After leaving Redding California we continued driving South for about 30 min. until we arrived in Corning, California (about 100 miles North of Sacramento). We ended up staying at the Rolling Hills Casino RV park for 2 days since the price was right, and Brandy was ready for a little break from the constant driving. The price for staying at the RV park is $35.00 per night with full hook ups, showers, internet, dog boarding, access to the motel, and lodge swimming pools, and for the younger ones, there is an arcade in the casino with most of the games $0.25 per game play.
If your not familiar with the town of Corning, this town is the biggest producer in the United States for olives, and boy do they have a lot of them. If you are passing by, take a trip to the Olive Pit. This place has 120 different types of olives, some amazing jams, and spreads. Yes, there are free samples on all of there olives also. Once we left, we decided to just keep driving and ended up in the country to a big olive with a toothpick in it. Wasn’t what we were expecting to see out in the middle on nowhere, but these are the things usually found in weird locations. We then turned around until we came across a sign pointing to a state park on the Sacramento River that we decided to check out and found it to be quite interesting. We came back to the RV park, ate lunch, and went swimming. This has been a great adventure to see this town and all of us have learned so much about it… mainly olives. We will be pushing to get to Placerville, Ca. tomorrow to see an old friend of the family. Stay with us as we travel on.
After our wonderful stay at the Seven Feathers resort, we decided to push some miles that day over the Siskiyou mountains to avoid ice and or snow in the early a.m. to land at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California (the biggest olive producer in the U.S.A.). Things were going great, we were making good time, and knew that we would beat the dark by about an hour. Coming into Redding California and BANG!! Lost power steering, and brakes, so I pulled off the next exit to see what happened this time. We ended up blowing the fan belt due to a freeze up. You thought driving one of those smart cars with a blown belt was bad? Try a 1 ton dually with a 35′ 5th wheel with no brakes or power steering. It will sure have you with white knuckles gripping that steering wheel. Since we had no auto parts near by, we ended up calling Good Sam’s Road Side Assistance to have a mobile mechanic fix the issue. Once the issue was fixed, I asked him if he could check to see what his thoughts on the tail lights to the trailer was and then the fun started.
The mechanic changed the fuse and bam, all of the lights were working again. Boy were we happy, but should have known that this wouldn’t last long. Not even a city block away heading out on our way to the casino in the dark the tail lights went out again. We ended up pulling over to find a spot near by since we couldn’t drive without tail lights and ended up finding an RV park 3 miles away right on the Sacramento River. Great! We will use our trusting GPS to show us the way. We plugged in the address and followed the directions. The GPS took us to a mobile home park and called our final destination where 2 cops were at a house taking a call… Are you kidding me!!!! The cops were on the right hand side I turned left, lightly touched the brakes to show there was tail lights on the trailer. After that happened we decided to not only use google maps for directions, but also named the GPS Bob.
We finally found the park and were just relieved to have found it. The park was 42.00 a night, was on the Sacramento River, had tennis courts, and disk golf, with cold water showers. Wasn’t the best, but could have been a lot worst. Brandy always liked the white picket fences, so she got one. We did get 46 TV stations on our antennas for free which was nice, and to have that warmer weather was nice also. Our next blog will be based at the Rolling Hills Casino (where we are right now for a couple days)
I’m trying to catch up on the blog posts tonight of where we are, and what has happened since day one.
As we continued on our adventure on day 2 right outside of Albany Oregon, we decided to stop at the Pioneer Villa Truck Plaza for a bite to eat, and to see about showers. Great food, and your showers are actually in 2 of the Hotel rooms at the comfort Inn across the way. It was different, but did its job.
We then got back on the road driving until we got into the little town of Canyonville, Oregon. We stayed at the Seven Feathers RV resort for the night which so far has been the nicest place that we have stayed at so far. For $50.00 a night you get full hook up, free internet, cable TV, your horseshoe pits, your indoor heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, free showers, laundry, and free shuttle services to the casino. That night, Brandy cooked up some steaks, while the kids and I took off to go swimming. Later on that night I took the kids to the casino to see all of the Christmas lights. As we continue on, I am starting to learn more and more things that can only come from experience. Every day is an adventure that is either good or bad, but no matter what, they always make good stories at the end that are crazy, funny, and just down right stupid that everyone including us can get a smile or good laugh about… Some may just take more time to see the humor then others, but will always end up being a good story. We have been on the road for 3 days now and from what we have experienced has made it seem a life time.
Well, we have made it through night one. We had a late start getting on the road due to tying up loose ends around the area. Since we just threw everything in the 5th wheel without really organizing anything, we decided to stop by the Flying J in Aurora and spend a few hours getting our new home somewhat organized for sleeping and travel. A few hours later we were back on the road but by the time we got to Jefferson Oregon, I bet you will never guess what happened? Yes the trailer taillights went out again!! We turned on the hazards, traveled another 1.5 miles until we got to the rest area to boondock for the night. It wasn’t to bad since before we left I purchased multiple battery operated lights for situations like this. The first full size propane tank didn’t work that I recently purchased from the gas station for our heater so I put in the 2 small propane canisters, set for half way up and hoped we could get by the whole night with those bottles. At around 6am the bottles ran out, so I decided to try the other full size bottle and I swear it was like magic… It worked! The one thing that I have learned about this journey so far that I never knew before is to not plan your trip because you will find yourself just doing as you want, and not staying on track. Staying on track would require me to be on a schedule. Staying on a schedule is something that I’m not willing to do so we will wing it day by day.
Well, I’m sure most of you believe that we have been on the road for few days now, but the reality of it is… we haven’t left yet. I will start from the beginning with the truck lights. We had the truck in the shop to get our tail lights fixed before we left. One week later we get a call that our truck is done and ready to go. This was great until I found out that every time I hit the breaks my headlights would turn on! Back to the shop we go… 2 weeks later the truck is done and ready for pick up. I pick up the truck as happy as can be until I get to the first street light and all of my lights go out… Yes, back to the shop we go. another week goes by (which was 3 days from this post) and can you believe it the lights are done again. Head back to pick up and yes, yes, yes!!! they are done, they have worked for more then a block. We are good to go now, just have to get that trailer out of that wet grass and mud in a 2×4 dually. What could possibly go wrong? Blocking traffic with a raging woman threatening to call the cops if I didn’t get my truck unstuck from the mud, and my rear wheels in 16″ of mud is what can go wrong, and by god it did. Not to worry though since I have Good Sam’s road side assistance… Until you need assistance on private property, then they don’t even know your name. (I love how there is always that ‘fine print’ that we never hear or read about that magically is placed on the contract.)
Day 2 comes around and oh boy I cant wait to see what is in store next. We get a tow truck out to our trailer, get it hauled to a church so that I can get my truck with the working lights hooked up… Well, now I have a left blinker that blinks right on the back of the trailer, no working right blinker, but soon found out that if I hit my flashers, I have no right blinker but boy do I have a pretty left blinker. I can get my break lights to work on the trailer if my lights are turned on. I bet you could never guess what happened next? Back to the shop we go. Today I picked up the truck, hooked it to the trailer, everything works except my wallet and dignity, but now we have an issue of a missing cat… Lets see what tomorrow has for us in stores.
On another note, we are ‘suppose to be’ at Long Sword Vineyards through http://www.harvesthost.com tomorrow which I am looking forward to, and will be getting our first video and trip pictures started tomorrow. I have attached information on the vineyard incase anyone is interested.
We have emptied our house and are ready to hit the road fulltime in less then 48 hours. So far the feelings have been mixed with excitement, depression, second guessing my decisions, and pure adrenaline. One thing that I have learned about the experience of throwing everything away to trade comforts for freedom is that you just have to do it. Don’t think about it, or plan for retirement, or what ever other cause is trapping you from achieving your dreams, and goals. Is it scary? Of course it is, but that is how you achieve change in life. Many people want to be rich, famous, free, what ever your dreams are you can have if you just put your mind to it. We hope you will follow us on our adventure as we travel the states, working at different campgrounds, and learning with us as we go. We will give out some information on how to get started doing this with a truck and trailer only. Give reviews and insights on the places we see, places we work, and the people we meet along the way.
I remember 6 months ago when I just knew that when I hit that open road, I would feel the freedom and would be the happiest person alive. That’s how it is in the movies right? At 3 weeks until we leave I’m nervous, wondering if I’m making the right decision, scared of the unknown. These are the real feelings that come with the introduction to the nomadic life style. We never hear about the process of getting to that point, but more of either this is roses and rainbows, or its the worst decision made. If one wants change, they have to step out of the comfort zone to get it. I do believe that this is the best decision I’ve made for myself and family, and know that we will have obstacles along the way. Fearing the unknown is less scary to us then living a life doing the same thing everyday until the end.
We would love to hear from the fulltimers on their experiences of leaving the sticks and bricks to live in an RV.
As we prepare for our journey, lots of research is still being conducted for items to have for boondocking. One of the items that I have found very beneficial is a Wifi ranger. What this does is detect free Wifi for as far away as your device will handle. Like everything out there, the more you pay, the farther you get. Wifi rangers will range from $25.00-$800.00. Distance may be about 50 feet up to 7 miles for a signal.
One thing we are trying to do, is take away as many monthly bills as possible out of the picture. Another item we found that put a smile on our faces was the hdtv antenna the is light weight, easy to install, works great and is very low in price. https://www.amazon.com/1byone-Amplified-Detachable-Performance-Cable-Black/dp/B00IF70T4M this item works on the same line as a Wifi ranger but has a max distance of 50 miles and cost about $25.00.