Week 11: Ryan Mountain and Desert Springs Healing

There’s one thing I know you can expect from your travels. You’ll soon arrive to a destination called “I’ve had Enough.”

All roads in lead to the town square called a Melting Pot of Disasters and you’ll be sitting at the fountain crying and frantically searching for the highway back out to the simple life.

Devils Bridge Trail, Sedona

One where you wake up each morning pretty much knowing what will happen.

You can walk into your kitchen and prepare your breakfast exactly as you want it, you’ll be ready to walk out the door at 8:50 am on the dot to navigate the traffic you know so well to get to work on time.

You’ll know what is required from you throughout the day and people will show up for you like they said they would. (Ah, maybe not) But at least you’ll have old and new faces to talk to around the water cooler.

You’ll make your favorite 6 pm gym class and collapse on the couch at 9 pm for the latest episode of How to Get Away with Murder.

It’s safe, steady, secure and doesn’t require too much of your effort and brain power to anticipate, put out fires, and constantly be switching directions.

That was me this week sitting in The Beast (our Ford truck), waiting for yet another thing on Goldie (our travel trailer) to get fixed.

We’d spent the night in a Wal-Mart car park, as our brains were just too tired figuring out where to stay, navigating around the roadblocks, and managing too many things at once.

I’d missed my morning routine because we were woken up at 6am by a friendly security guard to move out of our Wal-Mart space as the store was opening, so I started the day with little personal power.

The girls were either complaining, fighting with each other, or crawling all over me – one sitting on my shoulder to repeat made up rap songs in my ear, and the other pulling at my hair insisting I run around the van three times while dribbling the basketball with their American Girl Dolls.

I can’t remember which one (does any parent remember the details of the foggy early years (that never end)?)

but I know my mind mantra was,

“Girl, you are insane, choosing to do this 24/7. You’ve got to get yourself another life.”

I pictured them at school and me in my quiet office writing something meaningful, after my morning routine and a workout at the gym.

Nothing would require researching, planning or fixing. I could just operate on auto pilot until I collapse into my bed that’s always in the one spot each night.

The tension and anxiety was building as I sat in the parking lot amongst the never ending concrete of the buildings not far from LA and watched the traffic go whizzing by.

And then it hit me. OMG.

Look at how tightly wound up I am? I enter the boundaries of the city and in less than 24 hours I’m on the verge of a meltdown and ready to quit.

The city has quickly taken me to that Town Square where all disasters meet!

Ryan Mountain trail Joshua Tree National Park California (6)
Ryan Mountain trail in Joshua Tree National Park California

Only the day before I was hiking up the mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, my heart filled with gratitude that I get to walk with my children each day in the open spaces of nature.

There was no town square in sight.

It’s crazy the impact this urban life has on us without even realising it’s doing it.

We lose our ability to cope and manage amongst the chaos that is naturally zooming and zipping around us.

As I mentioned in previous emails and posts, once you enter the urban jungle, you lose yourself to it.

It suddenly became clear to me where we needed to go next. Possible plan A (Las Vegas) and Plan B (LA) were scrapped.

Thankfully, someone from our Instagram community mentioned an RV park in Desert Springs near Palm Springs – 13 pools and hot tubs filled only with the natural mineral waters of Mother Nature’s Belly.

RV park in Desert Springs

Boom. Booked. Done. (in between basketball dribbles and rescuing balls from busy traffic)

We’re here for a week. We may step outside of the hot tub and sauna to look at Palm Springs. Maybe.

We’re doing nothing but work, rest, play, exercise, have endless spa and sauna treatments, and plan out the next few months.

So I know where I am going amongst the chaos of LA and Las Vegas, have less decisions to make while there, and have more inner strength and power to deal with their frenetic pace AND whatever new problem Goldie wants to throw our way and hopefully avoid the town of I’ve Had Enough. 

What we did in California this week

I don’t have a lot to tell you about for this week.

Two days were spent driving around figuring out what to do and fixing the trailer.

We were contemplating going up to the mountains at Wrightwood for a day of skiing, but it was too complicated with Goldie and finding accommodation as California got a rare huge dump of snow so everyone wanted to dash up there.

We weren’t going to pull Goldie up the mountain and camp with her in the snow – that’s why we got out of the Grand Canyon. Frozen pipes are not what we need.

Just look at this stunning California view – the contrast will keep you sitting in awe and wonder.

We were then going to go to Las Vegas, but due to the long time it took to fix Goldies tow hitch at Camping World, it was too late to drive, so at last minute we headed to Palm Springs region.

Three days were spent sitting in Goldie catching up on work, school work and resting.

I’m so grateful to have time to reduce my inbox to near zero and catch up on all my writing and video content. AND to have a week off from shooting video and gathering content ideas is tremendous.

Mixed in with the work was a morning workout followed by a sauna and a couple of spa sit downs.

View this post on Instagram

SPA days! How much do you love to sit in a spa after a long productive work day? This is a mineral springs spa too straight from the belly of Mother Earth’s Belly in Desert Springs, California. Once we heard about this RV resort with 13 pools and hot tubs filled with mineral springs water we booked in for a week. We’re not doing much else here but working out followed by saunas, followed by work and simple life play, followed by evening spas, and perhaps the odd glass of wine or two. If only we were allowed campfires, it would be the ultimate. It’s so important to plan for downtime when you travel full time. It can get chaotic and drain all your energy. I have extraordinary levels of energy, but this was a week my body needed. Do you plan for rest weeks with full time travel? . . . . . #rvlife #fulltimerv #rvliving #rving #getoutside #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #rvadventure #rvroadtrip #gorving #rvlifestyle #rvtravel #rvlife #traveltrailer #traveltrailerlife #fulltimefamily #fulltimefamilies #forestriver #forestriverrv#americaunplugged #visittheusa #usaroadtrip #usroadtrip #discoveramerica #familytraveltribe #worldschooling #unschooling #roadschool #roadschooling #vanlife

A post shared by Caroline Makepeace (@carolinemakepeace) on

I spent a lot of time gazing in wonder at a couple of hummingbirds flying around Goldie.

One frequently flew inside to visit. I was alerted to him by this loud buzzing sound signaling to me the arrival of a giant bee.

I turned and saw a giant bee alright, which turned out to be a tiny bird with incredible wing speed and flapping power. What a sound that power makes!!

I was overjoyed each time it flew in.

Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park

Ryan Mountain trail Joshua Tree National Park California (5)

We finished our time in Joshua Tree National Park with a hike up Ryan Mountain.

It was blowing a gale but it did not deter us from the 3 mile round trip up 1,000 feet in elevation. We did think it was going to blow us off the edge a few times!

The views of the the surrounding rock outcroppings and mountains were exquisite. It wasn’t too difficult of a walk and the girls handled it really well.

They were very proud of themselves for making it up the top.

They are growing into such fierce warriors.

Ryan Mountain trail Joshua Tree National Park California (4)

We enjoyed a day of rest in the trailer where we could catch up on work and have a Grammy’s watching party.

As a music lover I enjoyed sharing this passion with my girls. Our music tastes are very different, but at least we both love music!

As always with this wrap of our one year USA road trip, we’ll give you a brief rundown, with more in-depth posts coming in the future.

In case you have missed it we now have epic guides out on our time in the Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Ranch Park, as well as Texas Hill Country and the stunning Verde Canyon Railroad adventure in Sedona.

RV and Road Trip Lessons

Joshua Tree National PArk (1)

  • I think I should start a new category, What Broke this week! The screw in our hitch and sway bar was bent, which was causing a problem so we had to go to camping world to get it fixed. This lesson was, never believe it when someone tells you they can fix it in 30 minutes. Two hours later…
  • I’m starting to get really tired. We are moving really fast and doing a lot, but that’s road tripping in the USA.
  • I’m tired of the cold. But there is nowhere really you can go to escape it. I never thought I’d be someone to road trip in the winter, and to be honest, I’m learning that it can be done and you can have a great time. But I still am tired of it.
  • If you stay overnight in Wal-Mart, find a park where you will be out of the customer car parking. We parked at the side near the auto section and was awoken at 6am to move as they wanted the car parking available to their auto customers.
  • This area of California is really windy. Goldie is rattling all day long and night. It makes sense that the valley is full of windmills!

Pros and cons of RV Travel for beginners. Is it worth it?

Where we Stayed

Twentynine Palms RV Resort

Twenty Nine Palms RV Resort

This is a nice RV resort just outside the Joshua Tree National Park.

There are loads of amenities including a really warm indoor pool, sauna and fitness center. It was okay, although overpriced in comparison to other places we’ve stayed at.

There is no wifi connection from your site, you have to go to the lobby.

Sky Valley RV Resort

The Sky Valley RV Resort is about 30 minutes away from Palm Springs. The sites are a little small. We had to change upon arrival as it was too tight to back her in.

We’re staying right near the clubhouse with its heated pools, hot tubs and saunas, which are awesome!!

There was no hot water in the shower for the first three days though and this morning we went to take a shower at 7 am but they didn’t open to 8.

That made me growl like a tiger.

This resort is massive and caters to RV and cabin rentals and has residents living here. There are loads of activities each day – but it’s mostly geared to 55+.

I like the community atmosphere here and I love watching the retirees hanging out with each other all day being so active and social. It’s quite inspiring, and, most everyone has been super friendly and kind.

I love the gym – it has a weight assisted pull up bar, which I’ve been using every day to attempt my goal of achieving one unassisted pull up. I still have a long way to go!!

I love sitting in the sauna each morning after my workout.

The WiFi is patchy. It’s weird though – works perfectly when streaming Netflix through our TV, but I can barely read an email via my laptop!

Cell phone service and data is perfect though.

Service upon check in was outstanding.

Distance Driven

Travel Costs

Joshua Tree National PArk (1)

Each week, I include our travel related costs for the week.

I don’t include things like business costs, insurance, and souvenirs etc. That’s so personal that whatever I told you wouldn’t necessarily be true for you and your budget.

The following, apart from perhaps our groceries, will give you a reasonable estimate of costs related to travel.

Vehicle Costs

  • Fuel: $98

Accommodation Costs

  • Camping: $282 (2 nights @ $58 1 night free, 4 nights @44)


  • Park Fees: $0 
  • Tips: 

We have a National Parks Pass ($80) which gives us unlimited entry to federal lands.


  • Restaurants: $98
  • Coffee: $ (does include some treats/ hot chocolate for girls)
  • Groceries: $175
  • Take out/ snacks: $13
  • Alcohol: $0

We eat a mostly whole foods, organic diet, which means our grocery bills are higher than what would be typical.

Don’t forget with eating out costs, tip will be included in the prices below.

RV Supplies and Living

  • Laundry: $10
  • Firewood: $
  • Propane: $30
  • RV supplies and fixes: $130

Total paid by us: $846

YES! We got under $1,000 this week. Low expenses for eating out, groceries and coffee. I’m so very happy!

If you are new to our weekly wrap, our costs each week are usually around $1,000 – $1,300. We’re really trying to stay under $1,000 a week.

Where to Next?

Downtown Los Angeles

We’re planning it out. It’s a constant juggle to work around weather and special events.

We’re planning to go to LA and Las Vegas. I really want to avoid the cities, but the girls are begging for some city action.

Since this is a family affair, we’re taking into account what they want from the trip too. Send me your strength!!

We may use this time to check Goldie in for some warranty repairs and stay in a few hotels.

We were going to go to Vegas and Lake Mead next but there appears to be an event on in Vegas as accommodation is hard to come by.

So we may go to LA next and then Vegas. Makes sense really as LA is close to Palm Springs and Utah is where we are headed for April.

So we can do a little more of Cali before heading over to Nevada.

Videos of the trip coming out soon. Check out our US RV Road Trip Playlist!

 Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it. We’re now releasing our road trip videos.

You can find our previous months posts here.

More Southern California Travel Tips

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.