Saturday, January 10, 2015

Waiting to See Our Marine

Our motorhome was finally released from the Alfa factory on July 22, 2004, after the ten days it took to complete minor repairs under factory warranty. As it turns out we would have paid less money if we would have paid a repair shop to do the repairs instead of using the warranty service -- $80 to $100 per day for a motel and meals eating out cost much more than the repairs would have cost, again proving the adage that free is not free.

We had talked to our son, Christopher and he was not due to return from the Far East for at least another ten days, so we opted to stay in Chino, California for another week instead of moving to the high desert in Twentynine Palms. The Marines are never told exact departure and arrival times or even their travel routes, but we did know a ten day window when they would arrive back at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Because of our previous trip to Twentynine Palms, we knew there was nothing there for visitors or tourists, unless you like cactus and sand. This area meets the true definition of desert.

We moved a few miles to the Prado Regional Park in Chino, which had a reasonable weekly rate for RV parking and spent more time driving around the area. Kathi and I both enjoyed having our own bed and furniture to relax in our own home. We lost electricity about one in the morning on our second day in the park, so we opened windows and it was a pleasant 65 degrees in the evening. We used our batteries to run our fans. This was our first experience living off our RV batteries and I did not know how to manage battery power. It took many more trips before I felt comfortable boondocking and living off the batteries. It was blistering hot in the afternoons, so early the next morning we discovered the space we were in had a bad breaker and we got them to move us to another space. After moving, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for Kathi to cook. She likes her own cooking, maybe not quite as much as I do, but home cooking is tremendously better than eating out every day.

The next few days we drove around the area and saw a lot of nice stucco homes with well-manicured lawns and beautiful landscaping. We saw one home with a huge bed of bird-of-paradise plants, which we never saw growing in Texas. We made another grocery run to stock up since we knew there were no super Walmarts in southern California – a big loss for shoppers in the area, since no one can match Walmart pricing.

It was too hot to take pictures in 29 Palms, so I am displaying a cute pig puzzle picture.

Another picture puzzle picture.

Twentynine Palms is east of LA about 200 miles. We visited casinos in Palm Springs and Palm Desert south of 29 Palms while we were in the area.

On July 29th we left Chino and drove east on I-10 to Desert Hot Springs, then north on California 62 through Yucca Valley and into Twentynine Palms. It was only about 110 miles, so we took our time and enjoyed the drive. We moved into the 29 Palms Golf Resort. The golf course was plush and green and everything else on the property was rocks and sand. At least we were in town and anxious to meet the Marines. It was hot, hot – eighty degrees was about the lowest temperature we could get to in our Motorhome. The sun was scorching and no shade. We planned on minimal movement and cooling off in the car, if it got overwhelming and some days it did.

Next: The Marines arrive home.

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