We left at about 8:45 the morning of October 13. A big send-off from our friends at the Pacific Border RV Park as everyone came out to wish us good luck on our journey. We will certainly miss them!
There were no problems going through the Aldergrove border and we soon had our sights set for Eugene, Oregon. We arrived there at about 5:30 pm. A beautiful, uneventful drive. We have stayed at Premier RV Resort before so we knew what to expect. Larry washed the front of the coach with soap and water when we arrived only to discover in the morning that the "hard water" left white Calcium spots all over the front of the motor home. It took him about 3 hours to clean all the calcium spots off. Since then Larry has hooked up our water softener wherever we go. We drove to Junction City the second day to look at new RV's. There are interesting stories going around about the quality of the workmanship of various brands - some have gone bankrupt in the past three years. Monaco (who made our coach) has been bought by Navistar and they are still getting the kinks out. There are many complaints about the service levels Monaco is currently providing. It's kind of sad to see and hear as Monaco was one of the "Kings" of the Motor Coach industry.
We re-visited a wonderful butcher shop in Eugene - Long's - real old-fashioned and great meat. Our freezer was empty, as it needed to be going through the border. We got our Verizon Wireless WiFi Modem in Eugene.
Then (we thought) on to Redding CA. Instead, we decided to go right through to Lodi CA, just south of Sacramento, where we stayed for two nights at the Flag City RV Park. With this as a base, we re-visited the Jelly Belly Factory. Again we tried to go to the Budweiser Brewery but they are closed on Sunday and Monday. We met some very nice people beside us who were committed Democrats from Bend Oregon. We picked up our Verizon BlackBerry in Sockton California.
Then to Groveland - the closest campground to the Western entrance to Yosemite National Park. The drive there is crazy - 8 miles up a very winding road. Of course we had to return the same way. But it really wasn't that bad. Beautiful country. The campsite was in amongst the pines and had a petting farm, which Maureen enjoyed. We drove into Yosemite that afternoon. It's spectacular and the weather was clear. We had a beer in the Iron Door Saloon which opened in 1852.
On the road again with a stop at the World Famous Olive Pit in Corning CA for some olives, chocolate cherries and pickled mushrooms. Also some garlic-flavoured olive oil. Next was Bakersfield and the Orange Grove RV Park. This would be a great place in the early spring when the navel oranges ripen. There were hundreds and hundreds on the trees and you are free to pick them "when ripe". We picked a few green ones in the hope they will ripen. We found the California Fruit Depot and bought dates, dried apricots, pecans, cashews, and Valencia oranges. Very, very sweet! We also discovered Rusty's Pizza - they claim to have the original thin crust and that it will be delivered fast and hot. Well it was great. Delivered hot right to our RV in 35 minutes and we actually had it twice during our stay (it was that good). We met some nice people from Brentwood Bay near Victoria. They brought us their finished LA Times each night we were there. This RV park was amazing. Every afternoon about 3:00 the rigs started pulling in and when we got up the next morning most of them were gone. They are either Americans heading south and home, or those from the Pacific Northwest and BC/Alberta heading south for the winter.
Now we are in Las Vegas until November 1, arriving October 23. While coming in from the West we noticed a lot of water lying around. Apparently a couple of days before there had been a big thunder and lightning storm with lots of rain. Almost unheard of in this area. Flooding happens very easily here.
It's amazing how much you can do in Vegas without actually gambling! The only time we went to a casino was to attend an RV Show at the South Point Casino and Convention Centre. We went there two days in a row. We saw a coach that we really liked but couldn't come to terms on a price so we've left it for now. There are some very sad areas of Vegas. Even on the strip there are several large casinos that began construction but have now stopped. For those who don't go further than the Strip, they don't see all the closed businesses.
The NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Drag Races began on Thursday, October 28. Attendance seemed pretty good. There is nothing like the smell of "Nitro" at the Drag Races. There were lots of RV's parked in the dry camping area. They charge $250 to park your RV there for 4 days. We may try this next time. It looks like fun. We went to the races all four days. The weather was perfect most of the time (22 to 27 degrees) with some wind added in.