August 8, 2015

BlaNic's "Wheel Estate"...Heading North Imke Style /\/\/\/\/\/\

"A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong, is to think you control it."
John Steinbeck

A warm thank you to our dear friends Larry and Jeannie for our "Wheel Estate" license plate holder. A perfect "trailer warming" gift.

After weeks of caretaking our "hidey hole", i.e. playing in the dirt, upgrading the landscape and endless property maintenance that an acre of land warrants, it was time to head on out. It was the last month of summer vacation and it was our hope that we would be able to miss the hordes of families vacationing while school was out. Granted, it is normally after the Labor Day holiday that the crowds finally thin out...but we targeted a few isolated places to check out while we slowly worked our way north. Plus, Imke was having a hard time keeping this beast needed the taste of the road. I have been pretty anxious the last month to be off and about, so I convinced ourselves that an early departure (it got earlier and earlier) provided us more time and opportunity to explore some unseen treasures that we have always yearned to visit. 

With a beautiful sunset blanketing our pre-departure day we bid bon voyage over a few glasses of wine with some of our dearest "local" friends. 

Our first few days on the road were pretty standard fare...Interstate 5, hot temperatures during the day, dry no-scapes and occasional lightning storms at night. Normally we would travel via the more scenic byways, backroads or country roads to reach our next waypoint (as our friends Dick and Melinda talk about in their blog RV Travels-"Shun-Piking Backroads of North America), but the most direct way to get to our Oregon destination was I-5. We also knew it would be a requirement to have electrical hook ups until we got to the northern part of the state...Sydney likes her comfort... so our Passport America membership was put to use. 

We arrived at Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson, CA to "cooler" than normal I-5 weather (low 90's) and promptly connected to electrical and dialed in the thermostat to 62º for some relief. Coastal folks are just not used to temps over 75º. Easy access to the park, big pull through site, but bathrooms and showers needed some TLC.

As seems to often happens on the road, during  this brief overnighter, we met Rudy and Sue from the Lone Star state in their brand new Arctic Fox 32A trailer. This beautiful Silver Fox had all the bells and whistles, is showroom spotless and a full-timer's dream rig. Our paths may cross again, as they too will be exploring the Pacific Northwest or we may someday make our way to San Anton!

We than stopped at Driftwood RV Park in Los Molinos nestled on the shores of the Sacramento River. The website photos are misleading as those motorhomes and fifth wheels shown took up almost two sites to park parallel to the river. Plus access is difficult. The park has been neglected and will need a complete makeover to accommodate large RVs in any single space. Sites are for very small trailers and/or tents, but a perfect base camp for the seasonal salmon fisherman. However, we did have a great view of the river and electric and water. As we were the only RV, parking the Fox was easy...we just drove through all the other sites and left the truck taking up half of the access road. The evening breeze was cooled down by the moving water and the river sounds mingled nicely with the jingle of ice cubes in our cups. The only interruption to those soothing sounds were the DOZEN freight trains passing us by...oh well...we are not in the backcountry.

For our fellow RVers, we gotta share a new after market item that has made dumping our tanks much easier, cleaner and environmentally safe. We have three waste tanks on our trailer and each has it's own valve control. You must open each valve to empty the tank and all three flow into one main line with one main control valve used for emptying. Every time I took off the cap of that main valve, some nasty residue always leaked out on the ground...gross for guy with my "dis." So I added an easy twist-on second valve, a Valterra T58 Twist-On Waste Valve to the end of our main valve. Cap is now backed by a closed valve "wall" and has effectively eliminated those messy drips. We highly recommend you (Jeremy) check it out. Use our attacked link. 

Tomorrow we cross the state line into Oregon..."Hawkeye Nicolai" has found a small warranty issue, forcing us to make a slight detour to La Grande, Oregon. She's been wanting to explore the Wallowas anyway, so what the heck, off to Eastern Oregon we go. Updates will be forthcoming in the next post. See ya California!

At Waypoint 40.0297°, -122.1179° 
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