To Gridley and, Finally, Oregon (The Good Times Margarita Tour!)

Day 1, Sunday, June 14, To Gridley via I-5, CA99: 131 miles

The day arrived when we could head north, and for a change, clear to Oregon!

En route to Oregon, we would make my sixth grocery run to my sis’ place in Gridley for a lovely family visit – something I’ve done alone about every two weeks for the past three months. I’ve used Walmart’s pickup service for about three years. During this virus lock down, I’ve been ordering my groceries at Walmarts near my sis’ place, about 120 miles north of our home, and they’ve placed an order for pickup the same day and time, so that I can pick up both. When I deliver theirs, I spend the night in the coach on their driveway, then head home with our two weeks worth of groceries the next morning. It’s helped them out, as my sis is disabled with Parkinson’s, and delivering their groceries is a big help to her husband who cares for her. And it’s a big help to me, as I get to take an overnight trip aboard Big Blue, our motor home, each time.

On Tuesday, we would continue north to Keizer, OR to visit my old high school buddy, Al, and wife, Betty. I hadn’t been out of state since January during the aborted Search for Sunshine 2020 adventure, and I was waaay overdue for a longer trip.

As usual, I spent the prior week getting Big Blue ready – she always has to look her best as we begin such an adventure, and the older I get, the more time it takes. Fortunately, I have lots of time on my hands these days.

We pulled out of our little senior community a few minutes after 1100 hours, and headed north on CA99. The traffic seemed lighter, naturally, that Sunday morning, but we would find ourselves in several traffic jams along our drive.

2020-6-14a delaysI-5 was down to one lane; we had spent the prior half hour or more merging down from three lanes. This was just the beginning.

We plodded along ’til we reached the off ramp to the Delta Shores Walmart – and the ramp was closed as part of the construction. We had to take the next off ramp, then with the help of our Garmin navigator, we fought local traffic back to the store. We were in plenty of time for our appointment as we’d left the house earlier than necessary.

We were settled down to lunch in the coach by 1300 hours. Yep, Lavonne whipped up a sandwich for each of us while I loaded the groceries. After a leisurely lunch, we continued our trip.

Naturally the on ramp was also closed, so I had the navigator take us east to CA99 to avoid the mess that was I-5. It was just five miles on an expressway of sorts that moved along well. And… we also had construction delays on CA99! We were delighted to finally reach the off ramp that would take us to the farm country north of Sacramento. We enjoyed the country drive the rest of the way – with no more delays.

I planned to fuel up at the usual Fastrip station in Gridley which sells Diesel 2 for the lowest price I can find online. I don’t know why or how they sell it so cheap, but I wanted some!

2020-6-14b cheap diesel GridleyBig Blue guzzling down all the fuel she could hold – in this case 65 gallons. According to AAA’s average diesel price in California, I saved $63 on that one fill up alone. It pays to shop online for price!

After the fuel stop, we drove through town and into the countryside where Gale and John live. While setting up the coach for the two day visit, John came out to the coach and greeted me. I showed him his groceries in one of the basement compartments, and he began taking them inside.

Everyone was on the patio enjoying the very mild, spring day in the valley. Lavonne had already joined them, as I did after the coach was set up for our stay.

2020-6-14c patio visitA happy family gathering on the patio. What a handsome group! That’s Jill (l), Craig, my twin sis, Gale, John, Lavonne, and me, Dale.

It was a grand time together as we visited. Our get together was planned for March, but that awful virus scare and lock down halted that visit. Restrictions seemed to be loosening all around the country, and we were very pleased that times were changing for the better.

Dinner was already being prepared as we arrived. Craig, a very accomplished cook, had been working in the kitchen even before we arrived. He was preparing a favorite of mine because I had mentioned how I love teriyaki chicken and rice. He had a gourmet meal in process that included chicken thighs, teriyaki, onions, pineapple, corn on the cob, various mild chilies, and more. All cooking was done on the patio grill, and done just right.

2020-6-14d Feast by CraigThe incredible edibles created by Craig – and it was a feast to remember! Note the corn, sliced off the cob and as sweet as any corn I ever tasted – and that teriyaki chicken with all the ingredients from the stove, and more! I ate enough for any two people, and there were leftovers for lunch on Monday!

After dinner, visiting continued while Jill and I cleaned up the kitchen. And then dessert was served. A gal from the church had brought by some banana dishes for Gale and John. There was banana pie and banana bread so dense and moist it was more like cake. We all enjoyed a tasty dessert after the wonderful meal.

After the dinner cleanup, and a bit more time visiting, I headed to the coach where Lavonne joined me some time later. I edited the few photos of the day and began this travelogue.

We had a margarita party planned with Jill and Craig in the coach at 2000 hours, and had our Margaritaville machine along to make the drinks special.

2020-6-14e margarita time!Party Time aboard Big Blue! (No, Lavonne does not have red hair – how did that happen?!)

We had a great time together with Jill and Craig. We talked of family and old times. And the margaritas were splendid, so we made another round!

When they left around 2200 hours, our evening aboard went on as it usually does. Lavonne headed to bed around 2230 or so, and I joined her about an hour later. It had been a full and very lovely day – except for the gnarly traffic.


Day 2, Monday, at ease with family in Gridley

We spent the day doing not much of anything but visiting and, of course, eating. We timed the weather pretty well, too, as it was a relatively mild day in the country – and it can be very warm in the valley in June.

We hunted and gathered for breakfast, then we had leftovers from the prior teriyaki chicken and rice dinner for lunch. Those were very memorable “leftovers” – I just loved that teriyaki meal.

Dinner was another grand product of Craig’s passion to cook. Even though it was “just” hamburgers, Craig added his own touch. The meat, which was barbecued over a very smoky grill on the patio, had bacon bits mixed in and was really very flavorful. For dessert, some chose root beer floats while I enjoyed more banana cake and even a slice of banana creme pie. And it was time for me to hop back on the diet wagon!

The day was so laid back I didn’t take a single photo. Well… that was ’til I just couldn’t resist a shot of another lovely country sunset:2020-6-15a country sunset

Jill and Craig joined us again around 2000 hours in the coach to share a couple rounds of margaritas again. We spent two hours just visiting and enjoying a good time aboard Big Blue, the party bus!

After the party, Lavonne and I spent the last hour or so of our day as usual – on the laptops. I finally went to bed around 2330.


Day 3, Tuesday, Gridley to Grants Pass, OR via CA99, CA162, I-5 288 miles

We slept very well out in the countryside on Gale and John’s driveway. Day 3 would find us heading to Oregon where we’d likely spend the night in Grants Pass.

We spent the first hour or so perusing the ‘net as we always do. The internet is our morning newspaper which also includes my comics. And business page. And, of course, we have mailboxes online, too.

In due time we headed into the house to greet the family. We were pleasantly surprised to see my dear twin, Gale, up as well. As mentioned in these blogs, she suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. She is completely disabled by the awful disease, but her sweet and gentle personality shines through brightly when we talk to her. Hospice now is involved, and they provide a welcome help to John. Hospice’s presence doesn’t mean she’s near death, but in decline. She may have years left – but we don’t know.

We hunted and gathered for breakfast, then visited around the table with the family. After breakfast, I excused myself to set the coach up for the day’s drive while Lavonne continued visiting.

We bid our farewells and thanked them for the fine dining and hospitality, then pulled out of the driveway at 0945 hours. I wanted to take a different route instead of the usual long drive up CA99 to Red Bluff and the junction to I-5. So we drove west on CA165 to Willows where it meets I-5. The drive was about 40 miles to Willows, and was all very rural. The thousands of acres of rice were going gangbusters. I can’t imagine who eats all that rice, but I recall back in my trucking days that I hauled some of it to the Sacramento port to be shipped to Japan. There certainly seemed to be plenty of rice to share with the world.

Click to enlarge and to read the captions – to enlarge each individual photo even more, scroll down and click on “View full size”. Then click again for a giant photo. Go ahead – try it:

Once on I-5 we continued north all day. The drive was pretty windy much of the time, and again we were delayed by construction. I complain endlessly about the rotten roads of Kalifornistan, and I complain when they work on them. But there is no doubt that the work needs to be done!

We stopped for lunch at the Mickey D’s in Weed, Kalifornistan. It was my first visit to one since February or March, before the virus lock down. I hoped to get a McGriddle sandwich, but as I’d read, the all day breakfast menu was on hold during the pandemic. I settled for some Chicken McNuggets, a Reese’s McFlurry, and a large coffee. The chicken was so-so at best, and I saved the desert and coffee ’til we were back on the road. I enjoyed my first McFlurry in several months, and I was luvin’ it! And the coffee chaser was a treat too, as I love their coffee – and I was wide awake the rest of the drive.

Click again!

I was delighted to drive into Oregon and out of Kalifornistan. We ran into rain in the Siskiyous and had rain on and off for some time. Near Medford we ran into a storm cell that was a true cloudburst – the wind whipped the heavy rain and the wipers barely kept up with it. I loved it! Our weather at home is so boring and I love rainy weather. But my pristine Big Blue’s very excellent wash job was ruined. I considered it a fair trade off.

We pulled into the Grants Pass Walmart at 1620 hours, and it was good to be back Wallydocking! As soon as I had the coach set up for the night, I took a walk around the parking lot and adjacent shopping areas for my daily exercise.

More click fun:

Back at the coach, we both had our noses buried in the laptops. For dinner, Lavonne made delicious meat loaf sandwiches. I very much enjoyed an evening aboard the coach while Wallydocking – I was waaay overdue. My sweet Lavonne tolerated it.

2020-6-16q Grants Pass OR Walmart closed 1900 strange!During these days of virus fears, Walmarts are shutting overnight. This store closed at 1900 hours! It seemed strange to see a nearly empty Walmart lot so early! 

Our evening aboard Big Blue was about as usual. Lavonne headed to bed a while before I did, and I joined her about 2330.


Day 4, Wednesday, Grants Pass, OR to Keizer, OR via I-5: 204 miles

We slept well, as usual, on that Walmart parking lot. And the price was right – $0. We like cheap travel, as well as the convenience of nearly anything we may need just inside the store. Another reason we choose Walmart stores any night we’re not at a friend or relative’s place, is that all their lots are under the gaze of their security cameras – and the bad guys know it. But I digress…

This would be the day we’d arrive at Al and Betty’s place in Keizer, Oregon, which is cheek by jowl to the city of Salem. Al is my old high school buddy, and I do mean old! I was a freshman and he a mighty senior back in 1957 at Canyonville Bible Academy in Canyonville, OR. It was a boarding school, and being about the littlest guy among the 100 or so students attending there, and with the biggest mouth, I wasn’t getting along so well. I had about convinced my mom to bring me back home, but instead, she conspired with the school to help change my mind. To convince me to stay, the principal of the school arranged for a very mature Al, who was always pretty good to me, to accept this troublesome kid as his roommate. When asked if I’d agree to stay if I was Al’s “roomy”, I certainly did! Al and I became great friends those 63 years ago, and still are. We have done a lot of fishing together over the years, and here are the stories of some of our adventures.

We pulled out of Grants Pass a few minutes before 0900 and continued the drive north on I-5. Oregon is one of my favorite places, and I begged my dear Wifey to move there when we retired 18 years ago. But family is mostly in Kalifornistan and she wasn’t willing to move, understandably, because it would mean leaving them. Still, I love Oregon and I’ve settled for the occasional visit.

Our drive was along gorgeous scenery most of the time. The many trees, hills and mountains are a wonderful change from the mostly brown and ugly valley we call home. Naturally, I shot entirely too many photos along the way, but these few made the cut. They present the beauty of Oregon much better than my descriptions. Enjoy!

Click for an Oregon show:

We continued our drive, interrupted only by lunch time. We pulled into a well kept Oregon rest area somewhere along I-5, and my Trail Buddy whipped up a couple more meat loaf sandwiches. They were so good! 

The drive was scenic and pleasant. We arrived at Al and Betty’s lovely home about 1400 hours. They welcomed us warmly, but no hugs yet – we were all still cautious and careful due to the awful virus. We old folks just can’t take chances, but we’re all pleased to be visiting once again.

2020-6-17h Big Blue parked at Al & Betty'sBig Blue backed into Al and Betty’s driveway at their lovely home in Keizer, Oregon.

We hadn’t seen Al and Betty since September of last year when we drove the long loop through Oregon, Colorado and Arkansas. We were overdue for a visit.

As soon as I had the coach parked in what was a very tight spot due to some fence construction going on, we began our visit. It wasn’t long ’til the subject of dinner came up, and we talked about going to what is my favorite restaurant – McGrath’s Fish House in nearby Salem. After thinking it over a while, I decided that I wasn’t ready for such a meal yet, due to the virus fears. But if there was a meal worth dying for, it would be McGrath’s coconut prawns, clam chowder, and unmatched margaritas.

We would settle for bringing in a Panda Express order. Their teriyaki chicken and orange chicken dishes are outstanding, and I would greatly enjoy it – as if Craig’s teriyaki chicken and rice wasn’t enough!

I ordered online, and Al and I drove the few miles to the Panda store to pick it up. We enjoyed a very good Chinese dinner around their “domino” table which is perfect for four.

And then we played dominoes – a game that Al and Betty are very, very good at. Betty helped Lavonne and me with our domino games, and there’s a lot more to that “Mexican Trains” domino game than one would think.

After playing dominoes for about an hour, we invited them to our house for margaritas. And we had a house very handy for them – it was sitting in their driveway!

I set up the Margaritaville machine, mixed the ingredients and then started the noisy process of blending them. The shaved ice makes the margaritas a very nice, slushy consistency. We enjoyed the first margarita round so much that I whipped up a second.

2020-6-17i margarita party. Again.Lavonne (L), Dale, Al, and Betty enjoying good times together. Let’s see… two parties with Craig and Jill, and here is our third margarita party of the trip! I believe we’ll call this the Good Times Margarita Tour!

After the second round, we continued visiting a while longer. Big Blue makes the  margarita parties very intimate affairs – simply by the relatively small room she provides.

After the partying, we said our good-nights and Al and Betty headed back to their place. Lavonne and I settled in for the night, and Lavonne headed to bed soon after. I edited photos, then watched a bit more of the The Century: America’s Time documentary as well. Around 2330, I finally headed for bed, too. It had been a very nice day.


Day 5, Jacks down at Al & Betty’s in Keizer, Oregon.

We had agreed to return to Gale and John’s near Gridley, CA before we left there, so I had doubts about a second night at Al and Betty’s. However, I really wanted a day of rest and to continue visiting them a while longer. So we planned to stay a second night in Keizer. The trip turned out to be a couple days longer than we’d planned, and that was great – I just hoped I wouldn’t run out of clean clothes!

I had told Al of the splendid Oriole that had visited our backyard this springtime, and we’d seen it several times, as mentioned in these writings before. Al, the big hearted artist that he is, decided to carve an Oriole just for me. I had been looking forward to this visit with that carved Oriole on my mind for some time – and as soon as we arrived the prior day, my first question to Al was “Where’s my bird?!” And Al escorted me out to his carving shop and presented it to me. I was so pleased with his gift! He loves to carve such pieces because he is, after all, a very accomplished artist. He has a master’s degree in art, and taught art in schools for over thirty years. He is no back porch artist!

Click and admire (and don’t forget – to enlarge each individual photo even more, you can scroll down and click on “View full size”, then click again for a monster photo.)

Our day played out very low keyed and easy – for most of us. Al had helpers working on the fence project in the back yard, and he was working along with them. He worked at placing heavy cement paver-like slabs at the base of the chain link fence for added security to keep their dogs in their yard. There’s no way I’d take on such work at my ripe old age of 76! Yet Al, who is four years older, was back there slinging’ the slabs. I worried about him, but he has no heart history as I have, and he did finish the day’s job alright.

Meanwhile, I stayed somewhat busy dumping the grey tank and filling the fresh tank. I filled a few gallon containers with filtered water from their kitchen faucet, and stowed them for our drinking and coffee water. And I worked several hours on updating this blog, editing photos, etc. Lavonne spent some time with Betty visiting in the house. We spent time visiting in both the house and coach when the four of us could get together.

Lavonne and I ate breakfast and lunch in the coach, trying not to add any work to Betty’s day. She did whip up a lovely dinner of salad and chicken pot pies we all agreed sounded great for a simple and quick dinner.

We managed to include an hour or three of playing the “Mexican Trains” domino game. As Lavonne and I learned the game, we had a grand time playing. It is an addictive game. (Back home, we bought a set of “double 12” dominoes and play often.)

After thanking them for their hospitality and good dinner, it was 1930 hours, and Lavonne and I returned to the coach. I got right after evening chores, then back on this blog. The rest of the evening we spent as usual – mostly on the laptops. We enjoy the entertainment, comics, news, and other content that we find there. And we were in bed at the usual time.


Day 6, Friday, Keizer, OR to Yreka, CA via I-5: 288 miles

We awoke once again in Keizer, Oregon, and I informed my darling Trail Buddy that it was another beautiful day in paradise, which is how we usually greet each new day. The sun was shining brightly, the wind was calm and we would begin our homeward trek.

We worked through the usual morning chores, then sat down to our laptops to catch up on the world’s happenings and my comics, etc., as we enjoyed the morning’s first cups of coffee. I was looking forward to another day of adventure on the road. This day’s travel was planned to take us to Yreka, CA where we’d spend the night, then on to Gale and John’s on Saturday. We planned another night or two with them – and with Jill and Craig who planned to spend a full week there.

2020-6-19a Home BoundWe would be homeward bound this day, and that was just fine with my cute lil’ Trail Buddy!

We went into the house to visit a spell with Al and Betty. We chatted a bit about our trip and thanked them for their hospitality. While Lavonne continued to visit, I went back outside to convert our home on the driveway to a luxurious highway cruiser. I scrubbed the very dirty windshields good and proper as they were coated with perhaps a few hundred bugs. I powered in the two slides, aired up the air bags, and raised the jacks.

Lavonne joined me as we were about ready to head toward home. We bid Al and Betty good-bye, thanked them some more for the grand time, and pulled out of their driveway at 0900 hours. It had been a very nice visit with old friends.

2020-6-19b hop cropGood news for the beer drinkers! The hops crops seemed to be doing very well. This crop of hops was very near Keizer as we drove toward the freeway.

We drove about 30 miles south on I-5 to Albany, OR where I planned to top off the fuel. I checked prices online, but the best priced place didn’t show if it was Diesel 2 or the abominable biodiesel – and there was no phone listed to call them. It turned out to be the biodiesel, so I just drove on and discovered the next station was the same – for the same price. I decided to lower my standards and loaded on $100 of the stuff for $2 per. That was just a partial fill up but it would get us to Gridley where I’d fill up with the real stuff. And we continued south.

We stopped at rest areas for breakfast and lunch. The drive was scenic, the traffic not bad, and the weather warmed up more than I’d like – but in June it doesn’t matter what I’d prefer. We used the dash air most of the day to keep us cool and comfy.

2020-6-19c bkfst stopAnother park-like Oregon rest area where we stopped for breakfast. I sure do love traveling in beautiful Oregon!

We arrived at Yreka’s Walmart a few minutes past 1600 hours, and settled in at our usual spot when we stay at Yreka – alongside a neighboring building next to the Walmart store. We get shade very early there, and this time of year we like shade!

I headed into the store for my walk, mask in place and trying to “social distance” as best I could. I hoped to buy some foam hand soap refill, but as always, they were out. I walked around the store a bit for my walk, then headed out onto the lot and continued my walk for my daily exercise.

More Click Fun!

It was a warm afternoon in Yreka, in the low 90s, and I had turned the house air conditioners on as we approached Yreka. We ran the generator and both air conditioners ’til 2030 hours, when the weather had cooled to a tolerable level.

I spent much of the time editing photos and writing this travelogue. I broke away for evening chores such as zapping a frozen dinner and showering, etc. I had an enjoyable evening; Lavonne tolerated it rather well having her laptop to play her word games, etc. Our place in the lot was pretty secluded, and Walmart closing at 2030 hours kept the traffic pretty light. Apparently they’re all closing very early during these cautious times.

2020-6-19k YrekaBig Blue at rest on our shady, out of the way spot for the night which was quiet and comfy. And again, the price was right!

We spent our evening as usual, on the laptops. And I watched a bit more of The Century: America’s Time – the 80s and 90s which are the last two of the series. I went to bed at 2330 hours; Lavonne headed to bed some time before.


Day 7, Saturday, Yreka, CA to Gridley via I-5, CA162, CA99: 208 miles

The day dawned bright and warm. It would be a hot one in the valley – mid 90s were in store for us at Gridley. We ran most of the day with the dash air on to keep comfy. Whenever we stopped to eat, we’d turn on the house air. Ugh. I wasn’t ready for hot summer days, but Day 7 being the first day of summer, they were here, ready or not!

I still wanted to get some shopping done, and by going in around 0730 as I did, there was no crowd. I bought groceries we’d need at home so we wouldn’t have to run to the store right away. I wore my mask, as usual, and it was recently ordered by our governor, Gruesome Newsom, that we had to wear masks. These are strange times.

I also had to tend the bug collection before we left – the windshields were a mess and had to be cleaned.

2020-6-20A washer
Trying to be cute when Lavonne appeared with her camera. I succeeded pretty well, eh?! Maybe not…

Back at the coach we stashed the groceries and readied for the road. We pulled out of the Yreka Walmart lot a few minutes before 0900 hours with clean windshields and plenty of groceries, and continued south to Gridley.

Click!

The I-5 drive from Oregon to Redding is one of the most beautiful drives I’ve done. The mountains, Lake Shasta, Mt. Shasta, etc. are just stunning. But from Redding south, if the land isn’t irrigated, it is just plain ugly clear to the Tehachapies – and beyond, for that matter. And the day kept getting warmer, and in the next few months that’s about all we’d see. If we got a drop of rain before October, it would be a miracle! Meanwhile, during a talk with Al on the phone earlier in the day, he informed me that they’d just had a rain storm. That wasn’t fair!

Click!

We stopped for breakfast at a rest area, and I enjoyed peanut butter and honey chased with a mandarin orange. Lavonne had about the same. And we continued on.

For lunch we stopped at the Mickey D’s in Willows, the town where we would turn off of I-5 and onto CA162. I walked up to the door to go inside for a to-go order, but wasn’t allowed in – only the drive thru was open for business. So… I walked back to the coach and we had sandwiches for lunch. And we headed east toward CA99.

Once in Gridley, I planned to pull into the Fastrip station that sells Diesel 2 so cheaply. The place was jammed with cars, so I just drove on – I would fuel in the morning when it probably wouldn’t be so busy. And we drove on to Gale and John’s, just a couple miles farther.

When we arrived at Gale and John’s, I parked the coach and set her up for the night. Lavonne headed in to visit with Gale and Jill. I went in to say hello and learned that John and Craig were off shopping. I returned to the coach and edited photos, etc.

Dinner would be about 1700 hours, and when Craig and John returned, Craig got to work preparing some very fancy hot dogs with sauerkraut and beans and cooked tomatoes and more. They were huge dogs when the fixins were added. And they were hugely delicious.

2020-6-20i familyThe family gathered around the table after dinner where we visited for a couple of hours. Good times! (Craig [l], Jill, John, Gale, Lavonne, Dale.)

We spent the evening just visiting around the table. My dear sis, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, seemed more engaged than she had been in some time. Jill had helped her get dolled up and she looked very nice for the occasion. Since Craig whipped up the delicious dinner, Jill and I cleaned up the kitchen after the feast. Jill did the majority of the work, but I was a reasonably good helper for her. Jill and Craig are just bundles of energy that seem very willing to do all they can for Gale and John, and are a real blessing to them.

2020-6-20j Gale & DalePhoto by Jill James.

The Twins – together again! And here’s the main reason I visit so often – my sweet sister, Gale. She is dealing with that awful Parkinson’s Disease, but her gentle nature and sweetness are not diminished at all. She seemed more engaged this visit than she’d been in quite a while. Thanks to John, Jill, and Craig for all they do for her. And thanks also to those from her church and visiting nurses, etc. that help her. 

About 2030 hours we returned to the coach for the night. Half an hour later Jill and Craig joined us for another margarita party – our fourth such party during the Good Times Margarita Tour! (oops – I failed to take a photo.) We settled for just one round, as they wanted to head to the house for some work they wanted to get done that evening. We really enjoyed their company and always have a very good time with them when we get together.

Our evening in the coach was as usual. I continued work on this travelogue while Lavonne visited a few of her sites. I spent some of the time on the laptop checking out a couple of sites, then watched more documentary before heading to bed at 2330. It had been a long, but very lovely day.


Day 8, Sunday, Gridley to Home via CA99, I-5: 122 miles

We were up and at ’em a bit after 0600, and I had two goals in mind: get the coach fueled up at the cheap Fastrip station in Gridley, then get home and unload the coach before the hottest time of the day. It was predicted to reach 95° at home that afternoon, and I wanted to be in my very cool and comfy recliner by that time!

We readied for the day, and I set the coach up for the trip home. We went into the house to bid everyone good-bye, and explained to them why we wanted to leave so early. Gale was still sleeping so we missed seeing her, but we’d had a very nice visit the night before.

We were pumping fuel at the Fastrip at 0800 hours, so we sure did break away early. The price had increased dramatically since the purchase back in May at $1.94. We paid $2.46 per this trip, but that was by far the best price around. During our drive home, we saw Flying J in Lodi peddling the stuff for $3.34! So, had I bought the very same commodity at Flying J, I’d have paid $66 more for that one fill up. I love the ability to shop prices online!

2020-6-21a fuelingBig Blue guzzled 74 gallons of the cheap, but good Diesel 2. Sunday morning certainly was the time to fill up at this busy, busy station – they have what is possibly the lowest prices in the state!

I figured the mileage we got with that lousy Bio-diesel between Albany, Oregon and Gridley. Instead of the usual 8.5 MPG we usually see with Big Blue, we got something over 6 MPG. So now I’ve tried the Bio in Big Blue and know better than to ever buy it again! I had the same experience with Cecil the Diesel, and never bought another drop while we owned her.

2020-6-21b happy Trail BuddyMy cute ‘lil Trail Buddy waved from the coach as I was pumping fuel. 

After saving all that money, we continued south toward home, driving the back roads ’til we were south of the small town of Live Oak. We stopped along the rural drive at our usual place, next to a rice paddy, for a quick breakfast. Lavonne settled for yogurt while I had the last PBJ treats of the trip. Back home I’d have to climb back on my diet.

Click to enlarge and read the captions:

The rest of the drive home was unremarkable, as we like. The Sunday morning traffic was lighter than normal, and we were pleased with our timing.

We pulled up to our house at 1100 hours, and our work was just beginning. We had all the usual stuff to unload, plus the groceries I bought at the Yreka Walmart to bring home. It was plenty warm, but we’d beat the worst heat of the day by hours.

When the coach was empty, I idled her down to the RV lot, dumped the holding tanks, filled the fresh water tank, and backed her into her oversized carport ’til her next call to service.

And, once again, Big Blue did a great job of being our transportation, motel, and restaurant. When it was cool, she provided warmth. When it was hot, she kept us cool. And she provided lots of comfort as we traveled those 1240 miles. What a great invention the modern motor home is!

I think a Montana trip may be in my near future. I’ve learned the hard way that in summertime I want nothing to do with the heat and humidity of the southern states, the midwest, or Kalifornistan. I’m thinking that a trip north through Idaho to Montana would be a fun tour. Well… I have a month to plan it, and if it works out, it seems Montana would be a wonderful place to be in the hot summertime!



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.
This entry was posted in Travel: Gale & John, Travel: Oregon. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to To Gridley and, Finally, Oregon (The Good Times Margarita Tour!)

  1. Susan says:

    Love your roadtrips, but I miss you and the rest of the commenters at ARCA max.

  2. FishWisher says:

    Hi Susan – Thanks for your visit. Yes, I miss those ARCA comics comments, too. Like so many other Morning Chucklers, I’m not into using Facebook for anything, either. I just keep my comments to myself these days. It was fun while it lasted!

  3. Linda Fogelson says:

    That is so generous of you to drive all that way to take groceries to your sister every two weeks! God bless you for doing that. Some of the commenters from ArcaMax have gone over to azcentral. They don’t have “Pickles” there, but you can read that one at gocomics.

  4. FishWisher says:

    Hi Linda –
    Yep, I did help my sis out, but I also got a nice break by taking a short trip on the coach for a couple days each time, and I also picked up our own groceries, so I was being rewarded for the efforts, too.
    I’ve been reading the comics lately without commenting and am enjoying them still on ArcaMax. They sure ruined a good thing by changing the comments to Facebook. Not much going on anymore.
    Thanks for the visit and your very kind comments.
    – Dale

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