“Nature” – Santa Ana Winds, Rain and Earthquakes to Boot

Growing up in Wisconsin in living there most of my life you grow accustomed to doing things a certain way based on what mother nature throws at you. Back there the prevailing winds always seem to come from the West. Of course you get storms that would bring in strong winds from the Northeast and other directions. But in general when you build things are set them up you’d set them up with the thought that the strong winds would come out of the West most of the time. But with my recent travels and staying in other areas for longer periods of time you find out that is the case in other parts of the US. Last fall when I was in Georgia when we get storms the wind and rain would come from the southeast off the Gulf Coast. And here in Southern California the Santa Ana Winds are the ones to be concerned about. And they come from the east and northeast and blow steady and strong. Over the last several weeks that I’ve been here we’ve had several days where these winds blow steady and strong for many hours. We have had a couple periods of about 36 hours each that the wind would blow steady around 20 to 25 miles an hour with gusts in that 40 mile an hour range. I also have been told that it is not unusual for the winds to be much stronger. Luckily for me the way my RV is situated the front side is protected because it faces mostly westward. The last couple days it’s been cold in the morning actually getting down to below freezing. Along with the strong winds it made it a little uncomfortable and I found myself complaining about the cold. But all I had to do was look at the weather back home or talk to people in Wisconsin and I felt much better. Because it’s been getting down in the 30s at night the last few days and only the highs of the 50s I was feeling sorry for myself. But that’s nothing compared to the snow followed by the bitter cold and winds back in Wisconsin. As I was write this back in Wisconsin they did not get out of the negative digits and had wind chills of -30 or more WOW. Plus over the last week they’ve got close to a foot of new snow. Well that’s the main reason I took up this lifestyle so I did not have to deal with those winters anymore.

And now about the rain they said never rains in Southern California but I’m not finding that not to be true. Well to be fair this is the rainy time in the year the San Diego area, they average about 10 inches of rainfall a year. And since I’ve been here, we got a little over an inch at Thanksgiving time and just in the last few days we got almost another couple inches. Rain is always a welcome thing here and after it falls things green up almost instantly. What seems to happen is the rain will start like it did this time midday and you get on off-and-on steady showers for about 24 to 36 hours and then the sun comes back out and it’s beautiful again. I’ve been told the things that are scary is when you get the sudden downpours and flash floods as is very typical in desert type environments. But I’ve yet to experience those, and really don’t want to.

Speaking about experiences, I got to experience my first 3.5 earthquake. With its epicenter being within 20 miles of my location. But my question is does it really count, as being in a quake, if at the time you do not realize that it’s an earthquake. This is what happened last week one evening after dark around 6 o’clock we had a 3.5 earthquake. But I did not realize it was an earthquake at the time until the next day when I talked to one of the park attendance and she asked me if I felt the earthquake last night. I asked her what time it happened and then things made a little more sense. Because I remember feeling it or wondering what that was. This is what happened at the time of the earthquake there was kind of a rumbling vibrating sound and I thought a noisy truck or RV was coming into the park. I don’t think it lasted more than a minute or so. And I really did not pay much attention thinking that’s all it was, was a very noisy vehicle. But after talking to Sharon the next day, I came to realize it was my first experience with an earthquake. What it felt like is when a train goes by or very noisy truck. It’s when the noise causes the vibrations, more so than the actual shaking of the ground. I told Sharon that while I was here I wanted to feel an earthquake (she thought I was a little nuts). She had experienced what is called a roller back in the 90s which scared the heck out of her. She told me the rollers are very scary because she actually watched a stone wall out in front of her house ripple like it does in the movies, I can imagine that would be quite frightening. It’s one of those things that you just kind of take for granted when you live in an area, it’s like tornado warnings and watches back in Wisconsin, you’re aware but you don’t seem to be too concerned. I guess that’s the case here with earthquakes your where they can happen anytime, you just don’t worry too much about them. So next time I’ll be more aware and maybe I’ll realize it’s actually an earthquake.

Well I’ve been busy with the daily routines here at the park, and working on finishing the laundry. But on my days off, I have been on numerous day trips. Maxine and I have gone to the beach several times and she just loves it there. Here she is being Queen of the beach.20161204_140434Here she has swimming back making the other dogs jealous because she’s got a Frisbee.20161212_145652One other day we took a ride to Cabrillo National Monument, which is located on a peninsula across from the Bay of San Diego. It has rugged shorelines along the Pacific Coast, that in low tide have tide pools that you can explore. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnfortunately when we were there it was high tide and the pools were inaccessible. Here’s some photos of where the pools would be located.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s also a cool lighthouse that’s open for tours, but unfortunately Maxine’s not allowed and it was too warm to leave her in the car, so I’m sure I’ll be back another day to check it out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a great view of San Diego across the bay.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn your drive to get to the Monument you pass through Loma Point Navy Base. And Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, located high on the bluff overlooking the bay.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a beautiful setting that goes on and on, it be a nice place to spend eternity.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn other days we headed north into the mountains to take in the breathtaking views, and do some hiking.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt one spot near the town of Julian. You can look out to the East to the vast barren desert mountains and get views like this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd from the same spot just by turning to the West you get views of the green hillsides and plush valleys.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s another first for me I took this photo in a pull off in the mountains. Back in Wisconsin this is just common sense but out here I guess you have got to be told not to do this.20161211_120333Another interesting site on one of the trips was, as I rounded the corner and came to this ranch. They did not have the normal cattle or sheep but camels that’s an unusual sight (there must’ve been two dozen). Not sure what they raise them for “maybe camel milk”.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also did a little day trip to Tecate, across the Mexican border. This is not a typical tourist town on the Mexican border but more of a working community, and a quiet crossing to get to the Baja Peninsula. It’s home to the Tecate Brewery one of the biggest in Mexico. I did find a great little bakery that had lots of breads and sweet pastries, so I picked up a boxful to bring back for everyone as treats at the park. That’s it for now more the come as my stay here continues. Thanks for coming along, Rick






  1. I see that you have had time to get caught up on my posts 🙂 nice
    It good to see that you guys have had a little down time 🙂
    Yes it has been raining off and on the last two days again.
    It is aways a good thing here.


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