Moving on – from Coalinga, CA to Nicolaus, CA

4/3/17 Monday in Nicolaus, CA (Lake Minden-TT)

Well, we would have been on our way around 7:30 but up cropped an adventure: the battery in our car was dead. We figure it died because, even though I turn off all the accessories I can while it’s being towed, there is still a “parasitic” draw on the battery. Normally that’s not enough to cause a problem because we unhook and drive the car once we arrive at the campgrounds. We usually drive to the grocery store or sites before we leave as well. This time, however, we didn’t even unhook the car. So besides a longer than usual drive with draws on the battery, it sat the rest of the day until about 4pm then was so low it couldn’t start the engine. How easily we forget these things.

John tried his 3 in 1 battery charger/jump starter. Whoops, it was dead too! Even though the office wouldn’t open until 9, I went there in hopes that I might find someone to help. The office was closed so I walked past it in hopes of finding someone awake at this hour. Bonanza – the owner and his wife were sitting on their balcony in their jammies and bathrobes, talking. I wouldn’t have noticed them otherwise. So he generously gave me a battery charger/starter that you could plug into the pedestal. That did the trick!

By the way, I’d forgotten to mention our little adventure yesterday, before we left Soledad. The MCD night shade over our windshield wouldn’t come up. Having experienced that before we knew it just needed to be reprogrammed, so we did that and it worked fine.

So we managed to leave at 8 for an even longer trip today of 219 miles. This trip is all freeway (I-5N). For us that’s easier than negotiating various intersections. We get to let the traffic pass us as we travel at 60 mph as well.

We both expected this to be a breeze of a trip. Maybe that’s why some cosmic force felt it was time to spice up our travels. Thus came our next adventure, John’s whole travel mug of water spilled over by the driver’s window, with the water eventually spreading over to my side. I jumped up and got a towel, wiping what I could see and reach. Sigh. Thank you California roads. They really haven’t been too bad until this stretch of I-5. Miserable potholes on the right side. Stockton was the worst five years ago when we last passed through. This time was fine; new concrete road through town. This was also a very windy/gusty day. Headwinds to boot. It calmed down some after Stockton. We did enjoy a laugh when we saw this truck with his big and small cargo. Strapped on the bed behind his large blue tarp covered load was a small toy truck.

The adventures didn’t end there. As we came to the left turn for Hwy 99 (toYuba City), we turned, unfortunately, that was the wrong turn. Long story short we drove some road all the way to Garden Rd (on a levee-no shoulder, deep drops on both sides, 2 lane road) to get to our campground. They’ve changed the configuration there and none of our maps “understood” where to go. Then when we arrived and unhooked our Honda, the battery was very dead. Our battery charger/jump start had not sufficiently powered up in the RV, so it didn’t help. Finally the camper next to our stranded car offered his help and jump started us. Then we left it running as we had lunch. Then John drove off to check out what went wrong at that turn (should have turned left later, after the short left turn lane). He also checked out how we’ll leave successfully.

Whew! Ready to rest and visit with our friends Kathy and Irian, then they generously fed us supper! So wonderful on such a rough day.

We ended our day watching Spokane’s Gonzaga basketball team play in the NCAA Championship game. Wow, such a nail biter. Both teams worked really hard and were hobbled, I think, by the incessant referees. Unfortunately our team lost, but I say they gave it a great shot. Hard to sleep, after all of today’s excitement.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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