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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

see new picts:

new photos of our California Coast Trip on my picasaweb page:

9 day trip to the coast. 35,000lbs of vehicle, 250 gallons of fuel, 1600 miles of roads. Are motorhomes worth it?

O.K., O.K., O.K., I know, I’m doing just what everyone does with an RV, never get around to using it and it just sits and rots in the back yard. I admit that I’ve had this thing a year and a half, and I just took it on it’s second trip! But it’s because the NY apt took longer to finish and we didn’t get home this past summer to take some longer trips as planned. Next summer. ‘Sound familiar? No, really, next summer we plan to take it out for a while, -like maybe Yellowstone and stuff up thataway. Actually, this January we are taking it to CES and then from there, down along the Colorado River, ending at the huge RV show and Blue Bird Wanderlodge Rally in Quartzite.

But, I digress. We took a wonderful trip mid October, for 9 days with our closest friends, Mike and Tami Putz, and took both of our coaches (something Mike and I had been dreaming of doing someday, since about 30 years ago, when we first got “into” motorhomes). Well, Mike acted on his dream right away, when, about 25 years ago, he bought a bus and started building an RV from scratch! Since then he has taken several short trips each year, no matter what state the conversion was in. A few years ago he was practically finished with it, and I was just finally talking about starting one, when he declared that he was going to sell his, and buy a manufactured motorcoach instead!

Over the years (decades!) of converting his Blue Bird school bus he learned all about the high-end luxury coaches that Blue Bird manufactured, and how, you could get an old used one for reasonable money that was as reliable as the day it was built! It seems they are built with durability and serviceability as top priorities. And with so many top-notch, built-in components and engineering, he decided it was better than the coach he built on a budget, even though he also built it well, and knew every single part of it by heart. So, He and I each got a used Blue Bird Wanderlodge a year and a half ago. This was my second trip,… and it was his tenth!

We headed for the California coast, to see the gorgeous beaches along Hwy 1 that are rocky coves, instead of straight sand. And we wanted to see Big Sur and the famous big trees, and so we picked October, since it’s their dry season and we wouldn’t have to worry about rain spoiling our hiking and exploring. Well, you can’t always count on the Almanac! El Nino was back, from five years ago, and had some plans of its’ own! We planned to stay 4 nights in a Big Sur campground, but just as we were leaving to drive there, they called and explained about the impending weather, and said they’d be kicking everyone out in two days, for fear of mud slides in the canyon, as they had experienced the last time El Nino was in town. So, we went up there anyway, and spent the time before the storm with our friends Phil and Vicky, and Mike’s sister, Missy, who drove down from the Bay area and stayed overnight. We ended up staying only one night due to being delayed from a breakdown (see slideshow), and although it didn’t end up mud-sliding, we headed down the coast to be safe, and camped near Hearst Castle while the storm dumped about 8 inches of rain on the coast, while we mostly stayed in our coaches for the two days, watching movies, and went to Hearst Castle. The next day the sun came out, and we explored Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, and the wine country near Buellton, where we attended a Wanderlodge Rally, and met up with an old friend of Mike’s.

So, motor coach traveling is terrific. You basically take your creature comforts with you, and then if there’s a change of weather or other plans, you don’t mind because you’re at-home anyway, spontaneously changing part of the trip from the comfort of your armchair, without having to re-schedule planes, trains, or rented automobiles. The rigs really do have everything you’d want in terms of comfort. Wendy spent a lot of the driving time just doing what she does at home – computering, thanks to the $10/month, AT&T 3G unlimited data package, by tethering her phone to the laptop. It works pretty well, although there were parts along Hwy 1 with spotty service. And of course, along there, we were more than content to enjoy the fabulous scenery! (see picts!)