Mono Lake, CA 2018

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

To Barstow and Death Valley

So here we are, in Death Valley National Park on the last day of a very interesting year. 

Some of the other bloggers have written posts about their year of full time RVing.  We are not there yet, but I feel we’ve made significant progress in that direction!  

In the last 16 months we have bought a motor home, Craig has retired, we have traveled to four wonderful national parks, fulfilled my wish to see the Rose Bowl parade, and completed numerous projects on the house.  

Yes I would say it has been a good year (plus.)

What will the next year bring?  I hope that by this time next year we too will be full timing and house free.  Don’t know where we will be parked.

I never have been one for making resolutions.  I do set goals and make plans.  But this year I am making a resolution.

In the next year I resolve to do at least 12 good deeds.  12 things, big or small that I have not done in the past.  I hope to be a better person.

Now on to the RV post!

Our drive from Desert Hot Springs to Barstow was a bit more hectic and a bit longer than  expected.  

Craig’s glasses are not the run of the mill “Lens Crafters” variety, and thus he needed to find a real optometrist office rather than just an optical department to fix them.  But because it was Saturday our choices were limited.  We decided to head to a bigger city, Riverside, since we also needed to get our propane filled and top off the diesel fuel, and Gas Buddy told us the prices were lower in that direction.

We first tried a Walmart Optical Department and they directed us to an optometrist that was open and could help us.  I won’t go into all of the details, but driving a 54’ RV rig (including toad) through a strange city is not fun!  Getting into the UHaul lot for propane required several passes around residential streets to get to the entrance that we could drive into and thru without unhooking the car! But we did it.

The stop at the optometrist went smoothly with me dropping Craig off and driving the Alfa to a side street and waiting for his call on the walkie-talkie before going back to pick him up.  This optometrist fixed the glasses with a spot weld because he did not have a screw that fit either.  Hopefully this will be the last time we are on this chase.

Craig even managed to get the McRib sandwich he wanted after seeing all of the McDonald billboards. I dropped him off and waited in a Walmart parking lot next door. (I had a salad.)

Driving out of Riverside and to Barstow we had another first. Rain. Craig had installed new wipers on the Alfa and between them, the new front tires and alignments and the new shocks, the rig handled nicely. We are beginning to think there might be a “break-in period” with the new shocks.  The ride is definitely smoother now.

As we approached Barstow we saw many clusters of RVs boondocking in the desert. 

As I said before, we are not there yet.  We had our reservation at a little inexpensive ($27) RV park with drive-thru and hookups.

Although since it was only an overnight and freezing temperatures were a possibility, we only hooked up the power. The place was small and old, but clean and loved. 

We pulled out of Barstow about 11:00 AM for a sunny 200 mile drive.  Although I would never want to live in the desert full time, the ever changing views of the mountains are a feast for the eyes. 

We are now at the Stovepipe Wells RV park, with full hookups for five nights.    

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Happy New Year!

    So glad you are having a good go! Enjoy Death Valley... It was a pleasant place to visit for us on the 40th year trip ~ other than the Titus Canyon Rd. experience with the two flat tires on the Jeep! But cars were passing us and whenever we get back we will try it again!!!

    Have fun!

  2. Good for you for choosing the salad. I probably wouldn't eat a McRib unless it was the last meal on earth. :P

  3. It sounds like you are having a good trip despite all the little challenges. Keep up with the amazing attitude.

  4. Sounds like we just reversed your drive as we drove through Barstow before heading south on I-15 just today.

    You guys seem to be doing well and having a great time.

    Happy New Year.

  5. We stayed at Stovepipe Wells a few years ago but we were too late in the season and it was HOT. We lasted one night in the motel. Now I want to go back in the MH at the right time of year. There are some other bloggers staying at Furnace Creek Ranch. Anxious to read the adventures of both couples. Have fun.

  6. Rather daunting sometimes to maneuver that big rig through some of those small city streets. You guys are doing great. Jim and I tried the McRib the other day. Once was enough.

  7. Dave and I used to live in Riverside before we moved to Washington State. Not an easy city to manuever a big motorhome and toad! Glad to hear you made it safely to Death Valley. Is this your first visit to the park? Dave was here for one day years ago but it's my first visit. Carol

  8. Be careful not to get lost out there!

  9. You 2 sure have learned to maneuver that Alph. Your last picture of the mountains is beautiful.

  10. We have driven to & through Death Valley a couple times but never really spent any time there. Looks like a lot of things to see & do but we just never took the time to see & do them. Enjoy your days & what a great way to prepare for full timing next year.

  11. I remember ...doesn't seem too long ago either...that you had just about given up on your dream ! Just think of the possibilities coming in the future...Happy New Year to you both!

  12. Enjoy your five night stay. We're "riding along" with you on your trip. The scenery is fantastic!

  13. Wow, I used to live in Fontana, California, and I recognize some of these places! Good to hear about the shocks! I love your adventure!



Leave a comment, or send an email.