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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Cucamonga bee boxes

Feb 22, 2023 (Wed)

5:50 am Valencia, CA 33°

It’s chilly this morning, because we’re up in the California mountains, so we make a quick pot of coffee and cast off to get out of town.

But first, we have to stop for gas. Harvey is still getting about 10 mpg, and here in California, those gallons are a dollar more than in Washington ($4.69 in Valencia). While we like the theory of using that extra dollar a gallon to do something Good and Useful, in practice, when we’re putting 20 gallons at a time into the tank, we find our idealism flagging just a bit.

Also, we discover that Chevron stations won’t let you go over $100 at a time. So we get to fill the tank in installments…

7:00 am Pasadena, CA

Ooh! An LA traffic jam! The freeways here are huge—at one point Gini counted that we had eight lanes on our side—and they are packed full of cars and trucks and nobody is going anywhere very quickly. What fun it must be to go to work in this kind of traffic every day.

Thankfully, we’re just passing through!

8:15 am Cucamonga, CA 40°

As fans of Bugs Bunny, we had no idea there really was a Cucamonga! And it’s fun to say! Are there Bee Boxes in Cucamonga—are they Cucamonga Bee Boxes? (Turns out that “Cucamonga” means either “sandy place” or “gourd,” depending on which AI you ask.)

It’s 40° and relentlessly sunny. We check to see what the weather is back in Woodinville, WA and—oh, look! It’s 32° and snowing! And it’s going to get colder! This is exactly the kind of weather we are running away from—our plan is working!

The food at the Haven Haus Café is perhaps a notch better than Denny’s, but the atmosphere is great. They have the TV set tuned to the Bob Ross Channel, so as you eat your breakfast, you can watch Bob (or in our case, a substitute painter woman?) turn a blank canvas into a gorgeous landscape before your eyes. Very relaxing.

12:20 pm Thermal, CA 50°

It is still very windy, but we only notice it when we stop and get out of Harvey. Then we get blown sideways (there’s still a High Wind Advisory in effect). Harvey doesn’t get blown around on the road, so we figure he’s got a lot of ballast in the booty (it’s certainly not us weighing him down!).

The town of Thermal has the last services for 60 miles, so we contribute another 20 bucks to the California Doing Good Fund, also get some burgers and mosey on.

2:00 pm Blythe, CA 59°

Before we left, one of our friends advised us to watch out for “Valley Fever,” which is caused by breathing in the wrong place (a place filled with dust). We discounted this advice, because we figured dust storms would be pretty rare.

Oh, look, there’s a couple of dust storms up ahead. Thanks to COVID, though, we’re well-stocked with masks! Maybe we’ll get a nice sand-blasted Harvey cleaning…

4:45 pm Salome, AZ 52°

“Salome,” you may recall, was the dancer who danced so good that she got to have anything she wanted. What she wanted was the head of John the Baptist, so you could say she was ahead of her time.

For reasons unknown to us (or Wikipedia), this teeny town is called Salome and features a KOA campground. This is our first KOA, and it kinda looks like the Wal-Mart of RV Camps. Everybody is right next to each other and there’s rows and rows of RVs.

They do have a “club house” featuring a pool table, and a swimming pool and some other gathering places (we’re going to miss the BBQ on Mar 4). We gather that a lot of these folks are full-timers here.

It’s not 85 bucks a night, so we’re good with it.

Still pretty windy and dusty, so we choose to hunker down inside Harvey.

7:30 pm Salome, AZ KOA Camp

Dinner in Harvey is gourmet: steak, salad and a 15-bean soup. Gini especially wanted the bean soup, and she had an extra bowl of it. (Tune in tomorrow to find out what that leads to!)

Gini with her fabulous dinner!

Our progress

Miles so far: 1,430 miles

Miles to Phoenix: 96

So, making it from Phoenix back to Seattle in four days is entirely possible! We’ll see if we can make it a reality in four weeks…

Our Day 4 travels

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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