Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mariachi central

We are at the Elks lodge in Downey, California (map).

Yesterday we left Lost Wages in the cool (ha! -- it was already in the mid-90's) of the morning, in order to climb the big hill to Mountain Pass, CA under somewhat less extreme conditions. We still had to take the hill at 40, with the tranny in 3rd-gear-hold to keep the fan speed up. At Halloran summit we stopped to eat our breakfast, put the dish up and get our email, etc., knowing it was mostly downhill from there.

I expected to stop last night at Cajon Pass, but it was still in the mid-90s there when we arrived, and we did not want to sit in a gravel lot running the generator for several hours to keep cool. (As it was, we ran one A/C literally all night in Vegas, taking our batteries down 445 amp-hours by the time we started the genny in the morning.) So we pressed onward, checking out the Elks lodge in Ontario, which advertised 30-amp power. The place looked like a prison, though, so we decided to come the whole way to Downey, which is just a stone's throw from Santa Fe Springs and Pedco.

OK, I'll admit it: a big part of that decision had to do with the fact that there is an Olive Garden literally right across the street here, and we had a nice dinner there last night. Behind that is the Stonewood mall, and we did some window-shopping this morning after a nice breakfast at Cafe-n-Stuff, which shares a parking lot with the Elks lodge.

Speaking of parking lots, that's not where we are parked. The 30-amp RV hookups are on the back lawn, which gave us some pause (though our 24-ton weight barely made a dent when we backed in), behind a locked gate. It's very nice here, but it is also right next to the separate building and patio that the lodge rents our for functions. Last night we had a QuinceaƱera party right outside our rig which ran until midnight, complete with Mariachis. The imported security guys taped off the area where we were parked with Caution tape to keep the revelers at arm's length -- both the intoxicated adults and the merely curious children. It was actually pretty tame, as these parties can go, and the music was OK, so we didn't mind too much.

We've arranged to remain here until the afternoon, when we will head over to Pedco to be ready first thing in the morning. One of our readers, who also hangs on the bus boards, is coming over there to meet us for dinner.

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