Urban Camping

If you remember from the previous post we had to cut our Casini trip a bit short. This was due to an upcoming surgery for Roxie. She has had leg pain for many years but it had just recently got much worse. So much so that it was impacting her mobility and quality of life. MRI’s and X-Rays found a grade 2 slippage between her L5 and S1 vertebrae. This was impinging on the nerves going to her legs. Hence the leg pain. Surgery was scheduled to fuse L4, L5 and S1 with bone and screws. However, before any surgery, there are many tests and clearances. This is what shortened our trip, but that is OK (I like you a lot).

Her surgery was finally scheduled for 4/22 and she had to be in Fresno at 6am for surgery. That would normally mean we would have to leave Visalia a bit after 5am (ugh). But she also needed a shower cleansing before surgery so that means getting up even earlier (double ugh). The solution? Go camping!

I was already thinking of this solution a few weeks ahead. I checked out the street behind the surgery center, I checked the Fresno codes for parking. It was all set. I knew where I wanted to park and was hoping it was open when we got there.

Roxie also knew from a previous surgery that it is not good for me to sleep in the same room as her as she is convalescing. I snore just a little.

We left the Tuesday night before and parked on the street behind the building. I made sure that I parked the trailer’s tongue right up to a red curb that was near a parking entrance. That way I could ensure that no one could block me in when we had to take her home.

Here is where we parked:

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Roxie’s surgery went well but she had to stay two nights. But this was OK. I could stay there all day in her room but recuse to the trailer so we could both sleep. On the morning of her discharge we hooked up and went home. It worked out very well and no one bothered us at all.

Oh, here is what they did to Roxie’s back:

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Casini Ranch 2015 – Part 2

Monday came around too soon. We had to pack up and head out to our next site. We had to cut this trip short to get Roxie to some MD appointments so she could continue with her back surgery in a bit over a week. When trying to think of a destination I thought of somewhere we had visited before but didn’t stay. The one drawback is that the day was going to be 240 miles to get there. A bit of a long day for us. We started earlier than we normally did, 9am.

We decided to go back down the coast and maybe get a few ocean shots. Here is one:


It was nice and cool there, too bad we couldn’t stay. We followed the Ford Nav unit again for directions. It took us back the same route toward Petaluma and then it got a bit exciting. It took us down a very rural street just to connect to another that took off of the road earlier? Why? That was just a precursor to our fun in Petaluma.

I needed to get some diesel and put some air in the tires of the trailer. We got on 101S north of Petaluma and Gas Buddy showed a station at the next exit. I took it but went the wrong way (W). I got turned around to go east over the freeway but got stuck in an unmarked on ramp that took me NORTH on 101. No! I don’t want to go this way. We had to go almost 3 miles before we could turn around. I paused a bit after the exit and before heading back SOUTH on 101. I used this to find a different station.

The next station was easier to get to. It had diesel and air! Well, almost. I fueled up and had to do some interesting positioning to get the trailer next to the air pump. Previously I had asked the attendant if their air pump was working and he said it was. It wasn’t. They apologized and we pulled out. I then started looking for a tire shop. We drove by a few but there was no way to get the trailer in there. We drove around some downtown, narrow streets and finally found a station that had an air pump.

More fun ensued there. There was only one angle for me to get to the air pump. I came in one exit, had to drive by the store, then back into the pump. Easy peasy. Except there were people going in and out, parking here and there, plus there was the slowest propane truck there filling the stations tank. Roxie eventually got out and asked people not to park where I had to drive through. It took us about 10-15 minutes of waiting until we could get the tires aired up.

Next task was lunch. We really like to eat at local eateries and we tried to this time but were thwarted each time by trying to find a parking spot (50′ long) for us. We gave up and headed down the road and ate at the Carneros Deli. It was very good.

We headed to Vallejo and down through Benicia, Walnut Creek, Livermore and eventually to I5 southbound. Yes leaving the nice cool weather. Where were we heading?

Mercey Hot Springs. We visited them, along with some Airstreamers, during our Valentine’s Day trip.

We really like hot springs of any kind so this seemed like a natural. It was nice to coming on a Monday as they weren’t busy at all. The only bad part was it was SOOO windy. There was a wind warning all the time we were there and gusts were up to 40mph!

The hot springs has a warm swimming pool. The main attraction are the tubs. Essentially plastered, concrete tubs. There is a hot and cold hose where you can adjust the temperature. We never used the cold. At night the wind would calm down and it was much more enjoyable. In the dark, in a hot water tub, looking up at the numerous stars in the sky. It was very nice and relaxing.

They have 2 Airstreams that you can rent on site but we took one of the full hookup spots. The full hookups were technically $15/night but that was on top of the per person daily charge. They say the location is off grid and they use solar and a generator to provide electricity. Therefore they don’t want usage of any electric heaters or air conditioners. However microwave use was OK.

Here are some pictures of our spot:

We didn’t want to leave but knew life was waiting, just for a bit.