Instead of going to San Diego we channeled our inner old person spirit and went to Palm Springs which happened to coincide with Coachella. A couple of people asked if we were here for Coachella to which my reply was always a haughty “no” because I can be arrogant like that sometimes. After running errands and hardcore relaxing poolside at the KOA RV park, we luxuriated with long hot showers. Over the past six months, showers have been far from a given and has instilled in us a great appreciation for the act of showering and being clean. We have lowered our standards of quality by degrees and will tolerate nearly anything you throw our way but would kick a starving man in the stomach if he were on the path to a hot, clean, fully tiled shower.
Say what you want about Walmart, but I will forever hold a spot in my heart for their policies on motorhomes in their lots. The unwritten policy is that RVs can stay in the lots for free with the expectation that you keep it tidy, not spread out, and maybe go in and buy a little something if you are feeling like it. Also, Walmarts tend to be clean, well-stocked, and the organic produce is sometimes less expensive than the other stuff. I saw a guy stocking the produce section blasting Simple Man on his phone which carried surprisingly well and could be heard aisles away. He also had a bitchin ponytail so long that it would make using the bathroom difficult.
But not all Walmarts are friendly. If some officious manager with straight-shooter written all over him decides he doesn’t want RVs at night, then them’s the rules. We got booted from the Walmart in Palm Springs at about 2:30 in the morning when the sorriest security guard in the world gently knocked on the door and said “no overnight parking… please,” and we obliged moving on to the next free spot we could find, a relatively pain-free process but annoying nonetheless. The whole drive to the next spot was spent lamenting the missed opportunity of replying to the guard with “no one is in here!” but there is always next time.
All we did in Palm Springs was eat Mexican food and run errands. But we got Taco Bell breakfast once, so not all was lost.
Next, we visited all sorts of friends in Los Angeles and completed the Koewler family tour by seeing the fourth sibling, a literal rocket scientist at SpaceX while I am a literal bum. This trip has been heavily sprinkled with friends and family and are sad that the friends/family tour is about over. Jean noted that we have only stayed in a hotel one time, but that glosses over the fact that we spent the night in peoples’ homes a remarkable amount of time and are really grateful to have such friends who have been so generous and welcoming.
We had planned to go to the Grand Canyon straight from LA but got starry eyed about going to Sequoia NP and changed course. We saw the General Grant tree, which is a little smaller than the General Sherman tree, but were unable to get to the latter and Sherman was a bastard anyway. Plus, Grant is only a couple feet shorter. The last 5 minutes of the hike to Grant was mainly Jean seeing and firmly stating that that tree is definitely the Grant tree. But when we ultimately did see it, it was clear. We got an sad looking woman to take our picture in front of it and, naturally, Jean wanted to thank this woman in what she thought was her native tongue and brightly said “merci” but the woman then snapped back “I’m Hungarian.” Calm down, lady.
Next was a regrettable afternoon in Fresno. Onwards to Bakersfield which surely must be better than Fresno. Nope, not better than Fresno. We trudged on to Death Valley, which is a stunning park. Writing about the natural beauty we have seen requires poetry and–outside of limericks–that ain’t me.
We spent a night in Vegas in the parking lot next to the Circus Circus. Our night was mainly walking to casinos wondering if maybe the next one is the good one but never seemed to find the good one. The Circus Circus is a real treat though for people watching. We ended up walking about a mile to eat the best street tacos you could ever hope for.
We went to the Hoover dam and were surprised to see that we could still drive across the top of the dam. There was a security checkpoint to inspect vehicles for bombs that was outsourced to a private security firm and a cut-rate one, at that. One guard, an elderly fellow, was all agog for the Vixen and spent more time asking questions than scanning for bombs. If he did intend to search the interior, then that plan was stymied by Maeby guarding the door.
Speaking of Maeby, the dog isn’t allowed in a lot of places because she isn’t a service dog. The dog wasn’t allowed on top of the dam, so Jean walked across while the dog and I went back to the Vixen where we would then drive across to pick Jean up. On the way back, just out of sight of the dam, Maeby and I came across a large family of Indians who were mortified of the dog. She was leashed and heeling well, but still they leapt back in fear, many of them literally gasping and clutching their chests at the sight of her. But at the end of the pack was the paterfamilias who will forever live in my heart as the most excited person I have ever seen. He was like a sketch character in the real world. Upon seeing the dog the man screams “WOW!” and stares wide-eyed at Maeby. He was beaming at her and again hit me another “WOW!” and then, in a thick Indian accent, “what do you call this dog?” to which I replied “MAEBY” and this was now all just too much for him. I wanted to give him a stroke so I told her to sit and that was about all he could take, so we continued on our separate ways where moments later he would see the Hoover dam in all its glory and his yell his catchphrase loud enough for me to hear from very far away.
From there we went to Utah and have been doing lots of stuff. Including crossing the 10,000 mile mark nearly at the exact same time we visited Bedrock City, a shitty-ass Flintstones theme park. I yabba-dabba-do not want to ever go back there.
We’re currently at https://www.yelp.com/embed/widgets.js</span>”>Bryce Canyon and enjoying a visit from Jean’s Dad, JFK, who craved a good hike and missed his daughter so he hauled ass down from Seattle and proceeded to spoiled us with dinner and near beers because Utah is a prude and doesn’t give you the good stuff. We plan to do a moonlit hike through the hoodoos. From National Geographic: Among the embarrassment of riches in Bryce Canyon National Park, a full-moon hike through Queens Garden qualifies as a life experience. Look at the moon tonight around 9:30 and we can do somewhere out there together.
See you all soon.