Man Plans and God Laughs – Settling In

It has been a very busy couple of days since I posted last. We decided to press on a bit after we left Las Cruces with the cracked windshield. I thought to stop at Pilots Knob, BLM land just into California, for the last night on the road.  Another cliche “the best  laid plans” are modified by Road Repair.  Some genius closed two exits off I 8 just after entering California, one of them being the exit we were counting on and the immediate following exit so that an easy return was not to be achieved. We got off at Grays Well Road Imperial Sand Dunes Park. This is adjacent to the border with Mexico and is a wonderful playground for people with noisy motorized sand toys.  Darkness did not stop them, but by 10:30 PM most were sitting at their campfires or tucked it. We took our favorite road The Imperial Highway aka S2 through Anza Borrego and on to CA 79 and home.

Pulling into our site was easy after a month of nightmares about how we would be able to get back in with the new hard awning. With me guiding from the ground, Carol eased it into place like the pro driver she is. We were greeted by Diane and Al as we dismounted to size up the entry and waited until Monday to have an evenings Happy Hour with them. The coach is set up for extended living, until Thanksgiving anyhow. The new windshield is on order, new batteries have been installed in the golf cart (not planned – but) and we  are settling into life. That means I have been to three meetings and Carol also and I haven’t gotten to play bridge, yet. Outdoor work is curtailed by extreme heat – about 100 as I write – and high winds bringing the threat of fire, not to be ignored in these parts.

It has been great fun reconnecting with our Jojoba Hills Community. At the Monday Meeting, Carol and I got in a long line of newly returned members to tell the stories of our travels since leaving in May. I was also welcomed as a candidate for a seat on the board, the only candidate for three open seats. Time will tell what other insanity I will choose. Carol  has signed up to run for Assistant Chair of Hilltoppers, the social organization.   

I Spoke too Soon

Uneventful just added an event. Not a show stopper, but a major annoyance. A couple of days ago some aggressive driver swerved in front of us and kicked up a stone that chipped the windshield. Not even worth mentioning. Got my a hold of our insurer and and arranged for a chip repair at the site in Las Cruces while the coach was being washed and waxed. 

The immediate chip repair was fine, but there was another large chip higher up and as soon as the tech laid the template around it it ran in three directions. New windshield will be ordered as soon as we get to Jojoba Hills. I am hoping they can do the replacement on site.  It’s always something.

The coach is beautiful with its fresh coat of wax. I must admit I  always have this done here by Sal’s Magic Touch . They are efficient and not terribly expensive. 

Still on the Road

We have been moving.  1720 miles over 5 days. For the high mileage drivers among you, youngsters, that is a mere 2 exhausting days. For us it is an exhausting 5 days. We are stopped in Las Cruces NM at our regular campground, Siesta RV Park.  It is basic, no pool, no lounge, no pavement. It does offer the services we want and a location we enjoy. We got off the road early, by 3 PM and will do very little until we roll on out on Saturday the 20th. 

The most exciting story of this trek has been that it has been totally uneventful. We have listened to Dan Brown’s Origin and are now almost finished with God of the Hives by Laurie King. We stopped in Monahans Sandhills State Park on I 20 in the Oil Patch, a familiar stop for us.

 

 

We went for a short walk in the sand hills and managed to lose sight of everything human created except for footprints and eventually people making them.

We have continued to live on a limited news diet. No more than 30 minutes with the NYTimes and NPR Morning Edition in the background while preparing and eating breakfast.  We limit our rants about . . . to 5 minutes and turn everything off, resume listening to our story and trundle down the road.  This seems to be much easier on the nerves. Sometimes I feel we are shirking our duty of being in turmoil and agony over the direction the government is headed. I am not running for any governmental office and I am not in a position to influence any politician other than by calling and emailing. these are very limited activities and I can only hope that someone actually counts the contacts. Our Senators are Cornyn and Cruz and our Congress idiot is Brian Babin, none of them are likely to ever do anything I consider useful or constructive. 

Hmm, that sounds remarkably like a rant, time’s up.

We are looking forward to getting to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort on Monday to resume our activities there. The remaining stops along the way may be Benson AZ, Peg Leg Smith Monument, or other boondocking areas along the way as the spirit moves us.

Note I am still learning to use WordPress and some formatting is a bit of a challenge. I will improve 🙂

 

On the Move, Westbound

As I write we are parked (parking is allowed, camping is not) in a Walmart in Opelika Alabama. We covered 320 miles today while driving for 6 hours. Time out for fuel for the coach and us, plus driver changes is not factored in.  Nor is a stop during which we figured out where we would stop for the night. Between Columbus GA and Montgomery AL along SR 80 there are no viable places to spend the night. That gets to looking like a very long 80 or 90  miles, especially after 5 and a half hours of steady driving. This is about 10 miles off our route but it will net out just fine in the long run. On days like this happiness is a WalMart that says “come on in and park near the Murphy station”.  

The other happiness was “no news.” We skirmished with the news over breakfast, a bit of NPR and a bit of the NYTimes, just enough to convince us we really don’t need to know any more. Certainly not while driving as throwing  a fit or things at the radio is not really safe while driving. Instead we are listening to “Origins” Dan Brown’s latest novel. There is lots of descriptive material and many puzzles to be solved along the way. Of course the main puzzle remains to be solved until we finish the  book. The miles vanish under the tires as the story unfolds. Monday is planned to be another 6 hour day ending in or near Jackson MS. 

Beginning another Cross Country Drive

After a way to brief visit, we left Covesville VA to begin our return to our southern California home base in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort by going the “wrong way” as usual. Our first stop was Charlotte NC to visit with Terry and David in their new home outside of Charlotte. As promised, their driveway was adequate for GeeWhiz and the Jeep and close enough to level for our needs. We had a delightful visit and dinner including David’s daughter Greta extended almost to closing the restaurant. After breakfast the next morning, more than plentiful, we began the job of extracting the coach from the driveway. With Carol at the wheel we inched around the curved drive and avoided the mailbox with at least 2 inches to spare. 

We set off for Hilton Head Island Motor Coach Resort and the Tiffin Travelers Rally. Carol negotiated Charlotte morning traffic and work zones with aplomb and eventually I took the helm for the second half of the drive. I was looking forward to easy parking in a well established RV resort, forgetting, or maybe just not thinking about, its being old too and designed, like Jojoba Hills, in a time when a BIG motorhome was 27 feet long! Winding narrow roads required an escort to guide us to the site and to assure we got situated without causing any damage to us or more importantly to the facilities. All done and it is indeed lovely. 

On our Site

We will be here a total of four days and we are meeting new friends some of whom we have met in the past but a few years ago 🙂  We are touring Hilton Head Island today and will write about what we see and do as we go.

Road Travels and More

Having fixed the minor failures developed on the 2 months long trip to Newfoundland and back to Rochester, we set out for our Charlottesville family under clear skies, the first actual stop on our way to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort in SoCal. We were debating where to stop along the way as we never consider making the drive in one day in the motorhome because it would be too long a day and we would arrive after dark. As we drove we decided to continue on to Western Village RV Park in Carlyle PA, leaving us a 4 hour drive to the farm. Our new Garmin GPS came up with a totally weird route that seemed to take us 30 miles out of the way. First mistake! since we have driven this many times, we ignored her route and drove on. Seeing a sign that prohibited trucks over 36 feet we drove on, we are not a truck and we are just 36 feet. Second mistake! The very narrow route through a very small town was closed. The detour took us through even more narrow roads with tight turns. Putting a rear tire on a curb and then dropping it off help two glass dishes decide to commit suicide on our tile floor. The resulting noise was terrifying and broken glass sliding around was no better and there was no place to pull off for 6 miles.

After we stopped long enough to clean up the worst of the mess we continued down US 15 only to find it closed!!! The detour of over 20 miles on mostly narrow two lane roads took almost an hour as all of the route 15 trucking traffic was detouring with us. The Garmin’s out of the way route was looking better and better. Lesson 3: turn off the Garmin’s “automatic redirect” so there is some reason for outrageous routes or just believe it. We made the campground before it closed and got set up in the fading twilight. The next day was uneventful and we are now happily set up in Malena and Dan’s driveway.

Side note: If you pay attention to such things, the url for this page has changed. Carol and I have had some challenges with Blogger which has not had any updates in a couple of years. Google does not seem to be interested in maintaining it. All posts from 2004 to today have been moved to WordPress, some early pictures seem to have been lost in the transition. I will leave the xctraveler.blogspot.com up for the immediate future until I finish playing with this new format. The blog is now hosted in WordPress on http://goldberg-online.net and it is the front page. Look up at the menu and you can get to the rest of an admittedly cobwebbed old site that I plan to begin refreshing in the coming months