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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Creamless in Gridley

May 27, 2023 (Sat)

8:00 am Gridley Inn and RV Park Gridley, CA

Robert likes to have cream in his coffee (well, Half & Half), so we carry a carton with us. This morning, the smell coming off the cream isn’t a happy one (and, boy, when dairy goes bad, it’s an intense smell!).

No worries, we carry a bag of “Mini-Moos,” which are tiny buckets of cream that have been magically sealed so that they don’t need refrigeration and last forever!

“Aha!,” says Robert, “My clever backup plan is about to be put into action!”

That’s when we discover a dirty little secret: Mini-Moos don’t last forever. They turn into little plugs of weird cream and they don’t look like anything you’d want to smell, much less put in your coffee and drink.

Ah, the trials and tribulations us RV’ers put up with… (of course, we have fresh brewed, proper coffee every morning, so it balances out).

10:00 am

We are ready to cruise through “Historic Downtown Gridley”! What small-town wonders await us? A small café serving fresh coffee (and non-spoiled cream) along with four-star omelets? A store selling local hand-made crafts? Perhaps a souvenir store selling ”Gridley is Great!” T-shirts?

It must be historic—the sign says so!

However, the historic downtown is pretty grim. It certainly looks quaint, with one- and two-story brick buildings lining the main street. There’s a recovery center for veterans, and a support center for foster families. About half the store fronts are empty.

Historically accurate downtown Gridley

Even the museum is closed. There are three functioning businesses: a pizza parlor, a thrift store, and a bar—but it’s a bit early for the bar, and we’re hungry for breakfast (sorry, pizza).

11:00 am Gridley Grill, Gridley, CA

Fortunately, there’s the Gridley Grill a few miles away from the historic downtown and apparently, the only place that serves diner-style food. We could get breakfast at Burger King or Taco Bell, but we want a breakfast that involves food that hasn’t seen the inside of a freezer.

The Gridley Grill delivers, and we have a delicious breakfast and negotiate to obtain a “Gridley Grill” T-shirt omitting the “r” (probably won’t happen, but you never know).

Gidley at Gridley Grill

1:00 pm Gridley Car Wash

Harvey’s been through a lot the last three weeks (!) and it’s showing on his outside. We decide that maybe it’s time to show him a little loving, so we take him to the car spa and give him a good wash. It’s a bit embarrassing how much dirt washes off of him—maybe we should wash him more than every couple of thousand miles?

Robert hard at work getting Harvey clean

We get pretty wet in the process , but it’s worth it because Harvey is practically beaming afterwards.

Look how clean Harvey is!

The rest of the afternoon is spent wandering through the strip malls of Gridley—the only notable happening being that a lady gives Gini an eye at a craft store (not the eye, but an eye). We go hang out in the pool (you know, for an area of the country that seems to be constantly sunny, nobody has thought to use all this sunlight to heat up the pool water—penguins would put on sweaters when swimming in this pool).

6:00 pm Gridley Inn and RV Park

Hmm, that’s weird. Our refrigerator can run on electricity, propane, or battery power. It’s supposed to automatically switch between them as they are available (preferring electricity). It’s now running on propane and won’t switch to electricity. And the electrical outlets inside aren’t working? But the microwave is working just fine (it only works off electricity—when we’re plugged in or with the generator going).

We jump into doing some electrical troubleshooting (always our Most Favorite Thing!). We establish that we are, in fact, getting good ol’ fashioned full power American electricity.

Time to break out the documentation for Harvey. We have the original User’s Guide that came with Harvey and has been lovingly passed along from owner to owner.

Robert used to write User’s Guides, and he knows the challenges involved in sometimes writing about products before they actually exist. But he never out and out lied about how something worked!

According to the docs, there’s a breaker panel “under the galley,” which leads to a hunt and a discussion about whether the sink or the stove would be the galley (we even consider that the Technical Writer may be been doing double-shots of tequila and we look under the refrigerator).

Lies, all lies.

You know in your bathroom, there’s that one outlet that has a little button on it? And if you manage to overload the outlet (or drop the hair dryer in the sink), the button pops out? All you have to do is push the button and everything is better?

We have one of those, by the rear door. Some internet sleuthing revealed it’s location and function and after pushing the button—everything is better!

Crummy Technical Writers…

May 28, 2023 (Sun)

A fairly desultory day—we check our tire pressure and use a gadget that Robert bought yesterday to inflate one tire that was pretty low. (We have six tires—we’re what is called a “dualie” because we have dual rear wheels because we’re Macho.) He overheats the gadget, but gets the tire pressure higher, so that was good.

Tanks are emptied and Gidley blackwater is now Gridley blackwater. Books are read. Lounging is lounged. Pretty relaxing.

May 29, 2023 (Mon)

10:00 am

Our feet are getting itchy, so it’s time to pack up and move out. We hustle extra hard to get out early and—look at us! We’re ready to go by ten! To be fair—we had two days to get everything out that we now have to put back.

10:10 am U Do Laundry

We wanted to get an early start so that we could do laundry! We could have used the washer and dryer at the Gridley Inn, but we took a look at it and: a) it needed quarters; 2) we’re not sure we’d want to put our clothes in there, even with lots of soap.

Now Harvey’s clean, we’re clean (on the outside, anyway) and we’re off!

4:30 pm Lassen RV Park, McArthur, CA

One of the issues with not being familiar with this area is that what looks perfectly reasonable on a map, turns out to be quite a haul in reality. Robert peered at a map and thought, “Well, that looks pretty close by” and so we set sail for McArthur, CA.

If you ever think to do this, don’t. It’s not near anything (well, it’s near Burney, only 50 miles further north).

Still, it’s very pretty winding roads up (4,000 feet) and down (1,000 ft) hills and valleys in this part of California. When we finally arrive—boy, howdy, this is sure picturesque! It’s all rustic looking (but with modern facilities) and trees everywhere and quiet and mostly deserted (about five RV’s in this 34 spot campground).

Our all-natural campsite

For dinner we have avocado toast with tomato (it is California, after all) and we let the birds sing us to sleep.

Frankie says "Hi!"


Monday Travel

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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