Back on the Road!

Big Blue II makes her inaugural run at Thanksgiving time – and a delayed trip to my sis, Gale and her hubby, John, a few days later…

Thursday, November 23, 2017, Home to Craig’s in Stockton: 43 miles total.

After our terrible accident in Kansas on October 3, my implausible goal was to have a new coach ready to go by Thanksgiving for our annual trek to meet family at Craig’s place on the California Delta. But… we made it!2017-11-23c Big Blue II Thanksgiving at Craig's CastleBig Blue II at rest at Craig’s Castle on the California Delta as we give thanks with family on Thanksgiving Day, 2017. For me, I was especially thankful that we had our new-to-us motorhome in time to celebrate the big day together – and to spend the night at “home” while at Craig’s.

The effort to replace our beloved Cecil the Diesel just a few weeks after losing her, was a mighty big job. I spent many hours on the ‘net searching for the right coach. It was amazing how many Class A coaches were for sale – but finding the right one was very frustrating. Nevertheless, we made it by Thanksgiving and were able to stay the night there at Craig’s and to enjoy one of his famous waffle breakfasts on Black Friday morning.

2017-11-23a Thanksgiving at Craig's CastleThanksgiving dinner at Craig’s Castle included (l-r) Pat, Breanne, Brett, Janice, Stephanie, Jeremy, Sam, Ashley, Craig, Darren, Lavonne and Dale. My goodness, we had so much to feast on that after giving thanks most of us had to repent! (Click on photo to enlarge; click again for huge view.)

Our plan was to head north to Gridley to spend Friday night at my sister’s place in Gridley. But we received word that she had fallen, again, and wasn’t feeling up to having company that day. We were disappointed, mostly about her fall, but would head up in the very near future when she was feeling better.

We enjoyed a grand breakfast of Craig’s famous waffles and quiche on Friday morning as we visited with Craig, Breanne and Brett. Around 1100 we headed for home. I was disappointed that our maiden trip was so short, but we did spend the night aboard and became familiar with our new Big Blue II.

We planned to head to Gridley to visit my sis, Gale, and her hubby, John, as soon as she was up to having us. And about 10 days later we headed north once again…

Day 1, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, Home to Gridley via SR99, I-5: 120 miles

I was anxious to take a longer trip aboard our new Big Blue II, and 10 days after our Thanksgiving trip we headed to my sis’ place in Gridley to visit her and John. We’d make it just an overnight trip, leaving one day and getting back home the next. I was so looking forward to putting a few more miles on the new coach.

The day dawned breezy; it would be one of those blustery, cold December days with an even colder north wind. Even so, I gladly moved the coach from our community RV lot to the front of our house and loaded up for a very short trip.

We pulled onto the freeway near our home a bit before 1100 and began the fight against the wind. As all our Class A coaches were, the wind was noisy as it blasted the big, flat front of the coach. It blew the coach around a bit, too, but nothing like the much lighter gas rigs we’ve had.

Click to enlarge photos and read the captions:

As usual, travel was much improved after we turned off the busy I-5 onto the less traveled CA99 and continued north toward Gridley. We fought the unrelenting wind and noise the entire trip.

In Yuba City, a few miles south of Gridley, I had to add some fuel to be sure we would get home the next day, but did not fill up as the pump cut me off at $150 and I didn’t want to take time to swipe the card again, etc. $150 bought just 45 gallons. The “cheapest” diesel we could find was at the usual Quick Stop in Yuba City where we often fueled up Cecil the Diesel. But instead of the usual $2.60 or so per, we forked over $3.30 per thanks to higher oil prices and Kalifornistan’s 20¢ added fuel tax that was levied on November 1. So instead of being tied with New York and Hawaii as the highest priced fuel and gas in the country, we now stand head and shoulders above all other 49 states with the highest taxes and usually the highest prices. We’re #1! ugh.

We arrived at Gridley sometime after 1300 and pulled into the local Safeway market’s parking lot. We ordered a sandwich for Lavonne and chicken wings and a salad for me at their deli. We ate lunch aboard the coach and had to run the house heater to be comfortable.

After lunch we drove the few miles out into the country to Gale and John’s place. I backed into the driveway and after exchanging hellos and hugs all ’round, I set the coach up for our stay.

More photos to click:

We brought a Papa Murphy’s pizza to bake for dinner, and  John whipped up a salad. After visiting a couple hours it was time for dinner and we had a good one. The only time we have pizza is on these visits to Gale’s, and we really enjoy ’em.

After visiting ’til around 1900 I headed to the coach to shower and begin this travelogue. Lavonne joined me about an hour or so later. We spent the rest of the evening on our computers, as we usually do. Around 2300 we called it a day and headed to bed. Life is good aboard Big Blue II.

Tuesday, Day 2, Gridley to home via I-5, CA99: 120 miles

We were up and around about 0600, after I turned up the heater and water heater a bit earlier. We have a two zone thermostat on the new coach, something I haven’t used before, but that I think I have figured out. Zone 1 is the living/kitchen area and Zone 2 is the bathroom and bedroom area. Now we can set the front area lower or off overnight while leaving the bedroom at a comfortable overnight setting. And the opposite before bedtime to save a bit of propane and battery power when we’re dry camping which we usually do. It’s a pretty cool new option.

Gale had a doctor appointment that morning, so our morning visit was shorter than usual. After a quick breakfast and visit, and hugs and farewells all ’round, we headed for home a bit  after 0900.2017-12-05a ButtesThe only photo of the day was of the Sutter Buttes that overlook Gridley, taken through reflections in the windshield. The cold, blustery north wind had cleared the air nicely and the view was as clear as it ever gets.

Our drive was unremarkable as we like, and as the north wind continued to blow, we had a welcome tail wind pushing us along and the ride was much quieter and more enjoyable than the prior day when we had to drive against the incessant wind.

We arrived home about 1130. After unloading the coach, I dumped the tanks for the first time and all went well. 

We’re learning about our new coach and finding that we’re really pleased with her after a couple of short trips. I’m looking forward to a long trip, likely in January, to live aboard for awhile and really get well acquainted with our new Big Blue II.

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.
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