Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Chowchilla, Oranges and Pommegranates

Avenue 24 1/2 in Chowchilla reminded me of Nebraska.  We were in the absolute middle of nowhere on a state road.  On the outskirts of a very small town we saw a sign for "527th Street".  We were amazed; where did such a small town get 527 streets when the entire state didn’t even have that many exits.  We were further fulmnoxed when we quickly came upon 832st Street.  Just didn’t figure. 
I had hoped to wake to sunrise over the lake but it was misty and raining.  We had been told to expect them, but the duck hunters shots still surprised me.  Instead of backtracking to 99 via 120, we took a county road (J14) down to Hwy 99.  We got a lot of glimpses of almond trees waiting for spring and lots of trailers.  It seemed that each and every residence was either a mobile home, trailer or had a 5th wheel or travel trailer in the yard.

I think we’ve found the snowbirds!  We are being passed (cause we drive at about 50-55mph) by multiple 5′ers and Class A+toad’s.  (here’s a translation: the fifth wheel or 5′er is towed by a truck and has the hitch in the back of the truck.  A Class A is a bus-type RV and the toad is the vehicle they are towing.  Dunno why it is called a toad, but I’m pretty sure someone will enlighten me.  Probably a play on words "TOWED vehicle" and "toad".)  So far we’ve seen two travel trailers going our way and one going north.

I got my first thank you from an RV today; I flashed my lights to let the Class A know they could change into my lane and they had the weirdest "thank you"; they flashed left and right turn signals twice.  Jamie and I cracked up over that one.  The Semi’s will generally either ignore me; not see my signal or flash their lights on and off or their flashers.  We also saw the most amazingly horrific combination today; a pickup truck (maybe a 1/2 ton but I sure hope it was at least a 1 ton) and come to think of it, it could have been a dually,  They were towing a CONTAINER.  You know, the containers that semi’s haul!  They had jury rigged some lights that didn’t work and the container was swaying so hard behind that truck that I was frightenend to follow it.  It passed me and I didn’t want to speed up to pass it and keep it away from me (cause I didn’t want to get whipped by the container) and I sure didn’t want to follow it and have to stop and avoid the accident sure to happen.  I hung way back and 3 or 4 trucks up the road ahead, I could still see it swaying all over the road.  It was so frightening to watch I really just wanted to pull over and let a couple miles go by.  We haven’t seen it yet, so either the tail never wagged the dog into oblivion or it pulled off.

We’re staying in Porterville tonight; well, south of Porterville in nowheresville and just before dark we found pommegranate trees.  Pike, as only Pikey could, found orange trees and picked some of those.  We’re having pomms and oranges with turkey chili to stave off the cold.  Tomorrow we head for the border (El Centro) and the day after we hope to be in San Felipe (unless we get distracted by something or are held up at the border).  We only drove for 4 hours today but started at noon; tomorrow we hope to get back to our old habit of getting up with the sunrise and stopping early so the kids have lots more time to play in the afternoon.  They seem to need play all day, but especially moreso at evening than morning.

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