The Great California Escape – Week One
We became full-time RVer’s when we vacated our house in Shingletown, California, and moved into our motorhome on our property. In June of this year, we sorted through all of our belongings, purging ourselves of everything that we possibly could. We talked with many full-timers on the cross-country trip that we embarked on in November of 2020. Everyone we spoke with advised us to GET RID of EVERYTHING! They all said that spending money for a storage unit for things that we will never use again was a complete waste. We took that advice to heart. We had an estate sale, a yard sale, and donated truckloads of stuff to a local thrift shop that gives their proceeds to the care of abandoned animals. I may have gotten a bit carried away. While we were still staying in the house, I asked Tommy to boil some pasta for our dinner, only to realize that I sold every saucepan we owned in the yard sale.
Despite the massive purge, there are still some things that need to be stored. You can’t throw away precious pictures and photo albums. There are important papers that need to be held on to. There are some mementos and collectibles that are impossible to part with. Everything we had to keep and wouldn’t fit into the motorhome is packed into the 20-foot box trailer we used to tow my car behind the motorhome. My Jeep, which I purchased three months before we decided to move from a fifth-wheel to a motorhome, was not towable. My Compass was an all-wheel-drive automatic. We made two cross-country trips with my car in the trailer, and it was often a hindrance and pain. The great guy from Norcal Estate Sales who did a fantastic job for us also purchased my car for his ex-wife. Yes, I said he was a great guy. He sold Tommy’s truck, too, so we don’t currently have a tow vehicle. We are going to purchase one after we set up our domicile address in South Dakota. We will NEVER give California money for vehicle registration again.
We are a part of the mass exodus from California. We are sick of the crazy politics, taxes, and the flat-out insanity of our birth state. Tommy is a third-generation San Franciscan, and I was born and raised in California too. We are sad to see the state that we loved turning into a cesspool and are leaving it in our rearview mirror. Our house hasn’t sold yet, so a return may be imminent, but that is in God’s hands. Shingletown is very rural, and our property is utility-independent. We opted for solar, and since we left every winter, a PG&E connection was not something we cared to do. I think that it may be making potential buyers nervous. For whatever reason, it hasn’t sold, but we are not stressing over it. We have faith that it will sell when it is supposed to for the right price. We have an excellent house sitter, and when the property sells, we can do all of the paperwork online, so we are free to start our adventure.
Our first destination was Idaho. We have friends in the state, and many of them escaped Hollister to move there. We are also storing our trailer in Idaho Falls for half of what it would cost to keep it in California. We made our first stop in Hines, Oregon, for a one-night stay. We were hit by a swarm of cicadas about the time we crossed the California, Oregon border. It was absolutely insane! It sounded like the RV was being pounded by golf ball size hail. We could barely see out of the windshield and had to stop a couple of times to attempt to get the insects off. When we reached Hines, we were exhausted from driving for almost seven hours. We don’t usually travel that far in one day. But, we wanted to be in Caldwell, Idaho, early to begin our anniversary celebration with our pals, the Roland’s.
Angie and Bruce escaped California for Idaho last year. They have a beautiful, completely paid-for home in Star, Idaho. They are retired, but Bruce still does consult work. To pay the crazy taxes in California, he would have had to work a lot more, which is the case for most retirees in the state. There is a town close to the Roland’s with over 65 transplants from Hollister, California. Not just from the state of California, but Hollister. It speaks volumes about the need for conservative, tax-paying citizens to relocate to enjoy their golden years. We continue to pray for California and all of our family and friends there. We are praying for the low-life Newscum to be replaced, but it will take a lot more than getting rid of him to bring revival to California. Thousands of people in influential positions will need to be replaced from school boards to city councils, board of supervisors, and an overhaul in congress. Sorry, I’ll get off of my soapbox now.
Our first stop at the Sand’s RV Park in Hines, Oregon, was an interesting one. The “park’ wasn’t a place to brag about, but for a one-night stay, it was perfect. It was a short distance from the highway and easy to find. We thought we were in the parking lot and found out that we had actually pulled into one of its sites. We didn’t even see the pedestal with the power and water. The owner came out and greeted us, and he was a pleasant man. The nightly fee was $22.00, including tax. For full hookup, you can’t beat it. We didn’t hook up to the sewer, but it was available. There was a restaurant within walking distance which was a huge plus. After a long day on the road, the last thing I want to do is fix dinner. The Apple Peddler had good service and decent food. It was SO refreshing to be waited on by someone that wasn’t wearing a mask. A few people came in wearing masks. I’m sure they were all from California.
We arrived in Idaho on July 24th and spent three wonderful days with our pals savoring great meals and each other’s company. We enjoyed their favorite restaurants and their church, and no one was wearing masks. It’s so great to be out of California. We stayed at the Ambassador RV Park in Caldwell 20 minutes from their house. The park was beautiful and very well taken care of. I didn’t take the time to enjoy the pool but it was spotless. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The park had lots of amenities and was only $45.00 a night. That is probably why we almost didn’t get a reservation there. They were booked solid but I kept calling and we managed to get in. If you want to RV in Idaho I’d make reservations well in advance.
We are currently in Declo, Idaho, where we spent two nights at a lovely park next to the Snake River. The sites are large and long enough to accommodate our 40-foot motorhome and our 20-foot trailer. There is a small grill that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a pretty well-equipped store. Tommy had biscuits and gravy with eggs, and I had a chorizo and egg burrito for breakfast on our first morning here, and it was tasty. Bonus, it was only $8.50 for breakfast. We have full hookups, and the place is beautiful. It is only $30.00 a night, which makes it even sweeter. We were only going to stay one night, but reservations in Idaho Falls made it necessary to stay two. I’m glad that we did. Yesterday was the first day in forever that we could sit outside without being baked, even under the shade of our awning. Paddy was over the moon to be able to finally hang out outdoors. We had a pleasant visit with the lady at the campsite next door and took a great walk along the river. If you are looking for a stop between California and Idaho, the Village of the Trees Resort is a great choice.
That’s a wrap for week one. I’ll let you know how the trailer dropping excursion goes in Idaho Falls. We are meeting up with our pal Teresa who grew up there. We chose the spot from the internet, and we’re hoping that it’s a nice place to leave our belongings. It’s gated, locked, and reasonably priced. Teresa took care of our home in Hollister on our first cross-country trip. She and her husband Lee were a blessing beyond description. We had a koi pond, a pool, lots of yards to tend to, as well as two outdoor cats. They made it easy to enjoy our trip without stressing over our house. God blessed us the same way in Shingletown, where we have great friends looking after our property and home there too. We would like to make this exit from California permanent, so please pray that our house sells soon.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. I’ll talk at you soon. God bless, Cat