2013-10-17 Day 1: Home to Bakersfield Flying J via SR99: 200 miles
It was time once again for my quarterly visit to my son and his family. But this trip would also include towing my beloved boat, FishWisher, to Dean’s home where my buyer would meet us and take delivery of his new boat. Yep. It was time to part with FishWisher as yet another concession to my advancing years. I still love fishing, or at least the idea of fishing, but it’s gotten to be a lot of work – and I’ve been out on her only three times this year.
I had the boat advertised on several sites, and my buyer contacted me about buying her. He lived in San Diego, just a few miles from my son, Dean. We had discussed price for some time when I mentioned that, ironically, I’d be visiting my son in his area in just a couple of days. That did it! Chris, my buyer, became very passionate about my bringing the boat with me. After serious discussion about the sale and delivery, he agreed to buy her sight unseen. He paid for her up front, and I headed for Dean’s with my beloved in tow.
I stopped in Fresno for lunch with my two cousins who live there, as usual, and we had a lovely visit. It was so good to visit with those I grew up with because nearly all of my uncles and aunts are no longer with us and we cousins are now the “old folks”. We spent an hour or so visiting, and after hugs all ‘round, I continued my trip south.
I planned to take the desert route this trip to avoid the chaos that is LALA Land. I planned to head east on SR58 from Bakersfield to US395, then on to I-15 which is the eastern route south to Dean’s. I had planned to drive to Boron, whose main claim to fame so far as I know, is a rest area. But it had been a long day and I was whipped by the time I got to Bakersfield, so I decided to drop the jacks in the big rig parking lot at the Flying J about 15 or 20 miles north of Bakersfield. At 1700 I pulled into one of the many long parking spaces and was “home” for the night.
The rig parked with the big boys for the night at Bakersfield’s Flying J.
I took my time relaxing, showering, and recording this travelogue there with the big boys. My rig, with the boat in tow, was nearly as long as many of those big rigs, and I really enjoy pulling FishWisher with the coach. I had a rather sleepless night before leaving home because of all the drama about making the deal, etc., and then before leaving had the preparation of the boat, the loading of all the gear that goes with the boat, and loading the coach. It had been a long day, indeed. I hit the sack at 2100 and slept like a baby.
Friday, Day 2: Bakersfield Flying J to Dean’s via SR99, SR58, I-215, I-15, SR76: 245 miles
I was well rested and refreshed as I hopped out of bed to greet the new day at 0500. I got right after the usual morning chores, and headed to the gas pumps to top off with “cheap” gas compared to the outrageous prices further south. By 0630 I was on SR58 streaking east toward the desert.
Clacking out the travelogue on the morning of Day 2 while parked at the Flying J truck lot in Bakersfield.
Eastbound on SR58 towards the desert early on the morning of Day 2.
I stopped for breakfast at the intersection of SR58 and US395. I whipped up some instant oatmeal and ate in the coach. I was back on the road in less than half an hour. It was a good drive south towards I-215 but there were a lot of signal lights along SR395 and I was pleased to drive onto the I-215 freeway. The drive turns out to be about 30 miles farther than if I drove through LALA Land, but I believe it took less time. There was not one slow down the entire drive. I was glad I chose the desert route and I’ll likely go that way in the future.
Views while cruising south along US395 through the Mojave Desert.
I arrived at Dean’s a few minutes before noon, and set about preparing for the delivery of the boat to her new owner. But first things first; Dean and I headed to the harbor and had lunch overlooking the water. That’s our tradition and it’s a good one. The pelicans and seagulls put on their usual show over the harbor waters, and we enjoyed our visit. But we had to leave sooner than we’d have liked so I’d be ready for the boat’s new owner who was to meet us at the house.
Parked across the street from Dean’s where I would meet Chris and deliver my beloved FishWisher.
All went well with the delivery of the boat. The buyer, a kindly fellow named Chris, was delighted with his sight-unseen purchase and I was glad for him. Still, in the back of my mind there was a nagging question: What the hell have I done?! But this time I am certain of my decision. I simply haven’t been using the boat and it was time for a new owner. Chris will be fishing the ocean off San Diego with her, and I’m sure it’s a good match.
The new owner, Chris, pulls away with FishWisher in tow. Bye-bye baby. Sniff.
And away she goes! Bye, Baby. Thanks for the memories… OMG! What have I done?!
After Chris left with the boat, I headed to Guajome Park, just across the highway from Dean’s, and set up the coach for the next couple of nights. It still amazes me how useful the motorhome is. It’s a fine ride down the road, and pulls the big boat with ease. Then with the push of a couple of buttons, it becomes a cozy home-away-from-home. What a great invention!
After I got settled in for the stay, Dean picked me up and we visited at the house, but not for long. It had been a long day and I was ready to head for the coach sooner than usual. Both boys were gone – Aidan on a Cub Scout camping trip and Connor at a friend’s birthday party. The house was strangely quiet! A bit after 1800 Dean drove me back to the coach and I settled in for the night. I brought this travelogue up to date, watched a bit of TV and downed a couple of my locally famous Cockpit Cocktails. I hit the very comfy sack at about 2100.
Saturday, Day 3: Jacks down at Guajome Park in Oceanside.
Honestly, I sleep like a baby aboard the coach! I sleep even better than I do in my bed at home. And that first night in Oceanside was no exception. It was a cool October night and I ran the heat pump to keep the coach comfy. The heat pump is essentially the air conditioner working in reverse and it works quite well. When I use it instead of the forced air heater, I don’t burn propane. Having paid over $30 per night at Guajome Park, I might as well use their electricity!
Dean picked me up sometime around 1000 and we headed for a local park where Connor was playing his last soccer game of the season. I can’t say I watched the game, but I did see Connor there. His team hasn’t done so well this season, and lost that last game. But it didn’t bother him much and I was amazed at his energy to play the rest of the day outdoors with his friends after running miles during his game. It must be nice to have all that youthful energy.
Connor whacks the ball with his head – or vice-versa – during his Saturday soccer game.
After the game we returned home and visited for a few minutes before Dean and I headed to a local Thai restaurant for our usual lunch together. I wasn’t so sure about Thai, but wanted to give it a try. I very much enjoyed the food, but only because I ordered mine with zero spice. They, like Mexican and some other foods, seem to think HOT is a flavor. I don’t. It was quite a lot like Chinese and I love Chinese!
We returned home where I just hung out with the family minus Aidan who was at the camp out ‘til Sunday. It seemed strange with Aidan gone, and I missed him. I reckon we’ll make up for it when I visit again in January.
Dean grilled up some delicious steaks and Melissa whipped up some pasta and green beans for dinner. Melissa planned to run a half-marathon on Sunday, and the pasta was part of her “carbing up” for the long run. I think I see where the boys get all that energy! I, for one, did not need to “carb up”, but I did enjoy doing so!
At 1900 I said my good-byes to Connor and Melissa and Dean drove me back to the coach. I made a short night of it as I wanted to hit the sack by 2100 and get up at 0400 to head for home. I showered in the “phone booth” coach shower, downed a few of my Cockpit Cocktails, watched some TV, and was in bed just after 2100. It had been a good visit.
Sunday, Day 4: Guajome Park to home via I-5, I-405, SR99: 417 miles.
I was up at 0400, as planned, and set about my morning chores at once. I pushed a couple of buttons to power in the slide and raise the jacks. I unplugged the cord from Guajome’s power supply, and a bit before 0500 I pulled out of the RV space and was on my way home.
Approaching “Five Mile”, the drop into the valley from the Tehachapi Mountains. Note the full moon that kept my attention nearly the whole drive home.
It was a very uneventful trip home, and that’s just what I always want. I stopped at the Bakersfield Flying J and pumped on about 28 gallons to get home. The rascals had raised the price 6¢ since I gassed up just a couple of days earlier. While there, I made breakfast in the coach and boiled up a travel mug of instant coffee. I was back on the road at 0930 or so, and drove straight through to home. As I drove by the Flying J in Ripon, just before arriving home, I noticed that their price had dropped 4¢. That’s why I didn’t fill up at Bakersfield; I figured gas would be cheaper near home.
Parked at the Bakersfield Flying J where I pumped on enough gas to get home. I whipped up breakfast there in the coach, and continued the drive toward home.
I pulled up to the house at 1315, and unloaded the coach. It had been a long drive, and I was pooped. I parked the coach and would dump it the next day – there was no rush.
Cotton awaits the harvester along SR99 above Bakersfield. A drive through the valley reminds one of the richness of one of the most productive valleys on earth. The 1% of U.S. agricultural land there produces 8% of the country’s agriculture measured by value.
It was strange to pull into the RV lot where I kept the boat and coach side by side – and there was no boat. The sale of the boat was not a pleasant task for me, but it was the right thing to do since I haven’t been using it. And next I would sell the big Chevy 2500 HD pickup I bought to pull the boat.
I made reservations for my next visit to Dean and his tribe the day I got home. I’ll be heading their way again in January and I’m looking forward to the visit already.
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.