Friday, November 1, 2013

Surprise . . . We're Back!

            It is now Thursday, October 31th and we have a surprise for some and maybe not a big surprise for others. When we woke up yesterday this was the view out the front of our coach.

            Some of you will know this view and some of you will not. What we noticed right away was the blue sky. We haven’t seen a lot of that lately. Oh, and disregard that snow as that is a little unusual this early in the season, and besides it happened before our arrival. 

            The last posting to this travel blog was made on October 23rd. That was the morning after we escaped the beautiful but wet shores of the Pacific Ocean in Oregon for the wet shores of the Pacific Ocean in California. We did have a good time in Eureka during our short three day stay, but our near term plan said we should be moving on south from Eureka to Napa, California last Friday the 25th.  

            With our vanishing exit from the wet Oregon coast last week we were now somewhat a few days ahead of any schedule we had made. Actually I’m not sure if we had a schedule at that point but the one thing I do know is I had ordered some parts from the Fleetwood Parts Department in Indiana and they had been mailed (October 22nd) to one of their dealers in Davis, California, a suburb of Sacramento, and about 40 miles from Napa where we would be staying. I needed them! 

            The drive from Eureka to Napa was a beautiful but long drive of about 240 miles. Again it took longer than you might think. I know when I think of driving from place to place I usually figure the miles involved and just divide by 60 MPH to determine how long it should take to make the drive.  On the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California the equation doesn’t work due to all the small coastal towns and farming communities where the posted speeds are much lower than 60 MPH. Again we saw nice sights in the tall redwood trees. We also left Highway 101 at Geyersville, California and drove the final 50 miles into Napa on California highway 128. That was exciting seeing the entire Napa valley but VERY slow down the two lane country highway in miles and miles of vineyards. 

We arrived in a very crowded Napa around 2 P.M. The RV Park in Napa was fantastic as it was small with plenty of room for about 30 coaches. Close to downtown Napa. 

The parts for the coach didn’t arrive in Davis via UPS on Friday or Saturday but did arrive early this past Monday. We readied the coach for departure, attached the Jeep, and headed for Davis to get the parts. Everything was going fine on this sunny Monday morning. 

Our next destination was going to be just south of San Jose in Morgan Hill where I had found a couple RV park possibilities, but we got there so early we decided to forge on south another 150 miles, or so, to Paso Robles.
We stopped in Gonzales, just south of Salinas, to gas the coach. It took 85 gallons to fill the 100 gallon tank. We were now good for about 1,000 miles.  

Everyone has a favorite winery. Ours is J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles. Well, we got to Paso Robles and the RV Park we had chosen was too close to the highway for our liking and the weather had gone goofy as it started to drizzle. What are we . . . . . cursed? Did this wet weather follow us down the coast? 

As we drove on south down Highway 101 in the Paso Robles area we came across the signs on the highway that said we were just a couple miles from where we could turn east on California Highway 46 towards Bakersfield. Janet and I looked at each other and immediately agreed we should abort further excursion, and go to Vegas. Within the first couple miles on Highway 46 we changed our minds and decided on Pahrump, Nevada instead of Vegas. Let’s see. That is 420 miles and it is 6:30 P.M. now. What the hey, let’s go! 

On Highway 58 between Bakersfield and Barstow we spent about 40 miles in another torrential downpour. Just me and the truckers in all that wet. We are cursed! 

It was the 90 mile drive going north on California Highway 127 out of Baker that really had my attention. Ninety miles on a 2 lane dark desert road I had never been on before. I had the bright lights on except for the 5 cars that past me. I wondered if I was going to be making contact with some animal that wandered onto the highway. Maybe Bigfoot! I was elated to pull into the parking lot of the Nugget Casino in Pahrump at 12:30 A.M. Thirteen hours of driving from Napa! We closed off the windows, turned out the lights, and went to bed. We never left the house! 

We checked into the Wine Ridge RV Resort behind Pahrump Winery and Symphony Restaurant at 10 A.M. Tuesday. Our plan is to stay here until at least November 18th or maybe longer. This is the best RV Park we have ever stayed in! We are considering a move into Las Vegas around December 15th and around January 15th the excursion will continue to the west, south, and east in 2014. 

To our friends and family that got cut off from our visit as our excursion abruptly ended – we hope to see you over the holidays. 

Janet and I have had a wonderful time the last four months seeing some territory we had never seen and seeing old friends we don’t see enough. Stay in touch and we hope to see you again sooner than later. 

We will keep you advised right here. Stay tuned.

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