window for best viewing)
"Snowbird-Journey" began Saturday, December 13th....rather late
in the Season. But what's the hurry, ....Victoria's weather was still
balmy with lots of sunshine ....and our first obligation was to be with friends in Palm Springs
CA. for the Holidays. Since we did not
"snowbird" at all the previous year (because
of Dagmars health angst), we were now eager to get the 'show on the road'. As many of you know, we have been going South every year
with our trusty old MCI (MC5A)
since my early retirement from DND in 1991 (and Dagmar taking 'leaves of absences'), - so
we had some catching up to do. Specially since we did not move that wheel for the entire summer.
to departure we did undertake major renovations to the coach by our trusted RV shop in
Langford. They had been working on this coach nearly every year since we got it
...and I trusted them blindly. When we picked up the coach I did not
insist on a final inspection since they were in a rush to get us out of
their shop. That was a big mistake.... As soon as we hit the
road we found out that things did not turn out as promised ...and/or advertised. During our first
night stay just south of Seattle WA. we could hear the water pump activating every minute or so
while all faucets were closed. That only could mean one thing... WATER-LEAK.
And this became evident the next morning when we found a leak under the
kitchen sink where they had installed an 'O-SO-PURE' Water Treatment System.
The seal of the carbon filter leaked very badly ...and we noticed that the
Ultra-Violet Light (to
kill water-born bacteria) did
not work either. We stopped the leak by shutting off the supply line
to the filtration system and continued on to Roseburg <Winchester> OR. were
we had an appointment that Monday morning with 'Southern Oregon Diesel'.
next two days they not only serviced our coach, - but made changes to the
electrical system as well as replaced the last remaining old air-bag on the
bus. AND - they fixed our water leaks - because by that time we had
found two more around the 'new and improved water-tank system'. Those newly
arranged copper pipes and valves were so poorly designed and installed that
it looks right now that we may have to redo everything just to be on the
safe side. But the bad plumbing is not all.... that shop's new employees
did such a lousy job overall that we made an appointment at 'Camping World'
in San Bernardino CA. (for January 5th) to get things straightened out.
....water leaks galore
- one should never trust people blindly ...but there are exceptions.
Like those guys in Oregon.... they have been servicing our coach since 1992
...and treat us like family. One cannot find better people than Dave Gregory and his brother Dennis, -
including their experienced and friendly employees. Very fair business
people with simply outstanding mechanics. It's nice to know places
like these still exist....
Wednesday we drove from
Roseburg <Winchester> south on I-5 over the Grants Pass into California. We
normally would prefer to travel along the coast on either Highway #1 or #101 - but
because of the badly burned forests ...plus being so late - we barreled down
the I-5 to the TTN 'Lake Minden' Preserve just north of Sacramento CA. -
where we stayed for the night. The weather so far was nice ...except
for a stretch in Southern Oregon where it actually did snow the night before
we got there. That white stuff of course was piled up high beside the
highway when we crossed the 14,997 feet Grants Pass, - but the highway itself
was in top shape.
fire burning on Hwy #190
....destroying homes in its path.
Sacramento we went all the way to San Bernardino over the Grapevine.
The bus was running so great, it was a real joy to drive. I did also make
tremendous time ...and passed just about anybody. When I thought it was
safe to do ...I let her go to over 100mph. Smooth as silk.....
we made the appointment at 'Camping World' and continued on to TTN Palm
Springs for Christmas and New Year.
up camp in Palm Springs ...being with our friends
write this, the New Year's parties are over. We went out with a group of friends to
celebrate New Year at the Casino 'Trump 29' in Indio. It was a fantastic event...and
the party was so great, it was all over the local News that night.
on Monday we're @ 'Camping World' in San Bernardino to get things
fixed...but at the same time we also get a new Satellite TV installed since
our old one is passť. We intent to arrive at the TTN 'Wilderness Lake' Resort in Sun City (east of L.A.) the
following day. We'll stay there for two weeks....and that's where I
deliver on my New Years' resolution to start the "Atkins Diet".
'Wilderness Lake' is a very nice park and
they do provide a lot of activities for the members ...including bus-trips to
various Hollywood Studios. This is always great fun...
Sun City we'll progress south to our Home Park 'Pio Pico' located smack in
the middle between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Now another two weeks of fun
awaits us there ...because we know where to find that FUN in San Diego, lol.
In league with Orlando or perhaps Las Vegas, - San
Diego has to be one of our favorite TTN Resorts. We love the area so
much that we always have to tear us away form all its energy and beauty.
BTW, TTN and our affiliated RPI System (see
our links) do have the most beautiful campgrounds one can imagine. We consider
the TTN private membership-system our 'Real Estate' while living on the road,
- and the Camping-System is as advertised....'FAMILY'.
An indescribable way for us to enjoy
the freedom of the road ...and the 'Gypsy Lifestyle' (RV full-timers) we
love so much....
where do we go from here? Well, - this is the wrong question to ask
the Beimens ...since our Travel-Motto is: "THE JOURNEY IS
THE DESTINATION". But for you logistics buffs....from
California we're traveling first
to the TTN 'Verde Valley Resort' near Sedona, Arizona, -
revisit the Grand Canyon and then head south straggling the border going
east by dipping in and out of Mexico until we get to Brownville
TX ...to become 'Winter Texans' ...as Canadian Snowbirds are called down there.
And from the TTN Resort in San Antonio we'll travel along the Gulf of Mexico to arrive
in time for 'Mardi Grass' in New Orleans. This is always
a highpoint for me as a born Rheinlander (Carnival) ...plus we booth love
'all that Jazz' on Bourbon Street.
From Louisiana we
shall hug the coastline
through Mississippi and Alabama to arrive at another hot-spot, - Panama City,
FL. We know a lot of good people down there too and always hate to leave them...but now
we're getting closer to our home base on the space-coast in Florida...and a time to
pause and reflect. But before we travel to Titusville <Cape Canaveral> we have to make
a stop-over in Tampa to say HI to Dagmar's aunt Ushi ....and to visit with my old
buddy Friedel and his family..... Party time again!!!.
Map of Titusville and the
Florida Space Coast (Merritt Island)
RV-Lot in TGO in 1994 ..
...with added shed and gazebo in 1998 (see our links)
Sometime in March
or April we plan to leave Florida and intend to zig zag our
way up the Eastern Seaboard with stop-overs in SC and NC to visit with friends
and acquaintances ...and eventually a pit-stop in the Bronx where we want to
surprise a long lost nephew of mine. From New York State its only a guess right
now....if we do have the stamina, we'll visit the Maritimes and on the way
back try to find a way through the North to end up in Weyburn, Saskatchewan
and Rimbey, Alberta - to have reunions with old friends - before returning to BC.
back to visit this page regularly to check up on what we're actually doing.
We'll try to keep this site posted at regular intervals. As you know, - life
is full of surprises ...and one never knows what's around the next corner.
Use the Date-Links below to find out what actually transpired during our
August to November