Made it to LA and parked in the Dockweiler Beach state park which is right on the ocean. One of the people we were going to visit there had told us about it. He was another classmate--Marcel Lemrise. The park had pretty tight parking but for the view it was worth it. And the price was reasonable considering the area. Marc came by every day and took us to some of the local spots. He was a great host. Looking forward to seeing him again when we return to that area.
Next-on to Merced to see a few old friends. We lived and worked in Merced from '81 to '91. We parked in Bill & Norma Rife's backyard. Kay knew them way back before I met her. And when I met them we all hit it off and have all been close friends for over 27 years. We had followed each other when we made the move to CA. Bill set us up with elec and we could use the 1/2 bath in the garage and take showers in the house so we could get by with a minimum of water. The 1/2 bath in the garage would outdo most bathrooms in houses. He fixed it up super. We were set. While we were there they had an appt in LA and would be gone for a few days. We took that time to go to Ft. Hunter/Liggett to try and get on the set of a movie we knew about. That story ishere. The time in Merced was spent visiting, catching up on MH maintenance, getting awnings fixed and 2 new ones for the bedroom windows. Quite a few evenings were spent with friends out in the garage--throwing darts, drinking beer and playing cards. We have found that it is easier for people to come see us at one place than us try and go to everyones house and visit them. We stay around Bill's and they can come at their convenience. And sometimes they have moved since we've seen them (10 years) and we are not sure where they live. Hmmmm--maybe I'm on to something here. Kay had called Palo Alto VA and set up an appt on May 24 for me to be checked for Agent Orange. We went over and met with Dr. Georgev. He was very good and explained things in words that we could understand. And in detail. They could only do an Xray there as I needed to fast (gasp) before they took blood & urine. He set up an appt for me with the clinic in Modesto, Ca as that was closer to Merced. And set up the followup appts. for thur & fri (Jun 14 & 15). We stayed in Merced until June 7 as we were waiting for parts for the awning and a replacement for our AUTOFORMER (surge protector & voltage booster).
June--When we left Merced we headed to Clearlake, Ca with an overnight in Sacramento to visit with Rollie Pierce and his wife Deborah. We had worked with Rollie at the printing plant in Merced. Then on to Clearlake area. Clearlake is the largest natural lake wholly within the Ca. borders. We had lived there for 2 years and had a 2nd hand store in Upper Lake. Lots of friends in the area and a cousin of mine--Rick Pace. Plus Linda & Willie Gulardi. Kay has known Linda since grade school. We came up there at that time for a graduation party for the son (Kevin) of friends of ours that helped us a lot with our secondhand store. Dave & Patty Gross. We camped in a campground owned by the local Indian tribe that also had a casino---surprise! Needless to say, Kay was there a lot. But again, she was winning.
We went to Palo Alto for my followup appts on the 14th. We didn't take the MH down there and planned to spend the night in a motel. UGH. We got setup in the motel and went to buy some snacks. The "check engine soon" light came on and when we came out of the store the truck wouldn't start. Called Good Sam's Emergency service and tried to find a place to have it towed to and make arrangements for a rental car. Finally took care of all that and settled in. Next day, back to VA and everything was OK. What a relief! Just a couple of small things for my home clinic to followup on. Nothing to worry about.Picked up the truck (alternator went out and took the battery with it) and the dealer didn't work with the extended warranty co we used so it was up to us to file the claim. It's in the works now. We left there about 2 PM and headed back thru SF. Fri traffic was a bitch! Congested all the way to just north of Santa Rosa. Trip down was about 3 hrs. This return trip took 5 1/2 hrs. Thats travel time. Doesn't count the gas stop and food stop. Made it back and picked up the dog at Linda & Willie's house. Exhausted. But Kay made it to the casino that night. Who would of thought! On sun we headed north to Portland and another visit with friends--Lynn & Pat Webb. Went to supper with them and had a nice visit. Next day we headed east towards Spokane. We stopped in Pasco, Wa. and had phone hookups. I went on the internet and saw where one of the RVAMERICA group--John & Libby Veach--were in a park that was just before Spokane. We decided to stay there for a night and visit with them. Plus they had phone hookups and we are on an advisory committee for RVAMERICA and there was a 'computer meeting' that night. We pulled up next to them and knocked on their door. Surprise! We talked with them for awhile and found out thatRich & Diane Emond were down the road in Couer D'Alene, ID having some service work done on their RV. They came over and we got on our 'puters' for the meeting as they are also on the committee. Then we went to supper and had a nice visit. It was great to see them again. All of us had to leave the next day and hopefully we'll connect up again somewhere. Both the Emonds & Veaches are fulltimers.
On to the wedding--arrived in Noxon, MT by mid-afternoon. The scenery from Sandpoint, ID to Noxon was some of the prettiest we have ever seen.
We stayed in a "mom & pop" RV park—Cabinet Gorge RV Park (I’m typing this while we are still in the park—explains why I remember the name). It is a small but nice & clean place. Right next to a river. The owners are nice people. We prefer these kinds of parks over the more commercialized ones. Wedding was only 6 miles away. Unhooked the truck, and when I started it the engine was missing like mad. Couldn't drive it. Started the phone calls. Nearest place was back at Sandpoint--about 45 minutes away. Nobody could do anything that night and the next day was sat. Finally all the arrangements were made. Tow truck would arrive in AM and take truck to dealer and it would set in their lot until mon. The rental car guy would meet Kay there and take care of that part. Went to the wedding sat PM and had a good time. As with all weddings it was beautiful. It was outdoors at a lodge in the mountains which added to the beauty of it. Sun we relaxed and mon went to get the truck and turn in the rental car. Turns out it was some injectors were clogged. Not covered under warranty. Figures. As we were driving back to the campground the "check engine soon" light came on. We turned around and went back to the dealer. He put the diagnostic tool on it and it showed that one of the 3 pressure regulators in trans was bad. He could not even get to it until the end of the week or mon next week. Not much we could do except rent another car and enjoy our stay. It is beautiful up here and plenty of sights to see.
Tue. We went to Kay’s cousin’s (Paul & Jan Rumore) house. The parents of the bride. Paul’s sister Anne was there also. Paul borrowed his bro-in-law’s boat and took us all for a ride on Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced--Pendoray) which gave us a better view of the spectacular scenery. This whole area is gorgeous. On the way back we got within 100 feet of Paul’s boat dock and ran out of gas. Wind was from wrong direction to blow us into the dock so he ended up using the CB and calling the sheriff’s Lake Patrol. They towed us over to the fuel dock.
Wed AM Kay called to see ‘what’s up with the truck’. They said it would be done today so later in the afternoon we went over and picked it up. It did make it back to the campground. Been raining most of the day so no sight seeing today. Good time to work on this site. If the weather clears up by fri we will head to Glacier Nat’l Park.