Sunday, January 6, 2013

Final day in California

We are at the visitor center in Yucca Valley, California (map), a familiar stop for us.  The visitor center allows RVs to park for a single night in the rearmost portion of the lot; we had the place to ourselves last night.  We had an absolutely gorgeous drive yesterday afternoon over the Tehachapi Pass and through the high desert, with a dusting of snow visible on the mountaintops.

Yesterday morning found us at another familiar stop in Bakersfield, California, across from a row of hotels (map).  We've stayed there before, as well, and most recently, Louise stayed there without me on her cross-country jaunt to Mississippi to respond to flooding there, while I was dealing with tornadoes in Alabama.  On that trip she desperately needed the WiFi provided by some of the hotels, and on this trip we also took advantage of the same.  In the last year, though, most of them have restricted access to hotel guests.

As we were walking back from dinner at the nearby Black Angus steak house, we noticed a massage joint in the intervening strip mall, and we made appointments for a pair of massages yesterday morning.  My massage was just so-so, but the price was right, and Louise seems to have faired a bit better.  We'd been talking about getting massages the whole time we were in the bay area, and particularly after our whirlwind cross-country car trip, but we never managed to get around to it, so it was nice to have the convenience of a place in walking distance.

Speaking of the time we spent in the area, we arrived in California October 4, so yesterday marks a full three months that Odyssey has been in the state, which I am pretty sure is a record for us.  We ourselves clocked somewhat fewer days than that, owing to the dozen or so days we spent on the great dog-retrieval and boat inspection trip.  We will finally roll out of California this afternoon.  Good thing we like it here, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing -- California requires us to report the number of days we spend within the state each year, and if we go over the magic number, we owe them tax.

In all that time, we spent just $125 on parking and hookups (and an additional $24 for storage for the 12 days we were gone).  That covered seven days of the three months; the rest of the time my reckoning is that we spent an average of $8-$9 per day to be parked on the street or in various parking lots.  We went through about half a tank of diesel fuel, 150 gallons or so, in that three months.

Tonight we will be in Arizona, after crossing the Colorado in Parker.

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