Week One – Kickoff
Aah! It feels good to be back on the road exploring these great United States. Between heart surgery and recovery for me, and sciatic nerve pain for Jon, we were ready to roll.
We pointed at the landscape that zoomed by as we left the Bay Area. “Look over there,” I said. “The hills were still green in the Tri-Valley. At the Altamont Pass they turned the color of a teddy bear.” Further on, the fruit and nut trees along Interstate 5 had already leafed out, and newly planted crops painted the San Joaquin Valley floor in patchwork fashion.
We stopped for the night at our favorite way station in Bakersfield, the Orange Grove RV Park. Dove calls, the chip-chip-chip of quail, and the trilling and singing of other birds welcomed us to the grove. Sure, we have birds in the Bay Area, but the abundance of birds nestled in the orange trees was like a chorus.
Guests are allowed to pick the fruit when in season so long as they don’t use ladders or climb in the trees.
It seems like we are seeing more and more solar panels in use where ever we go.
The next day, we continued oohing and aahing over the landscape. The sage, bristlebush, creosote, Joshua trees, and grasses colored the desert terrain green. Even yellow mustard still bloomed in the higher elevations.
A train of black tankers with double engines at the head, mid-train, and rear worked its way through Tehachapi pass. We wanted to know what the tankers held, where they were going, and where they began their journey. Our curiosity and taste for adventure returned quickly after the nine-month absence.
Lake Havasu City (LHC) came next so we could say hey to my sister Merri. Unfortunately, she had to work so we didn’t get to spend much time together during our three nights there. A breakfast meet-up at The Red Onion downtown and a quick goodbye at her place of business would have to suffice. We’ll have to make sure our next visit coincides with her days off.
One day while in LHC, Jon and I walked along the channel south of the London Bridge.
We stopped in at Kokomo. A refreshing Mai Tai and a slice or two of pizza was the perfect snack.
Then we wandered about before making our way back to Rotary Park. It was a good thing the walkway included plenty of benches to sit and take a break in the shade. After almost a week of very little sciatica, Jon had trouble walking without pain for more than a few yards. We discussed turning back home, but he would not hear of it so we pressed on.
The weather forecast for May 19 predicted a high wind advisory for the state of Arizona and rain the next day in Cortez, Colorado, where we had reservations. We decided to skedaddle and called Cortez/Mesa Verde KOA for early arrival.
But before we left LHC, we stopped in to say goodbye to my Merri.
We made an overnight stay in Tuba City, Arizona, at the Quality Inn and RV park, and a quick stop at Four Corners Monument the next day.
Then we arrived safe and sound at the KOA.
Our decision to arrive early turned out perfect. Snuggled in our fifth wheel on Monday, May 20, we gazed out at RVers arriving, not in the rain as forecast, but in the snow. The freak storm surprised the park operators as much as it did us. Accuweather.com sure got it wrong. It wasn’t until late in the day the app actually acknowledged that snow had fallen.
The snow stopped after about four hours. I zipped up my jacket, pulled on my knit cap, and slung my new Sony A6500 around my neck. I needed some quality time with my new camera. The smaller form factor and weight was my goal for purchasing new gear. A bonus was the 5-axis in camera stabilization. I wasn’t sure I’d like going mirrorless. But so far I’m quite pleased with the lighter weight and stabilization. I rarely use a tripod and have noticed an improvement in the sharpness of my photos. Editing the raw images also seems easier and quicker.
For the past few days, we’ve stayed close to camp because of the weather, but also because of the return of Jon’s sciatica. The week before we left on this trip, Jon’s pain had eased considerably with physical therapy and exercises. After being on the road for a few days, the beast struck again. His walks of a 1/2 mile to a mile have reduced to a few steps. Will acupuncture give him some relief? “I’m ready to try anything at this point,” Jon answered.
Stay tuned for the results and a little bit about Mesa Verde National Park, if we’re lucky.
13 thoughts on “Late Spring 2019 Tour”
Linda, great photos with your new Sony. The views were like being there. Happy travels to you and Jon.
Great photos with your new camera. Looking forward to Mesa Verde.
I was thinking of you, Judy, when I took some of the photos. There’s a couple that would make challenging jigsaw puzzles.
What a variety of experiences in a short time. Glad you made it to the Four Corners monument. Mesa Verde is awesome. Nice to see your sister too.
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Happy to see you on the road again, Linda! Hope Jon finds relief for his sciatica.
Thanks. Me to.
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The ‘Ice on a branch’ shot is a classic.
Oh for the days when we could just take off and go like that. Sort of miss them; shorter trips are nice but when you have your own bed with you the longer ones are wonderful.
Lovely pictures. I’ve been so bad about getting my Canon gear out of the travel box, and I have a fortune invested in Canon red line lenses I rarely use anymore, so I don’t see myself switching anytime soon, but maybe at the new place I might just get more ambitious.
Now I know what the both of you look like. 🙂
That outrigger canoe is what I need. I am such a fidgety sitter that I tend to capsize kayaks. Ugh. Tippe Canoe and Peter Too.
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Jon and I tried a double kayak once. It worked about as well as the dance lessons we took. If you can’t synchronize the oars any better than your steps, you end up going no where.
LOL — don’t even bring up dance lessons. I’ve got three left feet and no rhythm! We did have a real canoe and did ok with that but anything tippier and we’re tough out of luck.
Ahh, to glide across the water, or dance floor, together in perfect harmony. Not for us with only left feet.
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