The Adventure in California

Where I left off … we were in Bakersfield, CA, on our way from Las Vegas to Monterey …

Thursday, October 24, 2019

At breakfast, as I checked email, we got a message that our event in Monterey for tomorrow had fallen through. Which gave us a dilemma … to be continued.

Now we had a week off with no events booked. But our company had purchased some metal ramps and handrails to replace the wooden steps we’d been using to get into the trailer. And the packages were being shipped to our hotel in Monterey. So we had to go to Monterey. I know, tough gig. 🙂 But the prospect of dragging the trailer across the state wasn’t exactly appealing. We decided to detour home, drop the trailer off at our house, then go on to Monterey.

Which we did. We got to town in time to have dinner at a great restaurant I’d saved to my list of prospective restaurants. Hula’s Tiki Grill was outstanding! Dave had the Chimichurri barramundi and I had the Hilo Sliders. One of the two packages was waiting for us at our hotel.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The next day, we met up with long time friends who were passing through town and had lunch at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing. Dave had crab and I had fish and chips. IMG_7155 copyAfter a great visit with Jo and Kevin, we walked on the beach for a bit. Monterey was in the midst of a heat wave and it was really quite warm.

IMG_2423 copyFor dinner, Dave wanted more crab so we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Old Fisherman’s Grotto restaurant. Dave got his crab and I had clam chowder. It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Monterey Bay and the wharf. I bought some postcards to send to the grandkids. I try to buy postcards for the grandkids and refrigerator magnets for their families at our various stops.

Saturday October 26 – Thursday October 31, 2019

We drove home on Saturday and spent the next few days doing laundry, letting the cat get reacquainted with us, and taking care of some household chores and maintenance.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Our first and only California event was at a football game in Hollister Friday night, November 1. We planned to leave our home about 11 AM, to arrive and set up at San Benito High around 2 and be ready by the time the Junior Varsity game started at 3. Great plan, and all was going well until we discovered the trailer didn’t have lights.

Remember when we hooked up the trailer to the truck back in Las Vegas, the plug had been dragged along the road and was all eroded on one side? Well, even though our colleague had assured us that the lights still worked, something else had failed or broken since them and we had no lights. David did what he could and tried several fixes but nothing worked. Since it was daylight, we decided to leave and try to repair the issue once we were in Hollister. But it would have to be fixed because our hotel for the night was in Morgan Hill, and we’d be traveling there after the football game, well into the night.

While we were on the road, I posted to Facebook that we were headed to Hollister but we had no lights and were praying for an easy fix. A friend saw my post and tagged her IMG_1114 copybrother Jeremy who lives not far from Hollister. We’ve known their family for years, Jeremy and his siblings grew up with our daughters. Once we got to Hollister and got set up, David looked at the plug more closely and knew he needed help.

Well, Jeremy to the rescue! This amazing young man drove from his home on a Friday evening, looked at the issue, drove to a store, bought supplies, and did enough of a repair job that we could drive to our hotel. We are so grateful! It’s very hard for David to ask others for help and even harder for him to accept it. So we truly did need help that night and God sent Jeremy to us. (Jeremy also happens to be a CHP officer. 😉 )

The event itself in Hollister was quite interesting. Co-sponsored by two California politicians, they both made appearances at the event, which doesn’t always happen. State Senator Anna Caballero and Assemblymember Robert Rivas were very interested in the trailer and the education we’re doing. We also had some educators and administrators from both schools playing in the football game come through, as well as parents and grandparents. Local television news also came by to do stories. There have been several overdoses on the Central Coast in the past few months, so lots of people expressed how needed the education is.

The evening was quite cold and David turned on the heaters in the trailer but after five minutes of blowing cold air, he turned them off again. After the game, we loaded up, told our consultants good-bye, and headed for Morgan Hill. We had to make most of the drive with the emergency flashers going, but at least we had flashers that lit up!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

We had a five and half hour drive planned today, from Morgan Hill to Yreka, on our way to the Portland area.

Dave got up early and drove to the local Camping World store. A mechanic there helped him diagnose the problem (blown fuses), still existing after Josh’s work last night. Dave then went to the auto parts store, picked me up at the hotel since we couldn’t get a late check-out. (Well, they said they’d give us until noon, since check-out was 11. Except everything I had said check-out was noon.)

Anyway, it took three trips to Camping World, two trips to the auto parts store (the mechanic failed to mention that he’d dropped a fuse and couldn’t find it, so we had to go back to replace it) and to the local Ford dealership, because some of the fuses are Ford specific. It was after 3:00 by the time we were on the road.

One thing we did that I’m glad about, even though it added to the length of the day: we took time for a real lunch at Noah’s. It was a great find and if we’re ever back in Morgan Hill, we’ll visit again.

We finally rolled into Yreka about 9:30 PM, ate our lunch leftovers, and dropped into bed.

 

The Adventure: Day 6

Saturday, July 20, 2019. Day 6.

The usual Holiday Inn Express Breakfast. We’re near a big sports center, so there are a lot of teenage athletes here for various tournaments. We’ve seen baseball players and basketball players, male and female, here. They load up on the breakfast, shovel it in, and stumble back out.

After breakfast, we took a walk. We found out there’s a park right behind our hotel with IMG_2261a short path connecting the two. We walked about a mile, wandering some really lovely trails as well as a IMG_2260wide asphalt road. There was a swing overlooking a creek, so we sat for a moment, enjoying the green and the water.

 

Back at the hotel, we looked up the nearest truck wash and decided that was today’s project. After hooking up the truck and trailer, (our second time on our own–it’s getting easier), putting the address into my phone, we headed north.

Dave had talked to a couple of friends yesterday who had experience pulling trailers and he’d made a couple of adjustments. He felt better about how the truck and trailer felt today, compared to our trip here on Thursday. I could also feel the difference. We felt more stable, there was less swaying/fishtailing. So thank you, guys!

The scenery on the way was beautiful! Green. Lots of corn. Small farms. Small towns. We passed a small executive airport. An old cemetery. Lots of brick homes. I normally read while we’re driving, but not today.

On our way to the truck wash, we saw a Menard’s. We’d been told it was the local place to go for hardware. Kind of a cross between Home Depot and Fresno Ag. We pulled in and made our purchases. Some more boards for letting the trailer rest on when it’s unhooked. Some towels for wiping ourselves down after hooking up (have I mentioned the heat and humidity?) Dave needed a few minor supplies (washers, a drill bit). Then back to the truck.

We found the truck wash, about thirty minutes away from our hotel, without any trouble. We had to wait a few minutes for them to finish up the garbage truck ahead of us. They didn’t offer a towel off or drying service, so we hopped on the nearby freeway, hoping to blow off the worst of the water and reduce spotting. We only went a few miles and quickly turned around. The winds had picked up, so we didn’t feel quite as stable as earlier.

IMG_2263

By then, it was 2:00 and we were hungry. Again. How odd. Considering we’d had breakfast 6+ hours earlier, walked a mile, hooked up a trailer in 80% humidity and driven 30 miles.

There was a Steak & Shake back by the truck wash, so we exited there and parked. Steak & Shake had been on our radar to try so it was meant to be. Except we seemed to have caught them at the end of a rush. We waited about fifteen minutes for a table. It was worth it. The burgers were really good. They advertise steak in the burgers (of course) and they did have a great flavor, a nice char, and the toppings were fresh and there was a wide variety to choose from. We were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture. We both had a pretty basic burger. I had a single cheeseburger. Dave had a double bacon cheeseburger. We shared some fries. We were less impressed with the fries. We agreed the burger can easily hang with an In ‘n Out, but In ‘n Out’s fries are far superior. Dave had coleslaw which he also liked and compared to KFC’s. And since we were at Steak & Shake, well … it’s in the name, so we had to. We chose the Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter shake and it was amazing. Thick, chocolatey and peanut buttery. Alas, no picture of that either.

Because of the trailer, our trainers had recommended we use a different map app. One that would tell us if there were roads we couldn’t take the trailer down. I decided to use that app for the way back to the hotel, since I already knew the way. It was incredibly annoying. My phone is synced to the truck’s stereo/navigation system. We had the radio on, but instead of interrupting the radio to tell us something the app would just stop the radio, tell us the info and not return to the radio. Argh. Then when it was time to get off the freeway, it gave contradictory information and we missed our exit. The written directions said to take Exit 129B, but the map (and the street we knew we were on said we should have taken 129A). I was looking at the written directions, so we missed it and had to be rerouted. By then, I was D.O.N.E. with that app and opened my trusty Google Maps. I have a lovely British female voice give me directions and she immediately told me exactly where to exit and turn around. I closed the annoying app.

Except it refused to close! I exited the thing. I did the swipe up to close. I did everything I know to exit/close/shutdown an app, short of restarting my phone. So we had my lovely British Google Maps friend directing us, as well as a rude, mechanical-voiced harpy telling us to “TURN AROUND NOW.”

We managed to tune her out and made it back to the hotel, albeit a bit frazzled. We parked and proceeded to unhook. Dave said to time him, so I set the stopwatch.

We did it together (sort of–he does the heavy lifting) and did it in just shy of ten minutes. Then we got back to our room and collapsed. It was 4:00. It took us pretty much all day to get one 32′ trailer washed. Oh, and it’s covered in water spots. So, it’s not ready for its television appearance on Monday.

Sigh.