Day 122 – 12/30 Visalia to Acton, CA

It’s moving day today.  We move close to LA, to a mountain town called Acton, near Santa Clarita, which will be our base for a week.  I’m a little nervous about the check in and how easy or hard it will be due to the latest COVID restrictions in southern CA.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to sign the waiver and keep moving, and that overall things will improve in the area.  The latest restrictions are due to the fact that ICUs in the area are at 0% capacity, meaning they are all full, and until they have at least 15% capacity back, these restrictions will not change.  Restrictions are that only essential travel or essential workers can be checked in at hotels and lodging, and technically be traveling as well via airports, etc.  Let’s see what happens today, and then each time we move as we go down.

The weather was decent outside, a little foggy on one side but I could see the sun coming out on the other side, so I knew it’d warm up and the fog would go away soon.  That was great as it makes packing easier and then leaving with the trailer much safer.  Our route is pretty easy, south on 99 which then merges with 5, and we are basically there.  No crazy mountains to climb though we do have a mountain range to pass and we’ll be staying at a valley town, so we’ll see what that means.

Our windows are pretty much like every day now since we got it down with the dehumidifier, so I’ll stop adding updates as it’s the norm now.  Unless something out of ordinary happens.  It’s not perfect, but we are in a good spot and can manage the bit of fogginess and some dampness that’s left on a few windows in the morning, which I wipe up when everyone is awake anyway, then we have dry windows the entire day.

I was up around 7, and was determined to get all caught up on posts by 9, which is when I usually start packing to leave when we move.  And after so many days of being behind, I’m finally caught up.  Yay!  I’m caught up on writing all the daily entires, now just need to get some posts out again.  I am kind of feeling bad about posting with all the craziness going on out there, but I’ll resume next year :).  I ended up turning the TV on around 8:30 to make sure everyone was up by 9 so we could get going, and that always works.

Carol and the girls pretty much all woke up at the same time, just before 9, and we got going.  The girls slowly changed and ate breakfast.  Carol started getting things ready, she got some food ready for the road, and cleaned the trailer as she put things away, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, etc.  She’s got the inside routine down.  I worked on the outside, which is also always the same routine.  Get the bikes on the racks, secure them, empty tanks, put hoses away, disconnect everything, load the truck, retorque the lug nuts, etc.  The only new item this time was a propane tank that we are now using for Carol’s heater, which had to go in the bed of the truck.  Propane tanks must travel standing up, and should not be bouncing everywhere, so I had to safely secure it to the truck, and make sure it would not do either.  I did some rearranging of items, and now without the cooler back there, we had plenty of room for everything, and had some room left.  Now, maybe in LA, we need to find a good home for the cooler and pans, and other stuff we have there to be donated.  And as usual, we were ready to go and out by 11.  We have been pretty consistent at getting ready in 2 hours.

Our drive was super easy, especially compared to the drives we’ve done recently.  It was a straight shot on 99 and 5.  For the first 2 hours or so, we drove through fruit farms, lots of them, some smaller and some were huge.  We drove through the Halo oranges place, and wow.. that was massive.  Orange trees you could not even see the end, lots of big machines, and just tons of pallets full, and trucks full.  As we hit the end of the fruit trail, as I’m calling it, we could see a mountain range we were heading towards.  I’m not sure what that mountain range is called, but the Angeles National Forrest is there, I saw the signs :). That was a beautiful drive, easy going up the mountains and easy going down on the other side.  Easy grade, and easy turns, all the way.  Highway 5 goes to LA, so we turned into the mountains at some point towards Santa Clarita, and passed it towards Acton.  We are in the middle of the mountains and valleys, and it’s cool that on one side you see dry soil and plants, and on another you see snow.  As we drove in towards our campground, the temperature dropped almost 10 degrees.  On 5 we were seeing 60s, and when we got to the campground it was like 53.  

After driving further into a valley, and deeper down the Soledad Canyon valley in Acton, we arrived at our campground.  I was a little anxious about checking in due to the tighter stay at home restrictions, and how it would go.  But, they just asked for the usual stuff, which at these Thousand Trails campgrounds is copy of registration and insurance for both the truck and trailer.  And upon handing that, the lady just gave me my paperwork, showed me the map, and off we went.  Nothing out of ordinary.  Pewf!  This campground is massive, they have 800 sites or so.  And just like other Thousand Trail sites, you don’t get assigned a spot, you just pick one.  I had asked the lady about any recommendations, so she recommended an area that had better cell reception.  The spot we were in had none.  So, we went there.  To get to that area, we needed to get out onto the road again, and go around the campground to use another entrance.  The path from inside used a bridge that is out due to some recent flooding.  Flooding?  Everything around here is dry, even the creek or river that runs down there is dry, weird to think there was a recent flooding.  Anyway, Carol directed me towards the new area, and we were looking to find a spot near a playground.  It is definitely a big park, with many different sections.  As we got close to the playground area, we were a bit disappointed.. hahaha… the playground was this plastic set you buy at Walmart if you have like one kid.  One little slide, and that was about it. Hahahahaha… oh well.  We were down here already so we drove around looking for an interesting spot.  We found some but they were closed, then we found another that had a ton of space next to it, so we parked there.  It’s right in front of the creek, which is dry, so the girls were out there exploring right away.  It was pretty easy to park, our spot was pull through, so all we had to do was level.  Carol and I got things setup quick, so she could leave and go to a store in town to get some groceries, and items to make for tomorrow night.  We always try to get the minimum needed done so she can leave, and while she’s out, I finish the setup.  It works well.  So, we got the trailer level, brakes on, unhitched, took things out of the bed of the truck, and she was out.  I finished setting up the connections, stabilizers, etc.

The girls got the walkie talkies and were walking around the creek area in front of us, exploring and looking for “unusual items”, as they said it.  They played around for a while, and got a bunch of leaves and branches, and were doing their usual smashing of leaves.  Bia then asked me to go explore with her, so we went.  She was all happy leading the way, telling me about this or that weird looking tree.  We even found a grave with the name “T-Bone”, so I guessed it was a dog.  It was all pretty, with plastic flowers, and a nicely done sign.  Bia and I got poked by this bush with pointy leaves, they look like soft leaves but they are actually hard, and the pointy top is sharp.  Dang!  There are a few of those around, so we got hit another few times, the sucker pokes through your jeans and leaves a mark.  (Eye roll here for all the jokes, hahahah).  And just as the sun went down, it started getting cold, so we went back in.  Carol arrived pretty much at the same time.

Carol had bought some stuff to make burgers for tonight, so while she was inside getting things ready, I was outside getting the grill setup.  I had also setup her heater and had that going, as it was a bit chilly out.  By time I was ready, she had the burgers ready.  She bought ground beef and made the burgers herself.  The girls were playing inside.  They showered and were playing cards.  Kind of a benefit of not having wifi or TV reception, and not being allowed on electronics (they were on it the entire ride here) is that they improvise and play with anything.  They were playing with cards, trying to pile them up and see who could do the tallest pile. :). While I grilled the burgers outside, Carol started working on the milk pudding for tomorrow.

They do have wifi here, the signal is strong, but it’s not very fast, likely because everyone is using it at the same time.  But, I got the TV connected and it actually loaded Netflix.. slowly, but did.  I started a movie, and it’d buffer here and there, but it played.  We had dinner watching the movie.  When Carol was done with the pudding, she realized she forgot to buy some stuff, so she left again.  I finished the dishes while she was out.  This time, she was back pretty quick, and continued getting things done for tomorrow.  Lentils is always in the menu for our new year, it is said to bring luck, and who are we to not give it a shot right? hehehehe… Carol made another batch of milk pudding, made the lentils, and when she was done, we had the girls dry and put away the dishes.  The internet connection actually got better, so we started another movie for the girls, Shark boy and Lava girl. Hahahaha…. I was pretty tired, so I went to bed not much after that.  They were all almost done too, so I think they went to bed after the movie was over.  I hit the pillow and I was out.

It was a good moving day, and we are looking forward to the New Year!

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