Saturday, January 7, 2017


That about says it all concerning yesterday's trip to Southern California.  I really try not to moan and groan, but this trip was a GROANER!!  My plan was to stay in my favorite orange orchard Friday night, followed up by a four hour drive to my destination, the Walmart parking lot where the Golden Spike Group meets up.

First thing in the morning, I checked the weather to find it had drastically changed.  The only no-rain day was Friday, meaning if I didn't want to get caught in a mammoth snow storm over Tehachapi, or massive flooding in the valley, I needed to get going NOW!!  When I found this little guy, I thought he would bring me good luck.  I gently placed him on the horse trailer tire.  Apparently he didn't like it.
As I threw stuff in the motorhome, I smelled something funny, but couldn't figure out what it was.  I quickly discovered the seal on the toilet had let all the water drain out.  YIKES!!  I spent 15 minutes messing with it until I finally got it fixed.  Still, there was a funny smell.

The dogs were none too happy to get thrown in on the bed, already covered with the last of the necessities from the house.  No time to put anything away, let's get going.
With forecasts of 9-12 inches of rain (YIKES) and major flooding in the valley, especially around Tehachapi, I figured I better hot foot it over the mountains.  There will be no fresh oranges for breakfast this trip.  I called and cancelled the reservation.  Since I never heard back, I imagine my credit card got charged anyway.

About half way to Bakersfield, I hit a rest stop to let the puppies out.  Cooper was his usual crazy self, thinking he was going to be left.  After calming him down, I headed out the exit.  Uh Oh!!!  What happened to my cameras?  I can't see behind me!  YIKES!!  I'm already on the on-ramp!!  Guess I'll have to do the old fashioned drive-with-my-mirrors-only routine.  

I started pushing buttons on the display.  I never turn it off or adjust anything, so I've no idea what those funny markings mean.  Finally it snapped on ... thank goodness!!!  Apparently when Cooper was jumping around, he touched the OFF button.  

Now about to head over the mountains, I saw some of the damage from the night before.  Pretty hard to see here, because my camera battery was snugly nestled in the charger on the wall instead of in the camera where it belonged.  It's much harder to take pictures with my phone.  Anyway, see that light patch in the hills?  That's where the mountain fell off into the stream below (now a raging river) that overflowed downstream and wiped out the farmland on both sides of the highway.  YIKES!!
That's when I saw the DENSE FOG sign.  Fog?  It's beautiful and sunny!!  Turns out I was wrong as this huge bank of fog or clouds rolled over the highway.  YIKES again!!!  Luckily I made it through.  What ELSE is going to happen?  I still have four hours of driving!!
The rest of the trip went swimmingly ... not really.  At the last minute, I couldn't decide between staying at Walmart for TWO days or Spotlight 29 Casino.  Suddenly it dawned on me ... I'm a Captain!!  I can stay at the fairgrounds!!  I called ahead, pretty short notice, but they said COME ON IN!!

I know you're not supposed to use your phones when driving any more.  Someone needs to tell the truckers!!  I came very close to getting run over at about this spot on the freeway.  I saw the truck coming up behind me, so I moved over to the right lane so he could pass on the left.  As I looked in shock and horror, he wasn't moving over and was coming up on me FAST!!  I floorboarded it!!  DOUBLE YIKES!!  HEY DUDE I'm screaming to no one and everyone!!  

Just before I crashed into the guy in front of me, and just before the trucker crashed into ME, he hit the brakes and swerved all over the road.  Apparently he had his cruise control on and wasn't paying any attention to traffic ... maybe on the phone or maybe asleep!!  That was enough to wake me up!!
I got to the fairgrounds safely and got parked with no problems.  That's when I finally decided to sniff out that smell.  The bad news is I apparently have a leak by the passenger bedroom slide.  Down on my hands and knees on the floor, I discovered the carpet to be wet.  YIKES!!  Not only that, but it's been there long enough to have a horrible mold smell.  It was so bad I couldn't sleep last night at all.  NOW what do I do??

I think I'm still under my extended warranty, I'll check that out today.  In the meantime, I've got two fans running in the bedroom, and this morning after my neighbor is up and about, I'll turn on the back heat to full blast.  The even worse news is that I will now smell like mold for the rest of this trip, since my clothes sucked up every molecule they could.  

To add insult to injury, I discovered this morning I was in such a hurry to leave that I didn't put paper under Jonathan's cage.  You know what that means!  YIKES!!  Nervous birds become poop-a-lots and I have a big mess to clean!!  

So all in all, this really could have been a better trip.  All I can say is I'm alive and almost well and the temperatures this week are to be in the 70's.  YIKES!!  Did I bring any shorts???


  1. About ten years ago I was rear-ended on the freeway going 65+ while driving a Toyota Highlander...hit by an old (1970's) Chevy Truck. Guy was returning from the VA in Little Rock, doctor had given him a new medication, and he was reading the bottle. I saw him at the last second, floored it (I was going 60) and nearly got out of his way. It was like the old bumper cars except for the speed. Tried to get the Highway Patrol guy to give him just a warning ticket, but he said he had to give him a ticket, but he would give him the lightest violation. Felt bad for the old Korean War Veteran. But it sure gives me the shivers anytime anyone comes up on me real fast.

    1. When people drive, they should only be paying attention to the road!! My friends always say I never wave ... it's because I don't see them. I'm watching traffic!!!

  2. Glad you got out of town in before the weather closed in.

  3. Armand Hammer baking soda for rugs comes in 2 flavors but try to eat them It will smell like spring time
    Sounds like a typical highway driving day

    1. I tried the soda. It was on the floor for about 6 hours before I vacuumed. Carpet appears to be dry, but there is still quite the lingering smell. I'll try the soda again. Thank you for the remedy.

  4. Please get your wet area checked soon. Black mold or any mold is not good for your health. You might pull up a bit of the carpet & see how bad it is underneath it. Over the summer, my husband fixed a bulge on the side of our motorhome. He ended up taking the siding clear down to the insulation, replacing some of had black mold, and then redoing about a quarter of the backend. Blew the last of our summer camping out the window, but at least it's fixed.
    Liz-Boise, ID

    1. Yikes!! I'm glad you found that Liz! I will definitely have it checked out. As of now, it smells much better ... at least I was able to sleep ... except for that big generator that lives next to us!!