Updated on December 23, 1999.
We started November at our base camp at Jojoba Hills. I volunteered to help paint the ranch house Tuesday morning, and then talked to the group at JHUG (Jojoba Hills [computer] Users Group) about what kind of computer to use in an RV that afternoon. Had some good discussions.
Work was brisk at the resort. A volunteer group decided to repair one of the ponds that had gone dry because water kept draining into the ground below. They made arrangements to line the pond with plastic. This is some of the work as it was going on. There is always something to talk about around the place.
I began in earnest to prepare the Jojoba Hills web page. After the JHUG meeting a group of us had a discussion on the web site and decided to go with our own domain name. I spent some time working on the basic web page and reviewed it with Marcia Hormel so she can continue work on it while I am out of the park. I started the process of getting a domain name.
Saturday and Sunday were the 10th birthday celebrations for Jojoba Hills. There was a caliopie and beer and wine on Saturday and a full pork barbeque Sunday night. We had a great time, but left a little early to get ready to travel north the next day.
I had done much of the packing the night before, so it did not take long at all before I had the trailer hitched and we were ready to roll on our trip north. It felt funny pulling the trailer again.
This time we left a lot of weight in the shed. We remembered most of the routine for getting ready to travel, but forgot some things. Being settled for six weeks was such a strange experience.
It took only a short time before I was back into form on driving while pulling the trailer. The narrow turns and up and down of CA-79 brings it all back very quickly. Once we were on I-215 the miles rolled away as we headed north. There was a little mist, and I had to run the wipers intermittantly, but the traffic was all calm and not too crowded.
Once we got onto I-15 above San Bernadino the clouds started breaking up and we saw blue sky. The rig seemed to have more power as we climbed up to Cajon Pass. We caught US-395 and headed directly north to Kramer's Junction. Then it was west on CA-58 through Mojave and over to Bakersfield. We tried to find a place to eat just before Bakersfield but there was nothing convenient.
Once we were on US-99 and headed north, I started looking for the Flying-J we had been to before. We finally found it and I pulled in to get fuel and have some lunch. They have only one pump available for RVs, so we had to wait for almost 30 minutes. I said at the time I won't go back to that Flying-J. We had lunch there and it was nothing to write home about either.
Finally we drove into Hanford and set up at the Fairgrounds. We visited with my sister Rosemary then went to see Dr. Gavini for my checkup the next morning. He said I should lose weight.
It was foggy Wednesday morning, but I drove over to the Outpatient Center to let them draw blood for my blood tests. Very quick and efficient. Then it was back to eat breakfast and pack up for travel.
By the time we hit the road, shortly after 9am, the fog had burned off. The drive across CA-198 to I-5 then north on the interstate went smoothly. We turned west on CA-152 to go over Pacheco Pass then down to CA-156 into Hollister. The road is all familiar now so there were no surprises.
We pulled into the TTN park and registered. The rest of the Diablo Caravaners was scheduled to join us in section I. There were a number of good sites and there were some of the giant sycamores scattered around the area. It would be a good outing.
After setting up the trailer and having lunch, I started to work on updating the webpages. I made some good progress, but not enough to post anything for the time being.
Thursday we drove into Hollister and did our shopping. We found a Subway for lunch -- it is still one of the best fast food places for us to get a good meal.
Friday the members of the club started to arrive. We helped them find places and made sure everyone was settled in. The TTN park was having a spaghetti feed that night, so all who had arrived in time headed over to the Family Lodge for a really good meal. There were a couple of rigs that arrived later in the evening, but by midnight we had everyone in their places.
Saturday morning was the traditional breakfast. Since the weather was so nice and it was quite a distance to the Adult Lodge which was our meeting room, we decided to cook breakfast next to the rigs this time. Vern got everything set up then the two "master" cooks, Kenny and Gene, arrived to do their part. They are finally beginning to do a good job of cooking bacon; now if they could only master eggs.
But we had a really great time and breakfast in the campground was a nice change.
That evening we had our potluck dinner at the Adult Lodge. It was really good to see old friends again and to enjoy a meal together.
Then it was Sunday morning again, and everyone but us started packing up to return home. It was a funny feeling. We were already home and had nowhere to go at the moment. Some of the folks were envious of us because we didn't have to go to work the next morning, and we assured them that the retired RV life was great indeed.
The next couple of days were spent working on webpages and novel and newsletters. We just took it easy.
Wednesday we too packed up and headed out on our way north to Lakee Minden TTN Park. That would be our base camp as we prepared to go through the Thanksgiving season. It was also close to daughter Deb's place so we could go into town and spend more time on the Internet and visit with her.
Alice's birthday was the 20th, on Saturday. One of her requests was for a new vacuum for the trailer. We started searching the stores for one that would be acceptable. We got some ideas but did not complete the plan until several weeks later. We did purchase a CD-writer for the computers.
Saturday night we had a delightful dinner with Deb and our friends Doug and Lynn Fairchild at the Great Dynasty in Sacramento.
One Monday we had dental appointments with Dr. Ward. We both passed our exams!! Good brushing!! We then went to lunch with Tom and Nancy Charlesworth, friends from several years past. Nancy is fighting illness but is doing well. Tom is still playing keyboard and playing remote engineer for a company in New Hampshire. Tom used to work for me, one of the best at Exlog. When we departed that company, I used to make him at least one offer a year to come join me at SBE. Alice and I wished them both much luck and success in the future.
Thursday morning we picked up Deb and headed for Martinez for Thanksgiving dinner with our son Mike, his wife Gail, and the three kids: Jeremiah, Matthew, and Becca. Jeremiah has grown to six feet!! What a surprise. Also there were Gail's parents, Vi and Ed Munch. We had a great time, and as always, ate too much.
We drove back to Sacramento that night and on Friday did some last minute shopping. It was about time to head south.
Saturday morning we rigged for travel and headed out. Our first stop was at the Kings County Fairgrounds, 225 miles down the road. We just stayed one night and said hello to family at supper. This time I fueled up at the Beacon station. The price of diesel there had risen to $1.359, but it was still 20 cents cheaper than other places around.
Sunday morning we were up and traveling 197 miles south to Soledad Canyon TTN Park near Acton. I had decided I did not want to drive along I-15 on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. All those people in Los Angeles who had gone to Las Vegas would be heading home.
We made the trip in good time and settled in at the park. I was able to collect email.
The next morning we headed off for Jojoba Hills. It was a quiet Monday morning drive, and by the time we were into the San Bernadino area, the freeways were relatively clear. We made good time into Temecula and this time turned off on Rancho California to avoid the road construction on CA79 South. The trip was 153 miles over the same old roads.
It is getting easier to find the right place to park on our lot at Jojoba Hills. It did not take more than 30 minutes to be fully set up.
After checking around I found there had been little done on the website, so it was time to knuckle down and get it all together. The target for having it up was December 15.