Category: RV Adventures

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Canadian Road-trip video – Jazzy Re-homing mission

Here’s the video I made documenting the fun road trip to Canada to pick up Jazzy. First off the map of the route

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My Experience at the Canadian Border March 2020

I had originally planned to pick up Jazzy in mid April. I was sure the weather would be right by then and it would give me adequate time to plan a trip of that magnitude. The Covid-19 thing caused everyone to modify their lifestyle and plans and this trip was no exception. I had word that the Canadian Border would be closing down to non-essential travel. I didn’t have the exact date just that it would be happening. Initially I thought I would need to postpone picking up Jazzy for a few months but my co-worker urged me to drop everything and go NOW!! I am so glad he did this. Monday the 16th of March 2020 he gave me the advice. I had to work Tuesday the 17th but I left by Weds the 18th starting late in the afternoon. I was prepared. I had renewed Zulu’s shots just to be safe for the border crossing questions. I had all my documents ready; proof of insurance, road side insurance, proof of payment for Jazzy (I had to pay for her shots before pick up). … I had read of others experiences at t eh border and felt very prepared for any questions or concerns regarding my entry. Coincidentally, I had just accomplished the needed oil change, upgraded my headlights to led, insulated the RV walls and under my bed with bubble-wrap to help keep me warm in the more drastic elements. I was preparing for the trip in April but really, I was already prepared so there was really no reason to not leave at once! The next posting will be my video of the trip it is about 20 minutes long but very fast paced and enjoyable to watch if you have interest in experiencing travelling cross country...

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Why a BLM over a regular camp ground

If you don’t feel like reading, this post is summarised by the 20 sec video at the end. A picture speaks a thousand words a 20 sec video says even more in this case! I spent the last three nights staying in Joshua Tree park at the Indian Cove campground for $20/night. I was fortunate enough to be able to chose my campsite in person versus reserving the unseen online. I don’t know if all the National Parks are arranged like this but basically the plan is to pack you all in as close to your neighbour as possible. I don’t know about you but after paying $30 entrance fee to the park and then $20/night for a camping spot that sports the amenities of a fire ring and a picnic table – no electricity or showers and imaginary privacy well I have to wonder if this actually makes sense. I only had neighbours one night and they seemed like nice enough people but I couldn’t relax outside and enjoy the stars and silence because their party included music and loud talking till late into the night. It was a beautiful park don’t get me wrong, but I guess when I’m paying for a campsite I’d like a better sense of privacy so I can enjoy nature and the experience. The main benefit to a campground over the BLM land is the ability to leave a table and chair out and have a decent sense that it will be there when you return. It is the ability to have a space to call your own for as long as you have the campground reserved. That’s the only real benefit though unless the campground offers showers and electricity too. The BLM style of camping is open space camping. The freedom to...

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Joshua Tree – National Park

I spent a great weekend with family in the Orange County area- Sky and Zulu relaxed and so did I. I wasn’t sure of my destination after my weekend with family until the night before I left. I had been torn between the idea of driving the coast along the Pacific Coast Highway or, since I was already south, heading to Joshua Tree. The news of a landslide in the Big Sur area made me decide to steer clear of the coast for now and make my way to Joshua Tree. I had found a BLM campground via my trusty app, FreeRoam. When I pulled into the BLM campground I found around 15-20 others were already there and that it was overall a busy spot but on the road towards the campground I had found a couple of nice pullout spots so I found my campsite at a more private location not too far from the official BLM campground. Today was spent driving through Joshua Tree Park – stopping along the way at some cool spots. Joshua Tree is the sort of place that you really can’t experience it in a single day. Most of the attractions seem to be at the north side of the park but the drive itself is fun and relaxing. The pass is good for seven days so I intend to make the most of my time here. I drove through a couple of parks to possible consider as a place to spend the night but overall the parks were too popular for me until I drove into Indian Cove. Indian Cove is not accessible from the main road through the park. I had to exit the park and then drive back in through another route just a couple of miles eastward of my exit...

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Headed South..

I’m not good at schedules besides that of holding my job and keeping appointments that might be scheduled. In my off time, I don’t want time schedules. I’m headed to Southern California this trip. No definite plans but trying to get in a couple of family visits. Driving in traffic is monotonous and there is nothing particularly intriguing in the scenery. The time is going slow at the moment. Gas Buddy, the app, is my resource for gas prices and it brought me to Tulare for a decent gas price. Nearby is a sports complex so it’s made a good rest stop for the pooches and myself. I spent last night in Merced, dropping off some tools and books for a good friend and it made a good starting point for the rest of my trip. As usual, I have no specific plans after family just the one day at a time mantra and living in the now!!

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AAA – Rv coverage or the lack there of!! (Sierra’s Road trip day 2 cont’d)

I was up by 7am the next day, (the 1st of November) so as to get my call in to AAA in a timely manner. My goal was to be at the repair shop by noon or 1pm and this seemed very manageable with the idea of over-estimating the time it would take for AAA to respond. I have documented the timeline of my AAA calls and texts. 7:11 AM call #1 to AAA 7:28 AM text from AAA acknowledging receipt of my service request 8:06 AM call from Silver State Towing – (I looked the company up and they were 55 miles away from my location – so a 2 hour window of time for arrival wouldn’t be unrealistic). While I was still on the phone with Silver State Towing the gentleman I was speaking with said that the AAA dispatch had fallen off his screen so AAA would have to re-send it to him 8:31 I call AAA again – they don’t know what is going on and say they will call back 8:56 AM I call AAA again — while I was trying to speak with someone there I received a call from a different AAA 8:58 AM AAA – new call tells me that based on my current location I am covered by Southern CA AAA and not Northern CA AAA. I was not happy at this news. I had driven East from the San Francisco area and if you look at a map of my location it makes absolutely no sense why I would be routed to a Southern California AAA. 9:17 AM call from Southern CA AAA saying they have found a Tow Service that will help me and I should receive help in about 10 hours. Will I accept the time frame……….. I...

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Sierras Road Trip Day 2

I am glad I waited till the daylight hours to continue my Sonora Pass venture. I was truly surrounded by so much beauty. There was also the heart break of seeing that this area had not been immune from the fires. The Donnell Fire left it’s marks on the area. Not much further up the road from the fire evidence was the magnificent beauty found at the Donnell Vista Donnell Vista Views –worth checking out the 360 view above The beauty of doing a trip like this on your own -or with companions such as mine, Sky & Zulu … is that you can completely live on your own schedule. There is no rush to be anywhere. No one to try and meet, no appointments, no commitments other than enjoy the views and the experiences. My Starflyte is not a young RV. She is a 1998 vehicle so has had some years behind her but is a very low mileage vehicle for her age with just over 65000 miles on her now and I’ve put the last 9000 miles on her in the short time she has been in my life. The Sonora Pass is full of some very steep climbs and descents and it wasn’t much further after leaving the Donnell Vista that I started smelling my brakes a bit. My front brakes are still rather new; less than 6000 miles on them but that didn’t make the road any less hard on them. Just as I thought I should investigate more closely, the road with few pullovers, had the most perfect pullover tight in front of me. It almost looked like a runaway truck brake area. Although I didn’t know it at the time I was in fact very close – -I mean very very close to a...

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Sierras Road Trip Day 1

I left the bay area on the 30th of October with the basic plan to head to the Sierras. I had some recommendations from friends on possible routes and places but my attitude as it usually is on these ventures was to just see where I wound up. One of my friends told me how beautiful the Sonora Pass is to drive, so I figured I would aim for that route after dealing with some afternoon traffic and a stop for food I found myself on the Sonora pass around dark. Around 8 in the evening I noticed a decent pullout on the side of the road that looked like a great spot to spend the night. As I let the dogs out for the evening walk and got myself settled in for the night I have to say the lasting impression of the night was the amazing view of the stars and the silence of the night. It was magical! Overnight there were a few cars you could here pass by but it was a quiet and restful night met with another astounding view in the morning of the vast beauty of the mountains and trees around me.

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My dog inspired me to buy an RV!!

My dogs are an integral part of my family and when one of my dogs, Sky, developed a debilitating disease referred to as degenerative mylopathy I had learn to be creative to continue care for her. When the disease reached the point where she could no longer stand or walk on her own her fear of being separated from me was evidenced in perpetual heart-wrenching cries. I could tell these weren’t cries of pain but initially I really had no idea what the solution could be. It finally dawned on me that she needed to be with me as much as possible. When the dogs were younger and I was working the overnight shift I used to bring them to work with me in the back of my covered pickup truck which I had decked out to be a luxurious dog apartment. This solution was fine for the overnight shift since our overnight temperature in the SFBay area averages 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve been working the second shift for the past several years and the weather can get pretty warm in the summer so not suitable in the back of a pickup. As soon as I started bringing the dogs to work with me in the back of the truck in Sky’s semi-incapacitated state everything just started to work out terrifically. I rigged up a camera in the back of the truck so I could check on her status at any given time. Both dogs were quite at home in the truck because it was familiar. Sky had no separation issues now that she knew I was close by. The only thing is, as cool as the Bay Area stays for the most part it is not cool enough to use this solution on a long term basis. I needed...

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