Tuesday, January 12, 2016
And so, we began this adventure once again. After our good night’s sleep in our own beds, we hopped in the Jeep, had breakfast at Shari’s, and drove to Albany to pick up the Hag. Roberson’s took care of us. They fixed her fuel line, parked her inside for the night, plugged her in, and filled the gas tank back up. And, as this was truly their error, there was no charge.
Truly, the luck of the Daisies. Things do go wrong, but they eventually right themselves. Usually, it’s just a matter of $$$, or perhaps this time we did achieve the trifecta: Fast, cheap, and easy. And this hair-splitting of the details is irrelevant; we are on our way and will motor along until the next hammer drops.
The biggest challenge of this trip has been the weather. El Niño will prove, I’m pretty certain, to have a profound effect this season, on the west coast. For the month of December, in Salem Oregon, we experienced over 15 inches of rain. Our normal rainfall for this time period is between 6 and 7 inches . Much of this rainfall came as 2-3 inches in a 24 to 36 hour period of time. Things got wet. As we head south, the concern has been the mountain passes, namely the Siskiyou summit and the Tehapachi’s.
When the valleys get rain, the mountain passes get snow. Driving the Hag through the snow, or my personal fear of having to chain up the Hag, is not something we wish to experience. The level of angst would be supreme. None of the Daisies could survive this particular life stressor. I’m pretty sure Stella would abandon ship. We don’t want that, so we plan our trips around what Mother Nature has in store for us. And, on this particular trip, it happened to be wind.
Night one was at Canyonville. Specifically at the Seven Feathers RV Park. It was Taco Tuesday at the Casino, and Dad and I each won a few dollars. (Craig did not win. He did make a donation to the Tribe, and that is okay, too.) But, I digress. We stayed there to wait out the high winds that were predicted for the area between the Siskiyou’s and Weed. By “wind,” I mean a sustained wind in the 40-50mph range and gusts up to 70mph. We wanted to avoid that. As it was, the rain began around 6:00 at night and at approximately 11:11pm a wind gust hit us with such a force that it rocked the dear Hag and Craig and I sprang out of bed. I checked to see if any vents were open. (if they are open and happen to blow off, it is trouble – we don’t want that) All was well, so we climbed back into the fold-out couch and joined Stella in slumber. The first night out brings a fitful sleep for all of us, with the exception of Stella. She was unable to relax enough during the drive down to allow her to sleep. Having missed out on her prime daily naptime of about 4-6 hours, she was exhausted, and immediately fell sound asleep.
Night two was at the Rolling Hills Casino RV Park in Corning, CA. If you sense a casino theme, you are correct. This casino does have a lovely evening buffet, but we arrived on a Wednesday. Senior discount days (1/2 price buffet) are Tuesday and Thursday. So, we took Stella for a walk, had a lovely soup dinner in the Hag, and walked over to the Casino to make our donation to the tribe.
The next morning, being a Thursday, our day began at the breakfast buffet. It was good as only a meal that you don’t have to cook, comes at you with a big discount, and offers each person exactly what they want, can be. In other words, it was perfect.
Night three was spent at the Orange Grove RV Park. It had been one of those “difficult days.” Something about two GPS units, Google maps on a cell phone, and a map-reader. Needless to say, they each charted a different course, none of which being the desired route. And then there was the Hag’s transmission. It appeared to have ill health. These things make for a less than enjoyable traveling experience.
But, then there was the Orange Grove. Most of the Daisies abandoned ship upon arrival. Dad took our bag and went on an orange picking adventure. He got a hot tip from another camper as to the location of the biggest oranges. And they were HUGE and delicious. We had a couple for dinner along with a little of the wonderful cheese spread and croutons we picked up at Anderson Split Pea in Santa Nella. I will add, for the record, this trip to the desert, in the middle of nowhere, is a long drive of togetherness. Interpret that as you wish. After dinner we each went to our separate corners, and contemplated our own private thoughts.