Visiting Friends Along the Way
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
30Trip End Sep 22, 2009
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Oh, my goodness, what a drive. I thought I'd been teleported to West Texas but instead of oil rigs, all we saw today was one grove of trees after another. But, honestly now, don’t you think there should be a law that farmers have to put up signs along the freeway to tell you what they are? We suspect they were almond trees, but as slight as our arbor skills are, you could tell us just about anything and get away with it.
We spent Monday night in a very nice park in Redding – JGW RV Park. The name doesn’t do anything to describe the place but it’s along the banks of the Sacramento River. For an extra $10, we could have had a river view but just for one night, we decided to pass
The difference between last night’s park and the one pulled into today is like daylight and dark. I won’t even bother to describe the place; it’s way too bleak and dismal. The only thing pretty was the sunset. Again, it’s just for one night, and I’m sure if we lock our doors we’ll be all right.
September 12, 2009 (Saturday) – Mission Viejo, CA (280 miles)
Actually, we survived the Madera visit without mishap and traveled Hwy 99 to Fresno before cutting back to I-5 on Hwy 41. Along the interior of Oregon and, now, also in California we were seeing complete devastation of the area as a result of drought. There was NO green to be found in anything except the trees and many of them looked a bit troubled. We passed several signs along the way saying, "Congress Created Dust Bowl Area" and still don’t know what that’s about. One side of the road had fields watered from the irrigation ditch while the other side was absolutely barren
Our friends in Mission Viejo, the Johnson’s, had invited us to park our RV in front of their home and use their spare bedroom. They assured us Nitchie was also welcome. Jim had investigated and found it was permissible to park an RV on the street up to 3 days if it was 25 feet or less. When we told him that ours was 33 feet, he called a friend of his (a judge) and learned the fine was $38. It was decided that $38 for 3 days wasn’t such a bad deal and our unit exactly fit between their home and the neighbors. We were fortunate enough to meet several of the neighbors right as we pulled in and everyone assured us we wouldn’t be in their way.
Our visit with Jim and Nancy Johnson was super. They told us to use their home as a base to come and go as we pleased. The first night they took us to dinner at Oami Sushi. Wendell sort of fibbed and told Jim, “Sure Donna likes sushi.” Well, that wasn’t exactly true, as I had eaten VERY little Sushi before, long ago, but it turned out it was not a lie
Thursday evening, Gene & Irene Kellner, came to the Johnson’s to take us to dinner…..and also brought dinner. Gene has taken an interest in gardening since his retirement from Lockheed and loaded our fridge with peppers and tomatoes. Not only that, they brought stuffed peppers and cabbage rolls….already prepared. Looks like I won’t have to cook for awhile. We went to a German restaurant, The Phoenix, in Anaheim. The Kellner’s daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Peter, joined us. Peter and Nancy were married in the same wedding chapel and by the same minister that performed our ceremony…Chapel in the Wildwoods in Upland, California. Anyway, we had a grand old time and clapped and stomped our feet to the wonderful Um-pah music. And, yes, the schnitzel and spatzle was melt in your mouth good.
Friday morning, we took the Johnson’s at their word, leaving them to babysit Nitchie, while Wendell and I drove to our old homestead in Rancho Cucamonga
We returned to the Johnson’s by late afternoon and Nancy prepared a Mexican food dinner of enchiladas and tamales. Some of you might think, “Mexican food for lunch and again at dinner!” Well, everyone that knows Wendell also knows that is not a problem. He can eat Mexican food every meal of the day, every day of the week. When he was flying, I’m sure his crews sometimes got a little tired of his Mexican fare, but most of the time they went along. Every now and then, some junior officer would rebel and squawk for Chinese or Italian, but Wendell usually won out
Today, after a hearty breakfast prepared by our hostess, we hooked up the trailer and set out for our next destination. Nitchie was extremely reluctant to leave and kept trying to go back in the Johnson’s front door. She had quickly become attached to “Popi and Nani Johnson” and would have been content to stay and let us go ahead without her. Nitchie enjoyed the walks on the trails above the house, even spotting rabbits and birds to chase. Nancy reported in her email tonight that she and Jim had to walk “alone” and with Nitchie gone, Nancy had to chase the rabbit.
With our GPS, we easily maneuvered out of the LA area and headed east to the desert. The truck thermometer was soon registering 109⁰ and just outside Indio, we had a flat tire on the trailer. Ouch! There was just enough room to ease onto the shoulder of the road and we were clearly visible from a long distance, so we felt safe enough to tough it out until a service truck could come change the tire. USAA Roadside Assistance to the rescue! It took a little over an hour for them to arrive and about 30 minutes to put on the spare
September 13, 2009 (Sunday) – Buckeye, AZ (315 miles)
We had full intentions of sleeping in this morning but the sun warming our bedroom caused us to debunk before 7 AM. The combination yesterday’s long ride and the heat left me feeling almost hung over but by the time I’d consumed a few cups of coffee and had my cereal, I was feeling “normal” again. Wendell called his old Southern Air Transportation buddy and made arrangements to visit in the afternoon. We arrived at the Martin’s home where Nitchie was met with gleeful “yips” from their two dogs, Prudy and Lilly
We topped off the gas tank and are all set to leave tomorrow for our next destination – Wilcox, Arizona. We’ll be having one night stopovers until we reach my mom’s in Greenville, TX. Pray there will be no further tire problems……or any other kind, for that matter.