roger May 16th, 2013
We like to get away when we can but Roxie’s schedule makes it tough to do on the spur of the moment. When I saw this I figured it was a good time to go. And we did. Off to the Monterey area, technically Marina Dunes RV Park. Cooler weather, the coast, a bunch of Airstreams, getting away from the grind, what else could we want?
We had reservations to be there Thursday through Sunday. We were thinking of just going over on Thursday but another opportunity arose. Our son’s girlfriend was having a birthday dinner in Fresno on Wednesday evening. We thought we would hookup, drive up there, have dinner then head up the road a bit with the Madera WalMart in our sights.
And that is how it all went. Our son said something about the Madera WalMart was in a bad part of town, actually he also said that all of Madera is a bad part of town. We got there and found it not to be true. We parked at the far end of the parking lot. I went and checked with the manager and was given the green light. Here is a rare picture of myself, the next morning with proof! (Roxie insisted that I was in this one):
On our way over to the Monterey area we normally pass through, or by, Los Banos. Who knows what is interesting in Los Banos? The Airstream dealer! Toscanos. We stopped in to look around and I wanted to discuss a few more things with their service department. I also wanted to let them know that my modification to the wardrobe doors seemed to be successful so far.
One of the things that concerns me now that we have a larger trailer are grades. Previously they were not too bothersome but with potentially 3000 more lbs. of weight behind us that is more to get up the hills. I know that the westbound Pacheco Pass is not too bad. There are sections of steep grade but then it levels out for a bit. It is very much broken up into pieces. The truck did fine. I think I got down to 50mph sometimes. The westbound traverse is the really long one but that wasn’t until Sunday.
As we were nearing Hollister it was close to lunch so we thought we would stop for a bite in the trailer. I looked for a city park to pull up by and chow down. We found one at the Dunne Memorial Park. It was much cooler than the valley so eating in the trailer was very comfortable.
We made it to Marina Dunes RV in the early afternoon and backed into our TIGHT spot. Things are a bit more tight now with 6′ more trailer! However a longer trailer is easier to backup. There were a few Airstreamers there already but more would show up on Friday. That evening we took a walk to the beach which was under 1/2 mile away. Here is Roxie looking thoughtfully at the sun:
Friday we decided we would be a bit touristy. It has been a long time we have been to the Monterey Aquarium. The last time we were in this area we did not go. Going on a Friday was nice because the bulk of the visitors were school kids on field trips. We signed up for a behind the scenes tour all about Jellyfish. It was interesting and lengthy. Here are some photos that Roxie took:
We continued the tourist theme by eating at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It was OK. The food was not hot enough for Roxie’s tastes but it was sure nice to sit down!!
By Friday evening all the Airstreams were there, along with one non-Airstream. So we all went around and visited each other. Some were new acquaintances and some old. Here are the photos of all the units:
Saturday was a real day of rest for us. A real rarity. We did, however, make it to the potluck that night for more Airstream camaraderie.
Sunday was the day we dread on a weekend. That means the next day is a work day! After retirement we won’t have to worry about that though (check my countdown at the top right of this page). We took our time getting things ready because we didn’t want to head back to the heat. I thought I might have a few issues getting out of our spot but it was surprisingly easy.
So back on the road. I like to take different routes to and from a destination if I can. However in this instance it would have been a bit more difficult. We could have headed south on 101 and cut across 198. However that stretch of 198 from about King City to Coalinga is not very recommended for a trailer. I know there are some big hills at the west end and sharp curves at the east end of the stretch. So we opted to go back over Pacheco Pass.
As it was on the leg to Marina we were going through Hollister at lunch time so we stopped at the same park but a different spot. Nice and cool in the shade. I also had an ulterior motive for Hollister. Previous to the trip I had located a Car and RV wash there. I thought it would be good to spray off any ocean spray. On Google Streetview it looked like a pretty good spot. Well it was a bit difficult for maneuvering. Once I pulled in I knew I would have to back out on the street to get out. C’est la vie!
After a bit of difficulty to get the spray flowing I was ready to rinse. I wanted to get up as high as possible to get a better angle on the trailer. So I got up on the back bumper of the truck facing the trailer. I put my left foot up on the trailer hitch to get better leverage. I got exactly the opposite. The first thing that happened is my left foot slipped off the jack, this caused me to fall to the left. I caught my left foot on the equalizer bar. Whew! That made my right foot slip off the bumper so now I was falling to the right! This time I caught myself on the right equalizer bar. Double whew! Oops, not done yet! Now my left foot comes off the equalizer bar and I go down to the asphalt on my left side.
It didn’t hurt other than being embarrassing and getting my left side all wet. Roxie’s expression was pretty funny. She had this look of helplessness. I got up and assessed myself and all seemed to be fine. I never let go of the sprayer all the way down, trying to spare the trailer any damage. I was wrong on both counts. A few days later my thumb looked like this:
The trailer did not come out unscathed either:
The rest of the trip was uneventful. I will leave you with a shot of the entire rig at a rest area:
Where will the next trip take us? I know but am not saying, right now.