Monday, February 16, 2015

First Trip to California

On September 15, 2003 we were finally through with chores related to selling our house and received the registration papers and license plate for our RV. We were ready to hit the road as RV travelers. We were on the way to see both our sons who recently moved to California. Christopher was in the Marines and stationed at Twentynine Palms and we needed to deliver CD players and other music related paraphernalia to our oldest in San Francisco.

The first time through a travel stop to get diesel was a memorable experience. We got in line where the 18 wheelers pulled up to pump diesel. Kathi went inside to leave her credit card and they told her RVs were supposed to use the pumps in the front where pickup trucks got diesel. I drove around to the front and looked and saw no way to get our RV and tow vehicle next to the diesel pump in front of the store. I drove back around and got back in line with the 18 wheelers and asked Kathi to go in and explain the situation. The clerk taking the credit card looked out the window and said, “I didn’t know you had a bus.” Well, we do not have a bus, but it may look like one to some people.

We headed west mostly on two lane roads, avoiding main highways until I was more comfortable driving the RV. It took us a while to realize we were retired and RV travel was supposed to be relaxing. We traveled like we would have traveled in a car, staying only one or two days at each stop. We left Rainbow’s End in Livingston, Texas on September 15th and moved to the Belton KOA for two nights, two nights in Abilene and one night at the Lubbock KOA.

On September 20th we finally got out of Texas. The state was still big. It did not shrink because we were driving in a motorhome. We spent two nights in the Tucumcari KOA in Tucumcari, New Mexico, two nights in Albuquerque and one night in the Holbrook/Petrified Forest KOA in Holbrook, Arizona. We thought at the time we would return and visit the Petrified Forest, but writing this blog entry is the first time I have thought about it since the nights we stayed there.

On September 25 we finally made it to California and stayed in the Needles KOA. We were traveling much too fast for the trip to be enjoyable, although we were still excited being in the motorhome. The next morning we arrived at the 29 Palms Golf Resort and it was hot. We parked our RV and picked up our son, Christopher and two other Marines and we headed to the Palm Springs area in our car. We found a Red Roof Inn near the Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage and spent the evening enjoying being with the Marines and having a good time.

Christopher was 29 at the time, but most of his fellow Marine friends we 18 - 20. It was fun spending time with younger people who were excited about having new friends, new jobs and being in new places. Their conversations were entertainment enough for us. We only spent one night with them and returned them to base the next morning, promising to return for a longer visit on our next trip through town.

Onward to San Francisco.

Christopher, a Marine inside our RV at Twentynine Palms.

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