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Trip Start Jun 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Larry's place

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, August 16, 2010

It's time to go home. Back to reality. (The reality being we are unable to support this lifestyle without further income.) This return date was chosen, for the most part, because Violet is to start school next week and will have her Jr High orientation tomorrow afternoon. If we get home tonight we will have time to set up camp and get semi organized. Since we are planning on living in the trailer until….we don't know how long, it feels different than the normal return from a vacation. We are just moving our home….back home, I guess you could say. Kind of weird actually. It’s not like we get to pull up to our house and start unpacking. Go inside and flip on the big screen TV, check our messages on the answering machine, inspect the garden and/or fruit trees, grab a beer out of a full size fridge or take a (real) shower in a full size bathroom. How about doing a load of laundry in your own washer and dryer? None of those things will be happening for us. Before leaving my parents’, Vonnie has been busy getting all of the laundry done and getting things organized for us to start work and for Vi to start school. We are all kind of excited to get back to Sonoma County after being away from friends and fam for so long….well, with the exception of Violet, who is not "kind of excited", but ecstatic about getting home.

We said our goodbyes in the morning. We had a great time at Grants Pass and my parents made us real comfortable. With the (almost) full hook ups, good food, full access to washer/dryer, and lots of other perks, we were living like kings. We even had wifi after Todd and I rigged up a wireless router to my Dad’s computer. They said we should park there for a month or longer next time. Who knows? If everything goes to shit someday we could be taking them up on that offer!

After emptying the black water at a dump station in town, we were on the road around 10am. I opted to take the 101 route home. (as opposed to taking I5) By the GPS navigation, this route is 29 miles further but the scenery is 10x better compared to that of the Sacramento Valley. (in my opinion) Navigation has us home at 5:00pm. Tack on 2 hours for me screwing off (this phenomenon is best known as “Marco Time” by my buddies back home) and we’ll be home at 7. Hwy 199, out of Grants Pass, follows the Smith River for a ways until you pick up the 101 at the coast. It’s best not to get behind a truck on this route since passing lanes are minimal. The drive was super scenic, as usual, and the Pacific Ocean swell was crashing along the shoreline as we worked our way down the 101. Lots of surfers, wearing wetsuits of course so as not to die from hypothermia, were out dodging great whites. It looked like fun (sans the cold water and sharks) and I thought to myself….maybe I would try to learn to surf in the near future. I think it’s about time to do that. Of course the nice warm Atlantic waters with it’s pinner waves would have been a good place to learn.

As we made our way into Sonoma County everything looked pretty much the same as when we left. For some reason I was thinking things would look different. I don’t know why. I just did. While in the truck, on the home stretch, we congratulated each other for pulling off such a huge roadtrip. It seemed so impossible in the beginning. Obviously we didn’t know what living on the road would be like but, as the weeks went by we adapted to the lifestyle. Looking back, after the 3rd week we were almost into a routine. I asked Violet if it was as bad as she thought it would be. She said “yes”. (brat) Actually, she said she had fun times of course, but the missing of friends and family was rough on her. (Hope we didn’t scar her for life.) About 7pm we pulled onto Vonnie’s dad’s property, where we would be setting up camp for a while. Some tears were flowing as Violet jumped out of the truck to hug her Grandpa. More family drove out to meet us and welcome us all home. That was cool and we were stoked to see everyone. We were unstoked on the fact that we had to dig out our sweatshirts to remain outdoors. This weather will take some getting used to after so many weeks in the heat and humidity. I have to face the fact that I will need to throw on some protection from the evening chill, even in the middle of summer. That’s just how it works here. They call it “natures AC”. The fog pushes its way over the coastal range almost every evening, cooling the air temp down into the low 50’s. We’re not big fans of this daily event. I got a little bit depressed as the inside temp dropped below 60 deg and the furnace clicked on.

We had a busy weekend ahead of us. We got the camp set up pretty well.  I got in a couple of days off barbecuing, got to roll around in the skatepark for a couple of hours. We hooked up with friends and family and shared stories and photos of the trip. Violet attended an “end of summer” party and got to hang with a bunch of her friends before school started.

I’m planning to post one or two more entries in the next week or so. Once I gather up all of the info, I’m hoping to share some facts and costs….fuel, food, entertainment, rv parks, along with totals of miles and mileage, etc… Here I will also posts some final thoughts and different things that we’ve learned after our 2+ months on the road and our small taste of living the “RV life”.
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