Category Archives: Paul Goldberg Blog

Some Excitement

Top news is we have a high wind warning. Santa Ana Winds at 35 to 40 gusts to 50 and maybe a rare one to 80mph! I have stowed the chairs in the shed and battened down everything else. The coach can be ready to roll in 15 minutes and the Jeep is good to go.  The alert includes fire warnings as you might imagine. I was just outside and it is mild and breezy at the moment.

We are in Jojoba Hills Election season. Tueday and Wednesday we had 3 forums of candidates – that’s me – for the Board. Each afternoon I got to move among 3 tables of members and address them with my credentials and goals and answer their questions for 25 minutes. Some one referred to it as speed dating. With some guidance from a friend I prepared handouts:

P3  Paul’s Plans for Progress 

The card has three bullet points  which helped to guide the discussions and questions i was asked.  I have Park emergency numbers on the back of the card.

A day later: High wind warning are still on and there are fires visible from our park. 

I am posting this on RVillage.com as well as FaceBook and Google+. The mail demon does not seem to like my posts any more and is returning them.  If you want to keep reading, please go to any of those sites and choose to follow me or get notices.

 

Staying Put

It looks like we will be staying put in Jojoba Hills through January. There is nothing wrong with us or the coach. We haven’t made any travel plans and we both have committed to working for the good of the community. Carol is running for Vice Chair of Hilltoppers, our social organization. So far she has no competition. She also is instrumental in getting our internal emergency support system running. I am running for Board of Directors of the corporation. There are four of us running for 3 open seats. The election is February 1, for both organizations. We are both working at the committees we chose to become involved with. I admit I enjoy organizational work and find it interesting and challenging, more so than carving wooden figures which I have also started to do. 

Yechiel likes to call me daily during one of his drives. He has found it is difficult to find a moment when I am not engaged in some activity the precludes a lengthy conversation. The most common afternoon activity is Bridge, it is possible to get a game almost any day in the card room.  Even early in the morning – early being a relative term – I can be found with the tech crew having coffee and reviewing the complaints about TV, Internet or Phone that have been called in since our previous meeting. We choose up teams and go off to see if we can solve the problem, usually with good success.

Thursdays I organize breakfast with ROMEO  at a local restaurant. We carpool about 30 minutes away and have a fine time repeating the same jokes and stories we have told every week. Oh, ROMEO stands for Retired (Really) Old Men Eating Out.   

All in all it makes for a busy day without golf or Pickle Ball. I know this seems rather placid compared to our usual running around the world and country, but we do enjoy it. Also the local politics are interesting. The late Alan Bernstein Jr taught me many years ago that organizing groups of people to achieve good ends is a sport that can be rewarding in itself. Until then I just did it because I thought I supposed to.

Thanksgiving in Borrego Springs

We are settled in to Palm Canyon Hotel and RV Resort for four nights. Miriam and Yechiel  are just a few miles away in a rental house they have with a friend. This makes five adults and three teenagers. We are outnumbered. This is especially true since one of the teens is female, not a category Carol and I have much experience with. 

I am grateful that I am able to share this experience with the love of my life, Carol, and we can still enjoy a drive in the coach and time with family. That we both enjoy so many things we do together and many things that we each find enjoyable on our own. Although we thrive on family and community, we also are really fine just being alone together. 

I am grateful that we live in a country where our life style is possible.  While we do not agree with much of what our government is doing we are free to express our thoughts and beliefs and are not compelled to express our fealty to the administration. We have seen the other side of that coin in our travels to places where that is not true as we see in Zimbabwe, which we visited last year and other places in Central Asia which we visited even more recently. When I really get depressed about our government I think about where in the world I might be happier with the government. The only place that comes close is Canada. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Enjoy your feast and the people you share it with, we will!

Too Long Between Posts

Since we landed in Jojoba Hills it seems we have been on the run.  We have both thrown ourselves into our activities as if we had never left. I won’t recount every committee meeting or get together as much because I can’t remember as it would be a total bore. I am running for the board of directors, as if that would surprise anyone, and Carol is reactivating our 4911 service which provides a park member, trained in CPR with an AED, on call when 911 is called to assist while waiting for First Responders to arrive. We have spent a day in Los Angeles with our family there as well. I get tired just thinking of all we have done. Oh yes, I have been playing Bridge 

The weather has gone from midsummer highs in the high 90’s to Fall with highs in the 60’s with no intermediate. The sunsets continue to be wonderful.

This view is from the pool deck looking over Palomar Mountain taken during Happy Hour in our newly updated covered patio.  If you follow me on FaceBook ,  you have seen this image.

Our next “move” will be to Borrego Springs for Thanksgiving with Yechiel and family and Miriam Katz family. That will have us out of the park for four days.  We have been exploring the candy store offered by OAT but with two trips scheduled already we are taking it slow for a bit.  

As I look back over posts from years ago it appears we have become a bit more sedentary. However, in those days we were spending a lot of time in Rochester and our RV journeys were just that journeys.  We plan to mostly stay in Jojoba Hills this winter and resume travel in May to Ireland. The plan is, as always, subject to change.

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