We took off around 5:30 Thursday evening. Went up the 5, then headed over to 101 and took that until the 680/580, etc. on to Vacaville.
It was a fabulous trip - I LOVE the way she rides. Very easy, actually more comfortable than my car for a long trip. We stopped at the first rest stop to re-adjust some things, then took off again. The next rest stop was a potty stop for me and Katie. So nice to have my own bathroom!
The plan was to drive until I was tired, then stop and sleep until I was ready to go again. The third stop was a couple of towns south of San Luis Obispo. I saw a Walmart from the freeway and pulled onto the off ramp and drove into their parking lot. It was around midnight, and unfortunately they were closed. There weren't any RVs there, so I wasn't sure if I could park there, but there was a "Park and Ride" lot adjoining Walmart's lot, so I pulled in there. I went back into the RV and there was the dreaded knock on the door.
A very nice security guard said there is no parking at all in that town, nor in the next two up the road, but said the Madonna turnoff had a K-Mart lot where he always saw RVs parked.
Well, I had been up since 5 am that morning, and it was now midnight, I had a sore throat and had lost my voice, and I was a bit tired. But having the window open and talking to him revived me somewhat, and I didn't have a choice, so we got back on the road. We took the Madonna turnoff, but I couldn't find the K-Mart, so we got back on the freeway again.
About an hour later there was another rest stop, and we pulled off there. It was now 1:00 am. Besides being "under the weather" I was really tired by then. I think the Adrenalin was keeping me going, but it was starting to fade. This rest stop was very well lit, clean, about half full of cars and a couple of RVs who were obviously stopped to sleep, so it was perfect.
Katie and I got comfortable up in the bunk in our sleeping bag with a down blanket over that, and we were out in seconds. I slept like a log, and woke up - wide awake - at 5:00 am. So, with only four hours of sleep, we were on the road again. I can't tell you how much fun I was having. It really sounds awful, but it wasn't! I turned on the truck heater, and it worked great. We were toasty in minutes. I had a big thermos of coffee, and the little bit left was still a little warm, so I finished it off.
We stopped for gas a couple of times. Before I left home I put around $75 in the tank to top it off. I stopped twice and put in $100 each time. I'm not exactly sure how big my tank is, either 45 or 55 gallons I think. But I figured out I get exactly 100 miles per 1/4 tank, so I can go 400 miles on a full tank. I haven't figured out my mileage yet, but I will. I think it's around 10 mpg.
I arrived about 10:40 am. Just in time to go with Kristy and Lauren to Lauren's gymnastic class, where she was now doing "flips." That was the big thing, she didn't want to try them before, but now that she can do them, she gets to go to the next class. (It's not a real flip, kind of modified. Using the bars.) I was really glad I got there in time for Lauren's gymnastics class.
We hit a little weather on the trip, but not much, and a little traffic, but not much. That extra HOUR (supposedly) added on to my usual (taking the 5 over the Grapevine) trip of less than 8 hours, was actually 17 hours! Take out the four hours we slept in the rest stop, and I was driving for 13 hours. I have no idea why it took so long. I can usually go 70 to 75 mph on parts of the 5, and I was consistently driving 60, a little 65 mph, so I WAS going slower. But it took an extra 5 hours.
I'm praying for no snow on the Grapevine on the return trip. I know it will probably take me 10 hours minimum in the RV because of the reduced speed, and with a couple of stops for fuel I'll be home Monday in the afternoon. If I leave at 5:00 am on Monday morning, I should be home between 3 and 4.
Katie and I are having a wonderful time. Kristy and Matt and the kids have a new dog, Cody, a little dog that's part Chihuahua like Katie and they are getting along fine. Both dogs love to run, and this is the first friend Katie has had. I got to see Lauren's gymnastic class and Andrew had two back-to-back T-Ball games this afternoon, and he did really well.
Now for the OUCH!:
You know, this is just one of those things that happens. My son told me I was driving the RV really well, the only thing he could see is I was making circular turns like you do in a car, and I needed to make square turns in an RV - drive forward more, then right turn, no rounded turns.
I needed gas, so I drove into a gas station that looked kind of small. I parked by the pump, then got out to fill up, and the nozzle didn't reach the gas intake opening. I should have known then, and driven to the next gas station that had wider gassing-up lanes. But I got back in and drove closer to the pump and further forward, which was not comfortable because I was too close to parked cars and wouldn't be able to drive out forward. But I filled up, got back in, and carefully drove forward, turned the wheel, backed up, and did that a few times until I was sure I could clear the parked cars. Then I turned in a circular motion to drive out and "Crunch." I backed up, another "Crunch" but I was free. I got out to see what the damage was, and I could clearly drive okay, so I went onto the street and pulled over to see what I had done. I had just cut the corner too close, because there was a upside-down U shaped barrier at the corner of the gas tank and I hadn't seen it.
I thought to myself, "That's why they say to get out, walk around the RV and see what's possibly in your way." So, now I can't open the compartment with my batteries in it, but I'll have my son look at it and see what needs to be done. I'll have to order another compartment door, maybe some new decals, and the fiberglass will need repair.
At least it wasnt' too bad - or I don't think it will be.
Andrew and Lauren have been sleeping in The Palms, too. Katie and me in the upper bunk and the two kids on the pull-out couch. It's all very comfortable, and I'm finding I have plenty of room with the four of us, and sometimes my daughter Kristy visits us. The rest of the time, of course, we are in their house, but this has encouraged me that with me and Katie alone, we will have plenty of room.
Tomorrow will be fun. We have lots of things to do, and Kristy and Matt are hosting a dinner tomorrow night. Then early Monday morning I'll wake up and go home. Hope fully over the Grapevine.
From me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone! : )