Thursday, April 20, 2017

Moving across southern California–Part I

18_14We are always happy when traveling from one location to another that we can say our travel day was uneventful.  That means nothing out of the ordinary or disastrous happened.  Such was the trip from the Phoenix area to the Palm Springs area and then to Santa Barbara,  Santa Maria and even on to Oceano.  I have been drafting a blog but too lazy to finalize it and post.  Now it looks like it’s going to be a two part one.  So, this is Part I.


Buck is still enjoying his new swimming pool    

We had stayed at the Thousand Trails in Palm Desert quite a few times in the past.  We considered it one of our favorite 18_19parks.  However, this time we weren’t quite as thrilled.  You could tell that attention to detail was no longer a priority.  Grass was high in some places and maintenance was lacking in others.   We had no trouble finding a pull thru site and neither did the Hyders.  They pulled in across from us.  The grass was high in our site and we asked that it be mowed.  Thank goodness they were there to take care of it but other sites had high grass too and theirs wasn’t mowed.  Oh well, all we had to do was ask. 

   Plenty of high grass between us and our neighbor

The day after we arrived another motorhome pulled into a site a couple down from us.  They ran over the water pipe, broke it and created a muddy swimming pool .  Water was shut down to the west side of the park and our neighbors were in a mad rush to get their stuff moved before everything they owned was under water.  They were about the nosiest neighbors we had ever had so we were hopping the flood would encourage them to look for another site.  It didn’t.  




On Thursdays the Palm Springs area has a huge swap meet.  We’d been to it in the past and wanted to go again. Terry and Jerry went looking for “manly” toys and Janice and I took off looking for everything else.  What fun!   However, we didn’t buy much but just did a lot of looking. 

There was another project that Jerry and Terry needed to finish.  One of their outings in the Phoenix area had been to 18_25wander through a huge RV junk yard.  They both bought microwaves and took the guts out of them to make a lightening contraption for the gourds.  Out came the parts and the work began.  Eventually the work was completed and tested and tested and tested.  The idea was that they would be able to create lightening strikes on gourds.    One gourd was sacrificed for testing.  In the end no one got electrocuted and no damage to the trailer or the site occurred.  That was a good sign.

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After four nights in the Palm Springs area, it was time to move on.  We figured Easter Sunday would be a perfect time  to tackle the LA traffic.  We hoped it wouldn’t be too bad, there wouldn’t be a back up and many folks would still be sleeping in.  We were right.   After about 275 miles we pulled into the Santa Barbara Elks RV park.

Our plan was to stay another 3 nights before we moved a little farther north.  We were looking forward to a little beach time and nice weather.  Well, after day one, it rained so there wasn’t much beach time.

Solvang is a Danish village and since we were close, we thought it might be nice to visit.  The idea was great but the plan didn’t turn out as expected.  Jerry’s GPS guided one way and Janice’s GPS another.  Jerry’s won but Janice’s should have.  At least we might have made it to Solvang. 


Refugio Pass Road is where the GPS sent us to start our slow climb up and over the very foggy mountain.  Some of you read about this "adventure" on Janice's blog.  The first part of the road wasn’t too bad. The road was paved, fairly narrow and very foggy.  We had mountains to climb.   Switchbacks to maneuver around and very bumpy curvy roads were ahead.   


After a few miles the road turned into a skinny one lane road even though at this point it was still paved --- but not for long.     One side of the car was on the mountain side and other side poked along at the edge of a huge drop-off.  It wasn’t long until we came up to a sign that partially blocked the road.  The sign said the road was closed ahead.  Did we stop?  No, Jerry continued on.  The road got worse.  It was now a dirt road, narrow and rutted,  Trees and rocks acted as a barricade in various places.  I thought it was scary.  Everyone else thought it was fun as we slowly crawled down this road.  We had no cell signal and even if we wanted to call for help ...... we couldn't.

0_nEventually we came across a couple hikers who warned us a slide had washed out the road ahead and it was impassable.  How in the world would we turn around without going over the edge?  Well, he did, luckily.  I can laugh about it now but I wasn’t laughing then.  Jerry said he was making memories for me!   Well, that he certainly did! 


The lower part of the mountain we discovered some avocado and lemon trees.  We stopped and Janice got out of the car to pick up some of the lemons on the ground and pose for a picture.



Solvang was no longer in the plan for the day.  Instead we visited Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara.  Dinner was at the Moby Dick restaurant there.  We had a great view of the Pacific.


We still had the beach to see but that would be the next.  We needed a little more time before we moved on to our next destination, Santa Maria.  The journey continues.

‘Tis life on the road.


  1. Nice to hear from you having so much fun, we hope to do that trip someday as well. Explore the west coast.

  2. I love SoCal! Can't wait to see the beach pictures...

  3. I'm with you; I could have done without that memory. Remind me NOT to go Jeeping with Jerry.

  4. My can you run over the water pipe? Weren't they paying attention? If they were loud, my guess is, they don't respect anyone or anything. Sad.
    Oh my gosh. I watched the video on lightning strikes on gourds. Only Janice could pull that off. Looks awesome.

    The dueling GPS's weren't dueling.
    Oh my gosh. You got me all nervous again looking at that dang road. I would have screamed...let me out, let me out. Pick me up on the way back.

    Question....What do you mean Janice's blog? I didn't get any notice they put up a blog.

  5. Nothing like a landslide to make things interesting:)

  6. Did you shoot the person that took that picture of you panicking? And here I thought you were a rough tough traveler that nothing would rattle you. At least you had Buck's new pool to cool off in when you got back... :cD


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