Hill’s Escapee Park in Aguanga California, about 17 miles east of Temecula.
I fired up the engine at 9 and were on the road headed west by 9:30. We jumped on I-8 and crossed into California and drive until we reached exit 118B where we hopped on to Hwy 111 which eventually switched to HWY 78 as we circled Brawly (the last time we took this route the GPS had us drive through Brawley but this time I was smarter and stayed on 111/78 and skirted town which saved time and avoided traffic).
We stayed on 78 until we reached a Border Patrol Station where we immediately hung a left in order to stay on 78 and continued on through Ocotillo Wells. If you stay on 78 you eventually see a sign that warns of rigs 40’ or longer not recommended but we ae right at 65’ going down the road and we have seen a number of semi’s traveling the road so don’t worry, it’s very doable, we have done it twice now.
We drove 78 until we reached San Felipe Road and turner right, we stayed on San Felipe until it came to a T where we took a right on HWY 79 and from there you just follow your nose. You can just stay on 79 if you happen to be headed to Temecula by chance.
There certainly are some twists and turns on that road, enough that you will want to be cautious opening your cupboard doors when you get set up LOL!!! But all in all it’s not a bad drive.
We gained an hour on this travel day so we ended up pulling into Jojoba Hills SKP Park at about 11:30 and was checked in by noon and waiting for our escort to our site which was funny because we were parked right next to our site, but rules are rules I guess. In fact when the escort showed up he chucked and simply said, “You are parked there now” and without even turning his head said laughing “and you are going there, do you need help”. I answered no, signed a waiver and away he went and Diane and I got busy backing in and setting up.
We will say that we were very surprised to find the site cost went up from $25 that we paid during our last visit a couple years ago to $40 per night!!! Holy cow!! We were told by an office gal that the cost went up because the park was not bringing in enough money from rentals, mainly because very few people put their sites in the rental pool. Hmmm, a few years ago during my review of this park I mentioned that if they simply offered a small kickback to the site holders they would probably have more people offering their sites to rent while not here and by doing that would probably bring in more money for the park in the long run. In fact I wrote that on the suggestion form they ask everyone to fill out after their stay but I guess a bean counter somewhere didn’t think that was a good suggestion.
Ok, I guess I could mention that we were also informed that the lease holders had a monthly price increase of $25 since our last stay also. So let’s see, the park has 283 sites so if the cost went up $25 per month each that’s $7075 per month or $84,900 more income per year PLUS extra income from the increased site rental fee’s (which I honestly think the rental fees will actually decrease what they bring in because once the word gets out of the higher cost less people will try to stay here. Especially because no break is given for weekly or a month stay which is just crazy. This all surprises me because we were told how healthy the park was money wise in the bank when we took our tour a few years back and being a numbers kind of guy I can’t help wonder if there was some hemorrhaging going on in the money veins and why.
While we were setting up our friends Dave & Maxine stopped by on their way out of the park to the store to say a short hello. We hadn’t seen them in just over a year so it was nice seeing them even for that short moment but we knew we would be seeing them more during our stay.
Once all set up we jumped on our bikes and went for a ride around the park to see what might have changed and to stroll through the facilities before heading back home where we pretty much spent the remainder of the evening enjoying a little down time.
Friday morning (3/9) after a great night’s sleep we both woke a little extra early “ mainly because of the one hour time change we had yesterday that gained us an hour” and after our morning routine we found ourselves straddling our bikes and on our way (up cardiac hill) to the Pickleball courts a little before 8.
There are only 4 courts here at Jojoba but for the size of the park I think it’s probably enough. The courts were refinished last year and are in great shape. The only downfall is that they are pretty close side to side with do dividing fences which allow for stray balls to interfere a little more often than we are used to but it’s not a huge hindrance.
The courts are pretty protected from winds by being situated in a natural hollow and they are also surrounded by a fence with netting attached. And last year they added a nice seating area with shade material over it for spectators.
I would say about 20 people showed up to play on Friday with varying skill levels and everyone seemed to have a great time together. We all played for about 2 hours before almost like everyone was going to turn into pumpkins everyone packed up and headed off.
We were told that’s 2 hours is about what everyone plays in the morning but I have to wonder if someone simply asked for another game if before long playing times might extend. And we didn’t see anyone go out in the evening time to play either which once again I wonder just how hard it would be to get people interested with a little prompting. The courts have no lights but you could still play up until 7 o’clock I’d guess. Just things we think about if we consider becoming members.
After Pickleball we headed home where Diane decided to kick back and relax a bit before going back up to the Friendship Hall (the clubhouse) to play Mahjong but I on the other hand felt the need for some more exercise so I jumped on the bike and headed out. After riding for a while I went by Dave & Maxine’s site and found Dave outside so of course that turned into a nice visit until Diane came riding up on her bike and put a kibosh to that.
I was surprised to see Diane ride up because she was supposed to be playing Mahjong by then but she informed me that we needed to move to another site because someone noticed a limb over our coach that looked a bit iffy so they felt it best that we move to a new site. To be honest we wanted to be in a site in the upper section of the park instead of down by the office where it was very busy in the first place but it’s funny that when we asked if anything was available up above when we checked in we were told “no” but now all of a sudden they found a site, and we know that site was empty the day we checked in because we looked at it during our bike ride on day one and after getting set up our new neighbor said the site had been empty for a few days, hmmmmm. Oh well.
So we said “see ya later” to Dave and headed home to pack everything up and make a move. About an hour later we were all set up in our new site which was at least twice the size of our original site and in a much better spot in the park so all was good, as long as we don’t have to move again.
The remainder of the day was filled with bike rides, walks and chatting with a few people around the park until dinner time. After doing some salmon on the griddle and eating we just kicked back in front of the TV the rest of the night.
Ok, we were going to just do one update on our stay at Jojoba but it’s clear that it would turn into a very long one so instead of dragging it on and on we will break it up into a couple updates so we will end here with more to come soon.