8/14/14 - Barstow to Big Bear RV Park|
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We thought the RV park at which we stayed in Holbrook, NM ("OK RV Park") was really something - and it was, but we had a big surprise in store for us!
But it was a challenge to arrive there! The traffic out of Holbrook was mostly semi and big trucks, but as we drove farther west, the traffic seemed to spread out, and Kathleen was able to keep her eyes open for much of the travel along I-40.
Years ago we took I-40 and kept asking one another why in the world we selected I-40? The roadway itself was in tatters, or should we say, holes and bumps? Today we passed miles where road crews were out fixing the road and much of the road on which we traveled this time was much improved from our previous trip on I-40.
Hurray! I-40 has needed this repair work for years! Even some of the bridges have been replaced, so we did not mind the stops and goes necessitated by the many groups of "road workers."
Though we drove past a sign that read "Rock Removal" and sure enough! Looks as though there was serious rock slide here!
As we drove farther west, we saw more signs of "historic Route 66" We've visited many parts of the famous route 66 over the years. We hope that perhaps someday the entire route will be redone so one can actually cross the country all on route 66.
Kathleen thinks it would be a great idea to make a renovated route 66 a cross country bike trail - sans cars and/or trucks (perhaps something like "Rails to Trails.") Hikers and bikers only!!!
Should that ever come to pass, she is ready for another cross-country ride - maybe to celebrate her 90th!
We've been totally spoiled by all the good weather we have enjoyed on this trip. Only lovely weather, some great cloud formations and sunny days have been ours.
Kathleen does have one "complaint." It has to do with her Motorola phone. It usually takes time for the phone to download, then it goes along nicely providing us with directions on going from point A to point B.
However, for some reason or other, it seems that the phone (using it's apps) locates our destination, maps out how to get there, even distance and time from point A to point B - but once in a rare while, Navigation gets confused. Today was one of those confusing days. (There are times when one's intelligence ought to over-ride the suggestions of Navigation. Maybe we learned that this day!)
We left Holbrook fairly early, and the distance from there to Kingman AZ was short, and there were a few sights along the way that were interesting to us. The final 30 miles or so outside of Kingman, Navigation lost her way ..... K worked with the phone and was finally able to find herself "connected"!
Message and map showed us driving west on I-40, with directions to leave the highway at exit 66, then turn LEFT to the RV park. K checked the navigation map many times in the last 20 miles. Get off at exit 66 and turn Left.
So we exited I-40 at exit 66, and K was so interested in following navigation's directions she failed to see (in bright bold signs)- the directions to the RV Park. Make a RIGHT TURN!!! The park was within 100 yards of exit 66 - on the RIGHT!!! But the turn was negotiated (to the left) and we both realized it was not a Left turn, but a right turn we ought to have made.
We found ourselves at the end of a road. Nowhere in which to turn around. Shall we unhook and see if we can get turned around? Didn't look promising. Paul got out and surveyed the area. Nothing too encouraging; but there was another road on our left and it was paved. Surely it went somewhere! We took the road and hoped, as we drove along that it was a frontage road and we'd be back on I-40 in short order.
Unhappily for us, we came to a rise in the road where a sign along the road advised motorists that here the pavement ends, and there's only a dead end in a few feet. Paul quickly negotiated a right turn onto a dirt road. It was apparent that this dirt road would take us nowhere.
We stopped and unhooked there on the dirt road. The Element apart from the rig MIGHT allow the rig to make a turn, with enough forwards and backwards moves. "Why not drive forward to that gate entrance to see if you can negotiate a turn there?"
"Don't want to go on people's property..." "Dogs are already barking." "I'll drive the Element back to where the pavement ends and you stay here with the rig." (Guess who said that?)
So Paul drove the Element off to where the pavement ends and K stayed with the rig - actually looking for some beautiful rocks (this would have been a spot where our friend Howard might have found some rocks for his "collection.") Kathleen continued her search for nice looking rocks when eventually, here came Paul and a stranger.
The fellow on the ATV owned the house close to the RV. He introduced himself as Ron Nyberg and he suggested that Paul pull into his yard that would enable Paul to drive around Ron's house and reach the gate where he would be able to make a right turn on the dirt road and then a quick trip to tonight's destination - Blake Ranch & RV park!
But first, Ron invited us to take a tour of his Alpaca ranch!
Ron is a breeder and salesman for all things Alpaca.
It was evident that Ron knows all about these animals, and he has quite a few animals in residence.
He told us about the kind of alpacas he has, how they create a real "family" in the herd.
Some of the younger animals know all the animals on the farm, and recognize not only mothers, but grandmothers and great grandmothers (Ron said they even knew and recognized great great grandmothers.) His four or five dogs protect the herd and are amazing dogs themselves. They were friendly, too! They seem tired or disinterested in the photo - perhaps they are camera shy?
After our tour of the animals we went into Ron's store where he sells all thing manufactured from the alpacas - rugs, sweaters, sox, stuffed animals, etc We purchased a pair of sox for Paul, since Ron gave such a glowing account of the benefits of wearing alpaca socks!
We finally bade Ron "goodbye and thanks" and while Paul drove the motor home to the RV park, Kathleen followed in the Honda. It was such a short, easy trip - we wondered how ever it was that we missed the turn; yet our error turned out to be such a satisfying and learning encounter with Ron and his animal family!
Blake Ranch & RV Resort
This is a place for regular travelers like ourselves, but it is also a place for owners and their horses.
The "horse section" of the resort is off to one side, and is very attractive and perfect for overnight (or longer) horse owners and their horses. It is a park that can easily handle large groups.
The woman in the attractive, well stocked office and grocery store was like an old friend! She gave a verbal rundown of the facilities and welcomed us warmly.
Our site was plenty long and wide for our big RV and "toad", and we enjoyed privacy as well as some great views of the surrounding hills.
The grounds are manicured and reflect lots of loving care by the workers. Later in the afternoon K took advantage of the invitation offered by the woman in the office. "These showers are not your regular run-of-the-mill showers." How true she was! Each shower was in a room composed of commode, sink and shower - in pristine condition. The shower boasted of a beautiful curtain that showed two horses. (Our granddaughters, Caroline, Ellen, Catie and Becky would LOVE them!) The shower area was all tile and immaculate. On the shower wall hung a liquid soap dispenser! It was really first class! So of course, Paul was encouraged to avail himself of a shower, too. His report was not as glowing as K's, but he gave it high marks!
A bit of unfortunate news. Yesterday we noticed a good sized "nick" in the front windshield (passenger side) and to stop the spreading of the cracks, Kathleen applied "crazy glue" and hoped that would prevent any further cracking. However, as we drove a new crack appeared, and it was running "up" the windshield. So more crazy glue tonight - and we hope it will not get any worse. A call to "R Mechanic" in Livermore will be made to have the windowpane replaced.
These things happened, and we have 2 other nicks that have not resulted in cracks. Perhaps this was a larger stone/rock and hit with more velocity than happened with the two nicks. We actually heard the rock hit, but at the same moment, Paul's hat, keys and wallet hit the floor and made a noise. We believed the noise came from them dropping - and didn't even notice the new window nick until we parked at Blake Ranch & RV Resort. Here are our nicks!
Early evening we finished the last of the Sockeye salmon we purchased the other day. And if I do say so myself, it was delicious. For us, we like our salmon lightly done. Sometimes I can cook it just right, and others, it is too overcooked for us. Tonight's was perfect!
As we finished our dinner, Paul received a message on his cell phone. A weather alert - "possible flooding in the area...." Oh great! But perhaps the storm will move on and we will not experience any flooding. So far on this long summer of 2014 journey that we have been on, fortunately, we have managed to miss any "bad" weather. So we'll see if our luck holds out.
When we awoke the following morning, we could not detect any unusual amount of water on the ground, and the sky was looking good!
We did harbor wishes of prolonging our stay in this delightful spot, but the idea that we are really close to California (and family) called louder than the beauty of this area.
A few miles west on I-40 was our final fuel-up stop. The first place at which we stopped had a long line of semi trucks and RVs that ran out onto the road! There was yet another place Paul knew of, so we headed for that, hoping it would not be too crowded. Hummm are they giving away free diesel? What is this run on diesel? We didn't know, but ten or so more miles west, we found the place for us. It was busy, but not the long lines at the first place. So we filled up with diesel and were on our way to California!
We recalled the many tains motorists see along I-40, and we have not been disappointed this time. We ought to have counted them, but their number "is legion!"
We had reservations for the night at a place we visited several years ago. It is an older park, and has some full time residents but has room for a number of overnight guests.
The owners here were remembered as being helpful and friendly. They have been in the business for years. The directions to The Shady Lane RV Park in Barstow was not easy for K to follow. In fact, in all our years of motor homing, this was the first time she was completely unable to help.
First time we were here, we came in from another direction - but happy to report, Paul flew by the seat of his pants and brought us there safe and sound.
We were met at the gate when we pulled in, and before we even got out of the rig, the woman owner greeted us - told us to park and settle in then come to the office to sign in! Her partner was right there in his golf cart and offered to take us to our site. "We have a very long rig this time,"
Paul told him, "and I don't think I can manage to turn into that spot." "Well, no problem, brother! Just follow me." He drove us all around the park, out onto the road and back on the park grounds, and sure enough! He got us to where all Paul had to do was to pull into the site! What helpful folks they are!
Here he points out to Paul the workings of the pedestal.
During the night our power shut off. Don't know what caused it. (If it's not one thing; it's another.) Our goal for today is a park just next to CA-99, outside the tiny town of Arvin. We like going through Arvin rather than tackling the traffic through Bakersfield.
So we left Barstow and headed west on old highway 58. We don't know if this is a private residence or what. There are two gates ... one for "In"
and the other for "Out" ... we don't know.
Look at what we passed literally in the middle of nowhere!
Crossing the Tehachapis is usually something we're fond of.
Not today. Paul felt a big rig on his tail for much of the way up and down the mountain, and therefore he maintained a speed much to the dislike, fear and concern of K. Why don't I go in the back of the rig and not "watch"? Then I would really worry about what is going on, and have tried it with no positive results. Suffice it to say we made it safely from Barstow to this park right next to CA-99.
Since the distance from Barstow is quite short, we reached "Big Bear RV Park" early, and we have had time to unlax (as the saying goes.) K checked out the laundry room and showers and will take a picure for posting. Everything is clean as a whistle and are inviting. K will make aother visit down there before the day ends!
Tomorrow we plan on driving up I-5 to our final overnight stop of this long trip: Harris Ranch.
One Comment on: 8/14/14 - Barstow to Big Bear RV Park
- kittykat Says:
19-Aug-14, 07:45 AM
|see - you never really get "lost" without directions. :) sounds like some fun times. |