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First Real Trip

Posted 06-16-2021 at 07:40 PM by rblackburn

We wanted to take the new, to us, motor home to Samma's dad in Las Vegas. There was the bonus of getting Sammy to check the RV as we were overheating some.
We started West Thursday afternoon with me working at the Dinette while Samma drove. Our first planned stop was at the Cracker Barrel in Meridian, MS.
Our next planned stop was a Cracker Barrel in Tyler, TX. We met one of Samma's "kids" from her days at the David & Margarete Home. We had dinner and then decided it was too early to sleep so we got back on the road and made it to a rest area in Ranger, TX.
From here we made it to Lubbock, TX to visit with Shelby, one of Samma's friends. We had scheduled to sleep at a Harvest Host -- Pheasant Ridge Winery. They ended up being closed due to a death in the family. Shelby visited us there and we had a meat & cheese tray from the items we picked up at the Jackson Brothers Meat Shop. We then moved to Camelot Village for our first actual RV Campsite of the trip. Shelby picked us up in the afternoon to go to her house and enjoy amazing lamb burgers on the grill. We then watched the first half of the Superbowl before returning to the RV to go to bed since it was an early start to try to make Vegas in a day.
I got up at 2 AM and drove till 5AM (7AM EST) and swapped to Samma driving so I could work. We made it to Flagstaff before stopping for the night.
Tuesday around lunch we made it to DoD's house in Vegas. He was really excited to see it and we really wanted to also have Sammy take a look at why it was over heating. DoD loved the RV and enjoyed us hanging out with him. We took Minnie Pearl, the recliner with the price tag hanging on it, inside the house for his visitors to have a more comfortable sit. We took the RV to Sammy and he figured out why the engine was overheating. The radiator was clogged on the outside. He and one of his guys spent 5 hours washing dirt out of the cooling system. He said it looked like coffee grounds coming out almost the entire time.
Our next stop was a rest area in Tulare, CA and had no issues overheating which was awesome!
The next morning we continued to Groveland, CA to visit Kathi, Samma's BFF, & her wife Jo and their daughter Sophina at their lake house. We enjoyed our visit and learned about a new game, Azul, that you built tile mosaics. The lake was lovely and the weather was nice. We parked in one of the neighbors driveways.
From Groveland we headed to Sacramento, CA to visit with Kyle & Karen. We had some amazing cheeses thanks to Karen and her job as a cheese monger. Katie & Sophie both visited and we got to meet Katie's boyfriend.
Our next destination was The White House, where the Warden's are currently living while the ranch is rebuilt. We visited the ranch and got to see the latest on Corey & Kelli's house. It is looking great! We broke out our pop up fire pit and the grill top for it and made hot dogs & sausages from Jackson Brothers back in TX. The next night Samma broke out the Sous Vide and prepared Tri Tip for the grill later in the day. I made a mushroom risotto. I think they were both major hits.
We left out early the next morning to catch Marrisa before she heads to work for a quick visit on our way to Northridge, CA to visit with my boss Rose. Our most expensive fuel stop was in Oakland, $4.50 per gallon. The bright point of that was the amazing breakfast burritos we got next door to the truck stop. As I was driving into the campground in Northridge, Walnut RV Park, I clipped a metal post destroying the same door that Samma had scratched hitting a curb. The guy parked next to us helped me straighten out the door and use sheet metal screws to keep the door closed. Rose & her family visited us that night.
The next morning we started out to head towards Jenn & Will. We made it one mile before stopping as the airbags in the suspension did not inflate. I called around and found someone to come check it. We called Walnut RV Park and they had a place for us to return to and park. They gave us a free night to make us remember them fondly after hitting the post. The mobile repair guy showed up and cycled the airbags several times and they started working. Cost $450 to learn that we might have a sticking valve and just needed to exercise it several times. Jenn and Will came by and picked us up after their workday and we went out for sushi.
Our next stop was to visit with Lisa & Matt in Santa Anna. We were staying at Orangeland Park. Lisa found a place near there to meet for brunch that allowed us to have Ali'i on the patio. Later that night we had a salmon DIY bar at their house followed by a fire.
After our visit with Lisa & Matt, we started the trek home. Our first stop along the route was to visit with Chad Anderson in Mesa, AZ. We camped at the base of the Superstition Mountains at Weaver's Needle RV Resort our 4th and final campground of the trip. We had a nice dinner at Chad's and then got an early start in the morning. We took the most direct route which took us through the Superstition Mountains. I lost cell service, but it coincided with lunch time so no big deal
We arrive at Licon Dairy, a Harvest Host. They have a nice level parking lot to set up in. The petting zoo was closed due to COVID, but we parked where we could overlook the animals. There were plenty of easily seen animals -- Camels, Llamas, Goats, Donkeys, Shep, etc. They make a soft cheese here that is really good. They have a restaurant that is currently closed due to COVID, but did have food items for sale inside the store. We ended up with rolled tacos and tamales for dinner that night. We bought a jalapeno cheese & a habenaro cheese from them. Both were amazing.
Our next stop was to far away so we broke the trip up by stopping and staying at Rest Area, Ranger, TX.
Big Rock Winery another Harvest Host location was our next stop. Ricky was an interesting person. Retired and making wine, beer, and peach brandy. Our tastings were fun as he joined us. It turned into us eating snacks with him and Samma making Manhattans with his peach brandy.
Our next stop was another Harvest Host location -- Landry Winery. Along the way we stopped at Rudy's BBQ in Tyler, TX. We enjoyed the food and replenished our supply of Rudy's Rub. The wines here were amazing, the views were incredible, and the owners were great people. I left a review of them at Harvest Host: Lovely location! You park overlooking the grape vines on a rolling hill, absolutely gorgeous! As a bonus you get the opportunity to try some amazing wines. We stayed during the week and were the only people there. We enjoyed the wines enough to purchase 6 bottles They are along a route we will travel regularly now that we have an RV so plan to visit them often!
Our last night on the road this trip was at Siluria Brewing Company. Once again another Harvest Host. They had beer for me & cider for Samma. They had a really good White Russian Stout. Samma enjoyed one of the cidersa lot. They had a food truck in the parking lot serving up some really good BBQ.
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