Day 1, Thursday: Home to Bakersfield Flying J via SR99: 200 miles
It was time once again for my quarterly visit to my son and his family in Oceanside, so I set about prepping the coach for the trip. In my old age I have more time than energy or ambition. So I took one day, Tuesday, to clean the inside of the coach for the trip – not that it takes anywhere near a day, but the hour or two invested was plenty of work for one day. The next day, Wednesday, I washed the outside of the coach and, although just an hour or so job, it is the hardest work I’m up to anymore. On days I wash the coach there is nothing more that I do. No walks, no weights, nothing. But this time I did climb into the hot tub to wash away some of the fatigue and soreness I felt. And I took a couple of Advils for the aches, too. Sheesh. I hate to admit I’m such a wimp but it’s true.
Thursday, day one of the trip, I loaded up the few groceries, clothes, etc. I need for four days on the coach, and a bit after 1000 I headed down the road. I stopped near home at the local Flying J and gassed up the coach. And I was on my way. Genene, me (the one that looks like Tom Selleck), and Murle Jean looking well fed after a good time together for lunch at a Fresno IHOP.
My first stop of the day was in Fresno where I met my dear cousins, Murle Jean and Genene, at an IHOP restaurant for lunch. They are sisters, and we go clear back to the day I was born. There are only a handful of family members left with whom I can talk of our childhoods, and they are about the only ones I ever see. Our visits are very warm and very entertaining. It seems the older we get the more joy there is in reliving those old days, and we had a grand time doing just that! After an hour and a half we said our good-byes and I continued south.
I arrived at the Flying J just 20 miles or so north of Bakersfield around 1615. I topped off the gas tank so that I could make the loop on down to Oceanside and back to gas up again for the return trip home on Sunday. Set up for the night across from Flying J where it was less crowded and a lot quieter. I spent a quiet evening out there in the boonies.
After gassing up, I went online and checked weather. I hoped to take the desert route through Mojave and down I-15, avoiding the sheer madness that is LALA Land. I noted that winds were predicted for the desert on day 2, but mostly for the afternoon. I would arrive at Dean’s around noon so decided to choose the desert route, subject to a close weather check again the morning of day 2.
I noticed new roads and curbs had been built across from the Flying J, but no new buildings. It looked like a quieter place to spend the night, so I drove across and chose a secluded section of the road, pulled to the side, and made myself at home for the night. It was quieter, and until they post it as no parking or put up some businesses, it seemed a very good spot to spend nights on this route. And I wasn’t alone; several other RVs and trucks were also there.
I zapped a frozen dinner and managed to overcome the temptation to eat at the Denny’s or Jack in the Box at the Flying J. I spent the evening watching an old fishing video, editing photos and writing this travelogue. After a shower and a couple of my world famous Collins cocktails, I hit the sack around 2200. It had been a long day.
Day 2, Friday, Bakersfield to Dean’s via SR99, SR58, US395, I-15, I-215, SR76: 244 miles
I was up and at my morning chores a bit after 0500. I checked weather forecasts for wind in the desert and learned that the winds would be tolerable. I pulled out of my remote curbside camp around 0630.
Early morning view as I prepared to leave my curbside “camp”.
Climbing up the Tehachapis on a cloudy morning. It was good to be out in the boon docks.
The Mojave desert viewed from the coach along SR58.
The drive was pleasant and comfortable. It was cloudy and cool and I had the heater on some of the morning drive. When I arrived at the junction of SR58 and US395 I pulled over and took a short walk. Then I ordered a Subway breakfast sandwich and had a good, healthy breakfast. About 45 minutes after parking, I was heading south again. Parked near “four corners” at SR58 and SR395 for a walk and a Subway breakfast.
The drive was so much easier than a drive through LALA Land. There was plenty of traffic, but nothing like I-5 or I-405 through the big city. And the desert scenery is so much more interesting than anything LALA Land offers. Lovely view of the mountains along I-15 heading south toward San Berdo. I think.
View along the foothills from SR76 nearing Dean’s in Oceanside.
I arrived at Dean’s at noon. The boyz were home for spring break, and Dean, Melissa, and Aidan greeted me. Connor was at a nearby friend’s home. Dean had one last phone call to make before lunch together, and I returned to the coach to edit photos and update this travelogue. Both Dean and Melissa work from home, and I try not to hold them up visiting when they’re busy. Parked across from the kids’ home in Oceanside. I made it! Happiness is seeing a Cadillac in your kids’ driveway!
Jacks down at Guajome Park for a couple of days.
Dean and I headed off to lunch at a new place since our favorite old harbor restaurant was being remodeled. We went to a brewery in the nearby town of Vista known as Prohibition Brewing Company. They offered many different beers, and a good lunch menu. We both ordered a couple of brews during our visit, and also turkey burgers. It was a good lunch and an interesting change for us. And for a Friday afternoon they seemed awful busy!
When we returned home, I drove the coach over to Guajome and settled in for my stay. About an hour later, Dean drove over to pick me up and we spent what remained of the afternoon at home just hanging out with the family. I was especially weary this time for some reason, and I reckon it was the beer. Sometime before 1900 Dean drove me back to the coach for the night.
Day 3, Saturday, Jacks down at Guajome Park
I awoke sometime around 0600 and I had slept like a rock. I busied myself at once with the morning chores, made coffee, and whacked away at this travelogue.
Three games were scheduled for this day; one soccer game for Aidan and two baseball games for Connor. I declined the offer to pick me up around 0700 or so to make the early baseball game, and Dean said he’d let me know when he could pick me up later. It turned out to be noon, so I had half the day to busy myself in the coach. One can write only so much about a four day trip and can edit photos only so much. So I found another project or two to stay busy. And I took a walk.
Dean picked me up a bit after 1100 as it turned out, and we headed to Chin’s Chinese for lunch. We had the usual Pu-Pu platter, and then lunch on top of that. It was delicious! We then headed back to the house. Lunch at Chin’s Chinese restaurant – check out those huge plates! This is a tradition each visit, and we have a grand time together.
We spent the day there, mostly watching TV, and I napped on the couch as Dean did a few things around the house as well as watch baseball. Melissa and the boyz were at the second baseball game.
When they returned home, around 1600, they brought a Sonic milk shake for me, and I added that to the cupcake and few potato chips I had already snacked on. The Gillespies and the pet horses gather for a family portrait on Sunday afternoon. Connor, after two games of baseball that day, was up in his room sleeping and I don’t blame him.
When they began talk of dinner, I opted out. I was full already and dinner did not sound at all inviting. I told Dean that when he decided to start grilling the chicken breasts, he could take me back to the coach and we’d call it a night. Around 1830 we bid our fare-wells, and he drove me back to the coach.
I wanted to hit the sack early, around 2100 or so, and get an early start for home on Sunday morning. I showered, mixed a couple of cocktails, brought this travelogue up to date, and edited a few photos. I was in the sack a few minutes after 2100.
Day 4, Sunday, Guajome Park to home via I-5, I-405, SR99: 414 miles
Before I hit the sack, I had a third Collins, and on top of that one Ibuprofen P.M., a mild pain med with something that aids sleep – and I did sleep well! I was up a few minutes after 0400.
I set about the usual morning chores plus readying my magic carpet for the trip home. Readying means very little work with a Class A coach and I pushed a button to bring in the slide, I pushed a couple more to raise the jacks. Then I stepped outside a moment to unplug the electric cord and stow it. And that’s about all it takes to be road-ready.
I pulled out of Guajome Park in Oceanside at 0455. It was dark, and I always enjoy the early morning driving as the sky lightens. That was my favorite time of day to drive even back in my truckin’ days. Streaking through LALA Land on I-405 early when the traffic was light.
LALA Land was behind me and I began the drive north through the mountains.
The trip was uneventful, as I like. I stopped at Bakersfield’s Flying J Plaza to add 25 gallons of gas and to whip up an oatmeal breakfast. I spent almost an hour there, then pulled back onto SR99 and drove straight through to home. I did stop a couple of times to make some instant coffee, but that was all.
The next couple of photos show the mess that is Kalifornistan’s long neglected roads. We pay the highest gas tax in the nation, and this is what we have to drive over. It is unforgivable and there is no excuse!
A rare stretch of new highway south of Turlock. Usually it’s just patch, patch, patch in Kalifornistan.
Kalifornistan won’t maintain the old highways, but in apparent deference to the arts and croissant crowd, Sacramento will pay to dress up new overpasses with entirely unnecessary art! It’s just disgusting.
I pulled into our little gated community about 1330 and proceeded to unload the items I loaded three days earlier. It was good to be home, and I am looking forward to an interstate trip with Wifey in about a month. Life with an RV is just plain fun!
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.