Yes, home is where I park it. But it can also be a certain place, and for me, that place is the central coast of California.
Joy and Shiloh on DelMonte Beach.
The more I travel, the more I know it. Wow. It feels good to be here.
What makes a place “home”?
It must be different for everyone, and I think it can change over time, too. Relationships, familiarity, feelings, memories, the right vibes. I certainly didn’t
start out here, and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places in my travels….but this place is not only beautiful, but it just feels right. I resonate with the area on many levels.
That’s part of the Monterey Peninsula in the background.
Mary, Joy, Shiloh and I went to DelMonte Beach on this beautiful day. (Yesterday). This is Joy and Shilohs favorite beach ever. They were practically raised on it.
I used to let them run free here, but now with some wild waves this time of year, and Joys decreasing strength, I’m not letting her run out into the water. Last time we were here (last year), she did that and her back legs collapsed under the strength of the water. I had to go in and get her out and it wasn’t easy.
Yesterday she was allowed to get her feet wet.
Getting Here And Practical Things
i had a routine service appointment scheduled for JR (my truck, ‘Joy Ride’) the day before we were leaving the ranch. I was talking to Fred about it and he asked me if I ever check my oil.
“Umm, no. I have a gauge…” I answer sheepishly. I knew that was the wrong answer. So Fred and Colleen came over to show me how to check the oil and other things under the hood. When it came to the battery, Fred told me there was a little peep hole in the top of it, and told me to look into it. He asked me what I saw.
The color red.
Oops, another wrong answer. It’s supposed to be green. Don’t want to make a long trip on a dying battery. It’s over 5 years old, so actually it’s time for a new one, but at the last check up it was running at 12.7 though, so I thought it was fine. I decide to have a new one out in at the appointment.
And then, the next day when I’m tooling around the ranch, the engine light comes on. Yikes, this can’t be good! I read the manual and it tells me that when the engine light comes on and does not flash it means the engine needs to be serviced soon. What is wrong and how soon remains a mystery. Can I drive it 50 plus miles into town to the servicing? Most opinions around the ranch range in the yes category. Fred and Colleen offer to follow me when I go but that’s a 100 plus mile round trip they may not need to make so I decline. They tell me to call if I have any problems.
Will we make it to that beautiful ocean after all? (Obviously we did. 😀)
So Thursday comes and anxiety blossoms as I Start down the bumpy dirt road. I find it necessary to pop lots of antiacids. The battery works and the engine light stays on and the trip to the Ford dealership is uneventful. I tell them my story and then we wait. The whole place is very welcoming to Joy and Shiloh and they behave like angels. The polished marble floor is very cold and they enjoy lying on it.
Finally I get the news, yes there are dead cells in the battery and we have replaced it, but as for the engine light….we ran the codes and nothing is showing up. We think it’s probably just………dust on the sensors. We cleaned them off….
Well I can certainly understand that. JR is covered with a thick coat of dust. I’ve literally been sweeping it off with a small broom. Well, if that’s true, what a relief!
California here we come!
The Monterey Bay, where we are in these pictures, stretches from The Monterey Peninsula on the south, to Santa Cruz on the north. It goes for about 40 miles I believe. There is rarely more than a couple people on this beach when I’ve come here over the years, and even still.
We leave the ranch Friday, December 1 and have a blissfully uneventful journey to Blythe, CA, where we spend the night. On the 2nd we are up early and on our way to Barstow where we will be meeting up with our friends Shirlee and Doug from Canada. We met them here near Barstow at Owl Canyon BLM about 3 years ago and camped together also at Sawtooth Canyon, in Quartzsite, and at Mittry Lake. Today we drive directly to the RV park where they are staying near Barstow.
Shirlee and Joy.
Shiloh getting his guy time with Doug.
Joy chewing on Dougs socks. Joy and Shiloh have good memories of being in Doug and Shirlee’s 5th wheel and all the love and treats they received there.
After a nice visit and a walk we go check into our hotel in Barstow. (I highly do NOT recommend the Worst…umm…Best Western Desert Villa Inn, in Barstow.).
A little later Shirlee and Doug arrive with dinner from Peggy Sues Diner, nearby. Yup, they have a veggie burger there. We have another nice visit and a walk. So nice to see them again.
Sunday morning we are outta that yucky hotel early, and on our way to Mary’s house! I’m happy to report that JR is running like a top and getting 20.5 to 24.5 miles to the gallon as we travel. At Paso Robles we get on Hwy 101 north, and I know the home place is only a couple of hours away! Emotion trickles down my cheeks now and again.
We reach Mary’s house and the dogs are ecstatic. My gut is saying Yes! Yes! Yes! Mary and I talk non stop as she makes pizza with a cauliflower crust and Daiya Cheese Shreds, and lots of veggies.
Phew. We made it. Home.