Boogers, not.

For the last week we’ve both been leaking goo from the holes in our heads and coughing up a storm. Such is the life of getting sick in an RV. With all the drainage I haven’t been terribly motivated to keep the blog up to date.

But that storm of snot and all-night coughing has passed, so we’re back in the game.

This post is a collection of odd socks we’ve found since leaving California.

The Tribe – Sometimes we’re alone, sometimes there are 15 members of the tribe circled ’round. Some tribe members are just passing through (like us), some live in their vehicles, some follow the rules (we do) and some blatantly don’t.

Yep, the tribe that stays overnight in Walmart parking lots is an odd bunch, so we fit right in. The Walmart in Buckeye, Arizona is very popular, since nearby Phoenix has zoned the practice to death.

By the Book – The secret to appreciating our new book, “The National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways”, is to actually use it.

So we did.

In Phoenix, we had a wonderful visit with our counterpart Grandparents, Murray and Andrea, then headed up Hwy 87 bound for Payson, AZ. Stunning, mountainous drive through Tonto National Forest, which is actually a forest of boulders and huge cacti.

Taste of Home – Yes! A Culvers located across the street from our RV park in Payson! Our withdrawal symptoms from this guilty midwest addiction went away shortly after.

My Ass is Draggin’ – Why are there abrupt curbs at many RV parks? Here’s hoping we don’t screeeeeeeeech another gouge into the road.

Snowball – This is the most snow we’ve seen all trip… and all we hope to.

Soloing – The RV park in Payson was serene, scenic and solitary. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Winter is their off-season, so…

… we didn’t have to wait in line in their laundry room!

Siri, You B**ch! – Well, it was Google Maps, not Siri.

And it was my fault for leaving the “Avoid Highways” option checked.

Nonetheless, Google introduced us to the joy of off-roading with a 54′ rig going to the Escondido Lake campground near Socorro, NM.

Tight Squeeze – Leaving the park, with Google Maps correctly set up!

30 Days in CA

As we wrap our month in California we recorded this Best/Worst list:

  • Best New Buddy – Bennett. Hands Down. Period.
The Smile Factory
  • Best Way to Spend 21 Days – Holidays with Nikki, Nate, Bennett, Stella, Chris, Natalie, Liz, Dawn and Paul.
  • Best (Most Courteous) Drivers – San Francisco drivers, mostly, are the nicest we’ve encountered. They let you merge, they watch out for bikes, and they often drive below the speed limit… although that may be a limitation of their hybrid cars!
  • Worst Drivers – Los Angeles. Thumbs Down. Period.
  • Best Amusement Park Substitute – Piloting a 3/4 ton, crew cab, diesel pickup truck on the narrow, steep hills of San Francisco.
  • Best Sick Thrill: Putting the fear of god into Smart Car drivers.
  • Best Reunion – Visiting high school friend Kim and her family in Ojai after MANY years.
Peg and Kim
  • Worst thing to share the road
  • Best Scenery – Pretty much all of it.
San Luis Reservoir Panorama
Near Santa Paula

Taking it for Granite

Scenery aside, RV travel tends to involve a lot of the same things. RV parks begin to look the same. The same store chains, or regionally-named equivalents, fill most towns. Gas stations and truck stops blend together. Call it the homogenization (same-ification?) of America.

Yet each day we find something unique, like the floating granite ball in Santa Paula, California.

This physical wonder, called a Kugel Ball, floats a 5,000 pound granite ball on a friction-less layer of pressurized water. Simple hand pressure changes the direction or rotational speed of the sphere. A mass that large takes a while to accelerate or decelerate, so firm pressure and patience is required. (Video below takes a few seconds to load… fairly large)

Peg takes the Santa Paula Kugel Ball for a spin. She must be part ant, because she can move 50 times her weight!