Hiking the San Andreas Fault and other adventures in California and the American Southwest with Jeff & Patti Kinzbach: ‘Rocking the RV Life

None of us have been spared by the winter weather this season. If you think we’ve just been basking in the sun in the Southwest, think again. Everyone has been affected by the cold temperatures, even in Florida. Out West, there’s been heavy rain and snow in the mountains. In the Southwest, we’ve had our share of cold temperatures, high winds and dust storms. Luckily, we’ve never woken up to five inches of snow on our RV but, we have had to take the leaf blower up on the roof and blow off a lot of dirt and sand.

Speaking of dirt and sand, while staying at our winter campground just outside of Palm Springs someone mentioned that the San Andreas Fault is just about four miles away and runs through the area. They also said, “You can hike along it, too.” That’s all we needed to hear.

Being avid hikers, we did some research and off we went. The San Andreas Fault extends about 800 miles from just south of Palm Springs to Eureka, California. It separates two major plates of the earth’s crust, the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. How can you find it? As the two plates move in opposite directions, it disrupts groundwater making it easy for it to come to the surface where vegetation will grow.

The Pushawalla Palms Loop Trail is a 4.5-mile hike near Thousand Palms, California. It’s best to do this in the winter because it’s too hot in the summer. We loved it. You gain about 750 feet in elevation and the views are awesome. Best of all, we basically had it to ourselves. It was easy to see the fault. A line of palm trees and vegetation tells the story.

I know what you’re thinking. Did we wonder what would we do if the ground started to shake? They talk about the “Big One,” being long overdue, it would be our luck it would happen when we were there!

But all ended well.

Jeff and Patti Kinzbach

Patti Kinzbach in Quartzsite, Arizona, home of one of the nation’s largest RV shows.

Do we spend all our time in Southern California? The answer is no. We recently stayed in Yuma, Arizona. That gave us the opportunity to take the Jeep to Quartzsite for the annual RV Show. Quartzsite is a town of about 3,000 but gets over a million visitors a year because of the vast amount of BLM land that many camp on for free. BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management.

The RV show is huge and lasts 10 days. We enjoyed all the sights including a bit of people-watching. We’ll be honest, the area turns into a big party during the winter months with all of the RV campers!

After Yuma, our plan was to head back to Palm Springs but we both decided we needed a new adventure. That’s the beauty of traveling in an RV. You can change your plans. We discuss this in detail in our latest podcast. We decided to travel north and stay on the Colorado River in a little town called Earp, California. The river is the border between Arizona and California. The area is filled with wild donkeys that were left years ago after the local mines closed. We didn’t see any but one night at dusk Patti was out walking and heard the familiar “hee-hawing” in the distance.

As you drive to Earp, there is one sight that you’ll see on the side of a huge hill. It looks like a giant head. Some say it looks like an alien. One thing is certain, you can’t take your eyes off it. It is a large volcanic rock that someone painted green and it’s become a tourist attraction. Of course, we had to stop and take pictures.

Jeff and Patti Kinzbach

On the drive to Earp, Calif., with Jeff and Patti Kinzbach. They stopped to see this attraction on the side of a huge hill. It looks like a giant head. Some say it looks like an alien. It is a large volcanic rock that someone painted green and it’s become a tourist attraction.

Now it’s off to more adventures as we travel through the Mojave Desert and rocky terrain on roads that we have almost to ourselves. Our next destination is Las Vegas. What could possibly go wrong?

Related content

  • Jeff and Patti Kinzbach shift gears on the road – Rocking the RV Life
  • Rocking the RV Life podcasters have a chance meeting with travel experts-authors

Cleveland radio legend Jeff Kinzbach and his wife, Patti, have been living out of their RV and traveling North America since Jeff retired in 2020. They share their stories from the road on their weekly “Rocking the RV Life” podcast, which is available via Spotify, Apple Podcasts and many other platforms. The podcast is presented in partnership with and The Plain Dealer. You can follow the Kinzbachs at

Related Posts

Share this post