Happenings in Jamul

Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

  It seems like a lot more than 5 days since we were on the road to our membership park, Pio Pico, here in Jamul (pronounced hah-mool)...lots has happened since then!
  When we arrived here, we discovered that we were once again being relegated to a parking spot that did not have a sewer hookup, as had been the case the last two weeks in Indio.  This is not a disastrous problem, but it is inconvenient, as we need to take short showers, can't run the washer/dryer, and have to move to a dump station about every 4 days to empty our black and gray water tanks.  Remember, we're not really campers - we just live our RV, so at least one of us gets impatient when all the conveniences of home aren't available!  We moved into our assigned spot, only to discover that there were even more inconveniences - the power level fluctuated greatly - to the point that we even popped the power off when we turned on the TV!  And then, the ultimately unacceptable inconvenience for yours truly - we did not have a cell phone signal, nor did we have an internet signal!  We had been told when we checked out that, if we got back to the Ranger Station at 9 the next morning, there was a chance we could move to a better site, one with sewer AND 50 amp electric (the current one was 30 amp, but went up and down).  Well, we showed up the next morning at 9:01 only to discover that the newly available good sites had been doled out to those ahead of us in line...obviously, we weren't the only ones who wanted a move!    So, we went back across the road to the "inferior" part of the park and Greg got his power tester and we drove around until we found another site whose power seemed much stronger, and we moved the motorhome to that site, which did not have the fluctuation problems...probably because nobody else was parked in that row using the power!
Once we got settled, as we prepared to head out for an hour's drive to Escondido, where we had been invited to an "informational" meeting (read: sales pitch!) about the changing face and opportunities of our Thousand Trails Campgrounds Membership; this herd of mule deer showed up behind our motorhome - a reminder that some of the sights we get to see outside our window can pretty quickly overshadow any inconveniences!  We had decided to stop at a couple of stores to look for a Wilson Truckers Antenna, which we heard would give us a signal for our cell phone - but we didn't find one at any of the places we looked.  Despite having to listen to another sales pitch about possible upgrades at the Thousand Trails meeting, it was interesting to learn about the new ownership and their plans for improvements and growth.  We left the meeting and went to a nearby restaurant, where we met up with our old buddy, John, who we've mentioned several times before in our TravelPod.  As always, we had a great evening - John regaled us with his many stories, as usual, about sprint car racing, the upcoming season racing, and his plans to re-start his curbing business down in this area of Southern California. 
The next morning (Saturday), Greg got over to the Rangers Station brighter and earlier, and we were assigned to a new site - a really nice one with good, solid 50 amp service and an honest-to-goodness sewer hookup.  At the same time, he went and checked out the on-site swap meet/sale, where we had heard a dealer showed up with the Wilson Truckers Antennas we had been looking for.   Sure enough, a half hour and $130 later, we were in business again, with an antenna and adapters for both the cell phone AND the air card which is our connection to the internet.  The only downside is that we can have a signal on only one at a time, so, I'll do some work (i.e., bill payment, email, reservations scheduling), then disconnect the air card, and connect the cell phone to the antenna instead, and make necessary phone calls!   Most of all, we're glad to have the cell phone available, as Rose's Mom will be here the middle of next week, and we did not want to be without communication when she was here.  
January 21 was Rose's neice Megan's 21st Birthday - Happy Birthday, Meg!  Being 3 hours earlier here in California than in Michigan where her family lives, Rose was able to Instant Message Megan on Saturday night, right after she returned from having her first official drink with her parents!   The convenience of the internet and connections that it allows us to maintain with loved ones is truly a blessing!   Along that same line, Greg's Stepson, Jason, who lives in Montana, had recently checked in on our TravelPod, saw that we were back here in Southern Cal, and had emailed us that he was going to be in town for the weekend, and hoped we could get together. 
So last evening, we enjoyed a great dinner (our favorite - the Japanese Steakhouse!) with Jason and his buddy Sean, who we had met several years ago when Jason visited us.  It's pretty funny to see anyone, least of all one of Greg's "kids", towering above six-foot-tall Greg - but Jason does just that - he's 6'6"!  We're hoping to connect up with Jason again this summer when we plan to go through Kalispell after we leave the Calgary area.  Jason was recently promoted to front desk manager of the hotel he works for in Kalispell...testament to how hard he's worked since starting there as a bellboy some years ago!
We got home late Sunday evening and got the news that John, with whom we had had dinner two nights before, had suffered a massive heart attack and was in ICU in a nearby hosptial.  John is a very special friend to us, and many of you have met him and know what a character he is.  We hope that you'll all keep him in your thoughts and prayers in the weeks ahead.  He's under heavy sedation this week, with doctors hoping that the heart muscle will get the rest it needs, as bypass surgery will be necessary after the immediate trauma period has passed.  We'll keep you posted on his condition as time goes on. 
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