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Jan 1 - 31 - A Strange January

Sometimes it seems as if life is like a baseball game - long periods of killing time briefly interrupted by spurts of nothing much happening. And while our January sometimes felt like that, it was mostly the frustration of waiting around for Al's post-surgery recovery and final surgeon release. When it's cold and rainy where you are and sunny and warm where you want to be . . . can you say "cabin fever"?

The month started at the Winchester Bay RV Resort (1), and a New Year's Day visit from Jan & Denny Prichard, bringing the residue of the family Christmas gathering in Portland that we'd missed. They brought friends Lynn and Terri Schreiner, and the six of us had a nice visit and enjoyable dinner. Good way to start a new year.

The next three weeks were relatively uneventful. Judy managed to attend two meetings of her home PEO chapter. We marveled at how long the frost remained in the shady spots along the road. We got together a couple times with Wes & Vendy Lockard. We got our shingles shots. Judy sang with the choir at Reedsport Presbyterian. But mostly we waited around for that final release from the doctor.

Our last weekend in Winchester Bay our kids Ira & Anna came down from Portland, and we had a most enjoyable visit (and much good dining out). They had finally been able to move back into their home a few days before, after the repairs and cleanup from the kitchen fire Labor Day weekend. We know how busy they should have been moving back in and unpacking everything, so the valuable time away to visit us was much appreciated.

On Jan 22, we met with the surgeon who pronounced us free to go. YES! We took the next day to get ready to travel, and on the morning of Jan 24 we pulled out and headed south. And while the weather forecast called for rain, we had sunny skies almost the whole way south. But the trip was not without interesting events.

Our first night was spent in Crescent City CA (2), and when we pulled into a space in the RV park, the battery on our car was dead. Fortunately, we carry a battery charger and we able to get it going again. Al spent some of the afternoon cleaning and tightening the connections between the motorhome and car, hoping to resolve the battery drain problem.

Next morning, we headed south through some rather dense fog, and it soon became apparent that the car battery was again discharged. We pressed on, but shortly after passing through the redwoods, there was a horrendous noise that was unmistakable - a blowout. Fortunately, we were able to get off the road immediately. But one of the rear tires had delaminated, and we were pretty well immobilized, and pretty well in the middle of nowhere. And the car battery was dead. But we used our battery charger and got it running (and off the road).

It took almost 3 hours for the Good Sam Emergency Road Service people to find a service truck willing to drive into the middle of nowhere, and as we didn't have a spare and the tow truck driver couldn't find a wheel to mount one to bring to us, we were faced with having our rig towed. Took the service truck almost two hours to get everything connected and arranged for the tow, and then we followed behind for the 36 miles to the Les Schwab Tire Center in Willits CA (3), where a new tire awaited. As we arrived well after the tire store closed, we spent the night on their truck ramp. Next morning (and $500 poorer) we had a new tire and were on our way again. We don't know what that tow job would have cost if we'd had to pay for it ourselves. Good Sam took care of it. But we suspect we more than got our money's worth out of our $120 annual premium.

That night, when we arrived in Morgan Hill CA (4), the car battery was again dead. And as we'd not used our auxiliary braking unit, we felt confident that the braking unit wasn't the problem. We spent two nights at Morgan Hill, resting up from our tire ordeal. But we did get a most enjoyable meal at Mimi's Cafe in Gilroy. We hadn't been to a Mimi's since heading north almost a year ago. And we finally found warm! It was wonderful to be able to enjoy being outside in short sleeves.

On Monday the 28th, we headed south once again. Our original destination was the Rancho Oso resort outside Santa Barbara, but the combination of weather predictions for frost and Rancho Oso's dicey mountain entrance road motivated us to stop elsewhere, and we landed at the Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton CA (5), where we paid $22 for the privilege of parking in their big "no hookups" field. And again, our car battery was dead.

Tuesday morning, we hit the road for the final leg of our thousand mile migration and by 1PM were at the 1000 Trails Wilderness Lakes Resort at Menifee CA (6), settled in for a three week stay. Jerry & Sara Barton were there about an hour ahead of us. Sara is Judy's cousin, and they went fulltime in their motorhome last fall. It was good to see them again.

We had two priorities while at Wilderness Lakes - to have the motorhome washed and waxed, and to get our recliner repaired at the FlexSteel factory in nearby Riverside. After the blowout, we added "get new tires" to the list. And our fourth would be to try to resolve the car battery thing. The wash and wax was done on Jan 30. The rest would happen soon. And we enjoyed the warmth we'd come for - temps in the upper 70s and bright sunny skies. We could (and did) ride our bikes again.

No slideshow for this report. Enjoy the break!


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