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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Dog on a motorcycle!

Feb 21, 2023 (Tue)

6:25 am Colusa, CA 42°

It’s already light this far south, so it’s easy to unplug Harvey and leave our lovely campsite by the river. We note that the temperature here (42°) is the same as the high temperature back in Woodinville.

Ha ha ha!


It’s a quiet trip along the levee road and highway 20 (going 65 mph, except when a traffic light appears).


8:20 Lodi, CA 46°

A quick stop for breakfast at Denny’s (there are still a lot of Denny’s in California—they have mostly disappeared in our part of Washington). The food is perfectly mediocre—never change Denny’s!


We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of memorial things along the freeway—memorial off-ramps, memorial Rest Stops, but what really caught our attention was “Engineer Memorial Interchange.” Were a whole bunch of engineers killed? How? Did the interchange collapse on them? This seems like a place where more information would be good.


We quickly get out from under that particular interchange…


Gini at the wheel, steering Harvey down the highway of life!


10:15 am California somewhere, 58°

There are lots of pink blossoms on trees in tree orchards along the way. Also bee boxes (which is fun to say: Bee Boxes!). We don’t think they are cherry trees, and some research (we ask a guy at a fruit stand) reveals that they are almond trees.


Fields of pink trees


Almonds are a hot topic because, apparently, they use a lot of water and California isn’t exactly swimming in water these days. Of course, they probably use less than the rice paddies we passed back in Colusa (“Organic Rice”), but we’re not farmers, so who knows?


11:00 am N. of Santa Nella 60°

Our first California traffic jam! Things are stop-and-go and there are three half-mobile oversize-load homes on the road, too. They keep weaving in and out of traffic and even have the audacity to cut ahead of us when the freeway narrows down to one lane. Gini, who is driving, is not happy about this and is threatening to write to the California DOT!


11:40 am Vista Point near Newman, CA 63° (and sunny!)

We pull over to this scenic overlook so Gini can edit yesterday’s Trip Log. Robert walks around for a bit and—it’s a doggie on a motorcycle! The guy says it took about three months to get the dog trained so he would sit there (in front of the driver, with no harness). He figures the dog has gone about 250,000 miles and they’re about to embark on a two-year journey around the U.S., pulling a trailer.


The dog looks pretty happy about it, as near as Robert can tell.


Dog on a motorcycle!


2:30 pm Lost Hills, CA 72°

(We’re not sure how this town got its name. It seems like it would be difficult to misplace one hill, let alone a set of hills. Maybe it gets pretty foggy around here.)


There are a lot of trucks on these highways—seems like two or three times as many as we see in Washington. Maybe because there’s five times as many people living in California as live in Washington. These trucks could also be shipping Bee Boxes to different almond orchards!


When we check the weather to gloat over how much nicer it is here than back in Woodinville (it’s 72° here!), we notice that we no longer have a Winter Death Storm advisory. Instead, it’s turned into a High Wind Disaster advisory. Sure enough, it’s pretty windy here, and we’re sorry we forgot to pack a kite (or a wind generator).


4:45 pm Valencia, CA 62°

Since the Lost Hills (reward if found), we’ve climbed up into some more mountains and it’s gotten colder (a brisk 62°). We decide to knock off a bit early today because we need to empty our tanks. Even though we’ve gotten more experienced at doing it, we’re not sure we’re ready to empty our poop tank in the dark. We’d like lots of light!


This is a pretty ritzy RV Park, with probably 100 to 150 spots. When we called, they told us we didn’t need any reservations, just pull on in, and sure enough there are lots of empty lots. Then we discover they charge $85 a night (last night by the river was $38).


But there is a heated swimming pool!


Our $85 a night campsite


6:00 pm

We frolic in the swimming pool and then soak in the jacuzzi. We’re the only ones in the pool, because everybody here thinks 50° is chilly, and we think it’s a lovely spring day.


Frolicking in the pool and jacuzzi


Afterwards, we return to Harvey and spend some time hanging up hooks so that we can hang up our soggy suits and towels and cover ups and water shoes—LOTS of hooks.


Our progress

Miles so far: 1,121 miles

Miles to Phoenix: 405


We might just make it in four days!

Our Day 3 travels


Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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