Updated on February 29, 2000
The first day of the new year was somewhat foggy, normal for the Sacramento valley. It warmed up as the day went on. One by one the members of the family rose and faced the new century. We walked around the camp and greeted those who had risen. It seemed like the same old century -- there wasn't very much different.
We spent the morning talking and enjoying each other and watching bits of the parades. Then shortly after noon, Michael and his family started packing up their tent-trailer to head home. As always, they had a busy schedule waiting for them back in Martinez. We said our goodbyes and they headed home.
I had a chance to talk with JC more extensively. He was sounding discouraged about the Air Force. He had made Lt. Colonel but he said he did not see enough future to stay beyond twenty years -- about three and a half years from now. We talked about what he might do. Based on my personal experience I suggested he not become an entreprenuer, he probably knew too much to be good at it.
Deb spent the night again and then JC stayed another day. We started running out of things to talk about. Finally on the 3rd JC and family headed back north to Washington. Deb finally had a chance to come and spend another night with us without competition. We had another good talk.
Tuesday morning we broke camp and headed back south. The first leg of the trip took us as far as Hanford for another night in the fairgrounds. We compared notes with my sister Rosemary and hiusband Everett. They too were ready for some peace and quiet.
Wednesday morning we headed on down to southern California to our base camp at Jojoba Hills. We settled back in and I started talking with people about the upcoming election for the Board of Directors. I had agreed to run for a seat, and there were plans to be made. At the time, there seemed to be a reasonable chance I would be elected.
There were several social functions at Jojoba, including a candidates social at which the membership had a chance to meet all the candidates and ask them questions. We also went on a tour of the Getty Museum in LA and had dinner at a HomeTown Buffet in Long Beach. It was a nice trip with our neighbors.
Along the way Alice and I talked about what kind of second RV we should get. It appeared there would not be much time to take the Automate out, and it certainly was an effort to rig it for travel. We agreed a small fifth-wheel made the most sense.
On Friday the 14th we happened to be in Temecula doing some shopping and decided to stop at one of the RV sales lots. There we came across a 26 foot Alpenlite made in 1993. As I looked it over it became more and more apparent that the original owner had taken very good care of it and equipped it for boondocking and fast travel. It had a full set of solar panels, a special water tank for drinking water, an extra spare time, and good locks on all the doors inside. When I asked about the price, it appeared it might be in the range we wanted. After much talking and kicking the tires, I made an offer and they said it would probably be a go -- the trailer was on consignment and they had to check with the owner.
We finally heard on Monday that we had bought ourselves a second rig. They needed to finish cleaning it up, and we wanted to take delivery in Arizona because we planned to register the trailer in Texas. The target date for doing this was the following weekend, sometime around 1/23.
The rest of the week was very busy. I went to the opthamologist and got a new perscription for glasses. We took a bus tour to Palm Springs for the Follies. We drove back to Palm Desert for Alice's appointment with her cardiologist and then back to Temecula for her mammogram.
Then we got the word that the planned driver for getting the trailer to Ehrenberg, AZ had a conflict, so we made other arrangements to get the trailer to Ehrenberg on Sunday and meet the sales representative there to take delivery. We scurried around to get everything packed so we could head out Sunday morning.
Sunday morning we left early for Ehrenberg. We took CA371 through Anza to CA74, the headed over and down the mountain into Palm Desert. By now the road was familiar, but I still wasn't too sure about how the road would work for an RV. As it turns out, it is a fine road and so long as you take it easy, there is no problem.
Once we made it onto I-10 the drive to Ehrenberg was smooth. Within three hours we were about to cross the Colorado River and take the first exit at the Flying J. We got a call from the driver we were to meet at that time and he said he would be out front of the service area to give us directions. Every thing went according to plan, and we soon settled down inside the coffee shop to wait for the notary that had to notarize the transfer.
When those details were finished, we parted company and Alice and I headed off to meet fellow Jojobans just the other side of Quartzsite. The directions were good, and the CoPilot helped, so we were soon there and set up on the rocky desert.
There were eight other rigs from Jojoba Hills, and it was a merry crew. Alice and I spent three nights there, and we didn't even bother to drive into town. It was certainly a time for relaxing. But we did find out that the batteries in Little AL (as we were now calling the Alpenlite) were not so strong as we had thought, and we were low on power by the time we awakened the third morning. The sun was just too low in the horizon. But we made it.
We left Quartzsite and headed over to the Palm Springs TTN Park, a distance of 127 miles. It was an easy drive. We found a nice spot amongst the date palms and settled in. Then we went out for lunch at the Red Robin.
We visited with Michael and Janet and took them out to an exhorbinant supper and had a delightful time. Both really gave me a hard time about running for the Board of Directors and worked very hard to convince me to give it up. They had a lot of good advice.
The next day I worked with Michael to find out why he was having trouble with the computerized test I had set up for him. We found it was a basic operator error, and soon the test was running properly.
Then on Sunday, the 30th, Alice and I and Wolf drove back over to Jojoba Hills, leaving Little AL parked at the TTN park, for the Candidates Question and Answer session. The session was interesting, and I appeared to satisfy several people with my answers to the questions. We spent the night in the Automate and returned to Palm Desert the next day. Finally the first month was over.