Day 1, Tuesday, August 8, 2017, Home to Gridley, CA via I-5, SR99: 122 miles
This trip was first planned to be a week earlier, but summertime in the Central Valley being what it is, and the forecast predicting 109° in Gridley, we put it off a week. The high for this day was predicted to be 98°, so we were rewarded for waiting.
The coach was already clean from the recent trip to Woodland for a family lunch, so about all I had to do was clean the front cap a bit to have it looking sharp and ready for another adventure.
We spent about an hour or so loading up, and loading gets harder the older we get! But we managed and around 1000 we headed north for Gridley.
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We crossed a small corner of the California Delta as we headed north on I-5.
A portion of the Sacramento skyline.
A Sacramento landmark along I-5 as we entered Sacramento
Farming the great Central Valley.
Once north of Sacramento we were in rice country.
The drive was pleasant, but it was summertime in the valley so it warmed up quickly as the day grew longer. We ran the dash air conditioner much of the drive, and when we stopped for lunch aboard the coach we ran the house generator and air conditioner to stay comfy.
We stopped at the grungy little shack in Live Oak, CA where I often buy smoked chicken. How his little ramshackle building passes the county health inspectors, I can’t imagine – but he seems to always be selling his ribs and chicken. Everything is “to go” as there is nothing else available. And we continued on to Gridley, just a few more miles, where we pulled into the Safeway parking lot. At Safeway’s deli I bought a salad and Lavonne bought a sandwich for lunch. We took our sweet time over lunch in the comfort of Cecil the Diesel and Dale’s Diner.
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The grungy little shack in Live Oak that has very tasty ribs and chicken – but how he passes inspection is beyond me!
My very excellent lunch.
Lunch at Dale’s Roadside Diner where squalling kids are not allowed and we choose the music!
We arrived at Gale and John’s sometime around 1300. I hooked up the electric right away to get the air conditioner going – it was hot!
We visited in the house for an hour or two ’til I headed back to the coach to work on some ‘puter stuff and took my grandpa nap. The air conditioner kept the coach very comfortable.
We were together again in the house around 1700 and we joined in to help John whip up dinner. I got the unskilled job – washing the dishes. I am very skilled at unskilled labor!
The old folks together: (L-R) Lavonne, Gale (seated), John, and Tom Selleck.
Dinner was barbecued hamburgers and corn on the cob – and it was delicious. John had dug out from the freezer the remains of a wonderful bundt cake that was our birthday cake back in December! It was still delicious and made for an excellent dessert.
John barbecuing hamburgers and corn on the cob! mmmmmm.
Gale and I sat at the piano after dinner and sang good ol’ gospel songs as we did many years ago. Yep – the Gillespie Twins are still singing after all these years! We may not sound the same but we have even more fun.
As it neared 2000 I bid everyone goodnight and headed back to the coach to edit my photos and video and write this travelogue. Lavonne joined me soon after and we were home for the night.
The air conditioner came on a couple times during the late evening, but overnight the temps dropped into the 60s and it was a comfortable night aboard Cecil the Diesel.
Day 2, Wednesday, Gridley to home via SR99, I- 5: 122 miles
We were up at 0600 and after morning chores, enjoyed our morning coffee and perused our favored websites. We watched for the drapes at the house to open to know John and Gale were ready for us to come on over to continue our visit.
John suggested another Mickey D’s breakfast, which has become our tradition, and he and I headed to town for some Mickey’s to go. Back home, we each enjoyed our chosen “junk food” that just tastes so darn good! I enjoyed a McGriddle, a wonderful breakfast sandwich I rarely allow myself – but one every few months can’t kill me… can it?!
After breakfast, Gale and I sat down at the piano awhile and made beautiful music together – at least we thought so. But soon the time rolled around for us to climb back aboard Cecil the Diesel and head for home. We headed south at 1000.
I found “cheap” diesel at the usual Yuba City Quick Stop, selling for $2.70 per. I check online for the stuff, and as is often the case, nobody seems to beat Quick Stop prices. I pulled in and pumped on about 68 gallons – fuel that would take me to Oceanside later in August – and all the way back home. Yep, Cecil the Diesel can “loop” Oceanside on one tank full.
“Cheap” diesel is a good thing! This price of $2.70 per is 33¢ less than the Flying J near our home. That may not sound like a big deal, but the 68 gallons I pumped on at Quick Stop in Yuba City saved me nearly $23! Checking prices online is a good thing.
Then we had an appointment to pick up our groceries at Walmart in Stockton – a very handy service they offer at no extra cost. Each week I place our order and pick it up the next day – and don’t even have to enter the store. That’s hard to beat!
We arrived home at 1300 and got right to work unloading the coach. Half an hour later I parked her in our community RV lot – I would dump the tanks the next morning when it would be cooler.
Our trip was a quick one, but we enjoyed our visit with Gale and John and look forward to the next one. Meanwhile, my next adventure will be to Oceanside to visit Dean and family for a couple days. Life is good!
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