2013-5-28 Tuesday, Day 1 – Home to Gridley via SR99: 118 miles
It had been a long time since we hit the road aboard the coach together. In fact, not having the logbook of the old coach at hand, we couldn’t recall the last time! But Lavonne had two months of recovery time since her major back surgery and we were overdue for hitting the road.
I cleaned the inside of the coach on Saturday, washed the outside on Sunday, and loaded our stuff aboard the morning of Day 1. It was amazing how I could stretch what used to be a day’s work over several days. And I was grateful that I could.
Day 1: Jacks down at my sis’s home near Gridley, CA
For this first trip together aboard the “new” coach, we planned to visit my twin sis, Gale, and her husband John, near Gridley the first stop. Gridley is about 70 miles north of Sacramento on SR99 and less than a three hour drive. After our visit with them, we planned to head on up to Oregon to visit friends in Winston, near Roseburg and also friends near Salem. And maybe we’d head on up to Portland to visit some really old friends we haven’t seen or heard from in over twenty years. We figured that our road trip would be about a week or ten days.
We left home about 1030 and arrived at Gale’s about 1340. We stopped in Gridley for lunch as we would arrive too late for lunch with the family. We enjoyed a nice afternoon and evening together, including a dinner of barbequed hamburgers followed with S’mores.
The twins approach 70. Impossible… er, apparently not.
John had some big trees trimmed along the driveway, and this visit I was able to acquire the satellite and fired up the TV. The last visit there, with the old coach, the satellite signal couldn’t get past the trees.
The day was perfect; not too hot and not too cool. It was strange to be in Gridley so late in the spring and find a relatively cool day. We enjoyed their lovely patio and the open pasture beyond. They leased the pasture to neighbors who have a horse and mule, and Star and Buckshot came up to the patio fence for regular visits.
Feeding Star and Buckshot a few carrots; their friendship comes easy.
A bit after 2000 I headed to the coach to write this travelogue, edit some photos, and shower. Lavonne visited with Gale ‘til after 2100. By 2200 we climbed into bed. It had been a long and pleasant Day 1 of this trip.
Wednesday, Day 2, Jacks down at Gale’s in Gridley
We were up and about before 0600. We had planned to head up to Yreka about noon, but the gals decided they wanted one more day together. I called my friend Rich and told him we’d be a day late, and that was fine with him.
John and I headed to town and Mickey D’s for breakfast. I was very righteous as I ordered oatmeal, but my righteousness faded as I returned to the counter and ordered a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich.
After breakfast we returned home for a bit, then were sent to Yuba City’s Walmart for some groceries. When we returned home it was nap time, and I took mine in the coach. And just to be sure, I took another nap around 1500.
The old folks gather on the patio (L to R) John, Lavonne, Dale, Gale
We had another great patio dinner, this time taco salad. Mmmmmm. After dinner I took a walk and exercised a bit, perhaps penance for eating so badly the past two days. We were back in the coach by dusk and to bed by 2200.
Thursday, Day 3, Gridley to Yreka via SR99, I-5: 192 miles
We were up and around a bit after 0500. We made coffee and visited as I updated this travelogue, awaiting Gale’s drapes to open – the sign that Gale was up and ready for Lavonne to come on in and visit.
Before we could leave, I wanted to dump the grey water (shower) and top off the fresh water tank. And take a walk. While the girls continued their three day visit, I set about doing those chores and getting the coach ready to hit the road.
We left around noon, and headed up SR99 to Red Bluff where we took I-5 north. We stopped at a Mickey D’s somewhere near Weed, and had an early dinner. We then continued north another 20 miles or so and pulled off at Yreka’s Walmart store at 1715. As usual, we spent a few bucks at the store for some items we needed – Mr. Sam was no fool!
Crossing Lake Shasta – not too full for this late in the spring.
Northbound I-5 with Mt. Shasta in the distance.
I fired up the little generator and set up the TV for the evening. We whiled away the time watching the boob tube and taking our showers. It was a mild day in Yreka, and we did not need the air conditioner, but just a couple of open windows.
Jacks down at Yreka’s Walmart lot.
By 2200 we climbed into bed. It had been a long day, and we sure appreciated the comfort of our little home on wheels. Life is good.
Friday, Day 4, Yreka to Winston OR via I-5: 143 miles
It was a cold night in Yreka – we awoke to 39°! We had left the heater on low during the night, and when we awoke we just turned it up to warm the whole coach. We prepared for the day doing the usual chores, and were pulling out to the highway by 0730.
Oregon was so beautiful! I took way too many photos as we cruised through the green conifer forests. I’ve wanted to move there for years, but Wifey just won’t budge. Yet. As Kalifornistan continues its downward spiral to Third World status, perhaps she will. I hope so.
Pulled off I-5 for breakfast on the road. Cheap. Easy. Good!
Some of Oregon’s beauty en route to Winston.
We arrived at our friends Rich and Juanita’s place a bit before 1100. It was good to see them, and we love their little ranchette and country setting. We visited during the afternoon, and as old folks, took our obligatory naps.
Crossing the Umpqua River near Winston, OR.
Jacks down at Rich & Juanita’s in Winston, OR.
Rich & Juanita’s nice home in Winston. Other than setting the modular home on a concrete foundation and running power and water to it, they have done all the work to make this such a lovely place.
Around 1700 we headed for Sutherlin, a nearby city where Rich and Juanita attend church. We had dinner at a restaurant there, then to their little country church for an hour of bluegrass gospel jammin’. There were several folks with guitars, a couple of fiddles and the piano. Folks took turns singing songs, and for an hour or so we enjoyed the old time music.
En route home, we stopped for some ice cream treats at Dairy Queen. We were really howlin’ that night as we didn’t get home ‘til after 2100; for us, that’s a big night out! We were snug in our little bedroom on wheels by 2300 and slept like babies.
Saturday, Day 5, jacks down at Winston, OR
We took it pretty easy the morning of Day 5, except that Rich helped me attach the valve extensions for the dual tires and top off the coolant. I was actually productive that day! We drove into town for breakfast at Denny’s, and enjoyed a good breakfast on the cheap. They kindly drove us over to the Roseburg AT&T store so I could buy the USB modem I have wanted for so long. I had lots of help from a very savvy sales gal, and instead of a modem, I wound up with a new 4G Galaxy 3 smartphone. They now have “tethering” and for an increase of $30 per month I have 5 gigs of data available – way more than I could ever use, but it was their minimal choice. I also have to pay a one time $36 upgrade fee. Now I simply tether the laptop to the phone via Bluetooth and I can go online anywhere there is AT&T cell service! It worked very well and is very slick. For an old geezer, I was getting pretty hi-tech.
Our friends Rich and Juanita pose with Lavonne and I.
For dinner we drove back into Roseburg. We chose the Rodeo Steakhouse and Grill, and it was a good choice. We pigged out something awful, and had a grand time doing so. After visiting a few minutes in Rich and Juanita’s home, we bid them goodnight and returned to the coach for the night. I spent time getting acquainted with my new phone, and watched some TV. We were in bed once again by 2200.
Sunday, Day 6, Winston, OR to Keizer, OR via I-5: 144 miles
The day began with the usual chores, and included dumping the holding tanks and filling the fresh water tank. We’re grateful to ol’ Rich for his wonderful RV setup. He has 30A electrical and a dump site.
Rich and I drove into town for some coffee and breakfast burritos at Mickey D’s. After returning we visited briefly before I set the coach up to hit the road.
This airplane was pulled through Winston as we left, then headed south on I-5 as we headed north. That twin engine airplane was quite a sight!
We headed down the road to I-5 a bit after 0900, and enjoyed the beautiful Oregon countryside as we drove north. Oregon is indeed a beautiful place:
At rest for a few moments at a lovely Oregon rest area.
Gassing up en route to Al and Betty’s. I dropped jacks to lift the port side high (note tires off the ground) and get a few extra gallons in the tank. Strange – but it works.
We stopped for lunch at a rest area for half an hour or so, and arrived at Al and Betty’s in Keizer, near Salem at 1330. We pulled into their very fine, flat driveway and dropped the jacks for a couple of days.
Jacks down at Al & Betty’s for a couple of days.
We spent the afternoon visiting and looking over their new home. They barbecued pork shoulder steak with all the trimmings for us, followed with strawberry shortcake and ice cream. And I pigged out once again. Honestly, I have got to find some discipline somewhere!
Dale, Lavonne, Betty and Al during our visit.
We spent the evening enjoying wonderful Southern Gospel music, plus a bit of a Merle Haggard DVD that I brought in from the coach. And of course we chatted away about anything and everything. A little after 2000 we bid our hosts good-night, and headed to the coach for the evening.
Monday, Day 7, jacks down at Al’s in Keizer, OR
It was a lazy day of visiting, driving around the area with Al and Betty to see the beautiful country around them, and of course… eating.
Al professionally carves and sells very life-like fish art. (He taught high school art for 30 years.) This is the heart of his work shop where several pieces were underway.
Here a blue gill is in the process of coming to life.
We visited a local farm that was set up for visitors with many grocery items and nursery items on display. It was a very delightful place to visit, full of colorful plants for sale. The drive in the country to the farm was entertaining, too. We saw lots of row crops, orchards and more nurseries for trees and plants.
In the afternoon we drove to a Chinese restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner. Al and Betty know that I’m a Chinese food addict and we seem to always wind up with some whenever we get together. When we got home from dinner out, we spent the evening watching TV and visiting.
We managed to blow the circuit breaker that we had the coach hooked up to. We had the AC running, and when Lavonne plugged in the coffee maker, that was too much demand. Normally it would take a simple flip of the switch to fix, but the switch seemed broken. We tried in vain to fix it, but finally had to run the coach electricity from another circuit. Poor Al and Betty, they still hadn’t gotten it fixed by the time we left the next day, and they were opening and closing the garage doors by hand.
Tuesday, Day 8, Keizer, OR to Winston, OR via I-5: 144 miles
We spent a while visiting with Al and Betty in the morning before we left. I had time to take a walk and do a few chores around the coach. We had eaten so much the prior days that we opted out of breakfast as we decided to eat later in the coach while on the road.
We pulled out of their driveway, which was an excellent place to park the coach, at about 0900. We said our good-byes, and headed south on I-5 for Winston. The drive south was beautiful, and the traffic quite tolerable. I so much want to live in Oregon! And I hope to do so one day.
We arrived at Rich and Juanita’s a bit before 1400. As we arrived they were just leaving for a doctor’s appointment. They told us to just settle in and enjoy ourselves and they’d be back in an hour or two. I set about dumping the holding tanks and topping off the fresh water with the fine RV utilities Rich has set up at his home. We were then ready for the final couple of days it would take to drive home.
When they returned we visited awhile and decided pizza sounded good. Rich and I drove a few blocks to pick up a large combo, and then returned home for pizza in the living room. We chatted, watched TV and had a good time. A bit after 1800 we headed to the coach for the night, thanking our gracious hosts for all their hospitality.
Back in the coach, I researched the coming heat wave we’d been reading about. We wanted to beat the 103° predicted for home on Friday (106° on Saturday!), so we cancelled going by my sis’s en route home. Yreka would have been a good stop for the next night as we’d expect it to be cooler there. But Willows, much closer to home, had the same high temperature forecast as Yreka, so we planned to head to Willows on Wednesday. Then we’d have just 145 miles or so to go home on Thursday. Whew. It was going to be hot no matter what we decided – but if we got in before noon on Thursday, maybe unloading the coach could be done in tolerable heat.
My cute lil’ traveling buddy, Wifey seems to get happier the closer we get to home!
Wednesday, Day 9, Winston, OR to Willows, CA via I-5: 314 miles
As usual in Winston, the day began with coffee and calories at Mickey D’s with Rich. But at least I did get my walk in before we headed off to coffee. When we returned, the gals decided on breakfast at… Mickey D’s, of course! So back we went, and I added a few more calories to the day’s collection.
Having driven the coach to Mickey D’s, we thanked our gracious hosts for their hospitality – and their fine RV parking set up. Then we boarded the coach and headed south on I-5 towards home. We would spend the last night on the road at the Walmart lot in Willows, CA which was just three hours or so from home.
Heading south on Oregon’s I-5; imagine cutting the highway through that rock!
The trip was pleasant and warm. When we dropped out of the mountains into the Big Valley, it was downright hot. It was 100° as we drove through Redding, and at 1715 when we arrived at Willows after our 318 mile drive, it was around 90°. We had the dash air running most of the day, with our cockpit curtain pulled closed so we had only the cockpit to cool. We were cool and comfortable the entire trip.
Parked at the Mt. Shasta viewing area on SB I-5.
About 10 minutes before we reached Willows, I stopped and fired up the generator and cabin air conditioner. When we arrived at our destination, the cabin had dropped almost 10° and was reasonably comfortable at 84°. It continued to cool off nicely and we were comfortable the entire evening.
Jacks down at Willows’ Walmart store for our last night on the road.
We spent the evening in the coach, watching TV, editing photos and updating this travelogue. The ninth night on the road would be our last for this trip, and while Wifey was anxiously looking forward to home, I had mixed feelings about it all. I love to RV and likely won’t be on the road again ‘til the planned trip to Oceanside in July.
Thursday, Day 10, Willows to home via I-5, SR99: 141 miles
We went to bed around 2200 as usual, and at 0330 I was up with a very sore back muscle. Then I heard some attention-starved shopper at Walmart playing his car stereo loud enough to hear for a quarter mile. I figured we might as well hit the road early and get home early. And we did! We pulled out of Walmart at 0410 and arrived home at 0645. I spent three hours unloading the coach, dumping the tanks and washing off the bug collection. I hate having the dirtiest RV in the lot!
Lavonne set about doing ten days of laundry, and the many other things that need doing when one arrives home from days away. It was good to be home!
The trip was very pleasant. We put exactly 1200 miles on the “new” coach this trip, turning 20,000 miles on the odometer and 100 hours on the generator.
Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.