Updated on February 23, 2000
We started December at Jojoba Hills, again sitting on Lot #608. We had a little over two weeks to get things in order before we headed out again.
We collected the mail, and lo and behold, there was a copy of RV Companion magazine along with my first two checks for published articles. It was quite an occasion. It reminded me that I should start on the next installment of the RV Net Links column.
Alice started volunteering at the Jojoba Hills office on the weekends. She enjoyed the interaction, and she amazed the rest of the staff with her 10-key abilities. Seems as we get older we may slow down some, but some skills do remain with us, at least for a while.
A key project for me during this time was building the web page for Jojoba Hills. The basic structure was there but it needed a lot of content. I enlisted a couple more helpers to take photos and write copy for the resort tour. I also started to work on the member lounge area. I informed everyone that the target date for bringing the webpage online was 12/15.
There was a meeting with the election committee. There are nine candidates (including me) for four seats on the Board of Directors. Many people were asking me why I am running, given some of the problems the resort has had with back-biting during the past couple of years. I felt I might be able to help -- someone has to.
Alice and I signed up to go on the bus tour to the Palm Springs Follies. Everyone gathered for the bus trip, then the bus never showed up. It has been rescheduled for January.
As the webpage deadline neared I started pushing for pictures and copy from my helpers on the website. I also announced the site to the membership and asked for feedback. The Board of Directors decided they wanted to review it with me prior to release, so I extended the deadline to the 16th and did the review. I got some great feedback and worked until 1:45 Friday morning to put the final edits into the page and do the upload. It was almost 6 megabytes of html and jpgs. If you want to take a look, it is at http://www.jojobahills.com/. Please sign the guest book.
Friday night the resort had a Feliz Navidad dinner at the clubhouse. As always, I ate too much, but it was so good. Saturday was a day to recover and catch up on shopping. We started getting ready for the trip north for the holidays.
We had watched the Weather Channel on DSS TV the night before, and they kept talking about the predicted winds. We decided to head out for the north a day early. We were up and traveling by 10am. We followed the same route as last time up I-215. We stopped at Kramer's junction for lunch, and Alice remembered why she did not want to have the iced tea -- their water is a bit stronger than the tea.
It was windy driving over to Mojave, but the winds died down as we went over Tehachapi Pass. The valley was hazy, but the drive was pleasant and we made good time.
At Hanford we set up camp in the fairgrounds. We went out for an Italian meal and both ate too much again. On Sunday we visited with my sister Rosemary and her husband Everett and collected email. There were some more corrections for the Jojoba Hills webpage.
I was able to do some organizing on the novel. I hoped to make progress on it in the next few weeks.
About noon on Monday we packed up and headed for Los Banos for our Tuesday appointment at Automate. The drive was smooth. We decided to head over to a different campground, the San Luis Reservoir Campground on CA152 to the west of I-5. It is a very nice campground with a couple of relatively new owners.
The campground had originally been established by the BLM for the building of the reservior. Then it was sold to KOA, then to some other people. It had been run down, but the new owners are really working at fixing it up. They have a petting zoo, and the spaces are wide. I was able to get onto the Internet and check email at the office.
Tuesday morning we headed over to the Automate factory. I presented a list of problems to Ray. He felt he could finish in one day, even though he had to find someone to help figure out how to change the hydraulic lines on the slideouts. Alice and I took the opportunity to go to Wal-Mart and do some exhaustive shopping. When we got back to the factory about 2pm, Ray said he would have the rig ready for travel within the hour. We decided we would head back to Hanford Tuesday afternoon.
We made it back to the fairgrounds shortly after sunset. Then it was a matter of settling in for the rest of the week, and a matter of surviving the family food offerings for another six days before we head further north to Lake Minden TTN. We did some last minute Christmas shopping and played with grand nephews and grand nieces. We even went to Fresno to do some shopping.
I had promised Alice a new vacuum for the trailer for Christmas, but I wanted to have one with a very long hose so we didn't have to carry the canister around so much. We didn't find what we wanted, but we did get some good ideas.
Then it was Christmas morning and time to open all the presents. It was the usual mad scene. The young kids really had a good time. I guess everyone did. Food, food, food. We were stuffed.
The day after Christmas I filled the truck with diesel. The Beacon station on 11th and Grangeville had the best prices around.
We had said our goodbyes the night before, so on Tuesday morning we hitched up and prepared to drive the 245 miles north to Lake Minden TTN park. It was only slightly foggy and by the time we were on CA198 heading west towards I-5 it cleared and was fine the rest of the way. We took I-5 north. I put the truck into cruise control at 55 mph and just relaxed. We stopped at a rest stop for lunch and stretches, then it was moving on.
We went through Sacramento mid-afternoon, so there was no commuter slowdown. Following US99 north, we finally came to Power Line Road and turned off the 3/4 mile to the TTN Park. This was our last stay in TTN for the year, and we still had to pay $10 for five nights. The nights in 2000 would be free, at least in the beginning.
I was surprised to see that the lake was very low. Half the bottom was showing. I later found out they were not pumping water into it for the time being. It was strange to see the egrets and herons wading out in the middle of the lake.
We found a good spot over in Section D with open spots on either side. We expected son JC (David) to arrive on Thursday and son Michael to arrive on Wednesday. JC would be staying in a rental trailer back at the entrance and Michael would be tent-camping near us in Section D. After setting up camp, we called daughter Deb and told her we would meet her at Fry's Electronics in Sacramento that evening. It was time to buy my Christmas present, a CD Writer.
Wednesday we washed clothes and then drove into Yuba City for lunch and to do some shopping. When we returned Michael and his family, Gail and kids Jeremiah, Matthew, and Rebecca, had arrived and set up next to us. I had told Michael about the remote control racetrack, and his boys already had the cars out and had been to the track. They were having fun.
On Thursday we spent some time in the TTN family lodge and the kids had a great time playing pool. I was able to get on the Internet and check things out. That afternoon we headed back to the race track and took Wolf along. At the race track Wolf was very interested in the car, and when it took off around the track, he followed, barking his fool head off. He chased it round and round the track, sometimes catching up and getting ahead and then trying to find some way to keep from being run down. This went on until the batteries in the car ran down, almost 15 minutes. Amazingly, Wolf was still ready to go. I didn't realize he had such big batteries. Of course, we were laughing our heads off the whole time.
Late afternoon we all hopped into Michaels van and drove into Yuba City to find a pizza place. Alice wanted pizza. When we returned to camp, JC, Krista and Ashlea were there. We visited until late in the night -- our trailer was getting crowded.
Then it was New Years Eve, the last day of the century. We all futzed around the campground during the day, playing games and racing remote controlled cars. Later in the day Deborah was able to get off from work and come on up from Sacramento. For the first time in a long time Alice and I had our entire family together. We watched TV and had supper and played games into the evening. Everyone even stayed awake until midnight, and we all welcomed in the New Millenium. Happy New Year, Century, and Millenium from the gathered collection of eleven Pennys to everyone.