To Denver and the kids… and then?
June 11, 2018, Monday, Day 1, to Gridley, CA via CA99: 117 miles
It was back in April that we visited Oregon, and my “Search for Sunshine” adventure to Texas was back in January. It had been nearly eight months since our long trip to Denver in September and October. That was the trip that ended in tragedy as we were heading to Graceland. In other words, I was waaaay overdue for a good, long road trip. And finally, we were on the road again!
It was a few minutes before 1000 hours that we pulled out of the little senior gated community we call home, and headed to my twin sister’s place near Gridley. The drive was pretty much a busy commute ’til we finally got north of the overcrowded metropolis of Sacramento. When we turned off the interstate to take the more rural CA99 through the farmlands of Sutter and Butte counties, the traffic was much more tolerable. Driving through the very busy Sacramento area was not pleasant.
The endless rice fields along our farm drive looked like well manicured lawns.
Country driving is such a pleasure!
Crossing the Feather River.
The very picturesque Sutter Buttes rise high above the valley in Sutter County.
After we turned off the interstate and drove through farmland and small towns, the drive was a pleasure, and I enjoyed it. But not for long because that drive is only about 50 miles. We arrived at Gale and John’s place a few minutes after noon.Big Blue lookin’ good out in the country near Gridley. I think those window shades are a nice touch – and they work well on a warm, sunny day.
We visited with them for a spell after we arrived, then returned to the coach to set it up for an overnight stay. Lavonne and I had sandwiches in the coach for lunch as Gale and John had already eaten. We make a point of having only dinner with them so as to spare John the effort. My dear sis, Gale, deals with a form of Parkinson’s and cannot walk. Most of John’s life these days is taken up caring for her. There must be a special place in heaven for spouses that care for their handicapped mate.
We visited in their home awhile after lunch until it was time for my grandpa nap. After our rest, Lavonne and I headed back to the house to continue our visit and decide what we’d have for dinner. We all decided “yo quiero Taco Bell” as their old ad goes! Now, I haven’t had such food in ages, but I’ve seen that very tempting ad for their Chalupa taco and have wanted to try one for some time. John and I drove into town and picked up dinner. Back home we all sat around the table enjoying the good Mexican food and even had ice cream bars for dessert. We old folks enjoyed a Mexican dinner followed with ice cream bars. And nobody had to do much work!
It was a warm day, as usual in the valley this time of year. The coach air conditioner ran all day and into the evening, and did a good job of keeping us comfortable.
John headed to town for a meeting a bit before 1900, and I headed to the coach to edit photos and write this blog. Lavonne and Gale whiled away the evening as they visited in the house.
When John returned, we visited awhile over old family photos I carry around on my laptop. And there was that high school senior photo of me – taken 56 years ago – which these days serves only to remind me of how old we’ve all gotten.
I returned to the coach for the night and Lavonne joined me a while later. We spent the rest of the evening on our laptops. I watched an old documentary called The Century: America’s Time which I have on video tapes and have watched several times over the years. Now I watch it on You Tube. Who needs a VCR player when the ‘net is available?!
We slept well out there in the quiet countryside near Gridley.
Day 2, Tuesday, Gridley to almost Grass Valley – and back to Gridley – via CA70, CA20 and some backroads: 89 miles
We enjoyed the morning with Gale and John, including breakfast that we brought in from McDonald’s in town. As usual, I enjoyed a delicious McGriddle and had one of their little breakfast burritos for dessert. mmmm. I rarely allow myself such fare, but when I do I sure enjoy it!
We pulled out of their driveway at 0900 and planned to drive to Winnemucca, NV on the second day of our trip. But our plans went awry a few miles west of Grass Valley on CA20 as we climbed toward the high Sierras and Donner Summit.
Click for larger photos: