Orange Nirvana

Monday, January 6, 2014

It was an early morning for the Daisies.  We were up, showered, dressed, had breakfast, dishes done, and were on the road by 8:08am.  Wiley had a restless night.  He gave me a “welfare check” (his cold nose in my face) EVERY hour throughout the night.  That means that neither of us got much sleep.  He napped on the road, so no worries there.  I have better things to do, like co-pilot for the co-pilot, or stewardess responsibilities.

The drive around San Francisco was surprisingly uneventful.  We had very little traffic, and a gorgeous drive through farmland and then marshland.

Farmland, for the first part of the trip around the bay.

Farmland, for the first part of the trip around the bay.

Wetlands for the second part of the drive around the bay.

Wetlands for the second part of the drive around the bay.

Rod and Craig figured out a route that would keep us off the main highway for as long as we could, and skirt the rush-hour folks.  When we did enter the major highways, traffic was not as bad as we had expected.  It’s irrelevant, as Craig is truly in his element in these stressful California driving situations.  It is offensive (not defensive) driving at its best, the California way to do it.  I am saying this with admiration and sincerity.  He does an amazing job.  I could not do this.  I know this; we all know this.  And I am okay with that.

Windmills as we left the San Francisco area.

Windmills as we left the San Francisco area.

Our first stop of the day was around noon at Santa Nella, for gas and to buy cheese at Anderson Split Pea.  The cheese spread is Dad’s favorite.  We decided that we weren’t going to have soup, as it was too early in the day, and we were put off by the fact that our last visit set us back $36 for 3 bowls of pea soup.  So, I picked up 2 tubs of cheese, 3 Danish pastries, and a container of croutons for about the same amount.  In our choice of fast, cheap, or easy, I guess we got easy.  We had the Danish while driving and the boys will love the cheese and croutons while watching TV.

We seem to have a “dog experience” whenever we stop at Anderson Split Pea.  The last time we parked next to a motorhome with two dogs in it, one of which was standing on the dash board with toilet paper streaming down from his mouth.  The owners said he had a “toilet paper fetish” and they were unable to free him of this affliction.  This time, we parked next to some folks who happened to be breeders of Great Danes and were traveling with two of them.  Dad loves this breed, and has always thought that this is the dog we needed to have.  The folks and the dogs were nice and Dad got to have a chat with their big male dog.

Dad and his new friend

Dad and his new friend

We think maybe this building was purposely destroyed?  It looked like it was blown into 2 pieces.....one of those crazy things that makes traveling interesting!

We think maybe this building was purposely destroyed? It looked like it was blown into 2 pieces…..one of those crazy things that makes traveling interesting!

Tonight we are staying at the Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, CA.  We arrived around 3:00 in the afternoon to a LONG line of RV’s waiting to check in.  We got one of a couple of sites left, which means we were VERY lucky as we hadn’t called ahead for a reservation.  I guess they fill up EVERY night from January to March.  This is not surprising as free fruit is a powerful motivator, and it is a lovely campground.  This means:  friendly folks at the check-in desk, no hassles about the dog, NO threatening forms to sign, clean sites, fast internet, and interesting things to see, among other things.

As we pulled into our campsite, Dad and I bolted out of the Hag, bag in hand, and were off to pick fruit.  The oranges are Washington Navels, and are SO SWEET and JUICY.  This type of orange doesn’t make it to the stores in Oregon.  They are heaven.

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The Hag, parked in our site, next to an orange tree loaded with oranges!

The orange pickers, Dad and I.

The orange pickers, Dad and I.

We left, actually abandoned, Craig to set-up the Hag, something he reminded us of when we had finished our “farm labor.”  Like all the seniors here, we wanted our oranges……right now!!  The weather is warm (70 degrees +) and there is an air of excitement at this RV park.  Folks are heading out to all sorts of snowbird areas, and this seems to be somewhat of a jumping off point.  I guess we are just one of these folks.

Orange.  Picker.

Orange. Picker.

Tonight’s dinner was the last of the steak and mashed potatoes for Dad, and for Craig and I, Orange Ginger Marinated Tofu, with Brown Basmati Rice, and a vegetable stir-fry.  It seemed like a wonderful use for a couple of these delicious oranges.  Dad believes that I am attempting to poison him when I offer up tofu, so he is pardoned from eating such things.  It was a long day for us, and after, what I have been told is the LAST (college) football game for the season, we called it a night.

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Happy hour!

Miles traveled today:  311 miles

Highlight of the day:  Picking oranges with Dad

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