That was the week that was: unexpected and yet with some truly special moments.
Last Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast found me in Ridgecrest, CA, near Death Valley, where I had parked my Alto as a hotel room at my cousins for the holiday weekend, along with one of my camping buddies, Linda. We were quite happy to socialize, eat, and shower in the big house, but when it came to sleeping, we both slipped back to our Altos. It’s home for each of us and the beds are pretty darned nice.
Eunice helped me cut down a flannel twin-sized comforter cover to fit my bed topper, so now I have flannel below and flannel above and I’m downright toasty at night (and will be able to use less propane when boondocking, I hope). I even let her try out the new bedding and she curled right up like a bug in a rug!
I drove Virginia to the Santa Barbara airport on Saturday and as I was coming north on Highway 14 back to Ridgecrest, I noticed a lot of RVs heading south. Like seriously, the southbound road was solid RVs and trailers. And no trucks. Hmm. What was going on here? It was way late for people to be on the road if they were checking out of campsites on Saturday; they had to be out by noon. I got back to Ridgecrest and the weather report solved the mystery: big storm coming in with a high wind advisory for the desert areas, so all those people were one step ahead of it and one step ahead of me. By the time Sunday morning showed up, so had a lot of snow on the mountains.
So I spent Sunday in Ridgecrest doing some early Christmas shopping and seeing a movie (Arrival – very interesting concept and execution) and stocking up on some groceries. I did not spend it driving to Paso Robles, which was the original plan because all Saturday night the trailer and the shelter above it were rocking and rolling with those high winds.
Monday, I headed up and over to Paso and beyond, driving in one day what was originally a two-day plan. It wasn’t all bad, though. I took Route 178 through Lake Isabella country and the Kern River canyon and it was fantastic light and scenery most of the way. A bit of wind, and definitely some grades, but way more interesting than fighting the trucks over Tehachapi Pass.
My favorite part of this long drive day was, ironically enough, the worst road, Route 46 from Lost Hills to Paso Robles. I used to drive it at least 3-4 times a year to get down to SoCal to visit family and while the road itself sucks (complete with a memorial to James Dean, the most famous fatality of many along this road), the light and scenery is beautiful and I didn’t realize how much I missed it till I was there again.
Monday night I camped at one of my favorite places when I lived in Aptos, Seacliff State Park. I used to run and walk the boardwalk here every day, idly checking out the campers and their stuff. Never in a million years did I think I would be back here in a trailer of my own! Funny how life goes sometimes…
Tuesday was a quick jump from Seacliff to Half Moon Bay State Beach, where I’m staying till Saturday. It’s gorgeous here. I can hear the surf, watch the sun set from my front settee, and search for agates, sea glass, and broken shells on the beach.
For the next month, I’m back in my old stomping grounds of the central California coast. Not much I haven’t seen here, having been a resident from 2000 to 2012, so it will be mostly seeing old friends and catching up. But I’m sure I’ll sneak a few photo sessions in there somewhere.