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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Grapefruit and chipmunks

March 5, 2024 (Tue)

1:30 pm Carlee’s in Borrego Springs

After lounging around in the morning (Gini is getting through one book every three days!), we finally rouse ourselves to head into town. Robert has a sudden craving for burgers, and there’s no Burger Joint in town (no Burger King, of course, but also not a quaint, small-town drive-in). Since Carlee’s proclaims itself as a “Steakhouse,” we figure maybe they ground up some of that steak and serve burgers.


Boy, do they! Nineteen different types of burgers, each one featuring one-half pound of ground-up cow meat (well, 18 with cow meat, one with ground-up vegetables). They come with fries or salad and Gini wisely gets the salad—and they don’t mess around with salads, here (see picture below).


Here in Borrego, that’s considered a “side salad” (which Gini took home and ate the next day for dinner)


2:30 pm Still in Borrego

We are bound and determined to visit every store in Borrego (except for the fudge factory, because we barely fit into Harvey’s bathroom as it is—we don’t want to have to squeeze through the door every time Nature Calls).


Today, it’s the Historical Society Gift Shoppe. Full of lots of T-shirts and coffee cups. Gini finds some more note cards and a new coffee cup. Harvey’s cup holders are from an older time, when coffee cups (and people) were skinnier. As a result, most modern coffee cups won’t fit into the fancy, electronic coffee cup holders (the holders can warm or cool the cup that is in them!). We’re hopeful that this new cup will fit. (Editor’s note from the future: it did! But when Gini drinks from it, it dribbles, so she swapped cups with Robert, who is delighted to have a coffee cup that fits into the cup holders.)


3:00 pm Seley Farms Fruit Stand

We get to chatting with our next-door neighbor, Mary (Class C RV, long-term stayer), who tells us about a hidden fruit stand where we can get fresh grapefruit.


Apparently, Borrego Springs is known for its grapefruit—at least to Gini. When she lived here, she used to go out in the morning and pick fresh sun warmed grapefruit from the tree in her yard.


“They were delicious!” enthuses Gini.


Mary gives us directions, which include, “go down the road without a street sign marked Dead End.” We follow them and sure enough—a fruit stand! And at six bucks for a bag of one dozen grapefruit (cash—it’s on the honor system, which Mary had warned us about, so we’re ready).


If you want to find out how delicious these are, you can order them at the following website, for about 10 times what we paid (but it includes shipping):


Gini shopping at the local produce stand--$6 a bag for those red grapefruit!


8:30 pm Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs prides itself on being a “Dark Sky Community,” which means they limit the amount of light at night so that birds can sleep and people can see the stars.


In practical terms, that means the sky is black at night (take a flashlight!) and the stars are blazing away. We sit outside in the cool evening, eating pistachios and staring at stars (just like the Greeks!). We’re living it up, now!



Day 21 Travel


Our travel on Day 21 (Tue)

March 6, 2024 (Wed)

8:00 am Campsite in Borrego Springs

Ah, how cute!


There’s a chipmunk on our campsite, where we sat and ate pistachios last night, and they are nibbling away at the dropped bits of nut we left behind.


11:30 am

Oh no—there’s a cloud in the sky. But it’s a little bitty cloud and soon drifts away. Although Seattle has famously blue skies (“the bluest skies you’ve ever seen” according to Mr. Como), Borrego Springs does pretty good at blue.

Oh no—there is a cloud in the sky!


1:00 pm Laundry day

It’s laundry day, but this time, we’re stocked up on old-fashioned quarters and we bring our books (which are on our electronic devices so nobody knows that we’re reading Tropic of Cancer and The Covenant of Water) and lounge by the pool while our clothes get cleaner.


3:00 pm

Those lousy crummy fascist chipmunks! They found the chair that Robert was sitting in while he was eating pistachios and as you might expect, it was covered in droppings and they ripped the fabric right out and we’re ready to have some roast chipmunk for dinner. Lousy little rodents.


Little hoodlum chipmunks have been at this chair!


5:00 pm Carlee’s in Borrego Springs

Once again, we find ourselves at Carlee’s, trying out the dinner menu. Robert had noticed they had pizza, and it’s been three weeks since he had pizza, so here we are!


Gini gets the special steak. Here are their reactions:


“I wouldn’t say it was awful,” says Gini.


“Perfectly mediocre pizza,” says Robert.


Day 22 Travel

Our travel on Day 22 (Wed)




March 7, 2024 (Thu)

11:30 am Campground in Borrego Springs

Every three days or so, it’s time to service Harvey. Unlike people who live in houses and have water delivered directly to the faucet and unclean water whisked away, us RV’ers get to deal with it manually.


Today is our day, and as you can see from the picture below, Robert is always thrilled by this activity. Although he hasn’t had any “accidents” in over a year!


The best part of living in an RV—you get to empty your own waste tank!


12:30 pm Borrego Springs Art Institute

We are great patrons of the arts, although honestly, mostly comic strip art, but sure Gini can get Robert to look at other kinds of art. For brief periods of time.


There’s an exhibit of “En plein air” (fancy foreign language talk for “outdoors”) art. Basically, these folks set up outdoors and paint what they see. A lot of it is impressionistic, which we think is because standing around in the desert is often hot and windy and they want to get it done as quickly as they can.


There’s some interesting pieces and it’s fun to see some local landmarks on canvases.


Whispering Labyrinth (Geoffrey Allen)


Hacienda del Sol (Nita Harper) A local motel that we drive past every day


Dusty Christmas  (Geoffrey Allen)

The traffic circle in the middle of town is called “Christmas Circle”


1:30 pm At our campsite

When we started this whole blog, we wanted it to be instructive about how to cope with an RV. We’re getting back to our roots, today.


How to deploy the awning on a Chinook Concourse

Pretty much every RV has an awning on the passenger side. This awning provides shade and cover from rain. The fancy RV’s have electric awnings that require merely the push of a button. Harvey, surprise!, requires that the awning be manually cranked out.


We don’t often deploy the awning. For one thing, we’re afraid we’ll forget about it and drive away with it deployed and, while it would be hilarious and give us something to write about, wouldn’t be good for our bank account.


The following picture shows how, using our common sense and never reading the manual, we’ve always deployed the awning. Makes sense, yes? It did seem kind of wobbly and if it rained, the rain accumulated in the center, but Harvey’s not perfect.

How we have been deploying our awning


Recently, Robert saw a posting on a Facebook group about Chinooks (of course the cult has a Facebook group—two of them in fact!) and he noticed something different about how the awning was deployed. Instead of the base sitting on the ground, it was attached to the side of the Chinook.


So that’s what those little gadgety things on the side are for! And why the feet on the awning look so weird. Why—this whole thing goes together so smoothly—it’s like it was designed to do it this away. The rain would just roll off and onto the ground.

How we should have been deploying our awning


Yup, we’ve been idiots this whole time.


Day 23 Travel (Thu)

Our travel on Day 23 (Thu)



Gini & Robert                                                                                

Harvey Staff

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Stephen E. Moore
Stephen E. Moore
Mar 09

Chipmunk Stew

2 naughty chipmunks, bullets removed

4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

2 celery sticks, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 shallot or onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. of Curry

4 or 5 leaves of sage, lightly sauteed in butter

1 large dagger for garnish

1. Skin chipmunk. If you are a fashionista, you might like to make a pair of earrings from the tails as a trophy.  Vigorously chop the meat to release the frustration of the chase. Sautee in olive oil or butter lightly, with salt and pepper to taste

2. Add meat to the broth with the vegetables and let simmer for two or three hours.

3. Add the sage leaves.


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