Two Visits To Gridley in Two Weeks!

First visit of two to Gale and John’s in the Country in two weeks

Day 1, Thursday, October 24, to Gridley via SR99, I-5: 131 miles 

It was time to pay a visit to my dear sis and her hubby, John, near Gridley. Wifey was going to be out of town a few days to celebrate our oldest son’s 60th birthday – in Colorado! He thinks he’s getting old, and if so, what does that make us!? The celebration was planned to include a lot of folks besides family, and these days I just don’t do parties unless it’s just family. So I chose to stay home, er… travel north to Gale and John’s for the duration.

I would drop my dear Lavonne off at the Sacramento airport en route to Gridley. The airport is very near CA99 turnoff from I-5 I would take, so it is almost on the way. She was to arrive at the airport by noon, and her flight would leave at 1325 hours. We were there well before noon, but I had to drop her off in a hurry, as they don’t allow any parking at the drop off zone. So it was a hurried hug and kiss and good-bye, and then I had to keep moving.

2019-10-23a airportAs we approached the airport, I shot this Southwest flight landing. I’d like to have shot a few more airport photos, but this one will have to do. It’s a full time job just negotiating the darn airport roads to the right area.

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I had a heavy date in Yuba City after dropping off dear Wifey at the airport. I had promised myself a rare treat – an In-‘N-Out Double Double Burger with fries and a vanilla shake! mmmmmmm.

2019-10-23d little Dale happy at lastLittle Dale, happy at last!

Yep – I had a date with a hamburger at In-‘N-Out! The shopping area at the burger place, and a few surrounding blocks, is home to a flock of chickens and roosters as I mentioned back in July when on a similar trip. The flock is the progeny of local barnyard critters that wandered into town long ago. A fella waiting with me for his burger order told me that they are protected by the city. The birds seem to scrounge their living from passers-by who take pity and toss ’em scraps. It’s all very strange, and I wonder how they survive in a city with cats and dogs about, but they seem to thrive.

Click to enlarge:

The homeless roosters and chickens of Yuba City simply wander the shopping center looking for handouts.

After my date with In-‘N-Out in Yuba City, I continued north. I took back roads to Gale and John’s place, missing the traffic in the towns of Live Oak and Gridley. I had dealt with quite enough traffic in Sacramento and Yuba City.

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I arrived at Gale and John’s place in the country at 1400 hours, just as they were leaving for a doctor’s appointment. I greeted them, then bid them good-bye. I set the coach up in their driveway for my stay. It was a warm afternoon, in the 80s, and I ran the air conditioners nearly all afternoon. By 1730 hours the wind died down and I opened up the windows to a very mild evening.

John ran into town for a few groceries and I stayed home with Gale, who was napping. After John returned we had a dinner of Safeway’s deli chicken, something not all that grand, but it was food. I chased it with a bit of salad and some fruit. I had been eating junky food nearly all day and had more than enough. It was time for me to just quit eating so much.

After dinner I headed to the coach and edited photos and wrote some more of this travelogue. I also took my shower and just enjoyed the time aboard the coach.

2019-10-23k2 sunsetAnother beautiful country sunset presented itself and I had to shoot a photo – or actually seven, I think it was. This was taken on the tripod with a delayed shutter. Beautiful!

Gale and John’s daughter, Jill, along with her daughter, Kyleigh, and Kyleigh’s very young son, Cedric, and a friend of Jill, Diane, drove down from Oregon to spend a few days, too. They arrived at 2000 hours while John, Gale and I were just hanging around watching Gaither’s gospel music on TV. After greeting them, I had to excuse myself and headed to the coach to call my dear Wifey at that time.

Lavonne said she had arrived in Denver about 1630 hours Denver time. Allen, our son who celebrates his 60th birthday on Saturday, met her at the airport. They, along with Nancy and their son, Jason, went to a nice restaurant for dinner, then on home to spend the evening together.

Back in the countryside near Gridley, I watched some YouTube videos about WWII as I often do. Jill and Diane joined me in the coach a bit after 2100 hours for some margaritas. I brought our Margaritaville machine from home, an ice shaver device that makes wonderful margaritas. We visited for over an hour with our delicious, frozen concoctions. We enjoyed a nice evening together. After they returned to the house for the night, I watched more videos, then retired about 2330 and slept very, very well out in the quiet countryside.


Day 2, Friday, at rest near Gridley with family.

I must have needed a good rest, because I got up once during the entire night, about 0430, then went back to sleep ’til a few minutes after 0700. That’s very unusual for me, and was a very good rest.

2019-10-25a morning aboard Big BlueOnce up and around, I worked through morning chores, then checked the usual morning websites. It was a beautiful, sunny, calm morning and was very enjoyable.

I walked into the house sometime around 0800 to greet those up and around, which was almost everyone. I then returned to the coach and called my dear Wifey near Denver. She was doing fine in snow covered Greenwood Village, Colorado.

2019-10-25c Colorado backyardIt wasn’t snowing where my dear Wifey was in Colorado, but had snowed before her arrival yesterday. This photo she sent to me showed the ground around the kids’ home was pretty much covered with the white stuff. 

Jill and Diane went into town to get some Starbucks coffee and morning goodies such as pumpkin bread, etc. When they returned, they told us  that the person ahead of them at the drive up window paid for their order – to the tune of $44! In return they paid for the person behind them, for just $14. What a great story for so early in the day!

2019-10-25b coffee timeWhen they returned home, we all enjoyed the breads they brought. The girls enjoyed their beloved Starbucks coffee and Gale enjoyed her Starbucks mocha, too. We visited for some time around the dining table. (L-R John, Kyleigh, Cedric, Diane, Jill, Dale and Gale – The Twins!)

After breakfast, John prepared to drive to Costco and a few other stops as he was free to do so with Jill home to care for Gale. John’s life is now spent entirely as Gale’s caregiver, and it is a full time, 24-7 devotion to duty. It is good for him to get away once in awhile.

The family passed the day visiting and just taking it easy. Diane mixed up a chicken salad for lunch, and I enjoyed a couple Hawaiian rolls with her salad – it made delicious sandwiches.

Gale and I napped in the afternoon. I returned to the coach and slept for over an hour – it was good to be so lazy. When John returned from Costco with a ton of food, I helped haul it into the house – and that included lasagna that would be our dinner.

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Jill took a couple of photos of her mom, one included Kyleigh and Ceddie. He is the cutest kid with that beautiful mop of curly, red hair.

2019-10-25f Ceddie and toysAnd… speaking of that mop of curly, red hair, here Cedric (Ceddie) plays with a new toy that a lady from John and Gale’s church brought when she stopped in to visit. Ceddie was completely mesmerized by the flashing red and blue lights as the cars circled the track.

Dinner was served at almost 1900 hours, but it was certainly worth the wait. The Costco lasagna was delicious, and it was served with salad and dressing and a french style bread that went very well with the lasagna, especially when I added a bit of garlic salt to it. It was difficult to decline seconds of the lasagna, but I managed.

2019-10-25g KP dinner prepDiane and Jill whipped up a wonderful lasagna dinner for everyone.

After dinner I cleaned up the dishes, put them in the dishwasher and sorted out the kitchen as best I could. I’m not a cook, but I am very skilled at such unskilled labor, which seems to be my calling.

I returned to the coach after dinner and prepared the Bounder Nightclub for another visit from Jill and Diane. They arrived a bit after 2000 hours, and I made another batch of margaritas in the Margaritaville machine. The girls picked up some Simply Orange OJ with mango for me when they went shopping, and it improved the margaritas a bit.

2019-10-25h The Bounder NightclubDiane, Jill and I partying at the Bounder Nightclub with margaritas!

We visited ’til a bit after 2100 hours, and enjoyed a couple margaritas each. When the girls returned to the house, I spent a bit of time online watching YouTube videos. At 2330 I headed to bed. It had a been another nice day with family.


Day 3, Saturday, still at rest in the country near Gridley…

I slept well, as always, aboard Big Blue and her cozy Tempur-Pedic mattress. As mentioned before, we loved that mattress so much after we bought the coach that we bought one for the house, as well. After a good night’s sleep I was up and around by 0630.

It was time to change the sheets, and also time to switch to the cozy flannel sheets for winter. That is quite a chore for one old man, but I managed to make the switch, plus I added a blanket to the bed and was ready for cooler nights aboard. I was ready for some cooler weather. Goodness, we haven’t seen a drop of rain since May – or maybe April. These endless sunny, warm days get boring after awhile, and finally, according to the weather man, cooler weather was on the way.

After my usual morning chores were done, I perused the ‘net for awhile before heading to the house to see what was happening that lovely Saturday morning. The folks were up and around, and Diane was whipping up some eggs. I brought one of my Delight breakfast sandwiches and zapped it for breakfast. I also had a plum and a pear for dessert.

The others pretty much hunted and gathered whatever appealed to them among the offerings, including  breads, cereals, and Diane’s scrambled eggs with cheese. After breakfast I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and put dishes in the dishwasher. We all do our best to be sure we don’t add work to John’s very demanding load. He is already so busy caring for Gale and he appreciates having the help of visitors.

The day’s plan was to drive up to Durham, a town about 25 miles north of Gridley. There was a pumpkin patch attraction there for the coming Halloween, and everyone wanted to head there that morning. They climbed into the two cars, Gale and John in their own car, and headed off. As usual, I stayed home as I don’t care for crowds or such attractions. But little Ceddie would likely love the place, and off they all went.

Click for the pumpkin patch:

The kids were gone for several hours to Durham to see the Halloween pumpkin patch.

Photo credits: Jill and Diane

No, I didn’t join them on their trip, but photos of their day were certainly more interesting than any of my day as I just enjoyed hanging around the coach and taking it easy.

2019-10-26e tractor ride with Poppa John
Back home at Poppa’s house, Ceddie drove Poppa around the back yard on the lawn tractor.

Photo credit: Jill

Our evening  unfolded as the one before; we even had lasagna for dinner again – and it was as delicious as the night before. And, as the night before, Jill and Diane whipped up the dinner, and I cleaned up the kitchen.

In the evening, Jill and Diane joined me at the Bounder Nightclub for another margarita party. We visited for about an hour over the cold and frosty margaritas.

We’d all be heading home the next morning. The gals would leave about  0700 for their drive back to La Pine, Oregon with Kyleigh and Ceddie. I had a grocery order at Walmart in Stockton to pick up between 1100 and noon, so I planned to leave about 0900.

After the gals returned to the house, I watched more videos on YouTube before heading to bed at 2330. I slept well, as usual, aboard Big Blue.


Day 4, Sunday, to home via CA99, I-5

I was up at my usual 0630 to greet the new day. And it was already very windy! Warnings had been posted the prior day or two about severe winds, low humidity and high fire danger. PG&E, the power company for most of Northern Kalifornistan, would be turning off power to thousands of customers to prevent wildfires. Fortunately, neither our area nor Gale and John’s area were targeted for power outages.

The gals were already loading their car soon after I was up, and they were gone by 0700. I worked through morning chores and then enjoyed my morning coffee at the dinette as I checked my usual morning websites.

John came out to the coach as I sat at the dinette to let me know he was up and around, although Gale was still sleeping. We visited a few moments in the coach, but he had to return to the house to be with Gale when she awoke. John also asked if I wanted to take some dessert home with me – that would be the delicious treat that the gal from the church dropped off. I sure did! The dessert was incredible and John sent me on my way with a very generous portion.

I set about converting my cozy apartment in the driveway into the very comfortable highway cruiser that is Big Blue. At 0840 hours I pulled out of the driveway and headed for home.

Click to enlarge and read:

The drive was a windy one – and Kalifornistan was under a red flag weather warning due to high winds. The wind, we were told, could in fact be so powerful that it could be a “historical” event. I don’t know if that developed, but the wind blew me all the way home as it was from the northwest. At times it blew the coach around a bit. It became a dust storm as I neared home, with visibility a bit impaired by the blowing dirt in the air.

I stopped at the Walmart off I-5 in Stockton about 1100 hours for my grocery pick up. After they brought the groceries out to the coach and I had them loaded, I walked into the store for a few produce items I wanted to pick out myself. And after that one stop, the week’s grocery shopping was done. Walmart’s pick up program is a real time saver.

I continued my drive after the Walmart stop, and arrived home at 1215. I unloaded the coach over the next hour and a half with some rest time included. The wind was howling at home, and I put off dumping the tanks ’til the next day – it wasn’t much fun being outside in that wind storm.

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It was a pleasant visit to my dear sis’ place this past week. It was good to time my visit while Jill was there with Kyleigh, Ceddie and Diane. We had a good time, and I hope to see them again next summer on a drive into Oregon.

The next adventure, as it turned out, would be to get the coach out of the RV lot the following Wednesday and Thursday. Our HOA would have the lot sealcoated and painted with new stripes. A full week of roadwork throughout our little senior gated community was planned. I’d prefer to just be gone instead of moving the coach around the community as the workmen would require. I’d have to come up with a destination – and nothing would beat seeing my sis and John again! So, I made the second trip there in two weeks:



Day 1, Wednesday, October 30, to Gale and John’s via SR99, I-5: 121 miles

I unlocked the gate of our communal RV lot by flashlight as it was still dark when I pulled the coach up to our house to load it for my second trip in two weeks. The roadwork crew would be there just after daylight, and Big Blue had to be gone! I would be going alone, as my dear Lavonne was not feeling well after her big Denver trip earlier – I think she overdid the big blowout for Allen’s 60th birthday!

After driving the coach up to the house, I finished my morning coffee and relaxed in my home recliner.   I visited my favored comic and news websites ’til the sun was up. Still, I had to get the coach moved again as the roadwork included the street we live on. It was soon a rushed morning, something this old man isn’t used to anymore.

After loading the coach, I bid my dear Wifey goodbye for a couple more days, and headed north at 0830. I stopped at a Denny’s just a few miles from home for breakfast. As usual, I chose the Value Slam of two hotcakes (pumpkin flavored!), two eggs basted, and sausage. I was a bit concerned about parking for the coach, but I was in and out with little effort.

Click for view of Kalifornistan’s housing photos:

The prior evening I had ordered groceries online at the Walmart near I-5 in Stockton. Not wanting to pick them up on my way home Friday, I scheduled the pickup for that morning between ten and eleven o’clock. I arrived a bit before 1000, and did my own shopping for some fruits and veggies I prefer to choose myself. After my shopping they brought out my order and I continued north toward Gridley.

Click for photos along my drive:

The drive was without delay and once above Sacramento and on the more rural CA99, the drive was downright pleasant. In spite of horrendous winds in SoCal which were spreading wildfires, the wind was near calm the entire drive.

I stopped at an area next to a large rice field that I seem to use pretty regularly. It’s well off the road and offers a scenic view of the Sutter Buttes. I whipped up a quick lunch of a Jimmy Dean’s Delight breakfast sandwich and a plum. While there, a rice farmer dropped by in his new pickup and we had a pleasant chat. I’m sure he wondered what I was up to, but when I told him I stopped just to make a quick lunch, he was very friendly. As a rice farmer, he knew of Shifflet Brothers Trucking, the old rice hauling company I drove trucks for back in the 70s.

Click for more photos of the drive on a beautiful day:

I pulled into Gale and John’s driveway a few minutes after 1300 hours. After I set up the coach for my stay, I walked into the house and visited with John – Gale wasn’t quite prepared for company and was in the bedroom getting ready. Their housekeeper was soon to arrive, so I excused myself when she showed up. I began work on this blog and editing photos.

John headed to town for some groceries while the housekeeper worked, and among other things, brought home some pumpkin pie and whipped cream for dessert.

I bought pulled pork in my Walmart order, along with some large, sesame buns. During my visit a few days earlier I asked Gale what she’d like and she requested pulled pork. I zapped the pork and heated the buns and John whipped up a salad. It was a quick, easy and very tasty dinner. Gale was pleased with it.

We visited a bit ’til some time after 1900 hours when I bid them goodnight and headed to the coach. The night was predicted to be very cool for this area at just 34°! That would be the coldest night so far, and I was pleased that I changed the bed sheets to cozy flannel during the earlier visit.

I spent the evening watching YouTube videos as well as updating this blog. I was comfy during the cool evening as the forced air heater seemed to be on much of the time. I headed to bed at my usual time of 2330 hours, and slept well between the cozy flannel sheets.


Day 2, Thursday, at rest in the country.

I slept in that morning for some reason. Well… it was very near the end of Daylight Savings Time, and at 0630 hours it was about as dark as it was at midnight. And it was cold! I read online later that it was down to 36° overnight and that, to me, is very cold. But the coach bedroom stayed at 65° as I had set it to when I went to bed.

I began the morning chores as soon as I was up, and didn’t return to bed while things warmed up. But one little trick I’ve learned aboard RVs is to leave my can of shaving creme next to the bedroom heater register where the hot air comes when the heater cycles on. By morning the can is hot and so is the creme – and shaving with warm shaving creme is a real pleasure on a cold morning!

After the morning chores I poured my first cup of coffee and perused the internet comic and news sites that I enjoy. Soon John called, and said that he was up, although Gale was still sleeping. I walked into the house with my coffee and talked to John awhile.

We decided that a run to Mickey D’s would be necessary for the perfect morning meal, so I headed into town with John’s car. I came home with two Breakfast Burritos for John, an Egg McMuffin with ham for Gale, and a Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle for me. John and I dug into our junk food breakfasts at once. Gale would get her McMuffin zapped and served later, after she was up and around.

2019-10-31a John, Gale, Dale
After lunch, we posed for a photo. That’s John (L-R), with yawning Abby on his lap, and Gale and Dale. To paraphrase a favorite quote of John, “Good photo, except it looks just like us!” 

The day would be one of complete rest and relaxation for me. I had absolutely nothing to do, and kind of hoped something would develop that might give me a project. As it turned out, lunchtime developed, and we pretty much hunted and gathered as we wished. I made a sandwich, and perhaps an hour later, with Gale at the table and ready for lunch, John made a couple small sandwiches for them.

I headed to the coach a bit later, and napped for awhile. I believe Gale and John did the same in the house. Old folks like us need our afternoon naps.

When I returned to the house after nap time, talk turned to dinner. John wanted to go into town and get some Burger King Impossible Whoppers. I ordered onion rings to go along with mine, and they ordered fries. When John returned, I enjoyed my first non-meat hamburger, or Impossible Whopper, as they call them. Actually, I’ve had many veggie-burgers over the years, but now that Burger King is selling one, it seems to be a big deal. And it was good flavor, but unfortunately, by the time I ate, it had assumed room temperature. humph.

I visited with them awhile in the living room after dinner, but some time before 1900 hours I bid them good-night and returned to the coach for the night.

Back at the coach, I noticed a pretty clear and dramatic crescent moon. I decided to see how it would turn out if photographed, so I shot it. It turned out fair and I’ve posted it here. I also shot a photo of the colorful sunset. Again.

2019-10-31c Halloween sunsetAnother colorful sunset presented itself off to the west, and I couldn’t resist.

2019-10-31b Halloween moonAnd here’s the crescent moon I couldn’t resist, either. You can see the craters along the light’s edge. The very pale glow of the dark disc of the rest of the moon is light from the Earth reflected back to the moon. It is called earthshine. (Click to enlarge.)

After the photo session, I began another evening aboard Big Blue – and it would likely be my last for awhile. Our next planned adventure would be to Craig’s Castle for the family Thanksgiving on the 28th, and then on to Gale and John’s again that weekend. Hopefully, before Thanksgiving, I’d take Big Blue in for her 15,000 mile oil change, lube, etc. She was a few miles overdue already.

I enjoyed watching a few more YouTube videos during the evening, and included a couple cool drinks, too, before heading off to bed at 2330 hours. It had been a very relaxing and pleasant day for this old man.


Day 3, Friday, Gridley to home via CA99, I-5: 250 miles for the entire trip.

I rolled out of bed about 0630 to greet the new day, and to turn up the heaters, fer gosh sake – it was another cool night in the country! I’d better get used to the cold because the seasons, they are a-changin’. And honestly, I am ready for some cooler weather.

I got right after the morning chores as the coach and the water warmed up. After the usual prep for the day, I began converting my cozy apartment in the driveway into a comfortable highway cruiser. With the coach ready to head for home, I walked into the house and visited with John for a few minutes. Gale was not up yet, and our visit was brief, just long enough for me to cut a piece of pumpkin pie and enjoy it before leaving. I love pumpkin and it was pumpkin season – November was here! Thanksgiving would be here soon – perhaps my favorite holiday!

After our short visit, I bid John good-bye and headed to the coach. I pulled out of their driveway at 0820 and headed south along those lovely country roads toward home.

2019-11-1a happy water birdsI couldn’t help but “shoot” some of the many water birds as I drove past the flooded rice paddies. They were on the water by the thousands! (Click to enlarge.)

In Yuba City I pulled into a shopping center and whipped up a quick breakfast of just a Delight breakfast sandwich and a Mandarin orange. I also added a bit of fluid to the jacks hydraulic system as the darn control board beeped a few times during the morning drive. I don’t know if there was a leak – I’ve never seen one – or if I simply hadn’t added enough fluid before. Whatever the case, the beeping stopped and I was pleased.

2019-11-1b modern way to grow olives, like grapesModern Kalifornistan olives grow in hedgerows, much like a vineyard, which makes very efficient mechanical harvesting possible – a huge improvement over the old orchard way of growing them. These olives grow along I-5 south of Sacramento.

I made good time that Friday morning as I was between the commute times through the Sacramento area. It’s not pleasant to wind up in the very busy Sacramento commutes on any day – especially Friday!

2019-11-1c green chop cornI believe all the corn fields had been harvested, and here’s how it winds up – in silage, covered and used to feed the cows through the coming winter and ’til the next corn harvest. It seems the cows love the stuff.

I pulled into the little senior gated community we call home at 1115. It was good to see the roadwork, at least in our area and the RV lot, was complete and all the machinery and crews were gone. The place looked good with its fresh sealcoat and new parking stripes done.

I greeted my dear Wifey with a big hug, visited briefly, then began unloading the coach. I had my belongings and the groceries I picked up at Walmart on Wednesday to haul into the house. Then I dumped the coach’s holding tanks, filled the fresh water tank, and parked Big Blue under her big RV cover.

It was good to be home. Next, Big Blue would be serviced and ready for the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And in January, I planned to head south and east for my annual Search for Sunshine!



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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