Archive for Wanderlust

Interim Destination Stockton

Rain and Traffic

The forecast for weather on the next leg of our journey was quite accurate; there were gusty winds in the desert from Barstow up into the mountain pass near Tehachapi. Also, as expected, there was rain along our route starting at about Modesto and continuing until we finally got to our destination. In spite of the weather, we made good time and were only slowed by traffic for the last few miles in moderate rain. Our arrival was near rush hour on a Friday, so the traffic was expected.

The family members are doing well. We are here for an open ended visit while one of the family recovers from her surgery on Wednesday. We may post more from here if time and events permit.

Click on the image to enlarge. The black diagonal item at the left is a windshield wiper which activated when Damsel took the photo.

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Camping in Barstow

Barstow on Route 66We’re camping in Barstow this evening after a six-hour drive here from Arizona. Today’s excursion was uneventful as we crossed from Arizona desert, across the Colorado River and into the California desert. We went through the Arizona Outback to Parker, up through Needles and across I-40 to Barstow.

We are facing some adverse weather tomorrow, starting with high winds in the desert. It is already gusting here this evening and is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Some gusts may reach 40Mph, according to the forecast. When we get into the South San Joaquin Valley, there is a 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast. We’re hoping and praying that we will make good time and be safe as we head for our family commitment in Stockton.

After Stockton, the plan is to take our time getting back home on a route through Nevada and Arizona. Our previous format for travel days has been to stay only one night in a place. The plan this time is to stay two or more nights in a place, being sure to relax and enjoy the time like a real vacation.

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Checking off the Chores

check.pngWe use a calendar application on the home computer to remind us of things we need to do. Even in retirement, there are a myriad of chores (as many retirees already know) that present themselves to be accomplished on a routine basis. The application also reminds us of birthdays, appointments, holidays and anything deemed necessary as a one-time or recurring event.

Wednesdays are filled with things to do:

  • Look at the grocery ads
  • Do the weekend food planning
  • Start and run the engines in the RV and in Damsel’s Convertible

And today, being the fourth Wednesday of the month:

  • Record the SSA deposit in the banking application
  • Pay off the Credit Card

There was an additional chore to do today; fill the RV with diesel (it has been on half tank since our return from the fall excursion). Our grocery chain has a “GAS REWARDS” program where we can get up to a dollar discount per gallon up to 25gal. It so happened that we had enough rewards for fifty gallons of fuel, so I drove the RV to the station that accepts the rewards here in town and pumped in 44 gallons of diesel at a dollar off the advertised price. Paying $1.999/gal is a whole lot better than the last time we fueled up in rip-off Kalifornistan at the $3.559/gal price tag over there.

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Desolation

CA Hwy 62

This is a view of the scenery we saw yesterday along CA Hwy 62 in San Bernadino County as we crossed the great desolate Mojave Desert on the last leg of our trip. Damsel took this photo after our departure from Twentynine Palms. We were just north of Joshua Tree National Park, which, in itself, is a very large chunk of real estate.

Other than a few lightly populated areas and the larger town of Parker, AZ, the trip yesterday had us looking at bare desert. The difference between the California deserts and Arizona deserts would be that there are saguaro cacti east of the Colorado River and not so much west of there.

Still, both deserts are amazing examples of geological variety and wonder, with scrub brush and jagged mountains. We enjoyed the crossing very much on a clear, calm and beautiful day.

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Journey’s End

Home Again

This is just a short post to log the fact that we are again home after a safe arrival this afternoon. It was a good trip with light traffic and plenty of blue skies and sunshine along a scenic and desolate desert drive. We can hardly wait for the next excursion, but we have pressing issues at home.

Drake, the neighbor’s dog came to welcome Damsel home. Click on the image to enlarge.

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High Desert Camping

Twentynine Palms Resort

After the second leg (of three) on our return home, we find ourselves in Twentynine Palms in the Mojave, CA high desert. Today was an interesting drive which, in part, took us both to areas of the high desert where we had yet to see, to wit: Lucerne and Johnson Valleys. It is quite the scenic drive with desolate areas, giant rock formations and the usual desert flora and fauna.

The campground here is at elevation 1730 MSL according to the GPS. We are experiencing warmer weather than that we had in Northern California, where fall has definitely become quite brisk. Here, the temperatures are forecast for between lows of high fifties and highs of low eighties. We expect much of the same when we arrive home tomorrow.

Our drive tomorrow will be through the rest of the California Outback, across the Colorado river at Earp, CA/Parker, AZ and continuing through the Arizona Outback the rest of the way home. Weather and traffic are not expected to be factors during the last leg home.

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On The Move Again

Orange Grove RV Park

Tonight we’re camped in Bakersfield, California at the Orange Grove RV Park. The park is, literally, in an orange grove with spaces for RVs to park. Now that December is imminent, the warm weather parks fill up pretty fast. We were fortunate to get a space here and the park looks to be nearly full.

We had a great time over the last two weeks, camping and meeting with family. It’s a bittersweet thing to be heading home, but we’re already planning our next excursion to be with family again.

We’re going to be in the California High Desert tomorrow, stopping in Twentynine Palms overnight and then home on Saturday. In spite of having a lot of fun on the road and with family, we are looking forward to being home again and back into our retirement routine.

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