RV Trip with Di, Joe, Mist, Smoke — Summer 2018 — 3

RV Trip — Part 3

RVing we go — Had a leisurely breakfast, re-loaded the RV and Di and I and the cats headed for Points North. Back over the Pacheco Pass to US 101 and then through Oakland and over the Richmond Bridge rather than over the Golden Gate. Traffic to get on to the Richmond Bridge was awful but then it was back to 101 and then a bit of a drive through wine country.

The day was beautiful and the scenery as well. We stopped for fuel in Cloverdale (16.86 mpg) and took a break. Then it was back on the road.

The new by-pass was open at Willits, so we didn’t need to travel through the city and its, usually horrendous traffic backup.

If you’ve never been to Willits, the one thing I strongly recommend to do there is to take a ride on the Skunk Train. The long trip is to Ft. Bragg on the coast or you can stop half-way and return. Rec: take the long way — stay overnight in Willits or Ft. Bragg and enjoy the day.

Once past Willits it was a leisurely journey to Fortuna where we had a reservation at the Riverwalk RV Park. It’s just a few hundred feet off the freeway but we didn’t notice any traffic noise coming our way. We were the last of the day’s reservations to show and quickly found our space. Full hook-up and a nice table. I fixed some soup and noodles and, of course, a cup of tea for Di.

Rving advantage

It is quite nice to be able to fix her a fresh cup of tea whenever we stop. There is no need to enter a restaurant nor do we have to fix a thermos to last the day.

We have regular electrical outlets for her electric kettle to boil water and milk in the fridge. And, of course, biscuits and crisps in the pantry. Any place to pull over on the side of the road, rest area, gas station, parking lot or curb becomes a full-service break.

To be continued . . .

RV Trip with Di, Joe, Mist, Smoke — Summer 2018 — 2

RV Trip — Part 2

I wanted to leave around 9:30 am — after rush hour — figured we’d actually leave about 11:00 am; we succeeded in setting out on our RV trip about 12:30 pm. Traffic wasn’t bad, for a Friday but it was hot. The RV’s outside thermometer gave readings of 120°F+ on the I-405 North. We threaded our way through the traffic headed to the Grapevine and the Central Valley of California. Our AC worked fine.

Di appreciated being able to smoke in the RV. When we pulled over into a rest area/stop, she could use the RV’s toilet without having to get out into the heat and I didn’t have to get out her scooter or push her in the rollator/walker. She can no longer walk any distance (more than a couple of dozen feet, and sometimes not that far) even using the rollator/walker.

Bouncy?

The RV’s ride was quite nice and stable and fairly “easy” to maneuver in traffic. The caveat being when one enters or exits a “driveway” — you know the steep/abrupt changes in levels from parking lot entry to street level. Go straight, the front tires (together) and then the back tires (together) rather than turning while entering/leaving (left front, right front, left rear, right rear) and the RV rides OK, but, if you are turning, the RV rocks and rocks.

The trip north was without incident but as the fuel gauge reached the 1/4 mark a warning light and message came on telling me to stop for fuel soonest. Yeah, there are still 4 or 5 or 6 gallons of diesel in the tank but warnings come on. Pulled into a Shell station off I-5 and fueled up (14.02 mpg).

The RV handled the Pacheco Pass well and on the other side the smell of garlic permeated the air.

A few minutes later we pulled into our friends’ driveway.

Moved the cats and our overnight gear inside. We shared some drinks, conversation and dinner with our friends; a pleasant evening before re-embarking on our journey the next morning.

To be continued . . .

RV Trip with Di, Joe, Mist, Smoke — Summer 2018

RV Trip — Part 1

It was towards the end of June and we were going to leave on our Summer Trip  in the next couple of weeks. I quite look forward to these trips except for one thing: hotel/motel reservations.

You see, we have a pair of cats, Di smokes and needs an ADA/Handicapped Accessible room — especially, the bathroom. We have to have a hotel/motel which accepts cats and where she can smoke — those are non-negotiable. The accessibility? Well, that ‘s on the “want” list.

Di does not want to make the reservations herself and I hate three-way conversations/negotiations between the hotel/motel, myself and my wife. I’ve done it (grumble, grumble, grumble) but . . .

It is getting increasingly difficult to find places that have rooms available for smokers and many allow dogs but not cats. In fact, two places we stayed at on our last few trips have converted to non-smoking and no cats. Neither Di nor I want to spend our trip in ten Motel 6 rooms across the country.

Well, to make a short story long, one morning in late June I dropped Di at Mimi’s in Fountain Valley to have a late breakfast/early lunch with one of her friends and took an hour and a half walk.

Looking

I passed by an RV dealer (Mike Thompson’s RV / https://www.mikethompson.com/) and began to browse — mistake. I looked at van-conversions/Class-B motorhomes. Something large enough to take me, Di and the two cats for a week or two or more and still small enough to drive around town and store in our driveway.

Found some nice ones built on a Mercedes (diesel) Sprinter chassis 20+ feet long. Seating for two or three up front, toilet, shower, cook-top, oven, sink, fridge, storage and a sofa/fold-out king/queen bed.

I phoned Di at the restaurant and she liked the idea so I brought her to the lot after lunch. Eventually, she picked a white Road-Trek Eco-Trek model (2018)/ (https://www.roadtrek.com/models/e-trek/) — the, of course, most expensive one. I’ll be paying for it beyond my currently expected expiration date — which I will do my best to extend.

Got it

I picked it up July 5th but: the kitchen sink leaked and they didn’t have the parts to fix it before we were going to leave — the next day. So, (dirty word, dirty word) we were without a working sink — the one in the bathroom was fine. Also, the bar which held up the engine hood was bent and needed to be replaced, but was adequate if you were careful.

That night and the next morning I stocked the RV with food, drink, luggage, the cats’ litter box, toilet paper. And Di’s rollator and Tzora battery-powered mobility scooter. It was quite crowded. Things had to be moved around to use the toilet or get to the sofa/bed in the back.

On Friday, July 6th, we set off for Minnesota — first stop, Bill and Artie’s (Artie and Bill’s) in Gilroy, California.

To be continued . . .

St. Thomas of Canterbury, Goring on Thames

St. Thomas of Canterbury - Stained Glass Window Behind Altar
Stained Glass Window Behind Altar

St. Thomas of Canterbury - Exterior from main road.
Exterior from main road.

St. Thomas of Canterbury - Exterior from church graveyard.
Exterior from church graveyard.

St. Thomas of Canterbury - Interior Facing Altar
Interior Facing Altar

St. Thomas of Canterbury - Interior Facing Away From Altar.
Interior Facing Away From Altar.

St. Thomas of Canterbury Banner
St. Thomas of Canterbury Banner

St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, Goring on Thames


Fishing on Veterans Day

The rain was pouring and there was a big puddle in front of the bar just outside the American Legion Post.

A ragged old Marine Sergeant was standing near the edge with a fishing line in the puddle.

A curious young Navy fighter pilot came over to him and asked what he was doing.

“Fishing,” the old Marine said.

“Poor old fool,” the Navy officer thought to himself and he invited the old Marine into the bar for a drink.

As he felt he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whiskey, the haughty fighter pilot asked, “And how many have you caught today?”

“You’re number ten,” the old Marine sergeant answered. “Two Navy, three Army and five Air Force.”

Golf Club

Three ladies are chipping up to the fourth hole at River Hill Golf Club.

Without warning a naked man wearing a paper bag over his head jumps from the trees and runs across the green.

The three ladies stand in awe at the size of his manhood.

The first lady says, “He is definitely not my husband.”

The second lady, gazes at his manhood and says, “He is not mine either.”

After a very considered inspection, the third lady finally says, “He’s not even a member of this golf club.”


Pompey's Pillar, Montana
Pompey’s Pillar, Montana