Overland Cruising the 5

December 8th


We left San Diego, in blinding sunshine, blue skies, and wonderful warmth (well, to us it was perfect, to the San Diegoions it was freezing and they were complaining bitterly, bundled in their sweaters and puffy jackets)… at 9, after dropping off the rental car and making some breakfast to eat on the way – and we arrived here in Lodi at Flag City RV park at just before 7. What a long day! However, the drive was pretty good, although we didn’t realize how windy it was until we parked in our spot and got out. Once again, the wind plagues us! Lots of traffic but not terrible. 

Our last days  in San Diego were fun, and we accomplished a lot. Day one we  had to take the truck and trailer out past Sweetwater to the home of a very eccentric and very interesting man – The Highwayman… he used to take his beautiful white old ambulance ( hearse? think ghostbusters) out on the road to save people in trouble – but bad luck and more back luck contrived to keep his vehicle off the road, so now he works on line to help people who need chains for their vehicles. You contact him, give him the specs, he gets you the chains… then you drive up and he teaches you how to install him, complete with sound effects and safety gloves. What an amazing character!  He and his lovely old dog Sheila have been doing this for years – we spent a long time there because everything became a story and we were enthralled. 

His home was like a museum, inside and out – I was especially interested in the pecan trees that line his street. They attract numerous birds, including flocks of green parrots! One of these parrots ended up in the jaws of Sheila, and although he saved the bird it never flew again, so now it sits hunkered down in a large cage glaring at the world in general and the dog, I would imagine, in particular. 

So chains all packed up and full of knowledge and stories, we left Sweetwater, dropped off the trailer back at the RV park, and headed to the marine stores of San Diego, where we picked up our alternator. We also did a  bit of shopping, as we were close to Trader Joe’s, and I wanted food for the trip ( American border people were VERY thorough and took everything I had)… as well as a few fun things for when we get home and it’s Christmas !!!! I have nothing for entertaining!  kind of events… and we also picked up a hand held vacuum from Ace Hardware. (My hair defies cleaning up with a whisk broom, I decided it was time) I had also hoped to find some fun funky little Christmas thingy for the truck so we wouldn’t be out of place in the trailer park, but had no luck. As it happened, the next two nights very few lights were lit so I never got  a chance to get a video of the show. I think the tenth is when they are having their Christmas parade… pity… anyway we also had lunch at the brew pub in the complex there, where we ate last year.. great food, nice waiter, and I loved photographing the fish.

As soon as I bent over the pool to take their pic, they all clustered around me, making selfie pouty faces… either that, or they thought I had food. Probably the later.  But they did look an awful lot like some people when they take selfies. 

Yesterday we rented the car and drove up the coast, always fun although frustrating, as the mere act of getting out of San Diego using the old highway can take an hour. But once we got on the right road, the view was fabulous and of course we stopped in Laguna at the old hotel with the rooftop restaurant/bar that I love so much. As usual, it was gorgeous, the food was good, and our moods were lifted immensely!

Also stopped at my favourite spice store, where we stocked up on some of my favourites and tried a few new ones, as well as picked up some stuff for potential Christmas gifts.  If I am not mistaken, I think we have almost everything covered!!!  woohoo!  

After that, it was back to San Diego, through some more traffic, to meet up with Ken and Christie on their boat Varnebank.  Unfortunately the sun had gone

down by the time we got to the marina – I was SOOOO looking forward to seeing her in broad daylight and getting some good pictures.  They have done a ton of work on her since we last saw her at the end of Cubar 2016, when they pointed her north and headed home while we lounged around La Paz. 

She is such a beautiful boat, so unique and so huge! and so BLUE!

their  painter did everything with a  brush but even in the dark we could see the absolutely perfect shiny finish – it is an ex dutch fishing vessel with a chequered past, much loved and always admired – inside and out.

Hopefully we will catch up to them when we go back down after Christmas, as their plans are to take her down the coast again in a few days and hang out in the Sea of Cortez. Fingers crossed!!!!

We had a marvellous dinner with them ( thanks Ken!) and then it was off to the RV park and bed, in preparation for leaving.

Just rereading and honestly, you’d think all we ever do is eat and drink. 

You wouldn’t be far off… LOL… San Diego has some great places to eat and relax, and if I only go once a year.. I will be going back to those places! 

Besides, now that my larder is well stocked, on the road, it’s all about cooking.  It’s the least I can do, as Lawrence does all the driving. And that is a LOT of driving!  In the boat, I can take over the helm ( i.e. sit in a comfy chair and let Auto do his thing, while I watch for logs and stuff in the water, which is almost non existent in the Sea of Cortez by the way… not at all like the pacific northwest) (however you do get pangas and crab pots so vigilance is still needed) but in the truck –  let’s just say, I haven’t been handed the helm yet. So I cook.

It’s what I do best, anyway!

Nothing much to take pictures of as we head north, except I did like this sign and took a picture of it for my ball-playing fast-pitching grandniece Karsen…

So it is getting cooler, we have the furnace on and extra blankets – 

dinner ( mexican, of course) is cooking, we have found a station that isn’t country or christian, that we both agree on – fighting for wifi – and is that Christmas music on the station I hear??? hooray! 

We travelled 470 miles today. We have talked to some RV’ers who have been doing this for a long time. They have a limit – couple of hundred miles a day, or as Lawrence has read 2-2-2… in the park by two, every second day stay two days. Sounds like fun – but we are travelling, I guess, not RV-ing. So hopefully when we actually do this for fun, we won’t have a schedule ( ie, be in La Paz by a certain date or home by a certain date)… 

tomorrow will be less, 420 miles… and we won’t be travelling through San Diego and LA.. 

and Another long day on Saturday – issue is with weather, now, which is getting wintery as we head further north. Big dump expected tonight up there, but hopefully it will be rain when we get there. 

But we have chains!  and we know how to use them!

and America has wonderful rest stops, one every hour basically – so if the going gets tough, we can pull of and wait it out.