Destination Arizona. means Cha,Cha, Cha, Changes

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Every winter we head south in the fall from Oregon to California or Arizona.  Again, our instincts are telling us it is migration time. These instincts kick in  when the summer air gives way to the winter winds, the big stores turn on the blowers to keep the rain and the wind outside. When you exit Walmart and feel the blowers warm air caressing your body just as though you were a care leaving a a car wash. You know things are getting a little weird, and it is time time to get out of the Northwest.

I really wanted to go to Florida and do a south to north tour of the east coast to enlarge Sarah’s understanding of world history. She was a bit too young to really get it when we did this five years ago. On the way way back to Oregon we would divert to Ken Hams creation museum (For me, I will not rest until I have seen it and written my critique.) This year, does not appear to be that year for us. We got a new assignment. Athena got a job that she needed to be in Arizona for, and we had little time to spare in getting there. This trip had one diversion in it for me, I wanted to see Big Sur, and a client of Athena’s wanted to have us over for supper in the northern section of the Oakland, ca. area.

We traveled from Albany Oregon to Redding California, and stayed at the Wynn River Casino. The park was well off I-5 we scraped the cowling of the RV in a drainage ditch on the forward side of a rail road track hump, kinda causing me some intestinal discomfort! When we got to the park it had a few pull through spaces with water power and sewer, all we needed was a place to park for the night. We had to disconnect the car in order to squeeze the rv in the space. We figured $10.00 was fair for this type of site, but they charged a whopping $30!  Bunch of Blood suckers!  Then the poor man in the golf cart wanted a tip for driving us from the parking lot to our RV. Tipping strange men, is not Athena’s forte. He should qualify the people who he offers rides to by asking “Do you two know what tipping is? If I give you a ride will you tip me $5? ” and he should ask this before we find out what they are charging for the RV park. Afterwards, I am likely to ask him to tip us for having been willing to stay the night in their RV resort. At least this time we did not feel obligated to have dinner or play their casino games. Indian casino rv parking in many areas is getting like this, prices are going up and value is declining.

In the daylight, we checked our cowling and was in tact. Great day for us and the insurance company. With that, we hopped this bugger up to the legal speed limit for both Oregon and California and burned up the freeway at a snails blistering pace of 55 and headed for our next park in Stockton California. The winds were in our favor and even with a few navigation issues that let us check out central California’s agriculture along with some back country farm roads, which  were narrow, making a Athena a real road hog. In spite of that we found our park about half mile from I-5 and got there early in the day which was good, I was so tired that my evil cranky self was starting to take over. Those in the know, give me a Dew and put me to bed when this happens. Athena, and Sarah did their park review for “Lets RV”  Left me to drink my Dew and take my nap. (Smart People)

The park was wonderful, About 1/2 mile south of Pilot Flying J, and a half mile east of I-5. We fit in our pull through with the car, I was looking forward to just driving away in the morning, but I needed to dump my tanks. So that would be tomorrows task. I had plenty of water on board so we did not even hookup the water. Athena loved the park and came got me for an evening walk. After the casino park, it was awesome; and only $24 a night using our passport America card. Nice common areas, nice store, nice pool, and no one asked me for a tip! Stockton seems to be a stand up town.

Well morning did come; for those who work graveyard you probably appreciate this fact, I don’t work graveyard. So I chose to sleep in until late 8:00. (Don’t do this on travel day as you have to be out by 11:00 typically) I got up and  went to work on getting the rig ready somewhere well after nine, maybe even rubbing 10:00 slightly.  While Athena cleaned up the house and got it ready to roll I was out looking at the sewer situation. The sewer connection at the park was behind the car! I had 15′ of hose I needed 50′ to not move a thing. Not gonna happen! The rig is full of ” ” and I could not get my hose in the receptical, so unhooking, and moving the car was the next step! Now, the heat is on, 11:00 is at our door!  I stick the keys in the ignition, give them a twist, and all I get is the taunt resistance of ignition switch, not a sound, not a hint that there might be any life beyond the console. After making my displeasure known to anyone discourteous enough to watch my tantrum, I located my battery boosted and started the car. I disconnect the wires and pins placing them around the tow assembly and to save time toss the electrical wire that connects the car to the motor home in the back seat. I moved the car out of the way, and Athena rolled the RV back to the spot in space where the sewer is. We get the job done in no time, but don’t get to hose down the tanks. No biggie but it was on the ticket for this stop. We were all done draining and it is ten minutes until checkout time.

Athena looks forward, at the park road we needed to turn out on and it only has only 9′ of width, with a tree on each side and a fence with gas lines next to it int front of us. In trying to see our way out we see the last guys tracks leading into the gas line. I looked at it and said I might be able to get us out of here. She gladly had me drive out. Soon as I dropped the rv into gear aiming for the fence like it was my arch enemy I heard the maintenance man yell swing wide! With one foot on the gas, one foot on the break, and a death grip on the wheel I made the turn like a pro and headed out after the car. We still need the car, so we had to hook it up and bring it with us. At five minutes till 11:00 we had the car, and were hooking it up. This was all the day I could really take, so I was done with paying attention. We got all the readily apparent  connections hooked up, Athena reminded my that I had not done the light check. Figuring it worked every other time, I said its only a three hour trip to Morgan hill, they’ll be fine! With that at 11:00am on the money we rolled out of the park like good little RV’ers.

It was a hard three hours driving, bumpy as heck down the 5 until we reached hwy 58. Mostly two lane highway, and most straight up, then equally mostly straight down. Last few miles we were on the 101 and you could walk from roof top to roof top provided the roofs were not waxed, and doing 70 miles per hour. Their need for speed I reason is the why they wash and wax their cars everyday. These Californian’s in the San Jose area are predominately engineers so they know, rough paint brings about wind resistance, which could make them late getting home to see their star teletubie.

We get to Morgan Hill, get us a site and get the car unhooked, and find we have great cell service and Verizon 4g LTE. In the morning we would hit big sur and then the warf later in the week. Looks like we had an excellent trip. We went in to have lunch and I took to sleeping. Athena took our sight location slip up to the manager and paid our site fees. Sites for a rig our size have a premium of $5.00 per night in Morgan Hill Thousand Trails. We did not expect the fee, but was glad to fit in our site and have good power. She came back said the car was in good shape after the trip in and we were glad to be settled.

Two hours later Athena went out to clean the car when she found the electrical cable from our towing kit setting on the back seat, meaning we had no lights from Stockton to Morgan Hill California. Never will we let time prevent our safety checks again. Legally that could have been frighteningly expensive. After discovering the cord in the seat, she discovered the strangest circular break in our windshield. (Same aliens that do crop circles?)

circularwindshieldcrack mustachewindsheildCrack This photo looks like the car is a hipster and trying to grow a mustache. We checked with Safelite auto glass and they said the could come out and replace the Windshield for $258.00. Not bad, but it was money we did not have to spend. So we filed a claim with our insurance company, but it turned out our deductible was $250.00 and they called Safelite to do the install. My savings was going to be $8.00 using my insurance. Sure wish I had remembered my deductible amount. I guess the claim is a stupid tax which I fully deserved.

The afternoon before we had to make tracks for Phoenix Safelite showed up. They sent just one guy with a windshield, he was fast, pleasant, and got the new windows installed in about two hours. I had no idea how far down he would have to take the front cowling, I was impressed he could tear it apart like that and get the pieces to fit back together when he was done. I would have had to have Google for a project like this. Every day, I wonder if there is a way to mount the internet into my head to save time on searching. Someday, we will be able to load all the world knowledge into our heads saving the internet for video games. SafeliteThe real shocker, I got the bill from Safelite.  Take a look at this: safe litereceipt CRV. One would think that insurance companies would not align with companies that defraud them like this. Billing like this hurts everyone except maybe the glass company. They charged our insurance $516.00! Love them deep pockets. safe litereceipt CRV Receipt windshield CRV.  In the end, we did not see Big Sur, or any of San Fransisco, we did however get to meet Athena’s clients family north of Oakland. They prepared a wonderful pot roast dinner and we had a very nice time getting to know their wonderful family. We will stop by there again next time we are through their development. Fortunately the guy from safelite was just overly cautious when he told us to take everything out of the car before going there. He said if we didn’t we would be calling him in the morning. Is it better to just leave the windows down when in areas where there is high crime?

Unobstructedviewwindshield While waiting in Oakland we were discussing the law in California that the DMV cited us stating that one could be taken to jail or heavily fined if a windshield cracks or has some other obstructive attribute. Then the van in the picture above drives up. When I drive, it is well known that I am most likely using the force. This guy is using the force! guess the police do not enforce all laws, and we should have taken our chances with Big Sur.

rvparkbakersfieldThe evening and the morning were the fulfillment of another day in which we used for the purpose of driving to one of our favorite stop overs “Bear Mountain RV Park”  in Bakersfield California.  Super easy to get into from the freeway, but loud enough to prevent deep sleep. Unfortunately we will not likely be coming back. The increased the nightly rent to $30.00 and now require RV’s to be less that ten years old. We are just too unsightly at our old age I guess. Now we have to look for parks that take children under 55 years of age and RV’s over 10. Replacing an RV like ours every ten years is not cost effective, and eventually parks that discriminate in this manner will lose money. I like my RV, and will go find parks that like my money.

suspensionbridgecoloradoriver We head out hwy 158 to Boron then over to Needles California. On crossing the Colorado river we see this suspension bridge holding up really long, and really big pipes as they cross the river. No idea what that is all about, but it is where art and engineering meet. Makes one wonder, just how would the marriage of an artist and and engineer fare. The engineer never talks, the artist never shuts up. I guess it would be something like this, the artist determines what will be, while the engineer quietly makes it happen.  Must be a perfect match from… well you fill in the blank.motelrvparkneedles We arrive in a cute little RV park that has a hotel tied to it, I am glad we brought our own living space. This park is a bargain at $14.00 a night via Passport America. If you pay more, you can sleep on the Colorado River, but again, we only wanted the sleep, did not even hook up to the utilities.Gatewaytothecolorado Very artistic ramp down to the river. That engineer and artist mentioned earlier must have been here too. They make a great couple.coloradoriverserenityAt the pipes, the Colorado was big, deep and swift. Why is the water missing from this popular ski resort? Where did it go? is there a thief in Needles? This looks like a job for Carmen San diego to me. She is a sharp detective who finds missing items like the great pyramid, the Statue of liberty, and other high profile thefts. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

The next day we get out good and early and made tracks for Arizona

ArizonaAnd as you can see, hwy 40 did eventually deliver on its word. It took us to Arizona. Should we not be in Arizona, they sure did a great job of making it look like it. With Photoshop around, you can’t trust anything you see these days.

arizonaOpenRoadSaguaro cacti everywhere in the middle of nowhere. I know, we are in the middle of nowhere. We just passed through the town of nothing where there was nothing but a sign that said “nothing”. Only in Arizona does life get this weird.

MontevistaWe arrived in our park in Mesa Arizona. The slip is nice enough, but the utilities made for a tight entrance. Athena brought us in like a pro. Now she has to focus on getting setup for her now job. Had to order 40Mbps DSL which turns out to only be 30Mbps DSL because of some nebulous overhead thing. We wish we could be that accurate in our work, but the accuracy of the weather man would just dampen our relationship with our employer. Hmm, wish I could be the weatherman, I would love a job where integrity is secondary.

rainAs usual wherever I go, there is rain. Arizona is no exception. Sarah thinks cities in drought stricken locations should pay me to visit. Arizona residents were not pleased with me however and complained that I did not come in the rainy season.

GreenGrassWe found out we have grass and lots of it. Lawn grass in Arizona is a real treat.

noexusenottobefitThis place is loaded with sporting venues such as pickle ball, tennis, shuffle board, and other games I am not acquainted with. This park is where people who survive their working years go. Everyone is fit and above average. Well at least until I showed up.

montevistapoolIf I could swim or sit in a hot tub without fear of disease, this is where you would find me. Open from 6am until Midnight. My kind of place.

MontevistaTennisCourtsWe found another family! We thought we were it. They all play tennis with Sarah.

ArizonaStateFairArizona has their state fair at the end of October. It is about 2% the size of the Oregon State fair. Instead of the Usual $10.00 per person to get in, Metro PCS paid all but .30 cents of our admission. A deal we really needed to think about. (Thanks Metro PCS).

ArizonaStatFairChickenArizona must not have much agriculture, all we found were some sick cows, goats, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. Four of these I have eaten, one I have not yet sampled. Have to add that to my bucket list.

ArizonaStateFairGoatHighly intelligent goat, finds a way to pilfer the hay storage. There hay here hardly looks worth stealing though. Speaking of stealing, one of the goats is missing and presumably been stolen. I did some sleuthing of my own, but the food vendors were only trying to sell turkey legs at $12.50. Like fair goers are such upper echelon creatures that they could afford that. Instead of a turkey leg, I sprung for a taser. This should allow me to catch as many turkeys as I can possibly eat! Why buy a fish, when I can buy the pole?

John Deere Arizona State Fair

Well, I am not sure what an Arizona man would do with this, it won’t do 80 up hwy 60, and will not do well off road because the fuel tank in located between the front and back wheels. Hit one rock, and the EPA comes down on you like someone who just blew a hole in a mine releasing untold toxins into the Colorado River. That’s one cup of Arizona tea that I don’t want to sip.

Well, that’s it for our trip to Arizona, Athena is working hard at her new job. They are slave drivers, no bathroom breaks, and a half hour for lunch. I am learning how to watch kids,make meals and drive in traffic while trying to not make St. Peter blush. I hope the score is in my favor when I meet St. Peter. Driving could send me to a place hotter than his cheeks.

Whatever your view, you don’t want to be weighed and found wanting. Live right, live hard, and consider who you serve.

Have a good evening and a good night

(Nov 10, 2015)