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Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Last Post……..For Now.

“My final frontier” day on the road…..Star date 2010…..oops that's Star Trek,even though it might seem that I’m spaced out at times.

Yesterday,after finding that fellow blogger Ivan had sneaked up on me.(sure hope there’s no hit man out looking for me)I seem easy to find.I did all my morning duties in preparation for leaving then gave a rap on Ivan's side wall to wake him and a rap came right back immediately and out he came.


We had a nice first visit for just over an hour,discussing many things in a short time.I must say I was impressed with his I-phone and what it can do.He has ordered a satellite internet system like mine also,so he will be well equipped for “in real time” blogging.

The morning sun was melting the frost off the windshield by 9am,so I headed for the nearby Wal-mart for some final goodies,then on the road for the final 2 hours to home.

The day was warming up nicely as I travelled north.Here is a scene taken in Washington State of the local farmland near Sumas and the mountains of BC in the background…..I can smell home.


A quick stop to gas up in Sumas and feed some money into my Bank of America account for next time, since the rate is good right now…..NOW THE BORDER……Shades of last year swept over me….keep your cool Willy and play nice……A short wait of 5 minutes and I had my spiel down pat.I told the young lady in the booth that I had $1400. to declare, of which just under $1000. was emergency repairs and I would like a concession for that like their website states.

She asked the nature of the emergency,so I told of my Mexico experience.While doing this along comes another agent who overheard me and started asking questions about Mexico.It seems in a few days he is off on a bus tour of Mexico for a month,taking him through many of the areas that I travelled.He was so excited having this conversation,he was almost jumping up and down.I figured…Hey! I going to get out of here no problem…..not…..The young lady handed me that famous little yellow slip of paper and said to go inside…..I though…here we go again,the big search of both vehicles.

But to my surprise the fellow inside just glanced at my receipts asked a couple of questions then said…….Goodbye..I was out the door like Speedy Gonzales and headed for home.

12 noon and I pass through the gates of Tapadera Estates with a big sigh of relief that I got my little trailer back home safe and sound and didn't have to abandon her on the side of a Mexican highway,which was a thought that was very clear for awhile back in January.


All tucked in next to my Park Model home.The afternoon temperature rose to 55 degrees and the sun felt really hot in the back yard as I set up my satellite dish.I see the lawn is due for a first cutting and flowers are up.Everything is several weeks ahead this year,with the bushes leafing out and many blossoms.In fact I didn't really see any big difference in spring growth all the way from California to home.Or temperature either, as yesterday was warmer than 2 days before in Redding California.

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So here I am finally sitting in my easy chair,with a cool one.


Looking out at the little trailer I called home for 4 months,(except we mustn't forget the week and a half in the NO TELL-MOTEL) and watching the big screen TV and looking at the pile of mail I have to go through.


So as I said last time,when Wandering Willy isn’t wandering,he’s not blogging,so this will be the last for awhile.

I've picked up a lot of followers this winter and really appreciate the response’s I received from many people.I guess all the grief I ran into from killer bee attacks to axles breaking,did make good blogging fodder,and as reader Charles stated in an E-mail,trying to second guess what I was going to do next to get myself out of the predicaments was entertainment in itself.  He even suggested taking up a pool to send me to Newfoundland this summer,just so I could blog about it.He said the advertising dollar would be better spent than using TV adds.

I will continue to follow my fellow bloggers through their travels and add the odd comment.More time to read others for a change as there are some great blogs out there.

You will see my blog popping up on their lists when I start again,so keep a watch and thanks again to all.    By the way…I’m really just called Bill….Willy’s just a handle.Only my mother calls me Willy,always has….And my dad always called me Sam………Go figure.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Right Back Where I Started Last Halloween Night.


Back in my #13 cubby hole at Tulalip Casino in Marysville Washington….See,I take the nice little back-ins and leave the pull-through spots to the others.This is a nice place,parking lot camping but its the right price and convenient.

Its quite a large complex.


The drive up from Oregon was a little better weather wise than the day before. I set out from Pass Creek park at 7:15 with exactly the same temperature as the day before at Rolling Hills California,45 degrees and foggy,finally breaking out into the nice sunlight just before Portland.

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And yes dear daughter Kim,taking photo’s out the window at 60 miles per is dumb,just like texting,but that’s why the photo’s are not very good because I don't aim.

Downtown Portland,going over the bridge at 60.


And crossing the Columbia River into Washington State.


A rest area just north of Vancouver Washington.Warming up into the 50’s now.


I must mention again about my little experiment with using my Bank of America debit card for purchasing gas,which was the main reason for getting the account.I touched on this in my blog last fall as I was travelling south…….well,its been a bit of a failure as many of the stations require a zip # rather than the pin # and I’ve tried the zip for the area that the bank card was Issued and I have tried the little trick of adding the appropriate 0’s and 1’s to my own postal code,that others have had success with,and have come up with zilch.

Its surprising that some stations don't require any more than just swiping the card,no pin nothing,others require a pin and that's fine.But when the zip request comes up,nothing works.yesterday in 2 Shell stations,one in each state,I ended up in the slurpy line up to use the card inside,where it does work.Some uniformity would really be nice.I don't have this problem anywhere that I have travelled in Canada,using my debit card.

Coming into Tacoma in the early PM with the “Tacoma Dome roof ahead in the first shot and the downtown in the 2nd.

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And now the BIG SMOKE,Seattle and we go right down the gut.With Safeco Field to the left,and the home of the Seahawks to the right.The roof seems to be retracted.

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I find this 60 mph run right downtown in the early pm,to be really easy.Everyone is either at work or in the suburbs.


I remember as a kid that little pointy roofed building on the far left was the tallest.I think its the newspaper building.

20 minutes later I was here at the Casino and setting up in the warm 55 degree sunshine,2 1/2 hours from home.

It is now Friday morning,yes 4 a.m and I’ve been working on this blog for the past hour.When I first booted up the laptop this morning,I had an E-mail from a fellow blogger who I’ve never met but have been in E-mail contact with for a couple of months now.His name is Ivan and he lives in Alberta.Here is his blog… ……I knew he was going back down south for another month and was heading this way.He tried to make a connection with me,but I didn't think it was possible because he left Alberta yesterday when I was leaving central Oregon,and I didn’t think he could make it this far in a day pulling a 5th wheel……..Well..I wake up this morning to an E-mail with this picture attached.

photo Hey Willy,I’m parked beside you.Wake me up in the morning so we can have a coffee and a visit…….Can you believe that………What a guy!

In the comments section Sam and Donna asked about the hits and where I see them coming from.Its just on the “Sitemeter”just sign up for it and there are several selections you can make to see the traffic.

And I see my Chinese friend is back.The first time I thought it was a joke but this time I ran it through the Google translator and there was a message…!……I’m wondering if its my friend Joseph in Burnaby who has the site next to mine at Tapadera,Estates.

Welcome to several new followers this past couple of weeks.I check all your blogs if you have them.There are some real creative people out there in blogosphere.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pass Creek County Park…Curtin Oregon


We discovered this soggy little gem of a park last year at this time,so being a creature of habit,I even took the same site since I had plenty of choices.$20. a night with full hookups and all the goose crap you can step in,(It has a small lake) I like it, as its just the right driving distance from Rolling Hills and from Tulalip Casino,Marysville Washington.Its close to I-5,like 150 yards,so its convenient. (Exit 163)if any of you are interested.I find that I arrive at 7 Feathers Casino too early coming north and (7F)is a bit far for one day coming south,so this is just right.Going north it takes me through Portland just after the morning rush and Seattle just before the afternoon rush.

Now back to yesterdays drive…..A bit of a mixed bag as I left Rolling Hills at 7AM along with a few of my trucker friends,and within a few minutes on the road was greeted with my first flashing sign.(I-5 CLOSED 10 MILES NORTH OF REDDING)…(TUNE IN TO AM 1060)Well the radio station didn't say anymore except mention other roads with chain restrictions.

I knew we had heavy rains overnight and figured that snow might be a problem in the higher altitudes but figured it would be melting by late morning as the highs were predicted to be in the 40’s up there.

So I pulled into Redding and gassed up,then searched out a supermarket to buy a few goodies,since I had some time to kill.I found a “Rayle’s” Supermarket and a deep dish apple pie on sale that is to die for.Almost matches the Julian Pie from last year.

When I returned to the trailer,the radio was no longer repeating the same thing about the road,now they where saying that trucks must stop and be checked,so I took off hoping for the best because I don't carry chains.When they want you to chain up the trailer too….That's too much,I’d rather wait things out.Going back 100 miles to highway 20 to the coast,was also a bit much at this point.

All went well as I rolled along with the other traffic over the Lake Shasta bridge,then as we climbed I started watching my “on board temperature read out” start to drop from the 45 at Redding,into the 30’s…Soon we started to pick up snow on the side of the road.


Then we encountered plows clearing the heavy slush.Its good to see they don't fool around on these Interstates,as they have to keep the trucking community on the move.

By the time we reached the turn off to the town of Mount Shasta,and about as high as you go in this area,the temperature had reached 32 and the slush was a little slippery.


Then came the freezing rain, snow fall,and fog.


Time for a break….And a stop at the Weed Rest Area.


I always found in past years in this area,that the southern end of this high country stretch of California,was usually the worst…And again I was right because just a few miles north of the rest area on this high plateau,things improved.


It is at a bit of a lower altitude but seems to be a drier climate.The final climb over the Siskiyou Summit,(4300)was bare and wet,so the only way you can go now is down through the fog and rain to Medford.

Finally another stop,this time for lunch,at the rest area just north of Grants Pass.


Now we have 50 degree temperatures,nice Arbutus trees,and Robins running around in the grass.The next 2 hours were a combination of clouds and showers,then as I approached this park for the night,of course it has to start raining hard,and it seems I now have a front window leak….Oh goodie!

Thanks for all the comments yesterday…Just to reply to a few..Croft,yes we used to visit the Olive Pit quite regularly when we used to stay at the RV Park across the road in Corning.Marlene used to love olives but I’m not a fan.

I keep checking the axle and so far so good.Also watching for any unusual tire wear.

Gypsy..Yes I would like to spend some time in Sacramento,it sounds like an interesting city by your description.I wondered about that Oriental looking building.

Rick…I will put the Buffet into my memory banks for next time.Didn’t get past the convenience store this time,you know,a six pack and an apple turnover….No that wasn’t supper.

Al…..What can I say…..always a clown.

Ivan….I replied to your E-mail.

So one more full days travel and through the heart of 2 large cities.I stopped using the bypasses several years ago as they seem too time consuming. I know many of you take this route every year and know it well…..You know..(Been there…done that….bought the Tee shirt)..but for many who have not,I hope you find my little travel blog interesting.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rolling Hills Casino…Corning California.

Well,that’s day 2 under my belt.I always like to get into these places early and pick a corner spot with some shrubbery and no one at least on one side of me.That way no one blocks my satellite dish.


There is an RV Park associated with this Casino,but I,along with several other cheapskates,prefer the big truck parking lanes and the wonderful price…0..:)


As you can see its a pretty big area.The RV park is located behind those trucks in the distance.

The day yesterday was a dreary,cool day starting out with miles and miles of the same kind of farming country scenery like this.


It rained most of the day and sometimes it was heavy,although I did see some bright sunny periods.The temperature hovered in the mid 50’s to low 60’s.

The blossoms and wild flowers were in abundance most of the way.

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In fact those wild flowers stretched for miles and miles,mostly orange and yellow in color but a few purples are in the mix.I remember this last year and still wondered what they all were.And no not California Poppies,too small…..I think?

A lunch break in cold Lodi at the Taco Bell,a yearly stop.Running from truck to the Bell in the cold rain made me realize I’m getting back to winter so I better get used to it.The party is over.

Its here in Lodi where I cross over to I-5 for the rest of my northward journey,as highway 12 on the crossover is also the start of an alternate route to the coast just north of Frisco if it is needed due to foul weather in the high country.

Next is one of my favorite towns,only because I grew up through my teen years, listening to radio station KFBK,and knew Sacramento like it was a second home.It was the only station I could get most of the time on my radio, high in the mountain valley in BC, where we lived,so I knew much about the city.I faithfully followed their baseball team,the Solons,and liked listening to the late night call-in music show called,”Stan’s Private Line”…..Oh memories!

These photo’s are for you Gypsy,since I know you are headed here.Too bad it was such a  dreary,rainy day.

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Some day I’ll get off the freeway and have a better look at this city of over 400,000.I love some of the downtown architecture.Too bad all I could do in the heavy traffic was point the camera and hope for the best.


Some of the more unique buildings escaped this shot….Picked up the raindrops on the windshield though….Had to co-ordinate the shots between swipes of the wipers and watch where I was driving at the same time.Not an easy task, and one day all of this is going to get me into trouble.

Further north and more blossoms.


I arrived at the Casino around 2PM,early enough to select a good spot and set up before the next big downpour arrived.And that I did,but a big one got me later anyway when I wasn’t looking,and it was like someone poured a bucket of water over me in a matter of seconds as I was out filling the generator and had my back to its approach.

Oh well!…This isn’t the desert Dorothy,and it isn't Kansas either.


Today will hopefully take me over the Siskiyou mountains(4000ft)and down into southern Oregon,and with the rain that's pouring down right now at near 4am,I hope that snow in the high country is not in the forecast…..See you down the road…..Or is that up the road?…Oh well,one or the other.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pixley California….Not Far From Petty Coat Junction.

Some of you will get the humor in that title….First off I want to say that this is about to be a dual blog where two blogs come together,just like those TV shows where the characters from one show take part in the story line on another show.(This can only be done today or it will be out of sync.)

Please go to this link-- Travels With The Bayfield Bunch …and my days story starts there as I prepare to leave Borrego Springs yesterday morning.Shhhhh! Al doesn't know that he’s helping me with my blog today.If the link for any reason doesn't work,you will find it on my side bar.

So now that you have seen my departure,we will carry on….With an early start I was able to pass through the Palm Springs area fairly early with the 8AM temps reaching a pleasant 70 degrees….All photo’s with windshield bugs included,are free today.

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You can see all the windmills at the valley entrance.


Its been a few years since I’ve taken this route as I usually go north through the back roads onto the Mojave Desert,as I dislike all the traffic around San Bernardino.Actually the 215 through the outskirts of San B. has improved since last time and I quickly found myself connecting to I-15 (the LA-to-Vegas highway.) I call it “Going up the hill to Victorville”.You can see the other lanes of traffic coming down,off in the distance


Its quite a climb that goes to 4000ft in a short but smooth run.Then finally we are up onto the Mojave desert.It was nice to see no big temperature change this time and gratefully no wind today as it can get pretty violent at times.The second shot below is looking down toward Kramer Junction where we pick up highway 58 west to Bakersfield.

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I noticed that the popular rest area at Boron is still closed after more than a year now.At first I thought they were do renovations but it looks like a budget cut situation.Too bad for travelers because it was a popular short or overnight stop in the past.

The next quick out the window shot is of the Mojave airport with all the passenger aircraft doing some storage duty.You can see more wind generators in the distance as we are getting ready to climb out of the Mojave desert and go through Tehachapi Pass saying goodbye to the desert southwest for another year.


Here is the pass and a final look at the desert.

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Now we are in a changing landscape as we approach the town of Tehachapi,and prepare to drop down 4000ft into California’s big central valley at Bakersfield.You start to notice the green hills with the oak and pine trees.

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I stopped for a lunch break at the bottom of the hill,and looked back from “whence I’d come.” And this is it,looking back toward Tehachapi,high in those hills.


Early PM and a quick run through “Buck Owensville”better known as Bakersfield and I was on bumpy,sometimes broken up,highway 99 heading north.This is usually where I jog over a few miles to my favorite State park,(Col. Allensworth) but because of budget cuts its only open for vehicles on the weekends,so I must search out an alternative.

About 40 miles north and getting tired,I spotted a sign for the Pixley RV Resort and decided that at 1:30 Pm,I’ve had enough driving for one day and I had reached my necessary distance quota for the day.


I got in before the hoard of northbound snowbirds arrived to surround me.At $25. for full hookups,this will do fine as there will be a couple of free nights coming up at the Casinos before this trip is over…..And hey! The temperature is still in the 70’s.Note blossoms on the trees.

Finally I want to again thank Al and Kelly of  “The Bayfield Bunch”for putting up with me for a day and a half.It was an enjoyable visit.Its strange how you can know people that you have never met,just by reading their blog,and I had you guys pegged pretty well except Al you are not that gruff character you like to portray.You are a big old pussycat.And Kelly,I found you even more open and friendly then I expected.It was a pleasure spending time with you guys,thanks again.