On Monday, October 3, at about 1 pm we arrived back at our home. We were on the road for nearly five months, covered 5500 miles, and traveled through 13 states. We had a really great summer and a really special welcome home here in the community. It is so great when the neighbors come over as you return to welcome you back again.
On Tuesday we went into Saches to see our grandchildren, and their parents as well. The welcome from our two grandchildren was as great as we expected, and is always special. But even more special was the fact that our daughter (she is much too special to call her an in-law) and our son presented us with a welcome home present! Because our daughter had noticed how much we enjoyed the Keurig that she got for Christmas was, she saw to it that they had one for us, upon our return! It was surly a big surprise and a wonderful ending to a terrific summer!
We are not yet completely settled back into our house as yet, but given a few more days we will be. It was really nice to be home once more.
Tonight we are in Tucumcari as we travel back to our home. We have been pushing on much more quickly on the return path than we typically do, perhaps because of an unexpected desire to get there to rejoin our friends and community.We are staying in the Cactus RV Park, an Escapee, 1/2 price park. It is nice enough for one night, but nothing special. Driving around we spotted five others that ranged from seedy to about what this one is.
We have begun to realize that our view of travels seems to have changed dramatically from what it was full-time. In the past, the travel was the objective but now with a home again, we seem to have shifted the emphasis.
Tucumcari strikes us as a very sad place to live. The most numerous thing here is the range of cheap, or abandoned motels and restaurants. We drove around the town and while there are some very attractive buildings, the downtown section has more empty buildings than occupied ones. The town lists a population of nearly 6000, yet there is only one grocery store! The old US66 is lined with motels in various states of neglec and more than half of them are now closed.
One interesting thing about this trip has been the prices of gasoline. As we left Texas last May, the prices were generally falling. On May 20, we paid $3.759 in Oklahoma City. Arriving in Kansas we bought more for $3.63 and in Wyoming we found it for $3.52 per gallon.
In Idaho we paid $3.58 on June 6 and June 10 we paid $3.759 near Portland, OR. Arriving in Sequim, WA for a few weeks we found fuel prices to be $3.87, with no change in price for the entire time that we stayed there. On June 30 we departed and moved south to Tillamook, Or where we found gasoline to be priced at $3.95 per gallon, nearly everywhere. Of course, Oregon is a state that does not allow any customer to pump their own gasoline, so that may be part of the price. Over the month spent there the price did fall to $3.76 however that was after a 10 cent/gallon discount from purchases at Kroger/Fred Meyer stores. Off the street cost was still at $3.86.
For August, we moved south to the area of Florence, Or and fuel prices there were at $3.55, with us paying some 10 centls less with the Kroger discount, since we were shopping at Fred Meyer and by purchasing fuel there for the discount we paid $3.45/gallon. Major brands there were in the $3.60 range.
Moving into northern California just after Labor Day, we paid $3.96/gallon in Crescent City on Sept. 11. As we moved south the prices gradually declined, reaching $3.84 in Redlands where we stopped for two weeks. As we headed east on Sept. 29 we found fuel for $3.49 in Kingman AZ. and today in Gallup, NM it is 3.16.
The highest cost we saw was in Needles, CA we saw one station charging $4.29! Fortunately, we did not stop there for fuel.
Today we began or migration back to our home-base in Texas. We traveled just under 300 miles, arriving in Kingman, AZ for the night. For the past 11 years the trip has been an integral part of our lifestyle. Yet both of us have noticed a distinct change in the way that we view our travel in this direction, now that we have a fixed home again and permanent neighbors. We had not anticipated the feeling of wishing to get home such as we are now experiencing. I suppose that this is an indication that we chose well with our selection of a place to land.
We have learned that several of our neighbors who were gone for the summer have now returned and that the fall pace of activities at our home is beginning to increase. It can be very tempting to push on, faster and longer each day. Even so, we plan to spend most of a week in travel back.
Thursdays are Farmer's Market Day in Redlands, CA. The market opens at 6pm and runs to late evening, but we didn't stay long enough to be sure what the closing time may be. In any case, it was a very pleasant way to spend an evening and we also did a little shopping. All products for sale there are limited to local producers so there is no imported fruits or vegetables. In addition, the mall has various vendors of other products as well as food venders and even a few of the local churches have a booth. At several points along the route there is entertainment as well. The entire thing is in five blocks of street that are blocked from traffic for the evening. The event seems to attract many people into the downtown area and to provide a nice way to the fruit and vegetable growers and the public to make contact. It was a great evening and we got some really outstanding fruit!
If you enjoy popcorn, our grandson is now selling popcorn for the BSA, via hisCub Scout Pack. If you would consider buying on-line from him, check it out here.
We are now in Mission RV park, in Redlands, CA for two weeks of visiting family and friends, before we start the migration back to Texas and home. This is a pretty nice park that is reasonably priced for the area and one that gives a senior citizen, 10% discount! While the sites are a bit on the small side and have no grass in them, the park is nicely level and spotlessly clean. All facilities are kept clean at all times and they accept pretty much any RV and their location is very good for the San Bernardino/Redlands area.
The park is just on the edge of the desert, so can get pretty warm, but all sites have both 30A & 50A connections and the price, at $36/night is reasonable for the area and they give both weekly and monthly rates. There is both Wifi and cable TV. Most of the sites are either occupied by monthly rentals or by weekly ones with many of them patients at Loma Linda Hospital, just down the road or the VA hospital there. There is also a VA out-patient clinic just down the street as well. The park gives a discount to hospital patients as well.
This is the area where most of Pam's family live so we are making the circuit and renewing old friendships. We have several day trips planned and will stay busy. So far the weather has been quite nice and it has not gotten very hot, which is a good thing as our front air conditioner seems to have died! We would prefer to not deal with that until we are back to Texas and with the rear one working we can always cool the bedroom if it gets too hot. Current temperatures have kept things where one is enough, so perhaps it will continue that way!
The state if California is clearly one f the most expensive places to stay in RV parks. Since leaving Oregon we have stayed at the Camper Inn at Crescent City, ($29.25); Benbow RV Park, Benbow, ($49.80); Sanoma Co. Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, ($21.25); Costanoa KOA, Pescadero ($71); Santa Nella RV Park, Santa Nella ($26.40) and now Castaic Lake RV Park, Castaic ($42.50). Of those, Castaic, & Sanoma Co. both offered the 15% Escapee discount and Camper Inn and Santa Nella gave the Good Sam discount. Without question, the nicest park by far was Costanoa, which has beach access and all of the RV resort amenities. At the other end, clearly the low class winner has to be Castaic. It appears to be a frairly nice RV park as you come in, but of the 100+ RV sites, more than half are filled with permanent residents in junky old RVs that are surrounded by scrap lumber and tarp shacks and assorted collections of junk.
If you should ever have reason to travel in the north Los Angles area on I-5, and want an RV park for the night at the south end of "Grapevien Hill," this clearly is not a good choice! It will serve for one night on the way elswhere, but we will put it into our data bank of places to never return!