After a two day drive we finally landed in Santa Paula for a two, maybe three, month stay.
The trip is only about 300 miles and we could have done it in one day, but space was not available in the Santa Paula RV park and we spent one night in the small town of Victorville.
The first leg of the trip from Las Vegas to Victorville was as uneventful as expected. Our only stops were in the small town of Jean for fuel and a rest stop in the middle of the California desert. This section of I-15 is heavily traveled. Traffic is a mixture of speeding cars and lumbering trucks. Think of it as a running game of Chicken on a heavily used and poorly maintained highway. We didn’t see any accidents but the the roadway was covered with skid marks and littered with evidence of past crashes. The road is sort of like a 250 mile streak of garbage stretching through desert wilderness.
The town of Victorville used to be little more than a crossroads and mining community but in recent years the place has turned into a bedroom community for Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe people live here and drive to Los Angeles for work. I suppose the tradeoff for living in the desert is a three hour commute and buying a car every two years. Housing may be affordable but the savings is quickly eroded by the cost and time of transportation.
We pulled into the aging KOA and set up for the evening. This was the very same KOA we stayed at two years ago at the start of the Excellent Adventure and it is still a hard place to maneuver around in. The night was cold and the sounds of the highway kept waking us up.
The drive from Victorville to Santa Paula is only about 120 miles, so we there was no compelling reason to get an early start. While preparing coach ready for travel, we got into a conversation with a fellow camper. They had just bought a new Monaco rig and wanted to compare notes. We were surprised to hear they were towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee without a emergency breaking system. Most states require a break-away system for towing anything over 3,000 pounds; a Jeep Grand Cherokee clearly exceeds that weight limit. Also, the burden of stopping the Jeep is completely borne by the coach. This is a dangerous practice, especially on long downgrades. I hope he has a breaking system installed soon.
By the time we were done talking and hit the road, it was almost 10:00 AM.
The drive was timed to avoid the bulk of the morning traffic. The strategy worked and for the most part traffic was light. Some repairs had been made to highway 14 between Palmdale and Valencia, but the road still beat the crap out of the coach. Each time we drive this stretch of highway, the coach develops some new squeak or rattle. Near Magic Mountain, we stopped for fuel and got into the narrowest fuel island I’ve ever seen. Somehow we squeezed through without damaging the rig. There were only inches of clearance to spare. This fuel depot is definitely off the list.
We arrived in Santa Paula shortly after noon, checked in and set up. What a relief knowing we will be planted here for at least two months.
The rest of the day was sent visiting with family. Although we were here in April, all the grandkids have noticeably changed. The youngest, Erika, is now a year old and walking. It was good to see everyone again.