In the beginning of this year, before we knew what 2020 had in store for the world, we had a six month plan of action. We left the Arizona desert, went to southern California, traveled up the central coast, and crossed in to the central valley with plans on heading north. That’s where we were when our world changed.

Now we are reversing that path. We came down to the central valley from Oregon, and are currently heading to the central coast before we head back to the deserts and into Arizona. Perhaps this path will become routine and we will officially declare ourselves snowbirds. Something I never anticipated. But right now, with so much uncertainty ahead of us, a familiar routine doesn’t sound like the worst thing.

In any case, we are on the move again. Thank goodness the Elk’s Lodge was open for us to stay which is where we landed for a week. Time spent visiting with family and friends was wonderful. And it gave me a chance to catch up on my business and start a project of getting my mother’s stories posted to YouTube while spending time visiting with her in Tulare.

While in Tulare I drove by the house where my kids mostly grew up and hardly recognized it!
The current owners have done a great job of modernizing it.

We had quite a scare while at the Elk’s, and I believe it was a miracle that nothing bad happened. We were staying in for the day (rather than out and about visiting as usual) and Tom said he noticed a burning smell. We sniffed around and couldn’t find anything wrong. His nose persisted in warning him, so he took a cruise around the outside of the RV, opening all the basement hatches. When he opened the last one, he saw flames coming out of a socket! He quickly pulled out the cord that was plugged in, and the flames stopped. I figure our rig was just minutes away from burning down. Thank God we were home to detect it, and thank goodness for Tom’s nose and intuition. Turns out it was our block heater that’s been plugged in since our purchase, but we were not aware of the corded connection.

Tom replaced the receptacle (with a GFI outlet) and we don’t have a block heater anymore – which is okay because we never plan on being anywhere cold enough to have to use it. We’re so thankful nothing bad happened – but it sure could have!

Leaving the central valley we headed to the sunshine of the central coast. Again we were able to stay in the familiar Elk’s Lodge in Oceano – and we fit in the crowded lot with our larger RV.

We did our familiar walks on the beaches and ate at familiar restaurants.

We also did some new exploring while there.

It never ceases to amaze me that there is so much more to see besides the places we’ve always known about. This trip we made our first visit to the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve to walk among the “ancient oak forest”. A magical fairy-type setting that was just off the highway – I’m sure we’ve driven by it dozens of times. A great llittle hike for late in the day. I was thinking what an amazing place it would be for a photo shoot for the fairies, and I hope to re-visit some springtime when it might not look as dried out.

We are making our way southeast to spend Thanksgiving in the Mohave, but on our way we had time for a quick visit with our friends the Santanas who have been camp-hosting at Lake Cachuma . In their off hours, we visited and played games, and while they worked, we went on bike rides around the beautifully-blue lake.

We were able to dog-sit for them while they attended a hospital visit with Pam’s mom. We were also there for Ray’s birthday. It’s always so great to meet up with great friends and fellow travelers.

Now we move on to the desert to finally put our boondocking capabilities in the new rig to the test. While we aren’t covering much new ground, it is nice to be on the move again. And the fact that we’re re-visiting familiar areas makes it a lot less stressful on our trip planner (which would be Tom).

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy