~Thursday, September 17, 2020~
Day 95 (Travel Day)
A very long 500-mile day from Wells, Nevada to Manteca, California. It truly is surreal that we are back to where our travels began on June 15. But we wouldn’t miss Ken and Bertie’s wedding for anything (unless we had another broken transmission?). Since that launch day of June 15, it really is amazing how much we have packed into the last 3 months, and we have at least 9 more to go.
As we were hitching up, our neighbor from Michigan stopped by to give us a few brochures/maps on the Ontario area as well as the Great Lake state he is from. So nice of him. They asked what our blog/website address is, so who knows, maybe we’ll have a new subscriber.
Jeff took the first shift of driving until we needed to let Sadie out for lunch and some run around time, and also needed to fill up on Deft and diesel. Most of the way through Nevada was horrendous in terms of the smoke. This was dense, low smoke. Not the high smoke we had seen in Idaho and Montana. Jeff’s got this great app on his phone called PurpleAir.com and the AQI reading today where we were driving through was around 300. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people breathing air at close to 500. These fires are just heartbreaking. It was such a relief when we could see little pockets of blue sky as we got into the Donner Summit area. It was so pleasant to be back in the Sierras that we’re so familiar with. I swear the pine tree smell here is so different from what we smelled in Idaho, Wyoming or Montana. Every state has its unique smell. It really does. Jeff votes for the Sierra smell, but growing up in California, we’re just a little partial.
When we finally arrived at the French Camp RV Park in Manteca around 6:30, we were greeted by the nighttime security guy who gave us a lot of paperwork on the rules/regulations (they are very strict here) and let us in through the gate since the office was closed. We’ll get our gate code/pass tomorrow. It’s a nice place and very convenient to the highway. I’m sure this is a huge stopover for people traveling up and down the state. After we arrived to our site #112, we quickly unhitched so we could get a much deserved dinner. We had only eaten a little something this morning, so by 7:30 p.m., we were crazy hungry. So we went to this funky sports bar within walking distance from our site, called French Camp Sports Cafe and Bar. It was karaoke night with a modest crowd of “very happy” bystanders and participants. While we were listening to the “entertainment”, we chatted with a few locals. Sadie kept occupied with a very playful, energetic 1-year old German Shepherd. After what seemed about 45 minutes, we got our BLT and Fish ‘n Chips dinner brought out to us, with a backdrop mix of karaoke Black Sabbath and Whitney Houston. Very interesting evening and completely unexpected. Walking back to our site, we came upon 10 feral cats just sitting in the street, not fazed one bit about 1 yellow lab’s curiosity (maybe because they outnumbered her). But it was enough to get Sadie all worked up before bed.