After nine weeks on the road, you would think our routine for leaving a campsite would be ingrained. Rarely do we forget anything. I wash dishes, breakdown the table, secure the contents of the refrigerator and cabinets, stow the laptop, latch the bathroom and shower doors, close any open vents or windows, and then double and triple check to make sure I didn’t miss something. JT dumps the holding tanks, cleans the toilet, stows the camp stove and table, folds up the outdoor mat, raises the stabilizer jacks, and coils up the electrical cord and water hoses.
Usually, Jon fills the black tank full of clean water and flushes three or four times to clean it out. He runs in and out of the trailer twenty times or more checking to see if the tank filled enough to flush out the yuck in the black tank. This was not the case when we prepared to leave San Diego. He hadn’t been around for what seemed like fifteen minutes. Then I heard water running, a whole lot of water, spilling over the toilet edge, in a waterfall, onto the floor, into the heater vent, under the sink cabinet, and seeping into the bedroom carpet. “Flood, flood. Where are you?”
JT rushed to turn off the water and open the dump valve while I flung towels on the floor. Instead of leaving by our noon checkout time, I sat in the laundromat watching towels go round and round in the dryer. It was bad enough cleaning up a flood because the trailer had a leak, but to cause a flood. Grrrr! Good thing our faux pas occurred on the fourth flush of the tank and not the first.
We hit the road about 1:30 p.m., just enough time to make it to Yucaipa before they closed. Barely thirty miles out of San Diego on Interstate 15, we heard a noise that sounded like we ran over something, except the trailer didn’t buck the truck like it does when hitting a pothole or going over speed bumps. Did the spare tire fall off the back of the trailer? Jon put on the flashers and pulled the rig over. The spare was in place. Everything seemed okay and then we noticed the treadless tire on the rear passenger-side of the trailer and the section behind the wheel to the bumper that had curled up on itself. Five tire failures in one year. What were the odds?
We limped into the nearest town, Escondido, and found a parking lot at a Mexican restaurant where Jon could change the tire. After lunch at the restaurant, we drove to the nearest Discount Tire Co. store to ensure the spare and the rest of the tires had sufficient air.
Too late to make it to Yucaipa, we stopped at Pechanga Casino and RV Resort for the night. I had heard casino RV spots were reasonably priced so I didn’t expect the $50 rate for a pull-through deluxe site. Then again, the sites were nice. They offered plenty of amenities such as a pool, clean bathrooms, and a shuttle to the casino, if one was inclined to flip their pockets inside out and donate their cash to the reservation.
Journey’s Inn was a perfect place for breakfast the next morning, a reward for our troubles of the day before. The rock covered walls, large windows overlooking the golf course, and the hills in the background, along with a tasty breakfast, soothed our worries away.
Pechanga is in the middle of a $285 million expansion which will include an additional 568 rooms, a 70,000 square foot spa, convention space, pool complex, and two new food and beverage outlets. The completion of the expansion is expected by the end of 2017.
We continued on to Yucaipa Regional Park, arriving by 11:00 a.m., which allowed us time to have our pick of spots. A friend Jon has known since grade school came for dinner and they enjoyed sitting at the picnic table and catching up on their lives.
The next day, my friend and her husband picked us up for lunch, and a drive to the Oak Glen Preserve and Southern California Montane Botanic Garden, a Wildlands Conservancy. We followed the trail around the garden grounds and rested at the Discovery Center. The following photos were taken during a previous visit to the preserve during the fall.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every picture taken turned out perfect? This is definitely not the case for me. Where the heck did that water bottle come from and why do Jon and I look like we’re sitting on kindergarten chairs? One of these days, I’ll remember to check the foreground and background for distracting objects, and the placement of people.
On Friday, March 17, 2017, we headed for Sky River RV in Paso Robles so they could repair the damage from the tire failure. Loaded up with what trailer contents would fit in the truck, we drove home with memories of all we had seen swirling in our heads and sadness in our hearts that our Winter 2017 trip had ended.
- Number of Nights – 65
- Total Miles Driven – 7,285
- Miles Pulling Fifth Wheel – 4,596
- Diesel Fuel – 583 Gallons
- RV Parks/Campgrounds – 22
- States – 4
Until next time, safe travels.