Arriving in California

Many of you have reached out to ask if we are still alive. Yes, we are still alive! Yes, I realize I am behind on the blog.  Thank you for pointing that out!  🙂

I’ve been helping a friend with a project, trying to collect all my information for tax season and checking out local sights.I have also started working on a book to help newbies thinking about jettisoning their old lives and hitting the road.  I have a lot of content from the blog that can go into that book, but a lot of material that I haven’t yet written down and I want to capture it before I forget it.

Sadly, amazingly, unbelievably we are dealing with the ridiculous reality that we can be outside one of the largest cities in the USA at a super-expensive RV resort and still can’t get working WiFi or cell data.

Sometimes the WiFi works, by which I mean it works for 20 seconds after toggling WiFi on and off.  But only in the very early morning or very late at night, and only when it feels like working.  Generally, it is completely nonfunctional. We get one bar of AT&T and Verizon works but is very slow. Geez.  You’d think we were still in the boonies in Vermont!

Of all the things that surprised me after setting out on this adventure, the near-contstant challenge of getting data access has been at or near the top of the list.  It is just something you take for granted when you live in a sticks-and-bricks residence and have your own dedicated data connection.

The other crazy thing is that changing addresses and residence states has completely screwed up a lot of the records for tax season. Apparently they were sent to my old residence but the mail forwarding for that has long expired. So I’m having to track down all the online sources to get the tax records.  Which would be easier if I had a master list of every company that wanted to send me financial information.

Turns out, there are always a few out there – like retirement funds – that send a tax document even though there isn’t any tax due on those funds.  I’m getting closer.

Anyway, the drive from Yuma to San Diego was relatively uneventful aside from the nearly 70 miles of road -construction-single-lane-travel and severe winds/high-profile vehicle warnings. We tried to make a mad dash between two storms. We thought we could time our departure for a break between wind blasts but instead we managed to set out into the worst of the wind.

That’s the hard part with trying to “time” the weather. We delayed our departure from Yuma a day already so we just decided to go for it. Driving in those single lanes with massive blasts of wind hitting us was a little hairy!

Fortunately, the wind was mostly a headwind which dropped our fuel economy but didn’t push us sideways much.  That wasn’t continually true though, and we fought some pretty severe sidewinds at times. Because I’m back on the iPhone I’m having the fricken image rotation issues with WordPress.  If this image looks sideways let me know.  The only fix is to delete the photo I uploaded and use the WordPress app on the iPhone to re-upload it.

#painintheass. #wordpresssucks When we got to San Diego, we had fine sand blown into every nook and cranny in our MoHo.Fortunately our MoHo has a plastic clear bra on the front or most of the paint would have LITERALLY been sandblasted right off the bus.

This section of the interstate runs right along the international border with Mexico in several places.  At closest approach the border is only a few hundred yards from the highway.  In this stretch a wall has already been built and it runs along the road for miles.  There isn’t much out here, just a lot of open and empty terrain. The drive from Yuma is pretty flat about 2/3 of the way and then BOOM – mountains!  The good news was that when we reached the mountains, the blowing sand stopped.

Believe it or not, SNOW was forecast on the high mountain passes near San Diego.  Now I have been to San Diego many times before and I never appreciated that there were tall mountains so close to the city!  Especially mountains that get snow!

This mountain crossing is tough. Every few miles is a pull out with a water spigot and a big sign about radiator water fillup.  Apparently, climbing from sea level to 8,000 feet in a short period of time in the summer when temperatures approach 120 degrees is tough on the vehicle cooling systems.

Fortunately we had no such issues with the temperature. I was sure happy to have our diesel on this stretch. We had adequate power on the way up, and used a lot of the engine brake on the way down the other side. Much of the mountain area looks like nothing I have seen before.  The mountains resemble huge piles of rubble with boulders and rocks just stacked upon each other. Driving through this area is really interesting but it sure creates a feeling that one gentle earth tremor would have thousands of those boulders shaking down onto the roadway!

It was kind of weird coming back into the state after being gone for so long, and visiting it now as tourists instead of residents. Heather and I spent so much time on the East Cost we still feel like that’s our home area!

As we closed in on San Diego, Southern California traffic welcomed us.  California traffic is both easier and harder to manage in the Moho than traffic in other places.  It is easier because drivers in California are more courteous than in other states and generally will let us change lanes or merge.  It is harder because California drivers drive FAST.

Speed limits on the Texas interstates may be 80mph, but nowhere outside Cali have I seen city traffic driving that fast.  And unfortunately, in California motor homes towing are limited to 55mph.  This means there is a 25-30mph speed differential between us and the rest of the traffic and that is difficult to deal with.

I would bet California 55mph speed limit for towing causes more accidents than it prevents. Somebody probably has that data.

We pulled into the campground which is located alongside a very nice marina.  After we parked, we did a quick walk around and enjoyed the view of all the boats!

Leave a Reply