Bakersfield, California: It has been since 13 October 2019 we have been anywhere (other than Indio) in our RV. It has been a busy few weeks, with vaccinated family and friends finally being able to visit, and waiting for a few final repairs to be made to our motorcoach so we could point it north to enjoy three weeks of The One True Sport at Historic Hayward Field: NCAA Championships and the Olympic Trials.
The last air conditioner repair (we have three roof-top units) was finally completed Wednesday, so we brought the RV to our house in La Quinta Thursday morning, hoping to get it out-fitted for a month-long trip... after having not lived in the motorhome since July 2020.
It’s crazy. After spending 6-8 months a year in our motorcoach the past 10-12 years, suddenly... after a year away... we can’t remember which buttons to push, which switch to trigger. Where is the remote? How do we set-up the satellite television again?
Due to our delayed repairs, we knew we were going to need to bust a hump to reach Eugene before the first evening of the NCAA Track & Field Championships. (We are slow travelers, with late-morning departures due to exercising.) But, after prepping (I make a lot of lists, Dear Reader), we were fairly organized Thursday evening. We made a last-minute Executive Decision to leave Friday instead of Saturday - saving us at least one 400+ mile day.
There was one last chore: grocery shopping for a five-day voyage. I had prepared several meals in advance, and had planned to shop at the local Ralph’s Friday for fresh veggies. Change of plans had us going out to dinner - to a real restaurant - Tu Madres - in the Ralph’s parking lot (mere steps from our house). Not having to plan/cook a meal was another huge help in getting us out of town.
We have been to so few restaurants in the past few months since we have been fully vaccinated. Mostly, we have been to the outside patio at our club. Going to an actual restaurant dining INDOORS was a big step. We went early and had our own little social-distanced table far from the other few diners.
I had the chicken enchiladas with red and green sauce. My meal came with refried beans - but they were made with bacon, so they switched me out with black beans (vegan). The enchiladas were really good and really spicy!
My Driver had a Baja rice bowl with grilled chicken, cilantro lime rice, black beans, fresh guacamole, baja crema, salsa verde, queso fresco, and crispy tortillas:
Too much food, but so nice to have someone else cook/clean-up. I grabbed the few items (mostly fresh things) on the grocery list while DT filled the car with gas.
There was an issue with our new inverter! When we unplugged our coach at the storage facility, the (all-electric) fridge would not work. It would work with the generator and when plugged into shore power at our house... but without an energy source, no power. OPERATOR ERROR! Apparently, the inverter needs to be activated. Hello! I may lose my "Goddess" status after this stoopid error. All well now.
I'm so outta practice, peeps.
Though our drive this afternoon was thankfully uneventful, it is never an easy drive from Palm Springs to Bakersfield through the desert. Terrible traffic and road conditions on I-10, terrible winds (every day over the pass out of the Coachella Valley), so many truckers, so many toy-haulers, and every other car is a Toyota Prius or a Tesla, darting in and out between us monsters. The drive up the 210 is pretty this time of year, with thousands of yucca in brilliant white bloom, and the desert along 395 is dotted with Joshua trees. No rain for months, yet the ancient denizens thrive.
We stopped in Tehachapi for fuel. $410 later... we dropped down (Highway 58) into Bakersfield to spend the night at our usual stop-over, The Orange Grove RV Park. Other than our water hose leaking like mad, we enjoyed a quiet evening. I was able to get the DirecTV working after a one-year "hold" on our account... via a phone app. Always a good thing when something can be accomplished without a telephone call.
As is our tradition, lasagna was on the menu for our fist night out. 102-degree weather is NOT lasagna weather, but with all three air conditioners finally working, it was okay. Lamb and eggplant lasagna, with only a bit of cheese on top. Parsley garnish. Tossed greens to accompany.
We will call it an early night and continue north in the morning. Happy for a safe start (forget about a drippy water hose!) to our Track & Field adventure. Until my next update, I remain, your traveling correspondent.
RV PARK: Orange Grove RV Park. $60 with our Good Sam discount for a gravel full-service pull-through. Ouch.