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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

We're off!

February 14, 2024 (Wed)

11:15 am Woodinville, WA (Home)

History has been made!


For the very first time in the two years we’ve owned Harvey, we are leaving on the very day we had planned to! Of course, Robert wanted to leave at the plumber’s crack of dawn, but at least we’re not off by 24 hours…


This time, our destination is a place called Borrego Springs—this is a place where Gini used to live. It’s east of San Diego, in the Anza Borrego state park desert (with maybe some mountains—we’ll learn more as we need to).


Most importantly, it’s sunny and warm, which Woodinville is not. In fact, this morning, our weather app told us that there were snow flurries happening. Right here! Well, maybe not right here, but certainly someplace nearby. Maybe Alaska somewhere?


Point is, it’s cold and rainy here and we don’t want that. We want to wear shorts and put on sunscreen and maybe jump in a pool without fear of hypothermia.


Our strategy is to race down the freeway until we get there—we figure it’ll take about five days. It had better take no more than five days, because we have a Reservation at an RV park in Borrego Springs on Mon, Feb 19 (Presidents Day!).


We have a deadline! If you know Robert, you know how he is about deadlines (“It’s right in the name—Dead if you don’t make it”).


Yesterday when Robert was gassing up Harvey (both ends of the hydrocarbon chain spectrum—gasoline and propane), a woman who was there filling up her propane tanks declared that Harvey was “the cutest RV I’ve ever seen!”


Harvey was very flattered, and Robert explained that while Harvey may be “cute” he was also “small” (we’ve seen bathrooms that were larger than Harvey). He was also a bit temperamental.


Remember all that weird electrical stuff we had going on? Step on the brakes and the backup camera came on? The turn signals would only work if the headlights were off? No brake lights?


Well, after that last trip, we took Harvey to the RV Spa and they fixed it. So they said.


Sure enough, on the way back from getting gassed, Harvey briefly went into Freak Out mode. But after a couple of miles, he quit. We are not reassured…


12:25 pm Tacoma, WA

We always thought that winter was when road construction took a break. Well, not in Washington. The Department of Transportation is bound and determined to use all their orange cones and there are narrowed lanes and closed shoulders and weaving traffic.


It’s a good way to get used to driving Harvey after a brief nine month hiatus. Especially the narrowed lanes part—Harvey feels pretty fat after driving our little compact cars.


Now it’s Gini’s turn to drive through construction in a fat RV. (Of course, there’s no further construction while she’s driving…).

Gini gets ready to tackle her driving shift by donning two hats (one to keep warm, one to cut down on glare) and fueling up with some potato chips


3:00 pm Southern I-5 (near Longview)

The GPS on our phone (Siri) insists that there’s a Winter Storm Warning going on right this very second, which we thought would mean some snow. This turns out to mean “there’s going to be a bunch of rain!”


Harvey gets washed for the first time in nine months. The All Natural car wash!


4:00 pm Portland, OR

We have never driven through Portland with Harvey without being innundated with traffic. Holy Cow, there’s a lot of traffic! Even Siri is baffled by all the traffic—Siri initially said we’d be at our destination at 4:00 pm (now), but has revised his estimate to be “five, maybe?”


We spend an hour crawling along at 10 mph, occasionally zooming up to 20 mph. It makes sense that bicycle travel is popular in Portland.


4:50 Baldock Rest Area, OR

We’re now grizzled RV’ers as we pull into a Rest Area to boondock for the night. And this is one nice Rest Area—lots of spaces (we count three separate lots).


We stop early because Harvey is filled with a pile of important items—all tossed higgledy-piggledy (or as the Germans say, “higgledy-piggledy”) because that’s how we left on time.


Living in Harvey is a lot like living on a boat—there’s no extra room, and everything has to be stowed or else you can’t eat or sleep or use the bathroom. We spend the next hour un-higgledying all the piggledies until Harvey is ship-shape.


8:00 pm

You may have noticed that today is Valentine’s Day—celebrating the beheading of Valentine of Rome (you can see his skull in Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome!). We’re all for tradition, so we exchange gifts (flowers from Robert) and cards (two skeletons holding hands from Gini) and promise that we won’t strangle each other on this trip.


Everything is in its proper place, our devices are charging, and we settle down in our comfy bed, listening to the soothing sounds of trucks running their generators and rain falling on the roof.


We are grateful the water is on the outside of Harvey as we drift off to a dry slumber.


Day 1 Travel map


Our travel on Day 1 (Wednesday)


Gini & Robert                                                                                

Harvey Staff


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Stephen E. Moore
Stephen E. Moore
Feb 15

Oooh. Faux wood dashboard and a bobbly statue of Our Blessed Lord!

Robert Gidley
Robert Gidley
Feb 20
Replying to

Chinooks are known for their fine woodwork (handmade in Yakima!). And Jesus does a lot of bobbling and praying--especially when Robert is driving!

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