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Author: Wolfgang

This year's "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. 

Prior 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'. 

For the 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

I know, - 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.... 

On 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.

  

....Forest fire burning on Hwy #190                 ....destroying homes in its path.

From 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.....

Next morning we made the appointment at 'Camping World' and continued on to TTN Palm Springs for Christmas and New Year.

    

...setting up camp in Palm Springs                          ...being with our friends

As I 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. 

Of course 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...

From 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....

So 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)

....our 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.

Please come 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.

Keep in touch!!!!

Use the Date-Links below to find out what actually transpired during our travels:

Travel-Journal 2004