Escape

Lodi, California; 7PM; clear and 60 degrees F
iciclesThe snow started way back in early December, gave us a beautiful white Christmas, and didn’t let up.  When it did finally stop, the temperatures plummeted to morning lows near zero for days in a row and clear sunny skies that warmed up to all of 12 degrees.  It has been great fun.  Mo and I did a lot of shoveling and plowing, managed to move almost 6 cords of free wood that we inherited from a neighbor, and kept the fires burning and the house cozy and warm.
8 degree morning in Rocky PointI love winter.  For awhile.  I have had some knitting and quilting time, and truly enjoyed the ability to telecommute for work when the roads were icy and treacherous. I finished the queen sized quilt I have been working on for a few months and took it to the quilter.  I almost finished a soft luscious shawl for Melody, just waiting for the hand dyed silk to arrive for the fringe. I almost finished a baby quilt that I will deliver next month to a beloved friend about to have a little boy. 
freezing fog along I-5 between Grants Pass and MeddoedBut enough is enough!  Every night when we go to the hot tub, the bare feet freeze on the porch and the entire ten feet of distance from the back door until we are in the hot water is a challenge.  No matter how beautiful the pristine cold snow looks outside my window, and no matter how warm and cozy we are with our wood stove, I am tired of it.  I am ready to be somewhere warm. I am a bit tired of the thick fence of icicles between me and the view out the bedroom window. 
Yesterday we loaded up the dog and the cat and and supplies for our escape and drove the two hours over the mountain to the cottage and the waiting MoHo.  Instead of temperatures in the teens with clear skies, we drove into temperatures in the 30’s with icy fog shrouding everything.  It is one of the famous temperature inversions that make the cold winter fogs of the Rogue Valley legendary.  At the cottage, there wasn’t a speck of snow on the ground, but that icy fog is COLD!  Mo said, “Are you complaining about the weather here too?”.  Well, yeah, I guess I am.  I am envisioning warm sunshine, not icy roads and steely gray skies.
photo moWe had most of the afternoon at the cottage to fiddle around a bit, and Mo decided to tackle the moldy cupboard wall that she wanted out of the kitchen.  It  kind of reminded me of those shows on HGTV where they take a sledge hammer to the walls.  It is sort of fun tearing a house apart.  While we were demolishing the kitchen wall, the roofer was outside tearing off the 4 different layers of roofing down to the rafters.  The cottage was built in 1926, and wasn’t a high end build even then, but underneath all that stuff, we found what looks to be solid, beautiful redwood beams. Kinda nice.
photo (1)We enjoyed a simple supper, a game of cards, and some evening reading before turning down the heat for the night.  Saturday morning would come soon enough. 
time to escape the cold, dreary, icy fogThis morning, the icy fog was still thick as we hooked up the MoHo and headed south of the Five.  First, however, we decided to stop for a good breakfast at Elmer’s, close to the interstate onramp. It is the second time we have had breakfast there and it wasn’t a fluke.  The restaurant is wonderful, with really great food.  Again we split a breakfast of potato pancakes with applesauce, bacon and green onions, applewood bacon and great coffee. We were on the road by 9:30 with an estimated time of arrival at Flag City in Lodi around 4:30.  I think we pulled in here at about 4:15.
temperature inversions are trapping cold air and all the wood smoke and pollution in the valleyswinter inversion in the Rogue ValleyThe drive was lovely.  Traffic was light, the I-5  surface has been redone since our last trip south, and once we were out of the Rogue Valley, the temperature inversions were behind us.  By the time we got to Redding it was 65 gorgeous, sunny, luscious degrees. As we rolled down the road, both of us realized that the destination is almost irrelevant, it is just that desire to get rolling that makes it what it is.  The Journey, not so much the Destination.  Although I think the destination is nice, and we are looking forward to it, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to just fly south.  It is the road.  I may have said this before, but the realization always seems to come to me anew when we get back on the road.  I love the movement, the changing scenery, the companionable silence of rolling down the road.above the smoke, the Mountain is pristine
We covered an easy 375 miles today, rolling right through downtown Sacramento without a hitch.  We took a chance without a reservation for Flag City, and when we arrived, in spite of a big group being here, there was a nice, level pull through waiting for us for $27. (half price) with our Passport America card.  Tomorrow another day on the road, an easy 250 miles or so before we pull into the Orange Grove RV Park near Bakersfield.  I am looking forward to those sweet oranges everyone keeps talking about. I really hope the cold snap hasn’t wiped them out!

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Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

19 thoughts on “Escape”

  1. I like that phrase…”the companionable silence of rolling down the road”! Wish we could be doing that but guess you know why we aren't now. Don't forget your sunscreen! My forever mantra now…

    Please change your header to Jeremy on the dash! Love that photo!!!

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  2. JEALOUS!! Although we did escape to sunshine today in Florence. Russ and I have said the same things you are saying: It's not the destination, it's the journey. And just the moving down the road is so enjoyable. Hopefully before too much longer, we will be on the road as well.

    Sure hope the oranges didn't freeze. That is such a neat park and so much fun to pick your own oranges. Enjoy. Hi to Mo.

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  3. Sure happy to see you in some sunshine again. We know how you feel, had to do the same thing ourselves today. Found sunshine in Florence on the coast. Donna and I were talking about that very thing today, life is a journey, and you can make of it what you will. Safe travel to you both, friends, and may the fur be with you!

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  4. We only went about a half hour away, running errand, but I had been in the house all week and it was just nice to get out be it in the Buick with the wheels turning.

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  5. I sure can identify with your phrase 'It is the road. I may have said this before, but the realization always seems to come to me anew when we get back on the road. I love the movement, the changing scenery, the companionable silence of rolling down the road'. Happens to me the same way as well. Soon as those big wheels get rolling, the adventure has started. And, in the end, it is the adventure of RV travel that is all important.

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  6. What gorgeous photos… LOVED them! Glad you had a safe and fun journey and hope you found the sunny warn weather you were looking for. Come to Florida it is always sunny & warm here!
    Have fun & Travel safe
    Donna

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  7. Great post Sue. Your winter does sound wonderful. I loved it too if we could have snow, no need to drive and a fire in the woodstove. Too often all we got was cold and damp. But like you a few weeks was enough. Your get away sounds great. ENJOY!!

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  8. I love the snow pictures but do understand enough is enough. Hope your sunshine and warmth gives you both a good thawing out and you get to pick your own oranges.
    Have a great time.

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  9. Great photos of the snow at home – really nice, I could almost feel the warmth of your fire – almost!!

    Orange Grove? You're close by – I hope there are still some oranges for you!

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  10. Isn't it grand to thaw out? We are now in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (near Mexico), where the days are oozing sunshine and warmth. Like you, it was time for us to leave the snow and cold behind… but it was lovely for a while.

    Enjoy your oranges and your stay in good ol' California!

    Nickie

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