Day 112 – 12/20 Groveland to Visalia (near Fresno)

It’s moving day today.  We are going to Visalia, which is just south of Fresno and makes a great base for Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon.  We’ll be there over Christmas as well, so it’s good to be closer to a bigger city for that.

I woke up and it was pretty cold in the trailer.  I had left only one tank open as the valve was not working right, and I think we ran out of gas overnight so the furnace stopped working at some point.  We got the space heaters going now and it’s warming up quick.  The dehumidifier ran all night on the kitchen counter.  The windows had some condensation still, but there was great improvement.  I think we some more tweaks and a proper full cleaning of the windows, we’ll be in good shape.

Bella woke me up this morning around 7:45, so after getting things going, it’s just her and I sitting in the dinette.  I’m on my computer and she’s on hers watching YouTube. 🙂

Bella had left a note for Rosie (the Elf) asking if she was in the naughty list, because of how things started yesterday. Hahahahaha… Rosie replied that even though Bella had a tough start of the day, that she kept trying and eventually had a great time at the park, so she was still in the good list.  The elf works!! 🙂

I tried to do some writing, but just was not feeling it, so I ended up just writing down some important points, and stopping, leaving me even more behind now on finishing some posts.  I guess I’ll have lots of catch up next week.

Bia woke up next, and grabbed her computer right away and came over.  Now it was the three of us on our computers.  I had the girls pause quick and get breakfast so they could start moving towards being ready.  So it was me trying to do some writing, and both girls on their own computers watching something on Youtube.  Carol got out just before 9, which is the usual time I start packing as well, so I put my computer away and started getting ready to go outside.  Right at 9 I asked the girls to take another break and get changed and be ready to go before they went back to their devices.  That way, at least the girls were all ready to go.  Carol had breakfast and started taking care of the inside.  Putting things away, securing things, she likes to do a bit of cleaning some times as well.

I went outside and first thing I did was go to the office to get our final package, the propane auto switchover valve, yay!  I’m glad it arrived.  I just unboxed it and put it in the back of the truck for later, I’ll deal with it when we arrive in Visalia.  I got the ladder and wiped the top of the slide out again, as it has been humid and cold overnight so everything gets wet.  Plus we had some trees around so I wanted to get any leaves and such out.  I got the big camping mat moved to a sunny area, and wiped it with a broom and left it drying, then as I folded each piece, I’d wipe and leave drying again, until it was all clean and dry.  It worked pretty well.  I’m glad we didn’t have neighbors.  I also had a tire or two that needed some inflation, so I checked the little pump I brought again and the cord to the cigarette lighter just is not long enough to reach the trailer tires, so I am just going to get a small pump at some point.  I ended up pumping with the bike pump.  I only needed 1-2 psi, so it was not too bad.  I don’t think the bike pump is too accurate, but I tried to pump until it showed 51psi.  That got me warmed up hahahahah.  The rest was the usual….  Tighten lug nuts, empty tanks, flush back tank, remove sewer hose, disconnect all hoses and power cord, make sure propane tanks are closed, hitch up, connect weight distribution bars, remove stabilizer arms and raise stabilizer jacks, pull in slide out, retract awning, put everything that was outside into the bed of the truck, remove choks and X-choks, put destination on GPS, turn on TPMS device for trailer tires, add some water to fresh tank so we can use on our stops, put bikes on racks and secure them…. Not in that order at all, but that’s about what is done each time we leave.  And we were rolling out of our spot around 11:30 today.

Our drive to Visalia was fine, it took us about 4 hours, including a stop.  The first hour and a half was tough though, as it was all mountain, low speed, like 15-30mph, most of the time around 25mph, going up and down, lots of tight turns, narrow roads.  Carol was a little anxious hahahaha… not easy when you have a huge cliff staring at you out of your window.  I was fine with it, but 90 minutes of this is a bit tiring.  We stopped at the top, at one of the pull outs, for lunch.  I left the truck running as it needed to properly cool down, it sure worked hard both up and down with pulling all this weight, and engine breaking all this.  There were some fans going when I stopped, likely the transmission fan, so leaving it run properly cools everything down.  The view from there was amazing.  We each went in the trailer to grab whatever we wanted, make sandwiches, etc.  And went outside to eat while enjoying the warmth of the day, the sun, and the view.  I got a call from an old buddy and talked to him for a while during our stop, it was tough to make any sense out of what he was saying, he was on something… I’ll leave that as that.  Anyway, after we all had something to eat and used the bathroom, we kept going.  This was basically our final crazy downhill, before we hit some larger easier highways.  Once we were out of the steep mountains and into the main highways, it was easy riding from there.  We had two hours of regular highway, and we did go up and down but much smoother and not steep.  As we got closer to Fresno, we started seeing fog, and it got denser and denser as we got closer.  We went through Fresno, and it was very foggy there.  As we passed it, it got a little better, but we could tell fog was settling in.  Within 25-30 minutes we arrived in Visalia, checked in and started setting up camp again.

As we set things up, the fog started coming in, and it got denser and denser.  Carol has been helping with outside setup and tear down, she usually takes care of the hitch if she can, so today she helped hitch up and then when we arrived, she unhitched as well.  She likes taking the weight distribution bars (and putting them on), and also connecting and disconnecting everything in the hitch setup.  I was rushing to get a few things done, especially I wanted to get the propane tank that was empty filled, and wanted to get the new valve installed, so I prioritized that on the setup.  I got the things that Carol needed to get other things going, and worked on the propane.  Got the front bike rack out, got the tank and went to the closest gas station.  There’s a brand new station within 2 miles from here, and the Diesel price there was the lowest I’ve seen in California so far at $3.09, so I filled up while I was there since I had half tank.  I got 2 beers to try, those big cans, got the propane and two bundles of firewood.  And, as I left the gas station, I could not even see across the street anymore!  Wow!  Fog was so dense, visibility was extremely low.  I kind of relied on the GPS to figure out where I needed to be and turn, because I could not see much, and just hoped that people were going slow and had their lights on.  It was crazy!  It was like 4:30pm, still kind of bright out, but you could not see anything 100 feet and beyond at all.  As I got back to our spot in the campground, it was getting harder and harder to even see the trailers across the street.

When I got back, the girls were working on a video together.  They talk about their YouTube channels all the time, and plan what they’ll do and say, sometimes they record a thing here and there, and they’re getting into the idea more and more.  They had a table setup close to the camper, under the awning, which was fully extended, they had the blue light from the outside on, they had a cell on a tripod and were recording some type of box opening. hahahahah… they had an amazing time together all day long.  They were both doing things together since morning, planning stuff.  On the car ride, Bella was crocheting and chatting with Carol and I, and with Bia.  Bella was talking about plans, etc… her farm plan has adapted to working on Judy’s nephew’s farm, that way she can get all the benefits of being with the animals without actually owning a farm.  And, she said that once she learns how to take care of everything, then the owner of the farm can actually take a vacation because she can take care of it all. Hahahahah…. Bia was playing a game most of the ride.  Closer to the end of the ride they were just laughing non stop, one was singing, the other was making funny stuff, it was awesome! hahahah.  Then once we arrived, they were playing together again, walking around, they had their slingshots at one point and were shooting at nothing, and than they were making videos!  As the fog came down, and it got a bit colder, they went inside and continued making videos, now they were doing something with their hands and the video was just of their hands.

I got back and went right to the propane setup.  Removed the old valve, put the new one in, connected both tanks, got a soapy solution to make sure there were no leaks, and we tested it out.  This new valve is a bit different as it has a clear window to show the tank has propane, and that window turns red when its empty.  And, this window is lower on the body of the setup, so it’s going to be harder to see without taking the entire tank covers off.  The valve worked great and it’s all setup and working.  Only thing that we’ll have to see how it works is this window thing to see if the tank is empty, I’m hoping it’s not as hard as I think it’ll be, but, no leaks.  I’ll keep the old one for now, just in case, but will get rid of it soon.  With the propane setup, I put the cover back on and put the bike rack back up but didn’t lock it for now.  Then, continued setting things up where I had left…. Got chairs out, our small table and grill, setup the stabilizer arms, and also put out our string lights, which I have not done at all since we left home.  We’ll be here for Xmas, so I thought I’d put that out.  We have not used it, so battery is empty, but hope it will recharge tomorrow.  I wrapped up everything, and went inside.

While all of this was going on, Carol was inside putting things back in place, cleaning, etc.  She even put the camper Xmas decorations Judy sent, they are awesome!  Carol also got dinner going.  Oh, and when she got her InstaPot to make dinner, she noticed the power cable had a melted spot in one of the prongs!  Darn it.  Second device now that has some issue like this.  We are going to have to clean it up and see what we do about it.  Fortunately, that cable is a regular computer type of power cable, so easy to find a replacement.  She used the pot anyway today, but that should be it, we need to fix that ASAP.  The pasta in the InstaPot actually turns out great, the girls ate more than one serving each, and I finished the pot hahahaha… 

Since the internet here is pretty bad and rarely connects, we ended up watching TV, regular TV… so the girls found a channel with some cartoons and had that on.  It started getting colder outside so we just hung out and watched TV together.  I was tired, so I went to bed around 9, and don’t think it took me much to falls asleep.  I kind of remember Bella coming to say good night, and Carol doing something later. hahahaha.  I was out.  So, that’s where this ends… likely Carol and the girls watched some more TV, and went to bed.

Interesting moving day with all the mountain driving, then all the fog, but a good day nonetheless, always some adventure.

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