Well, rain or not, the next morning we’re on the road again. This time we’re bound for the Airstream dealer in a town just south of Seattle for a quick warranty stop. This place is amazing. They lay out the trailers in the most dramatic fashion, guaranteed to get your attention. Whether you are interested or not (and we are not, no way, that’s for sure), you can’t help but look. Look and drool. Just take a peek. What a dangerous activity. However, appealing as they are, we resist.
After our items are fixed, we hit the freeway. Freeways here are difficult at the best of times and leaving after a day of waiting around is not a good idea. Now we are in serious five o’clock traffic close to some of the busiest cities in America. The outskirts of Seattle whiz by and Portland, Oregon is on the horizon. Hundreds of cars are in sight at any given time in what seems like hundreds of lanes. The ride is grueling and exhausting but we see it through even though things eventually become almost a blur. The lights are blinding and road is a zoo. What are we doing here?
But, determined as we are to find the sun, we barrel through Oregon. The weather is getting nicer, but not nice enough to stop. The forecast is for five days of consecutive rain coming up, keep driving, Jim. On and on we go until, wow, there’s the state line. California, here we come. We finally pull in at our favorite overnight spot and happily get out and stretch. Once again, here we are, home sweet home.
After a lovely stay in the Walmart Hilton, (staying overnight at the back of the parking lot with lots of other RVs and truckers, that is) we are off again the next morning. California is looking radiant this morning. For the first time in weeks, we see a completely blue sky! The air feels silky and warm, yes, warm. And dry. For us, dryness has a new meaning. It means the end of cold, bone-chilling damp, moisture on the walls, on the mattress, wet towels, wet everything. Now to find a campsite near the friends we want to visit and we’ll be set.
However, getting to a good campsite is not as easy as it sounds. You would think just driving into California and finding a place to park the trailer would be a simple task. But remember the traffic, the huge population, the cars, trucks, vans, buses, and on and on and therefore understand why it’s not so simple. Here the freeway means six or eight lanes of traffic on each side. Side roads are really just another freeway but maybe with only four lanes on each side. Some of these drivers are absolute maniacs, there’s no other word for it, zipping into any opening they can find, crossing three lanes at a time, driving way over the speed limit constantly and ready to honk and yell at you at any moment. Jim pauses for just a second today to have a look at a parking lot we were about to enter, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a sinister-looking black car with completely black tinted windows comes roaring up the hill at a hundred miles an hour, headed directly for the side of our truck. It turns out to be a near miss, but it leaves me shaking.
And then we begin the hunt for a campsite. Remember that we have no idea where we are or what lies ahead. It’s part of the fun of travelling, for sure, but sometimes it can be a tad frustrating. So today, we’re on the lookout for a good place to stop in what we call ” a city campsite”. This is a place with a pool and concrete parking spots and good shopping nearby. Sometimes it’s just nice to be in civilization with your trailer and be able to take in the local sights and sounds. So we look on our camping app and find an interesting place called Eddos RV Resort. Hmmm. Sounds good. The app says it has 30 sites, river view and all the amenities. Let’s go.
Well. The first sign that this might not be what we have in mind is the miles and miles of industrial park we’re driving through. The second sign is the major construction along the whole route that keeps on taking us out of town and into the middle of nowhere. Where in the heck are we going? The third ominous sign appears when we suddenly approach what seems to me to be the bridge from hell. I have a phobia about heights and this bridge is just about sending me into a panic attack. To add insult to injury, there’s a twenty dollar toll just to cross this extremely dangerous looking hunk of metal. What’s the matter with these people? Do I have to pay to have a fatal fall into the freezing (and extremely muddy) Sacramento River? Anyway, across it we go. As we arrive at the base of the bridge, we can not see over the top at all. The concrete and metal go up, up, up and then seemingly disappear into mid-air. The bridge without end. The bridge to nowhere. Only with my eyes closed (good thing I’m not driving), a hand over my mouth to keep in the gasps and a huge faith in Jim’s competence am I able to make that crossing. I start to breathe again only after we make it to the other side.
But it seems our adventure is only beginning. The GPS now informs us that we have to take a right turn at the next intersection after the bridge. Hmmm, a right turn. But the road on the right doesn’t even look like a road. Not a road a truck and large trailer should be travelling, that’s for sure. More like a farm road. A mud track. A path. Oh well, the GPS is never wrong. And the camping app said this was an RV resort. Carry on.
So down the mud track/farmer’s tractor road we go. It is impossible to turn around even if we want to so we might as well enjoy the ride. The ride that gets more and more bumpy, that is. The road, though sort of paved around the mud holes, gets increasingly more uneven as we slowly drive down it. Fields on either side, nothing to see except the bridge from hell, freeway in the distance and bumpy road ahead. After about three miles of this, we come to an abrupt left turn up a small hill. As we gain purchase on the new part of the road, we realize that we are on what they call , “the levee road”. Looking down on the right we can see the Sacramento River. On the left, the fields continue. And wow, just ahead, a sign that reads “ROUGH ROAD”. No kidding.
Having no choice but to continue (no turning this rig around here, folks, no way), we carry on. The road is now somewhat picturesque with beautiful white birds called egrets sitting on the foliage, the occasional boat on the river with men and fishing rods and the beautiful sun (let’s not forget the good news – we’ve found the sun) beaming down. We are truly on the edge here. This becomes even more true when we come to the next sign that says “ROAD NARROWS”. Great. We’re on a road from which there is absolutely no turning around and now, no passing another vehicle. Yep, we’re walkin’ the edge all right, but not exactly what we’ve had in mind. Interesting.
Anyway, luck is with us and we carry on until finally, a crooked very old sign for Eddo’s beautiful RV Park appears in the middle of nowhere. We pull into an area that is, in fact, beautiful, if you are looking for some fishing off the levee roadside or on your boat on the river. A lovely little place in the middle of these fields, nice grassy campsites, cute little outhouses and a friendly host who greeted us upon arrival. But an RV Resort? Maybe not quite.
A huge U-turn in front of Mr. Eddo, a friendly wave goodbye, and we are on our way again. Slowly we go back across the levee, down the little hill, back to the freeway and over the bridge again. A right turn this time puts us on the route to yet a new adventure, that of another unknown campground. This time, we hit gold with a very nice RV Resort, pavement, stores, FLUSH TOILETS, lol, and all the rest of the amenities. We settle down finally, with relief, and phone the friends we want to have over for dinner. We’re happy to tell them they don’t have to drive to the middle of nowhere or over the bridge from hell in order to visit us. What a day. Oh boy, the places we go….