Monday, June 29, 2009

Today We Meet Linda & Family!

(May 13, 2009) We got a little later start this morning.  We found the campground host to be quite delightful to talk to. He had worked in the movie industry before retiring and had some great stories to tell. 

Our destination today was from Interstate 5 to Highway 99 and the home of Linda (Finding Footprints In The Sand) and her family.  I called Linda from the campground and she figured we had about a 4-5 hour drive ahead of us.  So we started out, thinking if we stopped to eat in the afternoon, it would allow them to have their dinner and we’d get there about 6:30 or 7pm. 

We hadn’t driven very far when we heard a loud ‘thump’ sound.  Bob checked the rear view mirror and didn’t see anything, so we figured it was coming from one of the semi trucks that were along side of us.  We went maybe a half a mile further and then we heard lots of ‘thumps’ and they were loud.  When it was safe …he pulled to side the road and went out to look the truck over.  There it was~the inside dual tire on the left rear of the truck…bald…all the tread had come off.  Slowly we continued on until we came to a rest area where he pulled in.  He called AAA and after 30 minutes of haggling about where we were located, etc. the lady came back on the line and stated that AAA doesn’t change inside tires. That was not what we wanted to hear, especially since he pays extra for RV coverage. There was a fellow picking thru the trash, collecting empty bottles and cans (5¢ refund in California). Figuring he was a local, Bob asked him how far to the next town & was there a place to get a tire changed. The man informed us we were about 6 miles north of Williams, California and that there were two tire shops there.  So we headed out, not going much faster than 45 –50 mph.  We limped into Williams where he stopped at a burger place for directions to the nearest tire shop. Thankfully it was just a few blocks away.  When we got there, Bob went in and the man working there said he’d change it for $25.  Bob actually was taking 2 truck tires back to Pasadena to trade, so the guy was able to use one of those tires to replace the bad one. 

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Meanwhile it’s getting later and we haven’t traveled very far.  We haven’t even reached Sacramento yet, where we’ll branch off to Highway 99.  After finally getting thru Sacramento (that was fun at the beginning of rush hour traffic) we head down 99.  That was really fun for both of us because it had been so many years since we’d traveled that highway.  We passed miles of man made rice paddies.

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It’s amazing  how we’ve been able to create a way to grow almost any product.

Finally as it was beginning to get dark we were seeing signs for Linda’s town. Then there we were….the freeway signs said this city had 11 exits.  WOW ! Not the little town it was back in 1955 when I was there last to visit my cousins.  Linda had given me directions~but we totally missed their exit.  It was the first one as you enter their town and it eluded us.  After several phone calls, we finally pulled down their street & there they were…standing on the side walk out in front of their house in the dark.  All of them….Linda, Bill, Son2, Son3  and even their kitty. 

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It was so good to see them but I was so disappointed that it was dark and I couldn’t see their beautiful yard.  Son3 got a flash light and showed me some of their roses but it just wasn’t the same as being there in the daylight.  I’m so glad Linda posts lots of pictures of her yard & flowers. 

Finally about 10pm we left so they could get to bed.  Bill directed us to a Wal Mart parking lot where we could camp out for the night.  When we got there, there were lots of other RV’s  so we felt very comfortable.  And once the guy collected all the shopping carts out of the parking lot, it was very quiet.  I always like it when we park like that because it allows for some shopping in the morning when the store opens. And this next morning was no exception.  Besides the Wal Mart there was also a Goodwill store in the same complex so that kept us busy until about 9:30am when we finally got under way again.  This parking lot was so beautifully landscaped.  Here’s some pictures I took right there in our free “RV park.” As you can see, there was quite a few others in the parking lot.

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next entry….our fourth day on the trail.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heading South Once Again

We left here about noon on Monday May 11th. The day after Mother’s Day.  My son’s girlfriend had given me these beautiful roses and I struggled over leaving them behind.  So I hung three of them upside down to dry, sent seven of them home with my grand daughter & son in law for my daughter to enjoy and put these two in water in an old Taco Bell cup and they went along with us.

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Our goal was to reach southern Oregon this first night on the trail.  We stopped only a couple times, once for gas and another time in a rest area to fix lunch.  At this rest area we saw what we thought was a chain of Toyota’s.  After checking it out, it was actually two sets of Toyota’s towing another one.

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Finally we arrived in Canyonville, Oregon and the beautiful Seven Feather’s Casino.

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We had a wonderful dinner there and slept back in a corner of their parking lot.

The next morning we continued south and soon came to Medford, Oregon.  Lot’s of us get those  ‘Harry & David’ catalogs in the mail just before the holidays…….well this is their beautiful store.   So many goodies in there.  I bought some fresh apricots, and some of their ‘Moose Munch’ for snacking on while we were driving.  

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We crossed into California about 1pm that second day.  We are always anxious to see the condition of Mt Shasta in northern California and she didn’t disappoint us on this trip.  She was beautiful !

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Lake Shasta was looking pretty good too. Sometimes it’s very low but I’d say the water level was better than we’ve seen it in the past.  If you look on a map & check out northern California~it’s a huge lake.

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Our second night on the trail found us at Woodson Bridge State Park, about 6 miles east of Corning, California.  Corning is all about olives. There’s olive trees everywhere you look and all sorts of shops that feature olive products.  (Rows of olive trees in the picture below.)

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Our site was surrounded by beautiful trees.  The campground was clean & well cared for. The only problem was the shower.  In California you have to have a handful of quarters to get the showers going.  It’s usually 50 cents for the first seven minutes and then more quarters if you want or need more time.  I went in and inserted five quarters and only got ice cold water.  I always take my cell phone with me, so I called Bob and he went to the camp host (which thankfully was next to the shower building) and soon warm water flowed freely.  The host was so apologetic , stating that they’d been having problems with the hot water system in the park. May June 2009 vacation29

By Tuesday evening I was getting excited because~ the next day we’d be rolling into Fresno and Linda Reynolds's house.  

In our first two days we had only covered 634.4 miles , just a little more than half way to Pasadena, CA.