Rain in California And a Few Days in Bakersfield

Rain, rain and more Rain
Rain, rain and more rain

October 31 – Nov 3 

Pepper settling in for another day on the road
Pepper settling in for another day on the road

We left San Jose on a bright sunny Halloween morning. What a beautiful day to be on the open road. We stopped for lunch at Casa de Fruita before heading over Pacheco Pass. Our waiter was a bit grizzly but provided service with a smile.

Friendly waiter at Casa de Fruita
Friendly waiter at Casa de Fruita

We arrived at one of our favorite RV parks – Orange Grove RV Park off of Hwy 58 on the East side of Bakersfield.  The staff were very friendly, facilities were clean and the spaces roomy, with long pull throughs.

Recommend Orange Grove RV Park if you are near Bakersfield
Recommend Orange Grove RV Park if you are near Bakersfield

Sunday found us setting out to see one of the “famous” sites in Bakersfield-Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. We had a very nice brunch and enjoyed the Buck Owens museum.

Sign for Crystal Palace
Sign for Crystal Palace
Outside of the Crystal Palace
Outside of the Crystal Palace
Mural prior to walking into the main area of the palace
Mural prior to walking into the main area of the palace
Looking back from the stage to the top of the Palace
Looking back from the stage to the top of the Palace
Buck Owens
Buck Owens
buck owens2
This jacket was made for one of Buck’s Japanese Tours.
Buck Owens3
One of the jackets Buck wore on tour. Lisa likes this as it reminds her of seeing him on TV.

Due to rain and windy road conditions we decided to hang out in Bakersfield a few days. We were able to get some needed errands done. One of the best things about staying for a few extra days was learning Bakersfield is known for its Basque food.  What a pleasant surprise. We had a fantastic lunch at one of the local favorites – the Wool Growers Restaurant. So good and more food than we could possibly eat.  Thank goodness for to go boxes.

Unassuming entrance to a fantastic restaurant
Unassuming entrance to a fantastic restaurant
Two of the very friendly workers at Wool Gatherer
Two of the very friendly workers at Wool Growers
The starters, really a meal of its own.
The starters, really a meal of its own – Cabbage soup, pinto beans, salad, pickled tomato, and bread
Then came the entree - ribs, spaghetti, and green beans
Then came the entree – ribs, spaghetti, and green beans

Tomorrow the storms will pass and we will continue our travels to New Mexico.

Call From Home Security System ——- Rush Home

Monday, April 28th

Headed out of El Paso today for Deming, NM. Thankfully we only wanted to go as far as Deming, the winds rose fast and it would have been very hard to continue on. Traffic in El Paso was easy since we followed sage advice Connie’s Aunt Nikki gave her “Drive between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. to miss the Mad Rush in the San Francisco Bay Area.” We applied her advice and glided through El Paso. We did see a big rig brake in front of us and start swerving to the left. With disbelief we saw this yellow 18 wheeler heading against traffic on the highway.

Whoa, you're going the wrong way.
Whoa, you’re going the wrong way.

OMGosh!!! Then we realized it was actually moving with traffic and being towed. WHEW!!! When we were closer we did see small flashing red lights on the trucks grill. You would think they would have REALLY BIG RED LIGHTS. I’m sure the truck driver and us were not the only folks freaked out. Even the rest stop Roadrunner took a second look.

Roadside roadrunner
“What the heck?”

We did luck out once we arrived in Deming. We found a new restaurant the “Rancher’s Grill”. The steak was some of the best we have had in a long time, and the salad bar was fantastic.

Rancher's Grill Deming, New Mexico
Rancher’s Grill Deming, New Mexico

The restaurant is easily accessible with plenty of parking in the back for an RV.

RV parking at Rancher's Grill
RV parking at Rancher’s Grill

We rode out the windy day at an Escapees Park “Dreamcatcher RV” in Deming. It is a quiet park with level gravel parking, clean restrooms/showers, and friendly people.

Tuesday, April 29th

We woke up this morning with howling winds – surprise, surprise! We also woke up to missed phone calls from ADT (our home security system). The house alarm went off around midnight, and we both missed the call. So did our good friend Matthew who is our contact when we are away. When ADT could not get in touch with any of us they had the local Sheriff check and secure the house. The Sheriff report said the front door was wide open but nothing seemed to be disturbed. Maybe the wind blew the door open or someone was scared off by the alarm. Big sigh of relief as we decided to head straight home with out any other stops.

The sign may not be a deterrent!
The sign may not be a deterrent!

The winds were still blowing hard, but Connie handled them like a champ. Lisa has stopped at a restaurant in Lordsburg, NM every year on her way to and from Dallas. Connie was nice enough to forego breakfast (we each had a banana) so we could eat at one of Lisa’s favorite restaurants. Kranberry’s is a nice place with both American and Mexican food on the menu. They have some pretty good baked goods, too.  Like brownies, cobblers, sticky and cinnamon buns.  (I know it seems like all we did was drive and eat. Yep, pretty much.) If you are ever driving through Lordsburg we highly recommend stopping in for a bite to eat.

Kranberry's Restaurant 1405 Main St.  Lordsburg, NM Exit 82 off of I-10
Kranberry’s Restaurant
1405 Main St.
Lordsburg, NM
Exit 82 off of I-10

After a great lunch, we continued on I-10 west past Wilcox and then turned off on HWY 191 South towards the house. Arizona Lizards were back in the familiar landscape and dry conditions of the desert. Ahhhhhhhhh.  That means the house was not far away.

Highway 191 two lanes with hardly any traffic
Highway 191- nice quiet two lane country road.
Definitely back in Arizona
Definitely back in Arizona
Arizona even looks great through dirty windows
Arizona even looks great through dirty windows

We made it home in time to enjoy a quiet evening without the thought of another windy days drive!

Wednesday, April 29th

Up and about early. We have a lot to accomplish by the time the Auctioneers arrive on the 26th of May to start tagging the items in the house. We made time for breakfast at the Morning Star Cafe. This is one of the places we will definitely miss once we leave Arizona.

Morning Star Cafe 10428 East Hwy 92 Palominas, AZ
Morning Star Cafe
10428 East Hwy 92
Palominas, AZ
Brenda and Matthew Pratt Great restaurant owners and even better friends
Brenda and Matthew Pratt
Great restaurant owners and even better friends

Once home from breakfast it was time to assess the property and see the changes that were taking place.

The weeds are already taking over!
The weeds are already taking over!
The backyard is seriously overgrown!
The backyard is seriously overgrown!
Palm trees need a trimming
Palm trees need a trimming
The Ocotillo is in full bloom
The Ocotillo is in full bloom

One of the first tasks to take care of – getting rid of a heck of a lot of splattered Texas bugs from the front of the RV. Connie usually does this, but today Lisa and Pepper took it on (not that Pepper was a lot of help). While Pepper supervised, Lisa scrubbed away (er, Pepper was slacking off and sleeping) and Connie started working in the yard.

Scrub, scrub, scrub
Scrub, scrub, scrub

Once the front was shiny and clean we put the window Magna Shades in place to help keep the sun out and the curtains from further deterioration.

Magna Shades helping make the RV look spiffy
Magna Shades helping make the RV look spiffy

It was great to get back to the house and find another lizard soaking up the sun.

Giant lizard guarding the entrance to the house
Giant lizard guarding the entrance to the house

That is all for now. Will post more in a few days.

Oh That Nasty, Nasty Wind!!

Friday, April 24th

Front Office and Cafe Fort Stockton RV Park

Spent a nice day relaxing and doing laundry at the Fort Stockton RV Park. We decided to stay put due to the increased winds in west Texas. With wind gusts upwards of 45 – 50 miles an hour it is like driving a giant billboard down the highway. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration.

We didn’t relax as much as this fellow

Connie did manage to sit a spell

One of the few things we will miss about living in a sticks and bricks house (S&B) is our own washer and dryer. I (Lisa) seem to lose at least one thing every time I go to the laundry mat. Usually Connie’s socks. (You can tell when Connie adds to the narrative). This time it was Miss Pepper’s stylish sleep shirt. Yes, we do put a sleep shirt on her at night when it will be cold out. It is actually a Thunder Shirt, they are made to be snug around her little body calming her down during storms.


We really enjoyed the Roadrunner Cafe at the park, liked it enough to eat 2 dinners and a breakfast there. They have a small menu and the food was excellent. One of the things we both enjoyed was the vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce included with dinner. It reminded us of our childhood. It is nice to find “Mom and Pop” cafes on the road.  Reminds us of our own local “Mom and Pop” restuarant the “Morning Star Cafe” owned by Brenda and Matthew Pratt in Palominas, Arizona.

Child's size - was just enough
Child’s size – was just enough

Saturday, April 25th

Left fairly early this morning, we thought a short trip to Van Horn (120 miles) could be done before the afternoon winds picked up. Once near Van Horn we made the unfortunate decision to continue on to Sierra Blanca, Texas – only another 33 miles up the interstate. What a mistake! According to our old version of “The Next Exit” there are two RV parks in Sierra Blanca; but both seemed to be closed. Actually the whole town looked closed!!! Dead!!! Nada!!!   So decided to keep on moving West to El Paso. It is only about another hour; however, we were caught in some very high winds which made the trip seem longer more difficult and our bodies down right weary. Thankfully, Connie was at the wheel and she handled the winds very well.

Connie at the helm
Connie at the helm

Lisa did a stint of driving earlier in the day. (Don’t worry we won’t bore you with to many driving pictures).

Lisa at the wheel
Lisa at the wheel

We made it into El Paso at about 4:00 PM and stayed at Mission RV Park.

Office area at Mission RV
Mission RV office area
The area we stayed in at Mission
We stayed in this parking area.

Sunday, April 26th

The weather for today between El Paso and Deming, New Mexico was again very windy.  Been there, done that. So we decided to get back on the road tomorrow (Monday). Slept in today, went out for breakfast, stocked up on groceries and replaced Peppers Thunder Shirt.

Pepper guarding the RV, waiting for Moms to come home
Pepper guarding the RV, waiting for Moms to come home

That is all for now.  Talk with you soon.

Arizona Bound

Sunday, April 19th

After a great time birding and meeting new friends in the Mission, Texas area it was time to head home. We felt rushed on the way to the hop and that is NOT the way we want to travel. Our bodies are much happier when we take our time and go slow. We decided not to rush in any way on the way back to Arizona. We have plenty of time to make it back by the 1st of May, so will go slow. We headed out late Sunday morning and spent the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Alice, Texas. We had stayed there on the way down, so figured it would be a known stop on the way back.

Monday, April 20th

It was on to the Escapees Park in Hondo. Fairly equitable day of sharing the driving. Connie drove further than I did but not by much. I made a mistake and forgot to put the gas cap back on the RV when we filled up with gas so had to go find a new one upon arrival in Hondo. Lucky for me, the local Napa had one in stock. We decided to spend two nights here and rest up a little. We really are not into driving hard every day and want to enjoy the journey. On Tuesday we took the CRV for a drive around the area and ended up in Castroville, TX.  Castroville was settled by folks from the Alsace region of France. We wanted to try Haby’s Bakery, and boy are we glad we drove there. What a place, if you are ever near Castroville you really need to give it a try.  On Wednesday we left the Escapees Park and travelled to Sonora, Texas. Another parking lot night. The drive from Hondo to Sonora was pretty windy and at times rainy; it was also very pretty with all the Texas wildflowers on the back roads.

Foggy and rainy hill country road
Yellow and Blue Wildflowers
Purple Wildflowers

Thursday, April 23

Hard day of travel in the winds today. We had thought we would make it to Balmorhea State Park. Unfortunately, the winds that come roaring over the plains had other plans. Connie drove the first 75 miles and I was due to drive the next. The winds were to strong for me so Connie took over and got us the rest of the way to Ft. Stockton. Very difficult to control the RV when the wind is blowing hard enough to send it off the road. We settled in to an RV park on the outskirts of Fort Stockton and made arrangements to stay until Saturday morning. We are hoping that by staying we might miss some of the super strong winds between here and Van Horn. It is supposed to be blowing in excess of 40 mph on Friday and later Saturday afternoon. If we get out of here early enough Saturday we can beat the late afternoon winds to Van Horn. Pepper took all of the wind and hard driving in her usual “it is a riding day” style.


Preparing to Hit the Road

January 27, 2015

We are hard at work preparing to go full time. We are hoping to be out of the house and on the road by April 1st. In order to accomplish this we need to complete the following: decide what each of us is taking, storing and getting rid of; get the house ready for the auction house to come and take everything we are not keeping; prepare the house to be put on the market; and prepare the RV to go.

It is going to be a lot of hard work and some hard decisions but I am positive we can make it.