Thursday, January 4, 2018
There are a few things that cause stress when you drive an RV. Pulling off to stop for virtually anything, but most specifically the gas station stops, can be a nail biting experience. The Hag is a long gal, and we tow the Jeep for added drama, so a mis-step mandating a do-over, (like backing up) is not an option. We happened to be in just that sort of a situation, half in and half out of a Pilot Station waiting for the dude in front of us, in a U-Haul, to return from his Big Gulp break to fill up and leave, so we could pull in. There was much anxious conversation in the Hag (this means the tension was high) when a woman appeared at the driver’s window and said, “Hey! Just what are you doing?!” Very, very, very fortunately (for all of us Hag dwellers) she is a fellow FOYite and they were behind us, sticking out even farther into the street, with their truck and trailer, waiting for gas. She recognized us and came to say hi! We must be memorable, although I can’t imagine why. They were also heading to the Orange Grove for their final night out before landing at FOY to stay the winter in their fabulous re-conditioned/re-wired/re-plumbed/completely gutted and re-done Spartan travel trailer. (If you’re not sure what a Spartan is, do a little Google search. They are classically cool, hailing from the 30’s to the 50’s.) We exchanged pleasantries and hugs and said that we’d see them at the Orange Grove.
Due to the fact that we have a rigid park arrival and set-things-up schedule that is particularly unwavering in its execution, and that there were oranges that some felt needed to be picked immediately, we did not roam the park and look them up.
But…….they did seek us out! THEY FOUND US, AND CAME IN FOR A VISIT! I mention this with grateful surprise, due to the fact that we don’t get a lot of visitors, and I tend to forget how wonderful and needed companionship is. Our lives are fairly solitary, which suits one of the Daisies. The rest of us, out of courtesy and respect, go along with this until our 2-month exile, when we enjoy conversation with the rest of the world (or our little world) on a daily basis. We caught up on life, they left, we went to bed, and Ground Hog’s Day began, once again.
The last day of the drive to FOY can be the most harrowing. In the past, we have taken I-10 through San Bernardino and Palm Springs. Regardless of the time of day you drive this road, there is a lot of traffic. We have noticed that folks have become less happy to drive from place to place. A drive almost anywhere seems to put you in peril at the hands of the other less patient commuters. With this at the forefront of all our minds, we decided to take another route, which we were told, was ever so slightly longer, but with much less traffic. Our friends from the previous night drive this way and mentioned that they always stop at a little restaurant in Lucerne Valley (Café 247) for lunch.
It is general knowledge that once the wheels on the Hag begin turning, they don’t stop until either the driver has to stop for the call of nature, or we have reached our destination. As we drove this, new to us route, we came upon the aforementioned restaurant. The driver looked over, exclaimed that our friends appeared to be enjoying a lunch break, and he PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT! This is big news for us. The Daisie group headed into Café 247 and had hamburgers with our FOY friends. It was a treat…..a cook’s treat! The food was good and the company even better.
And with this, our respite in the desert began. We arrived at FOY, without incident and well fed. Our neighbors and friends happily welcomed us back for another winter’s stay in the land of the sun and retired folks. Linda, from across the street, brought us pulled pork and hamburger buns, (cook’s night off, again) Jan and Bryan, our next door neighbors, brought us donuts from Calipatria, and Dick and Helen, our Oregon friends, brought Dad his favorite donut holes. There were hugs and laughter. This is an isolated place out here in the middle of nowhere, but it’s not a place to be isolated. Surrounded by people who care for each other is a pretty good spot to be, at least for the Daisies.