Travel and Pre-Rally Activities (Newport Dunes Resort & Marina, Newport Beach, CA)

On Sunday (the 17th) we drove down to the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande to visit my mom, stepdad, brother Steve & Cheryl.  We wanted to pick up our mail, check on little ‘Coach’ and say Hi to everyone there before we took off for the Alpine Coach Rally in CA.

We spent the day visiting and then we all went downtown for a nice dinner.  Here’s a picture of ‘Coach’ (below).


Little Coach is doing just fine and likes life on the “dirt farm”.  His hair is starting to grow back after Mom’s buzz-cut.  It does get hot here – so I guess he doesn’t mind what he looks like 🙂

Mom got some new baby chicks that Coach has sure taking a like to.  He wants them to come out and play and acts like their his to protect.




On Tuesday (the 19th) after Kaan finished school, we all piled into the Urban Escape Vehicle for our ~350-mile drive to the Alpine Coach Rally in Newport Beach, CA.

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Route from the Triple T RV Park in Phoenix to Newport Dunes Resort & Marina in Newport Beach, CA.

We stopped in Quartzsite overnight and boondocked at a nice spot just south of town.  We haven’t stayed on this side of Quartzsite before, we always stay on the BLM land on the north-side of town for the annual Alpine Coach “Desert Rat Rallies”.

Boondocking in Quartzsite.
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Boondocking in Quartzsite.

We enjoyed a nice evening walk around the desert and then again in the morning.  There were only a couple other rigs in sight of our spot.  We even treated ourselves to an evening campfire with our “bonfire-in-a-can”.

We tried to get grandson Kaan to hug a cactus.


Cactus blooming in Quartzsite, AZ.

After a nice leisurely overnight stay in Quartzsite, we continued on to our rally destination.


And here we are at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort (below).  We arrived without incident, except for some typical CA freeway traffic.  I downloaded the Harley from the back of the Silverado and unloaded the back seat so we can drive around without having to be stuffed into the front seat.



As of Thursday evening, we have 10 Alpines in attendance so far.  This is a weekend rally, however, most folks (like us) want to make the most of the rally and arrive early and leave late.  We intend to stay here until the 28th and then have to return to Phoenix since our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan need to get back to work and school.

Our rally hosts/co-hosts Greg & Marcy Vaughan/Mike & Donna Hambarian guided folks into their spots throughout the day as they arrived and then Mike even ordered in some pizza for an impromptu dinner/get-together.

The Alpine SoCal group together again!

Here’s some pics of our first evening together here at Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina:



Frank remembered his name tag this time.
Mike herding ducks.
The Alpine “circle” grew as the evening progressed. Good pizza, good people!

Here’s a few pics of our Alpine row… the Coaches will fill in the empty spots as they arrive.  Everyone should be here by Friday when the rally officially kicks off.




Frank Krauland has his nice outside entertainment center set up for business.


Frank set up his latest project for display.  He made a “fake” RV park power pole with a water faucet.  It has a pump that circulates the water so it looks like it’s dripping.  This will be a big hit when he sets it up at our next boondocking rally and we see how many people walk over to ask how he was the only one to get a power pedestal 🙂  Of course, he was given lots of constructive criticism by fellow Alpiner’s on how to improve on his “faux” power pedestal.  Way to go Frank… pretty cool!


Ron and Jeanne Maxwell are also here at the rally with Jennifer’s old dog ‘Ember’.  Some of you that follow the blog may remember (←link) that we had to find Ember a good home when Jenny first moved down from Colorado Springs.  You may also recall that Ember is Coach’s sister, although they look entirely different.  Ron & Jeanne stepped up during the rally (February) in Lake Havasu and took over that duty.  She appears to be quite happy and is even putting on some weight.  Thanks again Ron & Jeanne!  Jenny and Kaan sure enjoy seeing her again.



Stilla, Jenny, and Kaan also spent some evening time at the RV Resort’s beach:



Kaan burying himself in the sand at the Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina.

And our first pre-rally day comes to an end…

Full moon through the palm tree at Newport Dunes RV resort.
Late evening picture of the Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina beach.

Our first full day here at the Newport Dunes RV resort (Thursday) we spent exploring the local beaches.  First, we went north from the RV resort and explored Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.  Then we went all the way south to Dana Point.  We stopped along the way several times and played in the water and even watched some whales.  Follow along:

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Here we are at Newport Beach (←wikipedia® link).


Jenny and Kaan on Newport Beach, CA.
Kaan on Newport Beach, CA.


Aliso Beach:


Kaan is making a habit of burying himself in the sand everywhere we go.


At Dana Point Headlands Nature & Interpretive Center (←link here) we stopped and got the tip from the onsite volunteer ranger to walk the pathway for some whale watching.  There were reportedly several whale sightings.  There were even a couple mama whales with their calves.


We walked along the nature trail to look for whales.




And we were in luck… we saw numerous whales but only got pictures of them barely breaking the water or blowing.  Every time one would come up for a good picture, none of us had a camera ready.  Here’s a few pics of what we did get:



One of the more informed spectators claimed that we were watching Gray Whales.





It was pretty cool to finally see some whales and some of them were pretty close to shore.

Kaan at the Dana Point Headlands Interpretive Center.

A couple more beach pictures:



At Dana Point, we stopped at the Ocean Institute but quickly saw that it was getting ready to close for the evening.  But that didn’t stop us from looking around.

The Silverado in the Dana Point Ocean Institute parking lot below the cliffs.

I saw a Tesla in the parking lot.  I haven’t seen one of these before, so I snapped a couple photos:




Click (here) to learn more about Teslamotors.  A pretty cool looking car and much larger than I thought they would be.

Cliffs at Dana Point Ocean Institute.

According to the Ocean Institute website, “The Pilgrim (below) is a full-sized replica of the hide brig immortalized by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. in his American seafaring classic novel Two Years Before the Mast. This historic voyage is the basis for the Ocean Institute’s Two Years Before the Mast education program.


After walking along the pier(s) and boardwalk at Dana Point, we headed on back to the RV Resort with a quick stop at Trader Joe’s® for some groceries.  We made it back just before dusk.  A few more Alpines had arrived while we were gone and I got the chance to say a couple of quick “hello’s” before we called it a night.

Stay tuned for more on the latest Urban Escape Vehicle travel journal and our latest Alpine Coach SoCal rally which officially starts today (Friday)!  I’ll try to keep up…