Week 5 of our vacation 2022

Wednesday, October 26th 2022: It was another early morning waking up for me at Peggy Sue’s Diner in Yermo CA, it is going to be another warm cloudless day as we head further east today, our destination today is Needles CA, and we will get there by travelling east on I-40. We are hoping to depart around the ten o’clock area, and should have us arrive shortly after lunch, we are hoping to stay at another Elks Lodge, with full hook ups, before boondocking for nearly a week. But breakfast this morning will be at Peggy Sue’s as a thank you for a spot to stay. There was some road noise from I-15 but nothing that was a concern, the garbage around the lot was vary saddening but seems to be common in this area of California.

So breakfast at Peggy Sue’s as, OK, I ordered “The Blob”, which consisted of buttermilk biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, and sausage, smothered in breakfast gravy. And no I was not able to finish it, but it did fill my craving for some biscuits and gravy. And we now have settled into the coach again after breakfast, I have published a couple of blogs and decided to get started on this weeks blog, this could be a bit of a strange week as we should be settled in the Yuma area soon, and by the sounds of it there is no real plan or schedule in place before this caravan comes together, it sounds as it could possibly be like herding cats.

So let’s start off with a little recap of what we have been up to, we have been on the road since September the 28th, we have driven over 2000 miles (3200 kilometers), this should be our last night in California, we are expecting to be in Yuma on October the 28th exactly one month since our journey started. The rest of October will be spent in the Yuma area, as we meet up with the rest of the Mexico caravan group, and allow us time to do the final preparations for Mexico. The weather has been astonishing for the season and time of year, and has provided us with remarkable views and memories that will last us a lifetime, the Elks Lodges have been a godsend allowing us safe places to stay, in areas that would be very expensive and difficult to stay at. The coach is running well, and in the last few days our mileage has increased from 7.5 mpg to 7.7 mpg, an unexpected surprise but a very nice surprise. I will continue to write our blog while we travel in Mexico but publishing may be an issue as we will not have a data plan there, so I will be relying on campground internet and our friends.

The journey today was eastbound on I-40, and was uneventful, and I was able to keep the cruise on for most of it. And we made it to the Elks Lodge in Needles CA, just before one o’clock, this will be our last full hookup stop before Mexico, so with 50 amp connection it is a great spot for some laundry, and a final opportunity to enjoy some of the perks of full hookups. Miss Laurie made pizza in the Ninja for dinner, and we spent the evening just watching the television, we have a view of the mountain ranges surrounding us as we have dropped down to the Colorado River valley, and I’m thinking I can now officially switch over to just shorts for the next couple months.

I just snapped the photo of the coach, looking back into the sunshine, but it is actually an amazing untouched photo of the blue skies, our spot has oleanders planted on either side, another clean well maintained Elks Lodge RV park.

Thursday, October 27th, 2022: And we woke to a blustery day, high winds are very common along the Colorado River valley and this morning there are wind warnings on both Lake Havasu and Lake Mojave, and along with the wind in the desert comes the dust, that is one thing you have to accept if spending much time in the desert. Our departure from Needles will be around 11:00, as we are only going south to the Quartzsite area today, fried eggs and toast for breakfast, and after adding some water to the fresh water tank and we are on the road.

Today we are heading south on US-95 from Needles, then east on California 62 to the Arizona state line at Parker, where the highway turns into Arizona 95, and then south to Quartzsite, where we will top off the onboard propane tank. And as crazy at it sounds we again pick up US-95, as we move south toward Yuma, but in actual fact we have decided to stay a few nights at the BLM land at the Roadrunner location it is 14 day free dispersed camping area, it will be quiet at this time of year and I can position Thunder to get the best solar harvest. Now I know that you might be wondering why not go to Yuma, well there are a lot of reasons, and we will move on to Yuma shortly, but we know this area, and it is a beautiful area, sunsets and sunrises are epic, the mountain views are stunning. The closest 14 day BLM land to Yuma is at the VFH but is on a major rail line and trains run past all night long, it seems pointless to spend $40 for the LTVA land at either Imperial Dam or Pilot Knob which are the actual closest spots. So we are settled in here for a day or two, I have been watching the chat page for this Baja adventure, and I think I’m better of a few miles away, don’t want to start annoying people already.

After pulling on to Roadrunner BLM land shortly after one o’clock, we settled in to have some lunch, we opened most of the windows to enjoy the gentle breeze and 75°F (24°C) of nothing but sunshine, everyone just seemed to go ahhh, as if we realized that we will enjoy a few very quiet days. I snapped some photos this afternoon of the views around us, there is a group a few hundred yards away, but the afternoon has been great. And of course I’m hoping Mother Nature will put on a show this evening. Dinner tonight was some precooked burgers, as it was quick and easy, a perfect end to the day.

Well the sunset show was as beautiful as a clear sky sunset can be, and just after the sunset we had some man made light show. We have no idea what we were seeing but it was quite a show, as usual photos just do not do it justice. And we now know that it was actually a SpaceX rocket that was launched last evening that gave us the light show, Thanks Chief Twit!

Friday, October 28th, 2022: And it was a very dark, very quiet peaceful night, I’m up at 5:30 but that seems to be pretty standard by now, and by six o’clock I can see the outline of the mountains through the windshield and a couple of small lamps from La Paz valley, Mister Sam is sitting on the dash and seem quite intrigued by something, but I can’t tell what. I love dawn, I always have, it is the prettiest part of the day, and it’s not just the view of the sun rising, it’s more about how the morning light colours everything around us, and here in the desert it’s all about how it paints the mountains with light. Yea I think we have made it back to our happy place.

Breakfast this morning was eggs and toast, we have to use up the eggs before crossing the border into Mexico, there are a number of items that we can not cross the border with so our menu for the next few days will be all about conforming to our upcoming border crossing. Now as the sun climbs in the sky so does the numbers on our solar panels, we had pulled our battery bank to the 65% level before the start of the replenish, I’m hoping not to have to tilt panels and still get back to 100%, it is 10:20 and we have climbed back to 70%.

Well we did not get to 100% but we did have a solar harvest of 291 amp/hours which for not having to getting on the roof to clean panels or tilting any panels seemed more than satisfactory to me, we have more than enough power with out any generator time, and we do not really change our life style much whether on or off grid, we don’t reduce our television time, it may change Laurie’s cooking method but really a not a lot of adjustments.

Miss Laurie thought I should pause of “Maple WiFi” hub while we are in Mexico, something I was not planning on doing, but I agreed to so I sent an email to ask for the pause while travelling in Mexico. We then watched our regular television before turning in for the evening. after a very peaceful day and a couple of adult beverages.

Saturday October 29th, 2022: It is another early morning, along with another beautiful sunrise, we had originally planned to move on to Yuma today. As I do every morning I checked my email, and was surprised to see a responce from “Maple WiFi” already, so I opened the email and to my surprise I was told pausing was no issue but that the hub should work fine in the Mexican Baja area. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise so now we should have coverage, or at least as good as the cellular coverage as we move through. I’m going to have to up date my review of “Maple WiFi” as I’m learning so much more about their system as we use it. And we have decided just to stay here for another day, Roadrunner for the win!

There has not been a lot to report today, we have just sat around to enjoy another day of sunshine, Mister Sam has gotten some outdoor time, in between his naps, Miss Laurie has gotten some sunshine in the antigravity chair, and I have been listening to an audio book to pass the time, I actually never picked up the Blog for almost two days, I can only imagine catching up, I need to get back into my routine or Tuesday will be ugly.

Miss Laurie entered the coach, and pulled out her iPad to catch up on the group chat, and check Facebook, a few moments later she said the group that were parked in front of us here at Roadrunner, had just posted that they were a group of full timers and were enjoying a beautiful desert day in Quartzsite. That would normally not be anything special, but the post indicated that they were Canadian, so we decided to walk over to introduce ourselves and have a little chat. It turned out that they were from all across Canada and varied from 16 months to 27 years of full timing, and as a bonus they were all heading to Mexico over the next few weeks, some have been doing this trek for over a dozen years. So we sat and had a beverage with them before heading back to the coach.

Again today we never got to 100% but we pulled in another 284 amp/hours which got us back to within the ninety percentile area on the battery bank, again for not being tilted or cleaned recently I’m very pleased. It was another evening of catching up on the news and then television before heading to bed shortly after nine o’clock, not a real exciting day, but a great day to just prepare for the craziness which I’m sure is on the way.

Sunday, October 30th, 2022: I rolled out of bed just before five this morning, we need an early start today, but we didn’t need to start this early. This is an exciting day, we are moving to Yuma today, I’m topping off the fuel tank of Thunder in preparation for our Mexico adventure. We are planning on some dry camping at a casino parking lot in Winterhaven CA, yea we will be back in California before our meeting at Los Algodones at 11:00. Our stay at Roadrunner BLM land was been a needed break, maybe even more than we realized, and has taken silence to a whole new level, but we can’t put off the inevitable any longer.

We we pulling out of Roadrunner at 7:45, and are heading south on US-95 to Yuma a trek of just over an hour. I planning on a fuel stop in Yuma at another “Open Roads” station, this one is only around 50¢/gallon savings, but will make for our first fuel at under $5.00/gallon! And another 50 gallons of diesel later and we jumped on I-8 westbound approximately ten miles more to the casino parking lot. It will be noisy but this is also the meeting point for the caravan on Tuesday morning. The last time we stayed here it was free, now it is $10 per night, and there is nothing provided other than possibly some security.

Well so far, today has rolled out pretty much as planned, and by 10:15 we are parked in the casino lot and the toad is unhooked to make the short drive to Los Algodones and our first meeting of “The Group”, there will be seven couples in total taking on this adventure. And other that the organizers we do not know any of them other than by name, so today we were able to start to put faces and personalities with the names. We meet in at the parking lot to Los Algedones, and we walked across the border into Mexico, as simply as you would walk down any street, the only difference is that you are directed through a large turning steel gate, there is a similar gate on out exit along with US border control. Once in Los Algedones anyone with the proper dates on their FMM was able to get them stamped, the rest of us will have to wait until the crossing on November 1st. The next item was some people needed Mexican Pesos so they went to an ATM just over the border. Next was lunch and Margaritas in a open air restaurant, and a chance to sit and talk, and actually meet some of the people for the first time.

The above photo was our first real documentation that “The Group” even existed, and it was an opportunity to get a feel of what the next couple of months will be like. Paul & Lorena (the organizers) the first couple on the right side of the table, took the opportunity to brief us on what we can expect as we trek through Mexico. they spoke of tipping, and set some expectations, they spoke of manners, and a number of common sense items, there was talk around fueling seven RV’s, highway passing procedures, the use of walkie talkies to communicate from the front to the rear of the caravan, as on the highway we could be spread out over a couple of miles. I think the experience was a positive one, and the blending of fourteen personalities will take some time.

There will be lots of time to introduce the players as time moves on, and after we have had a chance to spend some time with them, but for now we have only had quick introductions, and after Paul & Lorena there are three Canadian couples and three American couples. We looked at getting sim cards for our phones but this did not seem like the place to accomplish that task, so we will look at that in San Filipe on November 1st. Miss Laurie picked up a bottle of 100 Amoxicillin tablets in a drug store for $10, we had purchases a bottle five years ago while in Algedones, this little border town is known for Dental, Glasses, and Prescription Drugs. And is popular with Americans and Canadians for inexpensive dental work, eye glasses, and a place where you can purchase prescription drugs over the counter, for cheap.

We reentered the United States, said our good byes, and headed back to the coach at the casino, to just mellow out for the rest of the day, some dinner, the news, 60 minuets, a couple of YouTube videos and it was off to bed by 9:30.

Monday, October 31st, 2022: And today will be a busy day for us, we need supplies so a Walmart run will be required, I has to clean the toad, it is carrying over 2000 miles of road grim, I also need to top off the fuel in the toad, and I was able to get regular gasoline for under $4/gallon, well it was $3.999 a gallon, so barely under the $4 mark. We left for Yuma shortly after ten and made it back to the coach shortly after after noon. It is warm today, 85°F (30°C), there is a breeze and the humidity is only 12% so a warm dry day. Rig wise we are as ready to go as possible, after all we just had a 2000 mile warm up, I will connect the toad tomorrow morning as we wait for the other five rigs to roll in, the last time I heard was nine o’clock, and will plan accordingly.

So this is the time when many people will be getting those butterflies in the stomach about travel, and for five of the seven couples Mexico will be a new experience, I occasionally get that feeling when we are going to move for the first time in a while, a little worry, a little excitement, lot’s of anticipation of the unknown. But this is what makes travelling so wonderful, and crossing borders has been part of what we do so we have no fear, answer the question truthfully, and if the find something you shouldn’t have, they will take it, you should have researched the rules! And remember the rules do change, as things like the bird flu happen so you have to check before crossing, just do your homework.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022: Welcome to “Crazy Day”, today is the day that the cat herding starts, this morning at 9:30 the other five rigs will roll into the parking lot here at the casino. And the time of departure is set for 10:00

This is the kind of detail the Paul & Lorena have put together for us, with maps, distances, to hopefully provide enough information to allow everyone to plan accordingly, how it works out still remains to be seen, wish us luck.

Nov. 1, 2022

Day 1: Yuma, AZ to San Felipe, Baja California (286km)

This will be your first experience in a Baja Mexico town. 

Don’t judge the rest of Baja based on San Felipe! Just saying! Lol

San Felipe does have a great grocery store and this will be an opportunity to stock up on fresh veggies and fruit. 

1. yuma to san felipe

It’s before nine o’clock and the first of the group has arrived, obviously not much excitement there, at this point, I’m still drinking coffee, I’m not hooked up yet, I guess I need to get my butt in gear. By 9:30 everyone, well no that’s true, the first five have rolled into the parking lot to join us, so now we are a group of six. We will pick up the seventh at the border, then as a group we will cross into Mexico, and get our FMM’s stamped and clear Mexican customs.

We pulled out of the casino parking lot at ten o’clock, jumped onto I-8 and headed west and made our way to California highway 7 and headed south to Mexicali our crossing point. This part of the drive was uneventful, we all had a chance to test out the two way radios (walkie-talkie), as this will be our way of communicating as we roll down the road. We pick up our seventh just north of the border and we proceed to cross as a group, we all pull into an inspection lane where we are processed by Mexican immigration and border control, many regular questions and we are free to continue.

Now imagine six motor coaches most towing toads, and one truck camper, working our way through Mexicali through stop signs, traffic lights, and even a roundabout or two and trying to stay close to connected, well it worked out surprisingly well as we kept heading for MEX-5 our highway south toward San Felipe. We we doing a “slow roll” as the leader waited for the tail coach to catch up to the caravan.

Now southward on MEX-5, as we roll through the country side, the highway was as good as most highways in the States, traffic was light and only two small construction areas. As we pulled into San Felipe the traffic picked up and the streets narrowed, every intersection was a four way stop, and we weaved our way through the town just playing follow the leader. Our first stop was for fuel, the basic rule of thumb, one fuels up, we all fuel up. The basic infer structure is ok but one never knows that it will be ok at the next stop, so everyone topped off their tanks.

Once you get past the initial numbers on the pump, the actual numbers are not as alarming as they appear. Our Canadian family will recognize the 89 litres, for our American family that is 23.5 gallons 2086 Mexican pesos is equal to is $144 Canadian or $105 American. Leading to an actual fuel price of $162/liter Canadian or $4.46/gallon American. Next we are on to our campground for the evening, the campground in reality offered nothing, just dry camping for 500 Mexican pesos for the night ($25.40 American or $34.65 Canadian) but this was the view from our windshield!

Our next task was to pick up some groceries, just the basics that we could not bring across the border, fresh peppers, onions, eggs, and a pineapple, from there we found a cellular shop where I purchased a new SIM for my phone, unlimited call and text with 4gb of data for 350 Mexican pesos ($24.25 Canadian or $17.78 American) for a month. We all regrouped back at camp before walking down the beach to the “boardwalk” an area of downtown San Felipe filled with restaurants and bars, where we found a spot for a cold beverage and a bite to eat. Then we wondered back to the campground where we lite a fire and mellowed out for the evening before turning in for the night near ten o’clock. Day One in the books!

Adventure here we come!

Blog 456

Day 1855

Week 4 of our vacation 2022

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022: It was only 5:15 when I crawled out of bed this morning, so just to recap, we are at Sherwood Valley Casino in Willits California, we are moving south on US-101, with a destination of Yuma Arizona by the 28th of this month. We have travelled over 1000 miles (1600 kilometres) so far this month and we have another 850 miles (1350 kilometres) further to go. So here is the plan for this week, we will continue to explore the California coastline as far south as San Francisco, and then we will head inland to Interstate I-5 to continue our journey south.

Today we are going on an adventure, we will leave the coach at the Casino and head back to the coast. US-101 has moved away from the coast, and we are now east of the coastal mountain range as California Highway 1 is not recommended for 40 foot long motorhomes, but will be fine for the toad, along the coastal highway. A fresh perked cup of blessed coffee is first on the agenda, and we are aiming at a 9:00 departure. So after a cup of coffee, with a wee Irish blessing, and a toasted western sandwich, and we are ready to go.

We backtracked an hour north on US-101, often referred to as the Redwoods Highway to the junction of California Highway “1” referred to as the Shoreline Highway. We were greeted with a huge yellow warning sign “Motorhomes 40’ or longer are prohibited” and the next warning sign was 22 miles of curvy highway ahead, this is why we are in the toad today and not Thunder. Well the route to the coast line was in itself spectacular, and after climbing to over 2000 feet in altitude, we found ourselves descending down to the edge of the continent, just a couple of hundred feet above the shoreline rocks and the Pacific Ocean.

As we made our way along the shore line, one of our destinations was “Glass Beach”, this is located in Fort Bragg, and while it may be spectacular now, it has a very sad story as to why the area is covered with more beach glass than you can imagine. At some point in time this small town decided to just dump their garbage over the edge into the Pacific Ocean, and now the broken glass from the garbage is washing back onto shore and people are flocking to the area, to sift through someone else’s garbage. Not really as beautiful when you look at it like that, and take in the whole garbage dumping thing into consideration, but we stopped to admire the beach glass just the same, while also shaking our heads.

We also seen seals sunning themselves off the shore of Fort Bragg and at the wildlife preserve we had some ground squirrels that wanted to pose for some photos as well.

And of course there had to be a stop at a beach so Miss Laurie could go shell hunting, and she found three shells, but just picked the best one to make the journey with us.

As it was now three o’clock and we still have over an hour drive back to the coach, so we decided to call it a day, and we found California Highway “20” which took us back inland to Sherwood Valley Casino, where Mister Sam and the coach awaited our arrival, I think Mister Sam was more concerned about his dinner than his human’s, but gave up being mad at us immediately after his dinner. We settled in for a quiet night, Miss Laurie prepared tortellini with Alfredo sauce for dinner, the Wi-Fi was spotty, but we were able to watch some Food Channel shows before heading to bed at ten o’clock.

Thursday, October 20th, 2022: The Casino parking lot seemed busier than the night before, and I was awake a number of times, I actually got up for an hour or so between two and four, then went back to bed till seven o’clock. We are among the trees so we did not harvest a lot of solar yesterday, it was a bright sunny day, just too much shade. Our batteries are still above 50% and even after breakfast will still be fine. Today is a moving day and we are heading south another one hundred miles today, to an Elks Lodge in Petaluma California, we have a couple of nights booked with full hookups, and I’m thinking we may want to extend an extra night if we can. Breakfast this morning was fried eggs and toast, and of course a couple of cups of coffee, the GPS says we are less than two hours to our destination, and check in is 1:00 so there is no rush.

We were hooked up and on the move a few moments after 10:30, we never get to the destination when the GPS says we will so leaving a half an hour shouldn’t be a problem. Well today was the day that we were in almost perfect on the GPS arrival time, who would have thought it! This Elks Lodge has 18 sites, a full time camp host, it is full hook ups, with 50 amps. All sites are are back-in and sites 1 thru 8 are good for 40’ plus in length rigs, we have site “7”, the sites are paved but there is a grassy common area behind the coaches, in fact I’m sitting on that grassy area now enjoying a beverage and working on this blog. Now you may be wondering why we are staying in Petaluma California, well it’s actually quite simple, this location is 40 miles north of San Francisco, and we want to explore a bit of San Francisco, we are also about 40 miles from the shoreline and we want to take another day on the coast before turning inland. So why here, that is even simpler, $35/ night with full hookups here in Petaluma or $120 to $140 for a parking lot in San Francisco with partial hookups. I picked the $35 option and I’m ok with the little extra drive.

Once we got set up in our site we just kicked back for the rest of the day, I even succeeded to catch an hour long nap with Mister Sam on the big bed, as the afternoon passed we decided to add an extra day here, then the debate turned to what to explore what day, we have been blessed with weather so far on this trip and we are hoping the next two days will be the same. Miss Laurie prepared some sausage in the air fryer for dinner, and we settled in for a quiet night, and turned in early to be rested for tomorrow.

Friday, October 21st, 2022: Today we are going to San Francisco, and we are hoping for a clear day, to see the sights, we are aiming for an early start, but not so early as to get caught up in rush hour traffic. Bacon and eggs this morning with a cup of our special coffee and we are ready to head off to the big city with a number of items on our what to see list.

Traffic was not too bad, although we did encounter some construction on the way, we were headed south on US-101 which will take us across the Golden Gate Bridge, into the city, the bridge is an amazing structure, but far prettier when photographed from the side. We crossed it with some marine layer obstructing the full view, but still was a memorable event. Once in the city we had to experience Lombard Street, that is the iconic block long stretch that is very steep and has seven hairpin turns, we had to do it twice, once with Miss Laurie in the toad and a second time with Miss Laurie snapping some photos. We are easy to pick out with the kayaks on the roof of the toad.

Next on our list of must do’s was Pier 39 at the wharf, a view of Alcatraz prison on the island, a tour of the shops and restaurants, and of course the sea lions, which were both noisy and smelly, but still drew a big crowd of people, we walked along the wharf and seen the vendors hocking their wares, we smelt the street tacos as we passed, and finished off the experience with a sourdough bread bowl of a clam bisque, at Boudin’s, I debated on the clam chowder but I was hoping for clam chowder tomorrow. We had been lucky enough to score parking right at the wharf and it was only $30 for our time there.

Next was Ghirardelli Square, for a sundae for desert, this was on Miss Laurie’s wish list as soon as we mentioned going to San Francisco, and we were able to find 4 hour parking for free only a block away. We had the hot fudge / sea salted caramel sundae, it was pretty darn good, and then we wandered around the square checking the shops. Before we headed another block over to see the famous cable cars on Hyde Street, and completed our walk with a stroll along the bay front, then heading back to the toad.

We only had one more stop on the list for San Francisco, and that was at Fort Point which is located under the Golden Gate Bridge and is a great viewing point for the bridge, we were entertained by a group of surfers, kite boarders, and some type of hydro boarders playing in the bay waters, before venturing back across the bridge and heading back to the coach.

We managed to get back shortly after five o’clock, feeling that we had experienced a small but good taste of San Francisco, a little disappointed that it had been overcast most of the day, but also pretty much exhausted from our day of exploration. Miss Laurie warmed up a couple of our precooked burgers for dinner, we had a couple of adult beverages, and watched some television until bed time.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022: It was near seven when I rolled out of bed this morning, I had slept well, exhaustion from the previous day was a contributing factor I’m sure. We are planning a later start today, we are heading back to the coastline today, we have a number of items on todays list of things to do or see, it is a shorter list today but it involves more driving between stops today. Miss Laurie made pancakes this morning for breakfast, and of course there was a cup of that fresh perked coffee as well.

Of course just to add to the fun, the fact that we have to change sites today, we had to move from site 7 to site 4, not a big deal, and just one of the problems of trying to extend a stay on a weekend, as our site was pre-booked by the next visitor, but other than that little work, not really a big deal.

We were back on the road by 10:30, we are headed to Bodega Bay, and the main reason was for the “Spud Point Crab Company” and their award winning clam chowder at a little take-out spot there. We were only around forty miles away, but none of the roads near the coast are either straight or flat so it took us just over an hour, and the clam chowder was as good as advertised, and worth the drive, from here we are headed south on California #1, to “Point Reyes National Marine Seashore”.

Point Reyes National Seashore is a huge preserve covering 71,028 acres, with many different areas of interest, hiking, camping, the beach, wild life, and the list goes on. Today we had four areas that we were hoping to experience the first is a small boat that was a ship wreck. It is strictly a photo opportunity, and has been kept in place only for that purpose, we stopped to snap a photo as many others stopped as well

Next was a tree lined lane to a abandoned RCA/Marconi wireless communication station, the base is closed and the again this tree lined entrance lane has become a very popular photo opportunity as well, so now number two on our list is in the books.

Number three was the lighthouse in the southwest tip in the peninsula, by now the wind is howling as we climb the hill to the lighthouse location. It is easier to understand why the trees look the way they do after experiencing the wind today. The thirty story staircase down to the lighthouse was closed because of the wind, not that I was going to take on the 313 steps if it was open, but this wind was making even just walking difficult enough. We snapped some photos from the observation deck, and also of some of the wildlife that we observed in the area. We observed the “Tule Elk” which are endemic to California, as we drove from the lighthouse to Drakes beach. This area is a good whale watching area, but not with the winds today.

Our last item was to get a photo of “elephant seals” on Drake Beach, which is a regular spot that they are observed, there are two ways to observe them, either hiking chimney rock or on Drakes beach, the hike was out today because of the wind. So our fourth item didn’t come together today, and as disappointed as we were, it has been an amazing couple of days, so a couple of snapshots and a video of the wind blown beach.

Next we started the trek back to the the coach and Mister Sam, again a thirty mile drive that took the best part of an hour. We actually seen two vehicles today in the ditch on their side, I’m thinking it was just poor driving as opposed to the wind. It will nice to get on some flat straight highway for a change, as driving has been an actual been quite tiring over the last couple of weeks.

Miss Laurie prepared a chicken dinner, as we caught up on some of the happenings of the group heading to the Baja, there was an explanatory YouTube video on expectations, as well as some informative information in our preparation process. We watched some television before heading to bed near ten o’clock.

Sunday, October 23rd, 2022: And I was awake way too early this morning, it was five o’clock when I rolled out of bed, maybe I was just excited to resume our push our way south a little further, or maybe it was just the call of nature thing, but either way it was an early start. So we are aiming to be hooked up and on the road by nine o’clock, we are going to move south on US-101, then catch I-580 over through Berkeley CA the onto I-880 through Oakland CA, then back onto I-580 to finally hook up with I-5 toward Fresno CA. And then once back on I-5 we are going to find a fuel stop that is part of the “Open Roads” program. But for now a cup of coffee, followed by a cheese omelet, and a second cup of coffee, then a quick shower while we are still on full hookups and we are preparing to pull out.

9:10 and we are pulling out of the Elks Lodge parking lot, my thinking is that Sunday morning and early, we should have a reasonably quiet drive as we move away the San Francisco area and work our way east to the Fresno Valley. The drive started off well but some where along the way on a stretch of eight lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit some brain surgeon was able to roll his vehicle a number of times and bring traffic to a crawl so now eight lanes were jammed into two. I mean it’s a beautiful sunny day, how does this happen? What we did notice and comment on was the amount of garbage was along the sides of these highways, and this after commenting on how clean San Francisco had been, and the garbage continued well out of the metropolitan area.

We made it to the fuel stop very near the noon hour, and was lucky enough to get a very slow pump, which is a blessing and a curse, Thunder is a slow filling creature, but this pump seemed real slow and just 50 gallons (190 liters) later we jumped back on I-5, but we are only going down the road another 10 miles today to a small town Los Banos CA and the Elks Lodge there. We have covered 166 miles (267 kilometers) today, and that is the maximum distance we aim to cover each travel day. This little Lodge has no hook-ups and we are just parked in their parking lot, but the Lodge closed today a 3:00 so it is not an issue, there is an event happening across the street with lots of Mexican music, so maybe a warm up for the upcoming Mexico trip.

Miss Laurie warmed up some Taco soup in keeping with the Mexican theme, I have been catching up on this blog, and we caught up on some YouTube videos before turning in near ten o’clock and that was near the time that the music came to an end as well.

Monday, October 24th, 2022: Today is another way too early start to my day, and it was definitely not from excitement of our travels, if you understand what I’m saying. Today will be a fairly easy day, as we head south on Interstate 5 toward Bakersfield CA, and yes to another Elks Lodge located there. Some where along this journey I had not added fresh water to our tank, and we have ran out of water, it’s not a big deal, it just means it will be a toast & coffee morning, as we can not wash the dishes, we are aiming at a nine o’clock start again today.

Well we did get on the road a few moments after nine, we worked our way back to I-5 south and I set the cruise on Thunder at 58 mph, here in California the speed limits vary for different vehicles. So the speed limit is 70 mph, but trucks and vehicles towing, the speed limit is 55 mph, and yes it does cause some issues, but let’s just say that at 58 mph, which is technically speeding, I was able to just settle into the right lane and cruise south. I was able to cruise along for almost 100 miles (160 kilometers) without ever having to adjust it. That doesn’t happen often or maybe ever so let’s talk about California, the state of California is the third largest state, it is the heaviest populated state, and has multiple geographical areas, from the Redwoods of the northern area, to the deserts of the southern area, and mountain peaks of over 14,000 feet (4367 meters) above sea level, to the desert of Death Valley at 275 feet (83 meters) below sea level.

We will still be in California for a couple of days, but so far we have wound our way through the Redwoods, then near Willits, we found ourselves in a valley of farm land, the north of San Francisco we had rolling hills of vineyards as far as we can see. After the metropolitan area of San Francisco we headed inland through a maze of highways to the Fresno Valley area, a huge valley of farming areas, fruit and nut orchards everywhere, by the time we made it close to Bakersfield we were in gentle rolling hills, and as we exit I-5 we drive through orchards, garden crops, fields of flower, then into oil country with oil wells pumping everywhere.

Well we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Bakersfield CA just before one o’clock, and yes I know we could cover a lot more distance each day, but we don’t need to so why bother. Today we moved 177 miles (284 kilometers) and was driving under four hours, we have made it 1600 miles (2575 kilometers) so far this month and are now under the 500 mile (800 kilometers) to our destination of Yuma AZ, witch is our ending point for this month. We have taken on some fresh water, but did not elect to use their power, This is a big Elks Lodge, but has not made much effort to maximize the RV portion and we just parked on the side of the building. Lots of road noise, multiple sirens through out the night has this being one of the worst Elks stays, but there was no charge for dry camping for the night, so that was a plus.

Dinner tonight was chicken, peas, and rice. We caught up on some Ontario news, before filling the evening with some YouTube videos and some episodes on HGTV, before turning in near ten o’clock.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022: And it is another early morning for me, so some catch up time on this blog, not many photos to show for the last few days of travel, but the last few days have been uneventful which is good thing while traveling, but it can make for bit of a boring blog. Our departure time today is around ten o’clock, we are only going to Barstow CA which is only roughly 125 miles (200 kilometers) after a fuel stop here at Bakersfield, hopefully the last fuel stop in California, and we are starting into the mountains as we move east. Breakfast was fried eggs and toast and of course the cup of coffee with a wee touch of Irish Cream, so I will be hooking up the toad shortly, as we get ready for todays adventure.

10:10 and we are pulling out of the Elks Lodge, our destination for today is a “Harvest Host” location “Peggy Sue’s Diner” at Barstow CA. We need to fuel one more time in California so I have picked a fuel stop from our “Open Roads” app less than twenty minutes from here we are pulling up to the fuel pump of a “Speedway Fuel Station“, this app has been a blessing when looking at pump prices for fuel as high as $7.19 here in California. It should be another three hour travel day as we tick off another 140 miles (225 kilometers) on our trek to Yuma Arizona. I was not feeling the best today so we stopped for a couple of hours at a rest stop on California highway 58, that is the beauty of moving more slowly, a couple of hours doesn’t effect most of our days in any way.

We pulled into “Peggy Sue’s Diner” at 3:10 and tucked ourselves on the edge of the parking lot behind another motor home, and while if I was feeling better we would have had dinner in the diner, we have decided to have breakfast tomorrow morning in the diner. We are not expecting a quiet night as we are located close to I-15 which runs from Los Angles to Los Vegas and is a main supply artery to Vegas. But a free camping spot is a free camping spot, and it will be better than some of the other options or choices. Dinner tonight will be Tacos as it is Taco Tuesday, and as we catch up on the Canadian news, is is good to see snow in the prairie provinces, and some of the ski slopes getting their first snow as well, while we are experiencing nothing but warmth and sunshine as we enjoy the beauty of the desert and the mountains, the rest of the night was spent just watching some television, as we prepare for our final push to Yuma.

Stay strong, be smart & be careful!

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