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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Welcome Back!

~Sunday, November 28, 2021~

Day 532 (Travel Day)

I can’t believe it! We’re actually arriving in California today. 12 months is too long to be away from our son, my mom, and my bestie. We can’t wait to spend some good, quality time with them during our favorite time of year. After a few weeks of being a little spoiled with WES (water, electric, sewer), we’ll be boondocking the next 3 days at the Joshua Tree Dispersed Camping area, which is just outside the national park. Miles today….335.

Since we are being hyper-sensitive about tires lately, we both took a good look at all of them before hitting the road. As I stepped away, I noticed that our new Korean tire, the one that we are relying on to get to California for the next 800 miles, looked significantly smaller than our Goodyear tires. As I mentioned, it will eventually become our spare. But anyway, I noticed a big difference in the height of the tire. From the rim to the outside is probably a 2-inch difference, and they’re the same 205/75-R15 size. I tried to call the place we bought them from, but being Sunday, they were closed. We just wanted to see if driving with one tire shorter than the other would be unsafe. I managed to get a hold of a Big O’ Tire center and the guy there said it should be o.k. if they are the same tire size. But how could they look so different? I liken it to buying shoes. The same size shoe can either fit perfectly, or be too loose or too tight depending on the make. So maybe with tires, you just can’t go by the visual. We’ll just really have to monitor things until we get our wheels the way we want them. One more tightening of the lug nuts, and we’re off.

Wow, what a beautiful, clear day, as we could see for miles! I must say it was nice seeing all those California license plates again, but not those California gas prices. Ouch! Today’s gas was the most expensive of the trip so far at $4.19/gallon. We’ve been averaging about $3.80/gallon, still quite a bit higher than when we started the trip which was in the high $2.00 range. We split the driving duties today and must have hit about 5 traffic jams, all on Highway 10, from either accidents, road construction, or the California Border Protection Station where they allowed most people to just move on through.

It was a momentous occasion that Hank turned over 50,000 miles on this leg of the trip. He’s been one amazing truck!!

Can’t wait to see where our next 50,000 miles takes us. We finally arrived with about 30 minutes to spare before sunset. This is not the place you want to arrive at in the dark since it is a dispersed, desert setting, washboard, gully plagued area, several hundred acres large. There are quite a few campers here, but not quite as full as last time. Everyone is really spread out. In fact, there is a group of about 6 RV’s, bbq’s, stacked firewood, etc. proudly displaying their Canadian flag a few hundred yards from where we were. We tried to get the same spot as last time, but a Class A had already claimed it. We oriented the trailer so the living side faced west, perfect for viewing those gorgeous desert sunsets. What a perfect place to just “be”. Even Sadie was thrilled to be back in an open-ended spot, free from restrictions…..well at least the 6-foot leash kind. I’m always the worrier with desert settings however (rattlesnakes and scorpions), so she’s not allowed to be too free and roaming. It’s the strangest thing that there are no prickly plants here, just dry shrubs. So at least we don’t have to worry about Sadie coming into contact with the “owy” kind. And when the sun goes down, having her rechargeable light on her collar really helps us keep tabs on her. She doesn’t like to wander too far from her parents anyway. The night skies are truly amazing here with millions of stars to gaze at. In addition to Sedona, this rates in our top 5 of boondocking locations, which is why we’re back. You’re far enough away from Highway 10 you can’t hear it, there’s a great cell signal (AT&T at least), it feels as if you own acres of property yet know you have neighbors, there’s a free water and dump station about 4 miles away (Cottonwood Campground), and it’s so quiet, it’s almost deafening (if that makes sense). If you plan your food and gas ahead of time, this is one of the easiest places to be self-contained. Now off for some star-gazing and a very peaceful night’s sleep 💤😴

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