Over The Ortega

Travel Journal – April 19, 2016
A Very Low Lake

A Very Low Lake Elsinore

I wake up in Lake Elsinore. Jagger and I take advantage of the clear sunny day and go for a walk down to the lake and along the shoreline. The drought has taken its toll here. The lake is very low and this is the time when it would normally be the fullest. How low will they let it go?

I am surprised to see the sandy shore is relatively clean, dry and no fishy smell, like you sometimes find at a lake that is this low. It appears that whoever keeps this area clean is doing a stellar job. If you look in the photo above, note the distance from the end of the boat launch ramp to the water, a good 100 yards. The boat ramp is currently closed and I doubt it will be open anytime soon.

Getting Ready for the Day

Once I get back in the Coach I relax a few minutes before getting ready for my last doctor’s appointment. This is a nice camp, from my view of the Santiago mountains, I can see the steep Ortega Highway dropping into Lake Elsinore. A road I have taken many times.

View from the Coach

Morning View from the Coach

On the other side of the mountains, about an hours drive away, is where I lived for over fifteen years in the city of San Juan Capistrano.

It was less crowded back then. Only a four mile bike ride from our home down the San Juan Creek was Doheny Beach and the Pacific Ocean. It was definitely one of my favorite residences as an adult. San Juan Capistrano was also where my children grew into adulthood.

Driving the Ortega – Nostalgia

I don’t leave Jagger often, but today is one of those days. I step out the door looking back at his long face and say goodbye my friend and walk over to the Workhorse. Then it’s off to my doctor’s appointment.

As I drive over the mountain, just as it starts to get near town, I pass my old neighborhood. A lot of memories there, mostly good 😉 I keep driving. Arriving at my doctor’s office, the wait is almost nothing when I am called by the nurse. It was a short appointment with my cardiologist, all good news, along with encouragement on my travels. I thank her and walk back out to the Workhorse.

Lunch with Friends

After my appointment in Irvine, I then drove to Tustin. I was meeting two of my long time work associates and friends Tom and Rick at the Claim Jumper. We had a great lunch together and even greater visit about travels, good times and of course The Orange County Register where each of us has, or had worked a lifetime together. All good things must come to an end and that’s how it is with our visit today.

Back to Elsinore

After lunch it’s back over the hill to my home, this time using the 91 freeway. Arriving there Jagger greets me and I immediately receive a call from my cousin Ken. He invites me to dinner with his wife Teresa, my Aunt Jean and his sister Barbara who I haven’t seen in years.

2016 0627 FamilyMeal

We had a wonderful meal together and visited. As we talk I think about all the life experiences each of us have had. We share as much as there is time for, but it never seems enough for these people who I love and have a lifetime of memories together. After our meal we part, but there will be a few more times to visit again before Jagger and I head down the road again.

Later I am thinking to myself; “If I wasn’t traveling as I do, this visit probably wouldn’t have happened”. There have been many other times over the last 2 1/2 years that I have had all attributed to my current lifestyle. I’m happy I chose to live my retirement years moving around, seeing the sights and especially having visits with my family and friends living all over the country. Not to mention the new friends I have made along the way, many of whom are reading this blog.

Until next time, Safe Travels…Gary

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