Bakersfield, Ca, again?

One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day, again. Hehe. I don’t know if some of this is because Debbie can’t stand it and I’m more than a little a contrarian or because I adore Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. I dreamed many nights of traveling, in parallel existence of some sort, through the other choice and seeing what it also meant. Bill Murray, in Groundhog Day, gets the free rewind day after day until he gets it right. Sort of the same thing but more toilsome than simply (no, not really simple at all) having it both ways.

We had a fine meal at The Naam

We had a fine meal at The Naam

We’re back in Bakersfield, again. It felt nice yet a little funny pulling in here, again. We are chagrined/amused at how recently we left and the distance we’ve covered in the interim. And all the things we saw and did on the way to B.C. and back! We had such a great time with Ellie, Kelsey, and Stephen. The weather in Vancouver was just absolutely perfect, seventies and sunny each day and in the low fifties each evening. Humidity was over 80 percent, a staggering difference from southern California. Our drives North and South were, although 1,200 miles long, pleasant and interesting. Sometimes more interesting than others.

Did I mention our trailer was hit by a woman backing out of a parking space while we were in a lineup for gas just before entering Canada? Beware the cheap gas, the cost may be really really high. A hidden cost of cheap gas may very well be the increased risks from more difficult maneuvering of cars and trucks about the pumps. Fortunately she is an insured driver, accepted responsibility, and her insurance company is very agreeable. And we are fortunate the damage is neither structural nor crippling in any manner. The damage is really all cosmetic.

Pretty wooded site in Paradise Point State Park, Wa

Pretty wooded site in Paradise Point State Park, Wa

Our first night we spent in an Washington state park, Paradise Point. This is a nice quiet campground just far enough off I-5 near Woodland, Washington, with large fir trees and an apple orchard. We picked fresh apples and cooked them down for home-made apple sauce to accompany our grilled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli. Yum!

The second day we visited our first ever amateur radio store. Not everyone has visited one because these aren’t in every city. Not even large cities necessarily have one. This one is one Ham Radio Outlet‘s sites in Portland, Oregon. We had called ahead to confirm they had in stock the items we wanted and to check our road directions. It was nice shopping here, the staff are amateur radio operators and know their stuff. While the store was not large it had all the things we wanted. We bought a dual-band mobile radio and antenna for the truck, a couple of study manuals for our next level license upgrades, and another pack of Anderson power poles for making reliable mobile 12 volt electrical connections. From Portland it was an easy two hours to Eugene, Oregon.

We waited until we were passing through Eugene, Oregon to revisit Sutton RV Sales (a storied Airstream Dealer) for the repair estimate. Tom, the Service Manager, walked out promptly to our Airstream and wrote the labor and parts required for the repair. Inside they counted the cost of these and faxed the estimate to the insurer then called him. Parts are not on hand and would require eight to ten days to arrive in Eugene, Oregon from Jackson Center, Ohio. We’re on a slightly tight time schedule to return to NC for our WBCCI Unit’s election rally so we cannot wait for the parts. And we don’t even know how soon we can get the repair done. Our first blem, it had to happen sometime.

We spent the second night at a well-situated Oregon state park twenty-six miles above the Oregon/California border, in Valley of the Rogue State Park. We stayed here with the Landmarks West caravan, then on our way to Canada, and now once more. It is very large, well arranged, is super-easy to navigate to and from, and has excellent facilities. All this for $20/night with full hookups. These first two days we had driven three hundred miles each and accomplished all the other chores too.

Lots of ribbon road, a little decoration in the background

Lots of ribbon road, a little decoration in the background

Today we left Valley of the Rogue at 0600 hours and were in California before sunrise. We committed to 600 miles for this third day to land in Bakersfield in time for a dinner in the RV Resort’s great restaurant and a quick swim. The day’s driving on I-5 was almost effortless. We maintained 55 mph all day, stopped only twice for gas and finished with a total of one hour stopping time for the day. We don’t want to do this regularly but there was nowhere in between Mt Shasta and Bakersfield we wanted to linger. And, we want to get ready for the trip to North Carolina.

This evening after a hamburger, fries, and peach cobbler feast in the Crest Restaurant at Bakersfield RV Resort, I unpacked and tried the new Kenwood radio. The main goal, short term, is having mobile amateur radio communications between the two trucks for the ten days we drive across the U.S. Debbie is driving our truck and towing our Airstream. I will drive Jerry’s and Ann’s truck and tow their Airstream. The mobile amateur radios will afford us clear communications for whatever distance we decide to maintain between our vehicles. We’ve decided to stay out of visual contact so we aren’t distracting one another as we drive.

Tomorrow we’ll plan our picnic stops and fueling stops for the first two days. And prepare the trucks and trailers for the trip. We need a few groceries, will top off our truck’s gas tank, will empty the holding tanks, and replace the forty gallons of fresh water (now not so very fresh after carrying it for almost a month) with Bakersfield city water.

We’re glad to be back in Bakersfield. We know our way around, the city has all the things we need, and we think the RV Resort is a mecca for RVers. Oh, and the hamburgers are the best anywhere!

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