A second March visit with Gale and John – during Jill and Craig’s visit from the snowy land of La Pine, Oregon!
Day 1, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, to Gridley via I-5, CA99
We learned the past visit that Jill and Craig, Gale and John’s daughter and husband, would visit this month as well as Kevin. But their visit would be about two weeks later. I wanted to visit them as well, because we don’t see them often, either, as they live in La Pine, Oregon. When their visit dates were firmed up, I decided to go, even though Lavonne wouldn’t be able to make it due to other commitments.
On the morning of the 26th, I loaded up the coach and headed to Gridley for a couple nights.
The drive would take me through Sacramento, as always, and while there I stopped at the new Delta Shores shopping center to pick up some bread and some fruit. After the quick shopping run into the beautiful new Walmart, I drove over to the In-N-Out that was also new in the center.
I ordered a delicious Double Double, fries, and a vanilla shake from the friendly gal at the new In-N-Out. When my order arrived, I took it the coach and had a delicious, much anticipated lunch of my favorite burger – something I allow myself only once every few months.
After the lunch treat, I continued north, enjoying the trip – especially on on the rural CA99 from just above Sacramento to Gridley. Springtime was busting out all over the valley!
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When I arrived at Gale and John’s place in the early afternoon, I set up the coach for a couple nights stay. When I went inside the visiting began – it was good to see everyone again. Jill and Craig had driven through a lot of snow the prior day, especially in the Shasta area. But they’re used to it – they live in the land of cold and snow, known as La Pine, Oregon, one of the coldest places in Oregon. La Pine averages over 80″ of snow each year – that’s almost seven feet of the stuff!
When dinnertime rolled around, I helped myself to the crock pot of corned beef that sat on the kitchen counter, having slowly cooked all day. It was a good meal, and one I enjoy very rarely as I don’t know anyone who cooks the stuff – apparently Craig does. Everyone else had a late lunch at the Outback Restaurant in Chico, and had full tummies already.
We enjoyed a lovely visit around the living room that evening, catching up on family news. I headed back to coach about 1930 or so, and got after my usual evening chores when on the road. And sometime later that evening I wasn’t feeling so well as something I had eaten didn’t set well. When I finally headed for bed around midnight, I began a rough night, something unheard of for me. I always sleep well, but not that night.
Day 2, a day in the country with family
It was a rainy night in the Gridley area. I always enjoy the sound of rain on the roof of the coach – we seem to hear every drop land on such nights.
As pleasant as the rain was, it wasn’t so pleasant to be up and down much of the night with my upset stomach. I carry Pepto-Bismol with me on my trips just in case, and this was a case where it came in handy. I took several doses of the stuff to settle my stomach, and it seemed to work by late morning.
Big Blue at rest in the country near Gridley for a couple nights – a sometimes rainy visit.
When I got up around 0700, as I usually do lately, I was still dealing with the stomach issue. As morning passed, I got to feeling better, but still ate very lightly both breakfast and lunch. I had no desire to join John and Craig for breakfast in town when they decided to go. I would take the day slow and easy, including a good nap in the afternoon for over an hour.
In fact, everyone took the day slow and easy. Nothing seemed planned and we just hung out together. During the afternoon as I took a much needed grandpa nap for about an hour, John and Craig headed to Oroville to see a couple riverside parks. I was happy to stay put after the rough night I’d had.
After my nap I headed to the house for a bite to eat – a bowl of oatmeal. That seemed a good, light meal for my troubled system. For dinner I zapped a frozen meal I had brought along from home, and it was pretty light, too.
I felt better as afternoon turned to evening and I headed to the coach for the night. I worked through the evening chores as usual, if showering and writing this blog can be considered work. And I was in bed about an hour earlier than usual – it had been a rough day.
Thursday, Day 3, Gridley to home via CA99, I-5: 247 miles total trip
It rained a bit sometime during the night as I heard it a time or two, but I slept all the better with the comforting patter on the roof of rain drops. I am easily comforted.
I was up a bit before 0700 and was pleased to have had a very restful night. I slept well and got and extra hour or so of sleep. I began the morning chores and worked through them, them headed to the house to greet the family. We visited briefly as I enjoyed a bowl of sugary shredded wheat for breakfast.
Before leaving, we all posed for a quick family photo. That’s the Tom Selleck look-alike on the left, John, Jill, Craig – and Gale is seated. That’s a fine looking family, indeed!
A tree trimming truck appeared out front on the road, and set up to trim trees on the shoulder. They parked directly if front of the coach and I was concerned they might trap me in the driveway. I headed out and asked a crewman how long they’d be and that I needed to get out of the driveway soon. They’d be about 40 minutes he said, and I translated that to mean an hour, so right away I set the coach up for the trip home, then headed into the house and bid everyone a quick farewell with hugs all ’round.
The tree trimming outfit set up before I planned to leave, so I hurriedly prepped the coach for the trip home, then bid the family a quick but warm good-bye. I got out of the driveway before the fellas got started.
I pulled out of the driveway just before they created a big mess, and headed for home at 0930. I had to take a bit of a detour to get on my usual route, but I was soon on my way home.
Click for photos of the beautiful valley during its brief but glorious displays before the summer sun turns most of it brown:
I had two stops en route home; one at a Walmart in Stockton to pick up groceries I had ordered the day before, and another stop that was unscheduled – it was actually more of an extended slowdown.
As I drove south on I-5 toward home, a notice appeared on my Garmin navigator that a 13 minute delay was 13 miles ahead. Those notices are often incorrect as the delays are usually cleared by the time I reach them, but not this one!
Sure enough, traffic was soon snarled and I had to idle along for a mile or two in bumper to bumper traffic, wondering what the issue was. In about 15 minutes I came upon an accident that involved a big rig that ran off the road, down an embankment, and head-on into a tree. As I drove slowly past I could see the rig well off the road, and the tractor was very difficult to see as it was, according to reports later, destroyed. As it turned out, the accident was a major delay that happened at about 1030 hours, and much later, about 1730 hours as we watched the news at home on TV, it was still being cleared. My educated guess was that the driver must have fallen asleep. The TV news reported that the truck driver was killed in the accident.
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