California motor home tour part 8
Recalling his teenage years there, prompted him to do a film about his early environment. American Graffiti
This pleasant overnight stop in the Kohl's parking lot, introduced us to the McCoy's. RV Full timers for 13 years. He is a former building contractor, businessman, self educated Independant
McCoy told of his family burial plot at Kelseyville California. Ironic to followers of The Legendary American 'Family Feud' history
McCoy told a story about the blacks that were getting shot in battle more than the whites. Whenever the order was given, to "Get Down", "they all got up and started Dancing". (American joke, not fully understood by all)
Arizona side notes:
The McCoys winter, dry camping 20 miles from the Colorado river in the Bureau of Land Management, Public desert near Quartzite Arizona
The desert floor, covered in hundreds of thousands of motor homes and camping trailers, looks like white sugar cubes were strewn about, when viewed from atop the mile high terrain to the north, coming from tourist ghost town, Jerome Arizona
During the winter, many specialized shows and entertainment venues visit Quartzite. It is NEVER lacking in things to do. The Quartzite 'Flea Market Faire' is well known for it's huge size and diversity of wares, food and services. This is also a reserved affair to get the best section of the 'checkerboard maze'. Take a set of two-way radios so that you can find each other after your feet tire of the miles of walking through these 'city blocks' of well plotted tent booths.
The desert dry camping is basically free after paying a minor fee for BLM access recreational use. There are water tankers and holding tank (honey) pumpers to service the hundreds of thousands of 'Boondocking' campers on demand.
Cultural Cuisine snacks are always available from enterprising vendors. This impromptu city of many hundreds of thousands (million) of temporary residents, disappears as soon as the weather starts to warm. The 'Snowbirds' then take flight back to their northern places of origin, from which they had fled at the first sign of winter. This mass exodus, leaving tiny Quartzite to return to it's basic population of around a hundred hearty souls. The flaming, desert summer heat will fry any human body into a piece of dried meat similar to Jerky.
Leaving our interesting Modesto California overnight stop, not far from a great Goodwill store, and heading south from Stockton California
This is a major North/South California interconnect between dozens of small towns, serving the agriculture communities, toward busy, industrious Bakersfield California
The story of this fertile, well managed area, was told and politically exagerated in Grapes of Wrath
A highly productive place where limited food and jobs were available. Smart move if you were tough enough. The inability of the farms to immediately assimilate 200,000 of the massive influx, was of course political reason to blame The Farmers for the conditions in the drifters and immigrants own 'Refuge Camps' (like the inner cities of today). Those that were talented, survived by their wits, and eventually became prosperous. Their descendants are among the 'Old Settler' families of today.
The story of those truly courageous, unbelievably tough and resourceful people, is told here. These are the people that 'Settled' this fertile land, and Made it a State, preparing it for the rest of the folks to come to, live and prosper. Their story is somehow forgotten in our 'Freedom and Equality for all', 'Taken for Granted' society. The California Trail
I sincerely doubt anyone of today's average intelligence could survive this Journey of Opportunity and Hope, through incredible risk and hard work..
Today every imaginable type of food is grown here with the meticulously engineered water system, rationing the precious drops of water to each plant's and tree's root system. The huge canals, fed by Dams high in the mountains, alternately fill and drain as the life giving seasonal moisture is available.
The countless millions of nut and fruit trees, vineyards included, are carefully removed when old, replaced with new, rotated and intermixed in a system designed to keep the land managed in positive financial productivity at each stage of it's use. The fertilizers are carefully monitored and rationed due to cost, to provide only the barest necessity directly at the plants root system. This food growing miracle has to be seen to comprehend. It would take a lifetime to just basically understand it's major engineering aspects. The California Central Valley
There are those in Congress and other Political powers including administrations appointees, that would raise taxes on the farm land, impose stringent regulations (water limits) on the farms, forcing selling of the land, promote housing and a huge population influx, at the cost of the fertile valley farmland, to obtain even more votes (political power) from the populace. All in the name of having more clear, fresh mountain water available to flush toilets with nice clean, clear fresh water, for the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
ANY Bloviating, Pandering, politician including his/her misguided political party, that tries to destroy this engineering miracle, is to be run out of office at election time. This fragile section of the USA which grows 25% of the food consumed in our USA, is crucial to your own life as well as future generations. Private enterprise, profit and constant innovation is what drives this amazing food machine.
Leaving this immense fertile California Central Valley toward the east, on California State Route 58, climbing the pass through the mountainous Sierra Nevada's toward Mohave, Boron and Barstow California
Barstow, also a major rail terminal, is at the junction of highways California State Route 58
The huge vacant parking lots located far behind (poor design) the abandoned Barstow Malls, are sometimes used for overnight parking like we do when traveling from destination to destination. The red lettered signs posted, read 'No Trespassing'. This always makes my co-pilot navigator nervous, but a short prayer clears us of fret. No overambitious security guard ran us off on this night. The desert wind subsided after dark, we slept well.
Morning gave us the opportunity to refuel at Love's Travel Stop
Fuel in California is higher in cost, than in Arizona. If possible, wait until you are across the state line to fuel up. Several times the cost was posted at way over $3 dollars per gallon in highly taxed, regulated and restricted California, while the national average was $2.48. Arizona fuel, was at $2.45 per gallon (3.8 L) in Lake Havasu Love's on I-40.
Lake Havasu Arizona
Mostly high performance Hot Boats with 'devil may care' names like 'Hell Bitch' along with numerous deck and party boats. This is a devil may care, destination for the sexually active, 'alcohol soaked', young and reckless, during spring break from schools. The summer heat will burn away the top layer of skin on the human body leaving a layer of wrinkled old leather to last the rest of your life. Winter, early spring and fall are the only humane times to come here for recreation.
Morning started our drive across the desert climb toward Flagstaff Arizona
As you drive along this modern I-40 and Cal I-15 to San Bernadino, watch for old pavement to either side, much narrower than the interstate, going over hills and down through dry arroyos with old narrow bridges. This stretch of I-40 and southwest on I-15 is also parallel to the old Historic Route 66
Do not miss the scenic desert loop highways. Highways featuring Meteor Crater, off the highway near the colorful Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest with it's giant solid rock logs strewn about. Volcanic cinder is mined from ancient volcanic cones, to mix into the highway topping. This accounts for the reddish tint to many Arizona highways featured in magazines, still seen today.
One more overnight at the newest Walmart in Gallup New Mexico
While there, we ate some good McDonalds wrap snacks, for late afternoon and breakfast. We could count on our one hand, the number of non-native Americans shopping and working in that huge store. Gallup is truly 'The Indian Capital' of America. Nights sleeping fine, not noisy, no 'boom boxes', but a few dozen long trains rolling through, across the I-40 from where we parked. Large trucks and motor homes totaled about two dozen vehicles near our area that night. Fuel economy averaged over 10 mpg from Flagstaff on the trip into Albuquerque. Not bad for the trip totals we experienced climbing through the incredibly scenic, mountainous western states of the USA.
Home in ABQ and one last fuel fill with additives to store the vehicle in the 'ready state'. We had stopped and drained the holding tanks at the Flying J outside ABQ. While there, we gave a heavy shot of soap water into the black water tank to 'slosh flush' it clean on the drive home for storage. Drained and power rinsed it into our own dump tube into our home system. This finally cleaned and freed up the internal tank rotating power sprayer.
Removed the anode plug and flushed out the hot water tank deposits with a self designed cleaning wand. With the navigators help, blew out the water lines with compressed air for winter storage. Unloaded the coach of all clothing and food. Now the oil change and lube I do myself. Next I do the wash and wax for the winter. Next trip is in the spring, so we will be ready after the weather warms up in Texas. Looking forward to the next trip now. Planning options already underway (Motor Home magazine) no matter where or when we eventually go.
At home now, sorry our 'reality show' is ended. Great trip of 5 1/2 weeks and 3,700 miles, across our (western portion) great nation. 24-7 worth of countless long trains, double stacked with huge containers, and 24-7, endless thousands of big trucks also loaded with whatever we consume, rolling like a chain of ribbons, across the.... 'always under construction'....interstates.
Everything is still functioning as it always has.... "So long as no one tinkers with the controls"..., This fantastic free enterprise nation has an 'auto-pilot' that is always visible whenever we travel. It throttles itself like a well engineered machine.
California efficiently grows everything for the hungry masses and the transport system delivers the goods. People are not starving, matter of fact we saw happy fat people on this trip just like always before. Times are still great, We will survive the 'politicos' like we always have. The USA is worth keeping and fighting for. This years 'Research' trip is done. Spring trip is just around the corner (winter corner) Hang in there.
Turn off the 'mind altering' TV. Read between the lines in your daily news Spin. Contact your Senators and Representatives often to remind them of your concerns. Travel and see our USA first. The rest of the world can wait.........and wait......and wait..... :>)
"One Nation Under GOD" The United States of America.