…and Another Grocery Run for my Mental Health!

Grocery Run #3

Day 1, Thursday, April 30, to Gridley via CA99, I-5

Although I’d made two nearly identical trips in the prior four weeks, I was looking forward to this trip with excitement. Driving just 240 miles or so over two days, with only one night aboard, was still much better than two more days at home wishing I was on the road.

For a refreshing change I ventured into town twice during the days prior to my trip – for the first times in about six weeks or so! On Monday and again on Wednesday, I ordered Panda Express online, then rode my Honda scooter to the local Panda Express for their outdoor pick up! It was such a treat to dig into their tasty Chinese food after six weeks of being home bound. Yep – I finally decided to go to town for something different to enjoy – and I’m glad I did. Twice!

There had been quite a lot of news recently about loosening the restrictions caused by this awful virus pandemic, and I couldn’t blame people for wanting to get back to living. But I watched the new infection and death numbers daily, and I didn’t see much – if any – improvement.

Regardless of the pandemic regulations, we needed groceries and I’d been chomping at the bit to hit the road! I loaded the coach with the few items I’d need for just one night aboard, and at about 1030 hours, I headed for Yuba City’s Walmart store. Again. And it was very much the same as the last trip, but I have included some new photos of the same ol’ scenery.

Click to enlarge and read the captions:

The drive was scenic and still green, but the grasses that weren’t being irrigated were already showing signs of turning brown – and it was still April! But I enjoyed the drive – especially once I was north of Sacramento and driving through the rural countryside.

I arrived for my 1300 hours pickup time at Walmart about a half hour early, and had time to whip up a quick lunch. The pick up area is right at the front of the store in the main parking lot at this particular Walmart, while most stores have the area at the side of the building where there is room to park the coach. So I had to park again at the far end of the lot where the associates would have to bring our orders quite a distance from the store. But they did so with good cheer.

2020-4-30h banditsThis photo shows the distance the fellas had to walk to deliver my groceries – and the large amount we had ordered! They looked like bandits, and I asked them if they were gonna deliver groceries or rob me! 

It was then that they told me they were not permitted to touch my bags. I lost my good cheer when I heard that nonsense. What?! They hadn’t bagged the orders – again – as other Walmarts have done during this pandemic. They said I was to mark on my order such a request and that the usual dime charge per bag was waived. Still, I was stuck with shoving the groceries (over $300 worth) into the bags myself.

2020-4-30i loading coachThere were a lot of groceries, but Big Blue had plenty of room in her basement for everything.

I was not happy and I let them know – I also told them I realized they didn’t make the stupid rule, but it was nonsense nonetheless. They couldn’t touch my bags, but I had to touch their groceries. sheesh. Finally, one of them returned to the store and grabbed a bunch of new bags and they began bagging groceries with me. I also carried several heavy bags of frozen and refrigerated items into the coach and stashed them in the fridge/freezer. For an old man, it was quite a workout. I was happy to pull out of the Walmart lot and continue my drive north to Gridley and Gale and John’s place.

2020-4-30k flooded paddiesEn route to Gale and John’s from Yuba City, I passed rice paddies that were flooded and seeded and would soon look like acres and acres of immaculate, lush lawns.

2020-4-30j Sutter ButtesAs always, I had to shoot the Sutter Buttes which are, according to NASA, the smallest mountain range on the planet. 

I arrived at Gale and John’s about 1400 hours, and first thing, John and I hauled their groceries inside. And then I dumped the air bags, lowered the jacks, powered out the slides, and hooked up to the grid for my one night stay.

2020-4-30n Big Blue IIThe usual photo of Big Blue parked and set up for the visit. I think she looks very cool with the air dumped and sitting low to the ground. A low rider motorhome?!

After I had the coach set up, I joined John in the house for a visit. My sis was in the bedroom “primping” for company, and because of the awful Parkinson’s Disease she deals with, she can spend hours doing such things. Finally, after nearly two hours, I went into the bedroom and told her she looked just fine and it was time for her to visit her brother. And with her permission, I pushed her wheelchair out into the living room where we enjoyed a lovely visit.

For dinner, they were hungry for some Taco Bell, and that sounded fine to me. I ordered online, and John headed into town to pick up the order. He was back in no time, and we enjoyed a quick and tasty Mexican dinner.

We continued visiting a while after dinner. It was good to see my dear, twin sis again. It frustrates me very deeply that she suffers as she does, because if there were anyone who should be enjoying their golden years in good health, it is her. Life can be very cruel.

I returned to the coach and began the evening chores. The weather was warm and I ran the air conditioner during most of the afternoon and early evening. But it cooled off nicely and just open windows kept the coach comfy after sunset.

2020-4-30p sunset…and yet another beautiful country sunset for my pleasure! Such gorgeous sunsets are not unusual in the Central Valley.

I dug out the movie Driving Miss Daisy again, and watched the second half I missed two weeks ago when I visited. It’s such a great movie, and I’ve about memorized it!

I enjoyed my one evening aboard, and wished I had more. Soon, I hoped, I’d be heading out on another trip through several states. I sure missed being a RV bum!

Day 2, Friday, Gridley to home via CA99, I-5: 244 miles (the entire trip.)

I slept well, as usual, aboard the coach, and awoke to a pleasant morning in the country. But it was a bit cool, so I went through my routine of turning up the heater and the water heater, and going back to bed while things warmed.

I worked through the morning chores, then perused the ‘net for my usual morning comics and news. When I headed to the house, John was up and about, and making breakfast. My sis was still in bed, which is so opposite of the go-getter she was before that diabolical Parkinson’s Disease slowed her down so much. I chose to have just a bowl of raisin bran cereal and a couple little mandarin oranges. I visited with John a bit over breakfast, but soon I excused myself to convert my cozy home in the driveway into a luxury highway cruiser.

When I was set to head for home, I walked back into the house and bid John good-bye ’til the next time – probably another grocery run in two weeks. At 0900 I pulled out of their driveway and headed to town for some cheap diesel!

2020-5-1a Bargain!And it was even cheaper than I’d read the day before! Diesel 2 for under $2 in over-regulated Kalifornistan is unheard of these days – but there it was! I pumped on all I could, but only 30 gallons would fit in the 90 gallon tank which I had filled my last trip. My delight was somewhat tempered by the memory of 25¢ diesel back in the 70s when I drove truck. According to an online inflation calculator, that 25¢ diesel in 1974 would cost $1.38 in today’s dollars, so we still had a bit further to go! (Yes, I realize that today’s diesel is far more processed and cleaner – and taxed! – than in the 70s.)

After the fuel stop, I headed south on CA99 toward home. It was another lovely day to drive, and I enjoyed it. There was one traffic jam due to road repairs along I-5 somewhere north of Stockton, but it didn’t last long.


I arrived home at noon, and then my workout for the day began. I had so many groceries to haul into the house, and my dear Wifey and I put them away. Fruit juices and sodas were in short supply on my recent orders, so I ordered waaaaay too many on this order, figuring that if they had ’em in stock, I’d simply store ’em for the future. And I wound up with 12 bottles of juice – the smallest were 64 ounce bottles, and eight two-liter bottles of soda! Hauling just those 20 large bottles into the house were enough to wear me out!

When we were finished wrestling all the groceries, I whipped up a quick lunch and took a break for a while to rest. After the rest, I idled the coach down to the RV lot, dumped the holding tanks, filled the fresh water tank, and then scrubbed the bug collection from the front cap and huge windshields. I’m much too vain to have the dirtiest coach in the RV lot. Then I backed Big Blue under her oversized carport – and I was done for the day!

I suspect my next trip will be another grocery run to Gale and John’s again in two weeks. Our Kalifornistan governor recently stated that we likely have some days remaining on the stay-at-home-orders, but that changes would be made in the coming days. Unrest is growing as people chafe against those orders, but the orders will remain awhile yet, it seems. So it goes – but it’s good to have Big Blue and these grocery runs to break up the monotony!

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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3 Responses to …and Another Grocery Run for my Mental Health!

  1. crash3289 says:

    Your diesel prices are lower than here in our area. I checked it out using Gas Buddy and it’s from $1.99 to $2.07. Our gas prices went up from .99¢ to $1.09 last week and this week, $1.49. Once the owners hear about oil going up, they up the price, despite having their underground tanks pretty full with the less driving going on.

    I’m happy to hear that you found a way to circumvent the stay at home situation. I hope though that you and Wifey at least take walks around your gated community and say hi to those you know, just staying quite distant and wearing your masks. We manage despite not living on a street with no neighbors to speak to, other than the woman to the East of us next door.

    Jim’s youngest son committed suicide on March 20th and then with all the medical problems Jim had due to a bad bacteria he got in his bones from a surgery he had Nov. 12th, it’s been a bad almost 6 months. He’s now managing to get around with a cain and weaned himself off of his Oxy.

    Fast update since I don’t blog like you. Stay safe and healthy and keep writing.

  2. crash3289 says:

    P.S. The reason I’m not on the comics you read is because I cut them down from the 11 I did to just 3. I was spending too much of my time reading them and comments and not getting other things done. 🙂 a.k.a. Sandy or sjaerts@bayland.net

  3. FishWisher says:

    Hi Sandy –
    It’s been awhile! Good to hear from you again. I’m so sorry to hear about the suicide in your family – we’ve experienced that tragedy on both sides of our family in recent years. We know it’s something we never get over, but time does help. And I hope Jim heals completely from the infection very soon – six months seems waaay too long.
    There is no explaining that low diesel price here in Kalifornistan of $1.96. I’d bet it’s the lowest in the state – maybe the west coast. But I’ll take it!
    I take walks every day here as our road is a half mile oval inside the community and I walk two laps a day. And everyone in our community is very careful about distancing. We haven’t had but one person in our house since early March and that was our son. We haven’t been in a restaurant since March 12 – but that’s not too hard for me as I don’t much like ’em anyway.
    I have missed you on the comix. I’m still a regular and have 15 I must read every day – 10 of them are on the ArcaMax site. I have sworn off Mallard since the new author took over as he’s just too wordy, and I get a bit weary of all the political arguing.
    Thanks for the visit! I hope things settle down for you real soon and you get back to a slower pace.

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