La Quinta, California: We woke to damp misty fog in Eugene early Wednesday morning. It was only 60 degrees - an absolute shocker from the 111° temperatures from two days ago. The Magna Peregrinus was delivered to Premier RV Services at 8 o'clock. They will store our bus and have the brake pads replaced. We will return to fetch the bus, attend another track meet, and our goddaughter's wedding mid-August. A lot of travel in our future. While waiting for the service-order to be written, I met RVGoddess Heads in the parking area, getting ready to take delivery of a gorgeous Country Coach Affinity (the fanciest motorhome Country Coach produced). Enjoy your new ride - so nice to meet you!
Our car was absolutely jam-packed with goods. Dave was genius, using his best Tetris skills (I know for a fact he has never played Tetris) to cram most everything we had brought for a six-week trip in the car, yet still leaving an opening down the center so he could see out the rearview mirror. Boxes, bins, bags, a cooler, clothing on hangers covered in garbage bags. We were classy! We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies... if the Beverly Hillbillies had Louis Vuitton luggage.
We hadn't gone 100 miles down I-5 when we received the bad news about our motorhome brakes: here was a crack in the rotor on one of the tag axles. The bad news came with good news: Jim at Premier RV Services convinced the brake shop in Eugene to take our RV in tomorrow to begin the job.
Now we wait.
I had made sandwiches for our lunch, and they were enjoyed (in 15 minutes) at a the Randolph Collier rest area (exit 786). This is a pretty little spot, along the Klamath River, with many shady picnic tables.
The first forest fire was spotted south of Weed, burning east - but very close to town:
Phone-photo taken through the window. There was virtually NO SNOW on Mt. Shasta and the water level in Lake Shasta is sad.
Another huge plume of smoke filled the sky as we neared Lake Shasta:
The closer we came to the smoke, we realized it was right on the freeway!
We could see flames right next to the shoulder. Cars were slowing, fire trucks were spraying water, sirens were screaming. Such a dangerous situation. Later, we learned the north-bound traffic had been halted. I am not a firefighter, and I do not play one on TV, but this fire did not generate from the road. It started east of the road, and had burned down to the road.
At 5p, we pulled into Gina and Brother Steve's shady driveway. Gina had an icy cold bottle of rosé wine for Dave, and an icy cold martini for me. They served teriyaki chicken, steamed rice, grilled zucchini and scallions, sunomono salad, and Ambrosia melon. Everything except the chicken and rice came from their massive garden.
Gina and Steve live on 10 acres in the Sierra foothills. It is always perfectly maintained and they grow most of their vegetables and fruit - citrus, apples, peaches, plums, figs. The property has several massive boulders, and there are traces of other people living/traveling-through previously - as holes have been carved into the boulders from people grinding acorns.
The view from their living room:
A peaceful pond. Well, not exactly peaceful in the middle of the night when a bullfrog began showing off.
We hit the highway early the next morning, flying down I-5. Just before we reached The Grapevine we stopped for lunch at In-N-Out. I allow myself one stop per year at this famous burger joint, but due to the pandemic, I was several years behind schedule. Double-Double anyone?
This burger - prepared when ordered - is only $3.45. Dave had his with raw onions; I opted for grilled onions.
Traffic continued to move quickly until we hit the Los Angeles metro area and we traveled at 10-20mph for over an hour around Pasadena. No accidents. No stalled cars. Nothing to impede movement, but movement was certainly impeded. We arrived home one hour after our navigation system said we would. Liar.
But we were home! Safe! After nearly a month away, it was good to be back. Maricela had taken great care of our house and our house had been cleaned. What a great welcome. Dinner was a salad made from Gina's produce, we had a swim in our 98-degree pool and fell into blissful sleep.
Until my next update, I remain, your home-again correspondent.