May 4-19 - Soledad Canyon CA etc
We took two days to get from Yosemite to the 1000 Trails Soledad Canyon Resort, in Eastern Los Angeles County. After overnighting in Bakersfield, we drove over Tehachapi Pass to Mojave, then turned right and arrived at Soledad Canyon around lunchtime.
We'd booked a two-week stay at the Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon Preserve, figuring we'd probably need the time for RV repairs. Good thing, as our repair appointment was bumped almost two weeks. Day after we arrived, we got an early start for a drive into Simi Valley, about 40 miles west, to attend church at the United Methodist Church of Simi Valley. The Rev Dr. Frank Whitman is pastor emeritus of that church, and he and Elsie have become a valued part of our Reedsport church family, as they join us when on vacation in Oregon. So we met them before church, enjoyed very much their annual Youth Service, and then went to lunch afterwards. Nice day.
The Soledad Canyon RV Park is huge - several hundred campsites, a couple hundred acres. We took out our folding bikes and explored. And came to realize that the folding bikes are easy to carry, but they're really not all that comfortable to ride (at least for folks Al's size). We decided to explore buying "real" bikes, and figure out how to transport them. That's how we met Mike, owner of Bicycle John's, where we picked out and ordered a couple of easy to ride bikes, and started trying to sell the folding bikes.
Frank Witman highly recommended returning to Simi Valley to see the Reagan Presidential Library, so we spent a day doing just that. It is spectacularly situated at the top of a hill with a view of the whole valley. We greatly enjoyed our walk through history at the library. Most presidential libraries are actually museums, and provide a marvelous historical perspective on the life and times of the individual presidents. So far, we've visited the Truman, Lincoln and Reagan libraries. All were spectacular and very educational.
Acton is kind of a frontier town - lots of horse folks around, and there are signs outside the post office about not parking your horse there. There's money in that town, and in the luxury homes that surround it. But it's still a small town, and Judy was happy to find they have a Curves, making several visits. We had a mail shipment from our new South Dakota address catch up with us, and found a couple of good local places to eat. Dave and Audrey McDougald recommended the Acton Community Presbyterian Church, so we went on Mother's Day, to their late service - at 9:15am. The early one is at 7:15!!!. It's a old one-room church with a high-energy pastor who not only preaches, but plays the piano and organ, leads the singing and is working on her doctoral dissertation. And her name is Judith! Her husband also plays the piano, and there were about 40-50 people there. Nice, friendly group.
During this time we decided to try to correct some major problems with our email by moving our website and email to another host. So we (mostly Al) spent three days getting everything moved to a server hosted by GoDaddy. So now everything works again. And, as always happens, the day we committed to the move, our old server host did a major upgrade to their facilities, and everything started working just fine again.
We had an adventurous day traveling via the commuter train that passes the RV Park (1 1/2 hrs) and subway (45 minutes) to Universal City Hollywood to "see how movies are made". Universal City is way over the top - part shopping center, part amusement park, part movie history. We ate lunch at the on-site Tony Roma's restaurant, took a back lot tour, wandered the crowded streets, posed with the giant shark, took the subway and train in reverse, and got back to the RV park just after dark. Lots of fun at $9.65 per person, round trip, and it sure beat fighting LA traffic.
Our original reason for coming to this part of the world was to get some additional wiring put into the motorhome. Just before leaving Oregon, we'd found that one of the cargo doors was falling apart, so needed to have some body work done as well. We'd called ahead to confirm our appointment for May 7, only to find that the service manager who had made the appointment had departed "months ago", and they had no record of our appointment. We made another for May 17, but on May 7 we drove to the factory anyway to chat with the current service manager. At his request, we returned with the motorhome, he looked at the cargo doors and recommended replacing two of them. As that would add a day to our scheduled service, we moved the motorhome to the RV factory parking lot for three nights while the work was being done. We'd not tried living in a parking lot before.
Before the RV went into the service bay the first day, Mike from the bike shop delivered our two new bikes, and helped us hang them on the back of the motorhome. While the RV was inside the factory getting updated, we ate out a lot, did some shopping (but not much buying), and went to a couple of movies - both in the morning. We saw Spiderman 3 - essentially a private showing - there were two other people in the theater. We waited around long enough to see niece Lauren's name in the credits before stampeding to the restrooms. Next morning, we saw the first showing in Lancaster of Shrek 3 - with a slightly larger crowd. We also took some time to tour some of the later model motorhomes Rexhall had for sale. Nice rigs, but none of them grabbed us. We'd expected some major temptations, so not finding them was sort of a relief. The new paint was not completely dry when our RV was delivered at 5pm, so we stayed the night and pulled out Saturday morning, RV intact and finances somewhat depleted, and headed for Las Vegas, where we hope to get our dinged PT Cruiser mended.
The slide show for this leg of our life is here.