Can you imagine what it must have been like to travel by wagon train? We are a society of instant gratification it is hard to imagine spending days, months, even years to get somewhere. While we had planned to take a nice leisurely route down the coast to Southern California. Plans changed and our need for instant gratification (meaning sunshine and flip flop weather) meant a quick 3 day run for the south.
With the sale of the business we were held up in our Bend departure. Of course Mother Nature had not been notified and she was working up some wicked bad weather. We wrapped up at the house, stored the car, turned off the water, turned up the heat and hit the road. Just in time as Bend was hit with 18 inches of snow and they are still digging out. Had we missed our window, we would still be there waiting for better travel weather. Driving this big rig over the pass in snowy, icy conditions is just not something we are willing to do.
Our first day was off to a slow start – even with the delay in departure there were still things to do. I had worked up until the day before and was still packing. Dave was finishing up a few projects on the RV. With a 10am departure we hit the road with the next planned destination of Lake Minden, California.
Lake Minden is a Thousand Trails Park that looked to be a pretty good location (456 miles of travel). With such a late start and a long day, we found ourselves traveling well past sunset. If you can imagine it was rather comical as we are 47 feet long (with Jeep in tow) meandering through small towns, in rush hour and down residential streets in search of our final resting place. We had 2 GPS units going to double check – always a good idea to compare Garmin to Google as they rarely agree. We pulled in late, in the dark and went in search of a good spot. Our full review of the site can be found on Compendium – Like Minden While our marriage is always put the test when we park in the dark, we did find a space and survive the comedy of errors.
In the morning we were able to walk around, find a nice breakfast at the on-site cafe and pack up to start off another long day of driving. Of course we had every intention of not parking in the dark ever again…
So we headed another 372 miles and found ourselves going over the Grapevine during rush hour, in the dark. The nice thing about rush hour is we don’t have to deal with quite so many cars cutting us off. The swearing from Dave is kept to a minimum. We found our next site at Castaic Lake Park. A full review of our campsite can be found here Compendium – Castaic Lake. We had a choice of 3 different areas to park in and just barely squeezed into a site above the lake. There was a small incident of hitting a picnic table (yes parking in the dark is a dangerous sport). But a quick buff and some touch up paint and all will be back to normal.
With so many miles behind us we looked forward to a few days to rest before a quick trip to Orange County where we planned to settle in for a week. Unfortunately the storm we had been running from, caught up with us and we ended up with a very early morning departure to escape the heavy winds whistling down the canyons and tossing us around like a ship at sea.
Early morning means a departure in the dark — are you seeing a crazy pattern here? Oh and did I mention week day Los Angeles traffic. Much fun, many hours (a 2 hour trip was 4 hours) and finally we pulled into beautiful Crystal Cove for the week. All in all we traveled xxx miles in 3 days. We arrived to sunshine, wind and great weather (at least to us). The locals were bundled up in Patagonia jackets as it was below 70 degrees. Having escaped below zero temps we were loving the flip flop weather and quickly headed to the beach…
Orange County Reunions
We spent almost 2 weeks in Orange County between Crystal Cove State Park and O’Neill Regional Park. You can see our campground reviews for both on Crystal Cove and O’Neill Regional Park. We enjoyed both areas for the accessibility and varying activities. But honestly we mostly just caught up with friends and got back in the groove of RV life. In other words just slowing down our pace to enjoy the moments in between.
We also met up with more full timers – Rich and Kath of Trek With Us and Kate and Iain from The Scenic Route. It was busy, fun and a great time. We will definitely swing back through to see everyone again. And this time I won’t wait so long between visits.
Before we could get bored it was off to San Diego for a month on Mission Bay…