Merced, California: We were, as usual, the last campers to roll-out of the Orange Grove RV Park this morning. After coffee, internetting, exercise, showering… we are the laziest of lingerers. You know the RVer who starts a big diesel engine at 6a, and lets it warm-up for 20 minutes before departing? That will never be us.

DT is bringing his bicycle back to Oregon for the summer. He usually leaves it in the casita, and doesn’t ride while we are away from Indio. Dave now depends on his bike for exercise as he rehabs from meniscus surgeries, so the bike is hitching a ride in the back of the Jeep (with the rear seat folded down).

We have a nice bike rack, which it is, of course, in Portland.

Our campsite for the next several days is just south of Dave’s boyhood hometown, Merced. We have stayed at The Lakes RV and Golf Resort a few times before and find it convenient-enough since the only other option, Castle RV Park, has fallen on hard times.

They gave us a long pull-through site. This is a nice park, with sites to rent or own, and they have a nice pool as well. There is a large grocer and strip mall nearby. The park is still having trouble with water as the city well is very low – even with the record rainfall this winter. Conserve!

The hedges between sites are beautiful, in full bloom, with white flowers attracting hundreds of bees and butterflies. However, the flowers are so fragrant, they could almost be called stinky. They make me sneeze. I can’t recall the name of the shrub (anyone?).

Painted Lady

Remember all the Painted Lady butterflies migrating north through the Coachella Valley this spring, on their way from Mexico to Oregon? Seems a few have lingered in the San Joaquin Valley! Painted Ladies are simply fascinating: one of the most common butterflies in the world, they migrate thousands of miles, at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. It was an amazing sight to observe thousands of Painted Ladies zipping through the Motorcoach Country Club.

I brought out my big guns (i.e., fancy camera, not iPhone!) and tried to capture the beautiful butterflies.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Since we enjoyed lamb lasagna last evening (and left-over lamb lasagna for lunch today), I thought it best to have a main-dish salad for dinner tonight. Lots of sliced mushrooms, baby spinach, and red onion in the salad bowl. I sauteed two slices of chopped uncured turkey bacon in olive oil and added a bit of honey, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to create a classic “hot” dressing to pour over the spinach salad.

Spinach Salad

Our dinner was delicious and we finished every bite.

Until my next update, I remain, your Merced correspondent.

RV PARK: The Lakes RV & Golf Resort – We are paying $55 for a full-service, 50 amp campsite. Good, free wifi, swimming pool. They have a relationship with the golf course next door, so rounds can be included in your stay.

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