December 29 2013: Lodi CA 49 degrees F and clear
Miles driven today: 373
A friend asked that question of me this afternoon, after seeing a Facebook post about being on the road again and loving it. And the answer is “yes, of course”. That is why we aren’t full timer’s. I love going home at the end of the trip. I love being home. In reality, the only time I really get tired of being on the road is toward the end of a trip, whether it is 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months. Once we turn toward home, and it is getting close, I get antsy, and get tired of the doing and going of a trip. I am ready to be on with it. Much like when I am home and know that we are leaving, I am ready to get going!
In reality, Barb’s question was a surprise. Reading RV blogs as I do, I know that we are on the road much less than many folks out there, even part timers often travel more than we do. In 2013 we only were on the road for a total of 102 days, a little more than 3 months, a quarter of a year. Only. I really thought that it was more than that. Until I actually counted, I thought we were out between 1/3 and 1/2 of the year. This year, however, it might actually get a bit closer to that 1/3 to 1/2 time. We will see.
Looking back again, I saw that most of the summer, we were home as planned, enjoying Rocky Point. Most of the fall I was home doing family things, quilting, knitting, cooking. Last winter and spring I was still working. So no. I don’t come even close to getting tired of being on the road. Which is a good thing. Like an unfinished “bucket list”, there is so much more to do, to see, more places to explore, more hikes, more rivers…and more evenings just sitting in the MoHo quietly typing away and thinking about what I am thinking. Ha!
This morning we managed to get up easily at 5:30. I had been awake since 4 and couldn’t sleep. Deb had made coffee in the house for us and left the back door open so we could slip in for a last shared morning cup before we got going. It was cold, maybe 30 degrees, and everything was shrouded in an icy fog. Seems as though those foggy inversions are a very common winter occurrence in the Rogue Valley.
We left just at 6am, in the dark, with full tanks ready to go, and sleeping with the slide in and the car hooked up, we just pulled out and within minutes were on Interstate 5 heading south. Oh I do love that feeling, knowing that there are miles and months ahead of me with expected and unexpected adventures. Sometimes just a change of scenery outside the window from one place to the next is all I need to feel energized.
Especially energizing today was watching the temperature rise from a frosty 14 degrees F near Yreka just over the California border to a toasty 64 degrees all the way from Redding to Lodi south of Sacramento. I have written about this stretch of road so many times, driven it more times than I care to count. Just what can you say about it anyway? The surface is a bit better in places than it was last April. The skies were clear to the west with gorgeous views of the coast range and a bit murky to the east and the Sierras. Nope, that isn’t anything new at all. I quit trying to analyze it, and when I took over the wheel, and Mo napped, I just slid into the sound of the wind coming in the open window and the feel of the sun on my face….and in my eyes. Dang, that California sun is BRIGHT!
Oh…a quickie story, another one about Michelin tires. Remember how we got an entire set of Michelin tires for the MoHo before we left for Alaska? Somehow after sitting in the Texas sunshine waiting to be sold, the sidewalls deteriorated and Michelin replaced them in full, minus balancing and mounting.
After 40K miles on the new second set, the tires were getting a little tired, so Mo decided to replace them before we embark on more than 8,000 miles of traveling. She replaced 5 of them in late October. Just a short time ago, she received a notice from Michelin saying those tires were being recalled. Sheesh! bad timing for sure. Mo went to town to get the spare replaced on the recall and talked to the manager at Basin tire about what to do. Today we got an email from Michelin saying that Mo was being reimbursed for all five tires that she bought.
These recalls aren’t such a bad thing I guess if Michelin keeps giving us free tires!
Tonight we are settled in to Flag City RV Resort in Lodi just off the interstate. We arrived early enough to set up easily and get the TV going in time for the 49rs game, a close one, but they did win. Then another re-heated dinner of yummy roast pork, apple compote and scalloped potatoes from Christmas was perfect.
Earlier in the afternoon, while Mo watched the game, I took Jeremy out into the sunshine for a walk and checked out the park. This place is so generic, close to the freeway, row after row of cement pads and little grass yards, and yet it is completely perfect for us just as it is. It is clean, predictable, 27 bucks for everything with the Passport America card, with great hookups, good TV, spotless restrooms and laundry, and a really nice lounging area in the office. We don’t use any of these lovely facilities, since for us this is always just an overnighter on our first night out.
Still, as I was walking around the park I thought it might be fun to at least post some photos of it and as I walked about six big rigs pulled in at the same time. Some kind of caravan thing had arrived. We never make a reservation here, and even with the caravans choosing this park, we have never had a problem getting a site.
Yup, I love the unpredictability of a road trip, and then again, I love it when some things are predictable. Such as a great place to stop for a good night’s sleep on a level pad with power, water, sewer, and cable. Sadly, we are in Lodi, and if we were “stuck” we could explore the more than 100 wineries in the area that have the very best old vine zins in the world. Instead, we will settle in for a good night’s sleep, grateful that the MoHo is fairly well insulated from the sounds of the interstate, and continue south in the morning. Generic freeways, generic RV parks, all have a bit of a purpose, they get us where we are going. The desert is calling.