Having successfully parked I set out to hook up the hook-ups. In no uncertain terms, Jan had informed me that never was she going to participate in this exercise despite my having ordered her a custom fit haz-mat suit replete with helmet, gloves and boots. Nope. She was staying inside to organize the drawers with the “silverware” and “plates and glasses” – the silverware actually being real, but the plates made from melamine bought from a shop on Balboa Island, not a cheap date, and the glasses made from colored plastic. My stuff came with the RV, the electric, sewer and water hook-ups. I was entering unchartered territories, that silent but ever present place where “black water hose was hooked to the dump”, the water to a fresh outlet, we hoped, and the electric to the 50amp outlet. Lo and behold, I did it, yet not without some uncertainty (actually a lot)  about what I was hooking to what. I just prayed that I was hooking water to water etc..,.but – it looked good.


It hadn’t rained in Southern California in months, indeed years if you look for measurable amounts, and the drought plaguing the state had reached historical proportions. Our concern heading out on the first cruise was a fear of a forest fire because we were to be surrounded by trees and brush. I mean, it was a thought that had crossed our minds but did not invoke any paralyzing fear that prevented us from continuing on with our trip. So, of course, this was the weekend where the heavens opened briefly but often, and while welcome in all parts of Southern California, we had not prepared for this – mud on our shoes, no umbrellas, appropriate clothing, wah wah wah. Deal with it!

Although we had all the hookups hooked up, we decided that as we were total rookies we would use our facility for #1 and the rest of our needs would be eased by the campground’s facilities, the thought process behind this being that when it came time to dump and we, I mean, I, screwed up there would be a little pee flying around. We figured we could handle that. So off we wen to discover the campground and what it had to offer.

We love to walk/hike, and as we hiked around the perimeter we passed a ton of other RV’s, unremarkable in that they looked just like us,  and that only served to affirm that we had kind of arrived into this new world, and we could relax and enjoy the journey and what these new destinations were to offer.

View of the valley floor and Mexico to the south.


The Pacific Crest trail which begins, or ends, just to the south of the campground.


When we first started to be intrigued by the notion that would like to take a few years and explore this country, my brother Michael told us not to bother with washer/dryer units in the motorhome because as he put it, “you meet the most interesting people in the laundromats.” Well, we didn’t meet Jim in a laundromat, but he was the first interesting person we met. As were hiking through and around the campgrounds we came upon this old RV with mounds of trash bags filled with old beer and soda cans strewn around the coach, and a bunch of model airplanes hanging from the tattered awning that had been formed from the old cans. Jim was 92 years old, a retired rocket physicist from UCLA and was now a full-time RV’er, actually had been for quite a long time. We sat and talked with him for an hour or so, and he had some fascinating stories to tell. True or not, he was captivating and we even bought one of the planes for a cool $25.00.

Despite the rains, we spent the rest of the trip exploring both the camp and the motorhome. We still had to figure out how the satellite worked, the blu-ray and many more things. We did cook our first meal, pasta, which was unremarkable except for the fact that w did not blow ourselves up cooking on the stovetop. Of course, in posts to come, we will be sharing menus that we have accumulated over the years. We managed to get home without any incident, and thrilled that we  had accomplished shakedown cruise #1!!!!

Beautiful sunset after the rain.


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