A Short Trip to Craig’s Castle and on To Gale & John’s in Gridley

A Quick Visit to Stockton and Gridley

Saturday, April 9, Day 1 to Craig’s Castle

We were invited to Craig’s Castle in Stockton to visit family and friends during Allen’s (Both are our sons.) visit from Denver in the wake of Craig’s birthday which was just a couple of days ago. We’d take the coach and spend the night in Craig’s driveway, which we often do for family get-togethers. This would be our first real trip together aboard the new coach and I was pretty happy to show Lavonne what a great coach it is. It was a rainy drive to The Castle.2016-4-9a rainy drive to The CastleThe rain fell constantly during the afternoon and the short drive to Stockton was a wet one. Nobody was complaining about the rain!

The “party” included family and friends and a big spread from the  barbecue for dinner. We enjoyed steaks, chicken and salmon. Well, no salmon for us, thanks, but the salmon eaters loved it. Things got started a bit later than we thought, which is the norm. After dinner, about 2000, I bid everyone goodnight and headed for the coach. I’m not much for parties and racket, and my leave was no surprise to anyone. Back at the coach I set about the travelogue and editing a couple of photos for the day.2016-4-9b party at The CastleThe inlaws and outlaws of the family and some friends included made for a big evening to welcome Allen and celebrate another year for Craig. Front row L to R: Brett, Breanne, Niner the pooch, Laura, Craig, Allen, Jeremy, and Ashley. Rear L to R: John, Karen, Beth, Ted, Lavonne, Dale, and Darren.

I dug out the Godfather movie and watched it ’til Lavonne joined me at the coach, escorted by Allen through the rain – and it rained all night long. We had nearly 1.3″ of rain the prior 24 hours and for us that is very unusual. But we’re all delighted to get lots of rain as we’re hoping to get that drought behind us. We relaxed aboard the coach and were in bed about 2230. It was our first night aboard the new toy and we loved the sound of all that rain. We slept very well.
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Sunday, Day 2, morning at The Castle, then on to Gridley via I-5, SR99.

We were up and about early, I got up around 0515 and Lavonne joined me sometime before 0600. We checked out our morning ‘net sites, made coffee and just took it easy. Craig called about an hour later to say they were having coffee in the house, so Lavonne joined them as soon as she could get ready. I tinkered around a bit longer with the morning chores and joined them a bit later.

2016-4-10a at The CastleCecil the Diesel at Craig’s on Sunday morning. It was a very rainy night and we loved it!

We enjoyed a great Belgian waffle breakfast that Craig is known for, along with eggs, sausage – and preceded with mimosas. mmmmmm. A great start to the day!

2016-4-10b water pump workWorking on the water pump trying to quiet it down. My efforts helped but I’d have to get a “Quiet Kit” to get it even quieter.

After breakfast I busied myself trying to quiet down the water pump. I found a line vibrating against a thin wall below the kitchen sink and isolated it with a couple of nylon ties. The rest of the racket was coming from the pump itself and I would have to get a “quiet kit” to fix it. While down there I found both sides of the pump could be tighter, and tightened them, hoping that would help the pump stay primed – which was already improved from work I had done the day before. But it still wasn’t right.2016-4-10c family funLavonne and I on our first trip together aboard the new diesel coach.

Craig was to take Allen to the Sacramento Airport around noon, and we were to head to Gridley about the same time. It dawned on me that we’d be just a few miles from the airport, so we told them we’d be happy to take Allen and save Craig the drive. Everyone agreed on that.

2016-4-10d Sutter Buttes from SR99Driving north on SR99 towards Gridley. Note the Sutter Buttes in the distance. The valley was green and the crops were looking good. 

We left for the airport a few minutes before noon. Allen enjoyed the ride aboard the new coach, and earned his passage by checking for a couple of squeaks that I hear only when underway. He didn’t find them, but his efforts were appreciated. We arrived at the airport, just a few miles past our turn off to SR99 toward Gridley. We bid Allen farewell and headed back on I-5 to SR99 and continued our trip north.

2016-4-10f my Trail BuddyMy cute lil’ Trail Buddy as we headed towards Gale and John’s. I am a lucky fellow!

In Live Oak, a small town just south of Gridley, a local market had the outdoor chicken grill fired up, so I stopped and bought a half chicken. I’ve eaten those old birds before and sometimes they’re pretty good. We then continued on to Gridley where we stopped at Taco Bell for Lavonne’s lunch, a taco salad. We ate together in the coach and her taco salad was very good. My chicken, however, was a bit mature I thought, likely an old laying hen. I didn’t eat it all as it was a huge ol’ bird. 

We arrived at Gale and John’s just outside Gridley a few minutes before 1500. It was good to see them again, and we caught up on family news over coffee and cake. Gale has been dealing with some pretty serious limitations, unable to walk for reasons as yet undiagnosed. It’s been very frustrating for them but she seemed to have remained pretty positive. John has been such an angel when it comes to caring for her and I hope they get her back on her feet soon. John has to do virtually everything in the meantime.

2016-4-10e Gale and John's

Parked for the night at Gale and John’s near Gridley. The sky looked threatening all day but we didn’t get any more rain. The forecast was for only a 30% chance of rain, but we hoped for a good downpour.

Later in the afternoon I headed to the coach for a nap, and fired up the air conditioner for the first time to actually use it. The day was cloudy, but the coach was in the 80s as I had forgotten to open some windows as it sat in the driveway. The air conditioner dropped the temps in a hurry as I napped for awhile. Afterwards I took a shower with water warmed from engine heat during our drive. The troublesome water pump worked pretty well, but still lost prime if left off for any length of time.

During the evening John and Lavonne headed to town for some meals to go from the local Black Bear Restaurant. Lavonne also wanted to buy some items at Safeway. When they returned Lavonne and I sat down to a shared chicken fried steak meal. Gale and John split a garden burger and fries. I like bringing food in to save us old folks the job of cooking and cleaning up.

I returned to the coach at 2000 to spend time on this blog and watch more of my movie. Lavonne visited a while longer with Gale and John, and then joined me in the coach about 2100.

We spent time online for awhile and I began watching a movie. As I snoozed on the couch with the movie playing, Lavonne went to bed. Around 2230 I joined her for a good night’s rest.
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Monday, Day 3, Gridley to Home via SR99, I-5: 3 day Trip total: 257 miles

We had a good night out in the country at John and Gale’s place. It was very quiet and peaceful. We were up around 0530 and after the usual chores we checked our favorite morning websites online. Around 0730 we headed into the house to continue our visit and have coffee together.

2016-4-11d carrots come 'n get 'emJohn and Gale rent out their pasture to a neighbor who keeps three horses. I fed them some carrots early that morning, and they sure enjoyed them.

I suggested some Mickey D’s breakfast sandwiches and everyone agreed that sounded good. John and I headed into town for them, and we all enjoyed the junk food that somehow tastes so good. We continued our visit ’til nearly 1000 when I headed to the coach to convert our beautiful and cozy cabin into a very comfortable highway cruiser. We bid our farewells and headed for home at 1015.2016-4-11f old folksThe old folks (Gale, John, Lavonne, Dale) around the table for morning coffee. We enjoyed a warm visit and a good Mickey D’s breakfast.

The drive home was unremarkable, just as we like. However, somewhere below Elk Grove along I-5 I got very sleepy. There were no Mickey D’s nearby, so we pulled over to whip up some coffee for me. I fired up the super quiet diesel generator and… nothing. No electricity. I was stumped. Eventually I checked the generator and found a small switch, apparently a breaker, that was turned off. I’d never even noticed the switch before, so it must have shut off during this trip because I’d used the generator on my Oregon trip just a week ago. Turning the switch to on did the trick. We whipped up some coffee and were on our way. I remembered after that issue that just the day before at Gale and John’s I had run the air conditioner awhile and that it tripped a breaker somewhere that reset itself a few moments later. However, I didn’t run the AC with the generator, but on shore power. Very strange.

2016-4-11g Sutter Buttes near Gale'sAnother view of the Sutter Buttes; this photo taken near Gale and John’s home as we began our drive.

We arrived home at 1320 and set about unloading the coach. After unloading I dumped the tanks and put our new toy back in the barn.We were very pleased with the new coach, but there were still several issues I needed to fix in the coming days before I head to the kids’ place in Oceanside in a few weeks. Life is good with a diesel motorhome!
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About FishWisher

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.
This entry was posted in Family Fun, Travel Craig's Castle, Travel Gale & John. Bookmark the permalink.

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