2015-5-3 Sunday, Day 1, home to Gale & John’s in Gridley via SR99, I-5: 118 miles
We’d been wanting to take an Oregon trip for some time, and the fact that our gated community would be slinging slurry all over our roads and the RV lot the next day, we figured now was the time. We planned the trip a week ago, and took our usual sweet time preparing for it. I washed the coach the day before and, as seems customary of late, it plumb wore me out.
We loaded the coach early in the morning to beat the heat, then parked the coach so Wifey could meet the Baker Girls, her nieces, a granddaughter, and her sis-in-law for a lovely lunch in Stockton. When she returned, we boarded the coach a bit before 1500 and headed for our first stop of the trip, my sis’s home near Gridley.
The Sacramento skyline as we streaked through on I-5.
Good times were happening on the Sacramento River as we passed over.
We traveled along untold acres of water sitting atop rice paddies. I’m all for the farmers growing rice but was pleasantly surprised they were allowed to during the drought.
Rice silos and storage facility along SR99 where rice will be dried, processed and stored this coming fall.
The Feather River as we passed over south of Yuba City.
Our drive was pleasant and sunny and windy. As we paralleled the delta, the wind was knocking the coach around a bit, but nothing we haven’t dealt with many times before. The traffic was heavy, as usual, and it was a Sunday afternoon with many folks hurrying here and there and everywhere.
We arrived at my sis’s place about 1700. After some time visiting, John and I headed to town for a few items. We stopped at Safeway where I bought some freshly deep-fried chicken and John bought a few grocery items. We then went to Subway where he ordered sandwiches for Gale and himself.
The old folks sittin’ around doing what old folks do… probably talking about our aches and pains and grandchildren.
Back home we dug in! I brought in a can of creamed corn from the coach to go with the fried chicken. I ate way too much, as usual with fried chicken. Lavonne had part of a piece, and I had four. We all had “fast food” and it was very good. I loved the chicken!
After dinner we gathered in the living room and visited for some time. Around 2000 I headed to the coach for a shower and to begin this travelogue. I also edited the photos of the day. An hour later Lavonne joined me in the coach for the night.
I relinquished the computer to dear Wifey for her e-mail checks and online word games. I dug out my favored documentary The Century: America’s Time which is so old it’s on video tape. It is a very interesting and entertaining history of the 20th century. I’ve watched the six cassette set several times over the years and it was as interesting as ever.
A bit after 2200 we called it a day and headed to our cozy bed for the night. =========================
Monday, Day 2, Jacks down at Gale & John’s
The night was cool, under 50°, and we awoke to a cold coach around 0600. We fired up the heater and in due time were snug and warm in our little travelin’ home. If we thought it was cool in Gridley, the forecast was for the 20s at night in Bend, OR and that weather gave us pause. We would have to rethink the Bend leg of the trip. There was also a chance of snow in Bend, and snow likely along the pass on US20 from Bend to I-5 which we’d take to Keizer. So I called my niece, Jill, in Bend and told her we would be visiting Al in Keizer first, and would watch the Bend forecast to see if we could make Bend after. That would be fine and we’d advise later of any new plans to visit.
Big Blue under the old shade tree, set up for the two day stay at Gridley.
Meanwhile, in Gridley on that somewhat overcast morning, Lavonne and I did our chores around the coach. Lavonne went to the house to visit Gale a bit after 0700. John walked up the street to feed a neighbor’s horses. I stayed in the coach and did my online stuff and even did some housecleaning. I went to the house around 0800 and joined the others for a breakfast of pastry or toast. As we talked we decided to spend another night in Gridley with them. We’d enjoy the company and also would while away another day of the trip. It might delay us enough to make a visit to Jill and family possible.
We had a nice day of just hanging with Gale and John, including a ride to Yuba City for lunch. In Gridley, if one wants an In-‘N-Out burger, one drives to Yuba City. It was about a 20 mile drive I suppose, and runs along the green and growing farmland that is Butte County. After our burger run, including a stop at Baskins for desserts, we returned home to just lay about much of the afternoon. Lavonne and I took a nap in the coach as Gale did in the house. A bit before 1800 we were back in the house visiting.
Gale and John’s lovely home outside Gridley. John has done some wonderful landscaping around the place and it shows beautifully.
It was decided we’d be on our own for dinner, so I zapped a frozen breakfast sandwich for myself. Then I sat down at the computer to update this travelogue and posted it to this site.
My sweet twin sis, Gale, has gone natural, choosing to accept her gray hair over the dyed look. With that new ‘do we looked a lot more like twins!
We continued our visit on the patio and back inside when it suited us. About 2000 I headed to the coach to write this and shower, etc. Lavonne joined me around 2030. I watched more history VHS tape as Lavonne visited her online sites and word games. She is a Scrabble shark online and beats nearly everyone – even in her advanced group of players. She’s a walking dictionary! We called it a day and hit the sack about 2230.
Tuesday, Day 3, Gridley, CA to Roseburg, OR via SR99, I-5: 336 miles
We slept well and comfortably. We had the heater on low to keep the motorhome comfy overnight. We were up around 0600 and began the usual chores. I dumped the gray water tank and topped off the fresh water tank.
We visited in the house with Gale and John for a short time as we did our morning coffee thing. After awhile I went to the coach and converted our cozy cabin to a highway cruiser by pushing a couple of buttons and disconnecting from the grid at John’s garage. We were ready to continue our trip to Oregon.
A crop duster flew low and slow over us, turning tightly to make another pass over freshly chiseled rice paddies, and I believe he may have been seeding them. I understand they do almost everything by air except plow, chisel, and harvest.
Rice just emerging from under water as it begins to grow. It looked like a new lawn just getting started. We saw what must have been thousands of acres of rice (and standing water) in the valley.
SR99’s miles of oleander were in full bloom as we drove through Chico, CA.
We pulled into an old truck scales area for breakfast aboard Dale’s Diner. The food was just so-so and I didn’t overeat. That’s not all bad.
I shot this logging truck near Red Bluff. I drove such rigs when I lived in Red Bluff over forty years ago. The rigs don’t look much different than those days, but the truck technology is now much more advanced.
Crossing the Sacramento River, again, in Red Bluff.
Lake Shasta didn’t look so bad considering the drought we’ve been having. I was encouraged.
I took this photo in July of last year, so the lake appears fuller in May of 2015 than the prior year.
We headed north on SR99 to Red Bluff where we continued north on I-5. The endless farmland of the valley was behind us as we drove towards the mountains just above Redding. Lake Shasta encouraged me as it seemed to have as much water as last year – if not a bit more. And the snow on Mt. Shasta was much more than I expected to see. We still need a lot more, but that was encouraging.
The spectacular Castle Craigs near Mt. Shasta are always a beautiful sight.
Mt. Shasta looked like it had a fair amount of snow.
The beauty of Oregon is just breathtaking and I wish so much that we lived there. Wifey is glued to Kalifornistan because the kids live there, but I’d move in a heartbeat. I’ll let the following photos show the beauty of Oregon:
We arrived in Roseburg, Oregon’s Walmart lot a bit after 1600. We spent the afternoon and evening on the computer, watching the history VHS tapes, taking our showers, etc. I walked into Walmart and did a bit of grocery shopping to replenish our stores.
This “grass shop” was among the first signs we saw as we entered Roseburg. A first for us!
Jacks down at Roseburg’s Walmart store. Even the parking lots are more beautiful in Oregon.
We had dinner aboard the coach, and I was pleased with myself for eating light all three meals. A nice breeze blew most of the evening ’til almost 2000 when it got a bit cool and we closed up the coach for the night. I enjoyed the time aboard with the TV and a couple of Tom Collins. We went to bed around 2230.
Wednesday, Day 4, Roseburg, OR to Keizer, OR via I-5: 137 miles.
We were up around 0600 to begin our day. I took a walk, something I’ve missed a couple of days this trip, and enjoyed the cool Roseburg morning. We worked through the chores, including washing some very dirty windshields.
Tending the bug collection before hitting the road for Al and Betty’s place.
We pulled out of Roseburg about 0815 to continue our drive to my old buddy Al’s in Keizer, OR where he lives with his lovely wife, Betty.
The drive through the beautiful Oregon country kept me shooting photos. The highways were near perfect, too. And uncrowded. How I want to live in that beautiful place! But then there’s that anchor around my neck keeping me against my will in Kalifornistan. More Oregon beauty:
Another very tidy and green Oregon rest area.
We arrived at Al and Betty’s place around noon, and I backed into their driveway which is near perfect for a motorhome. It is a bit uphill, but the leveling jacks on Big Blue took care of that.
Big Blue up on her jacks for the night at Al and Betty’s lovely home. What a gorgeous sky – I loved having some weather for a change, and we did get a little rain out of that blackness.
We had a very warm visit in their lovely home for an hour or so, then took off for McGraths Restaurant for lunch.
McGrath’s was an awesome place, and I don’t say that often. It was quiet and the food was delicious. I had coconut shrimp and Lavonne had sesame chicken. Both were superb. The coleslaw was perfect, too. Al had the same as I, and Betty had fish and chips. We were all satisfied and the generous portions made for enough food for the rest of the day.
Four old folks enjoyed a delicious dinner and a wonderful time visiting at McGrath’s Restaurant in Salem. mmmmmmm.
When we returned home, Lavonne and I headed to the coach for a couple of hours and rested. I edited photos and wrote more of this travelogue as Lavonne took a nap.
We returned to the house about 1800 and, I hate to report, ate some dessert. The four of us visited for an hour or so as we watched some TV. Our presence seemed to stir up their pet Schnauzer dogs but they soon calmed down and accepted our intrusion into their domain.
Lavonne and I returned to the coach for the evening and went through our usual evening routine. We hit the sack about 2230.
Thursday, Day 5, Keizer, OR to Yreka, CA via I-5: 280 miles
We enjoyed a quiet and restful night there on Al and Betty’s driveway, and we settled in like we owned the place. We were up and about at 0600.
Our morning routine was complete by 0730 and we met Al and Betty in their home. They were up and about and talking about breakfast, which is one of my favorite topics. After a few minutes of morning visiting, we piled into their lovely Avalon and Al drove us to a country cafe they both enjoy. It was a good choice, and my goodness, the portions they served! None of us finished our meals and none of us left hungry. We had a very pleasant visit for over an hour when I reminded everyone that we’d better be going as we had a very long drive ahead of us.
Back at the house after breakfast, Betty gave Lavonne a lovely crystal butter dish. It was indeed a lovely gift, and it was simply because Betty knew Lavonne loves crystal. Lavonne gave Betty a scarf when we arrived the day before, and I dare say we came out ahead on that exchange. We should visit Al and Betty more often!
It was 1000 as we bade farewell to our good friends and headed for home. Our plan to drive to Bend was thwarted once again, this time by a forecast of winds to 30 mph. That often means 40 mph and we just don’t enjoy driving through such conditions.
Near Al and Betty’s home this old, neglected Allegro motorhome sat on the street – an embarrassment to the whole neighborhood! This photo would make any RVer a little queezy, especially my friend Willie who owns a very nice and well cared for Allegro. The next day this one was completely washed and looked a bit better. Perhaps they saw me taking the photo and they took the hint.
Our drive was pleasant and beautiful as we drove toward home through Oregon’s beautiful countryside. I felt the usual disappointment of returning to Kalifornistan. Wifey was happy to be heading home, so I was, too. Somewhat.On I-5 in Oregon we passed the Marathon Coach factory and dealership. They are the largest converter of Prevost bus chassis. These huge coaches sell new for over $2,000,000 each. We couldn’t afford to even stop and look at ’em! See them here.
One last photo of beautiful Oregon as we streaked south on I-5 for Kalifornistan.
We planned to drive back home on I-5, the same way we drove to Oregon, and planned to reach Redding, almost 400 miles down I-5. But with the late start, it was nearly 1600 as we approached Yreka, so we settled in for the night at the Walmart in Yreka.Jacks down at Yreka’s Walmart store for the last night of the Oregon trip.
This strange little vintage coach was parked near us. I don’t believe I’ve seen a smaller Class A.
The evening at Yreka was quiet and comfortable once I moved the coach to a more secluded area of the lot than was my first choice. We spent the evening as usual doing computer stuff, history tapes on TV, dinner at Dale’s Diner, and to bed at 2130, an hour earlier than usual. We wanted to get an early start for home the next morning.
Friday, Day 6, Yreka to home via I-5: 308 miles
We were up around 0500 and on the road shortly after 0600. The day was perfect for driving, and we had over 300 miles to cover.Mt. Shasta looked stormy and foreboding as we drove by from the north. I hoped it was snowing up there.
We stopped just a couple of times en route home. Once was a rest area where we whipped up a quick breakfast. A few miles later we pulled into a Mickey D’s for a frappuccino for Lavonne, and a coffee and small McFlurry for me. I needed a goodcaffeine/sugar jolt to chase away the sleepiness. It worked, as always.Here an ag plane plants rice from above.
Near Sacramento we passed more rice paddies. It’s a big crop in this area of Northern Kalifornistan. Back in my truckin’ days, I hauled rice from a dryer to the inland port of Sacramento where it was shipped to Japan!
We drove steady and the drive was pretty much unremarkable, just as I like. We arrived home a bit after noon. It was nice to be home, but we greatly enjoyed our visits with my twin sis, Gale and her husband John. And it was a pleasure to visit Al and Betty in Keizer. It was a wonderful drive, for me, and dear Wifey was a good sport about all those miles. For her it’s the destination; for me it’s the journey. Life is good with a motorhome!
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.