Mission San Xavier Del Boc…..Tucson, AZ

Mission San Xavier Del Boc is a jewel in the desert, it is only one of 3 Sonoran Desert Missions left which serves the locals as an active church for which it was built. The mission was built from 1783-1797 and is believed that the Tohono O’odham Indians helped build it.

Mission San Xavier is under continual restoration to preserve all the amazing artwork and history of the church. In the 1990s a 6-year restoration project was in full swing by several artists and curators from around the world to clean and repair the church and its artwork. There was a period of time that the church was almost in ruins with a leaking roof, squatters who brought their animals into the mission, built fires, etc. Part of the mission is a museum now and they also have a 25 minute PBS film that shows all the tedious work that went into saving Mission San Xavier. 

There are many mysteries about the mission, it has no records of who the architects, artists or builders were. It has been determined that there were three separate artists responsible for the paintings in the church. The whole inside of the church is covered in artwork with paintings and sculptures of styles similar to Spanish influence and native folk art of religious figures.







































January 6-11, 2016 Vacaville to Temecula

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two weeks since I set out on this journey. It has been a busy, fast couple of weeks. I stayed in Vacaville through Thursday, January 7. I had a few things that I needed to be done to my RV and we had rain Wednesday and sun was called for Thursday. I ended up with a few leaking issues with the roof so my brother helped me out by doing some sealing work. I headed on my way Friday morning January 8th for Temecula, CA where I would be visiting another friend from high school, Cindy.  Friday I made it as far as Pismo Beach….I came up over the hill just as the sun was setting and it was a beautiful sight to see that sunset and the ocean right out there in front of me.

By the time I got to the campground, it was dark. I stayed at Pismo Beach State Park and had a pull-through spot that was close to the beach.

Saturday morning I did a little exploring and took just a short hike from my camp spot to just over the hill to the beach. It was beautiful. I wish I would have had more time in Pismo Beach it was such a quaint, beachy little town. The last time I was in Pismo Beach I was just a kid (can’t remember for sure how old I was), but my parents took us along with our neighbors (Ray and Shirron) to go clamming. One of the memories I have that never left me was we were pretty-much-done clam digging as the tide was coming in. I was with Ray and we got caught in one of those sinkholes. Ray was wearing those wader boots and they started to fill with water and the tide was rising and I was afraid we were not going to get out. It was something that sure scared me and I have always remembered that. Just a side note… Ray and Shirron had a daughter who was a few years younger than me and just recently we reconnected on Facebook. I love Facebook and the reconnections I am able to make.

I continued on my way about mid-morning driving along Hwy 101. I passed through Santa Barbara, CA. Although I lived near the Ocean in Washington and often saw so much beautiful water I never tire of the ocean. It’s always so amazing and beautiful.

On through Ventura, CA along the Rincon. This would have been a cool place to have stayed overnight. On the Rincon, you can park and camp right off the highway that puts you right there looking out at the ocean and the surfers.

From Ventura I was heading on to Temecula, CA……the next several hours of driving were tough as I was transferred from one highway to another through the LA area. As it was nearing evening time I was only 30 miles to my destination when I blew a tire! I was not a happy camper but if it had to happen it happened in a perfect spot that had a wide shoulder off the freeway. My motorhome has dual rear wheels so when it blew there was no sudden jerking or uncontrolled driving, it was just a loud “pop” and I knew exactly what that was. I  pulled over and got out to inspect the situation. I was disappointed to see that the force of the blowout messed up my wheel well and part of the paneling above it. I was happy to see that my storage box right there was not damaged. I called Good Sam roadside service and they were having trouble pinpointing my location and was asked to call the CHP because they have a better GPS system. I called the CHP and she was able to pinpoint where I was and was also going to alert the CHP patrols that I was out there. I called Good Sam roadside assistance back and gave them my location and they dispatched a truck within the hour. In the meantime a CHP officer knocked on my RV, he offered to stay with me until I was back on the road as long as he did not get called away on an emergency. I was happy that he was able to stay the whole time until I was taken care of and back on my way.

This was the damage that was done and the duct tape job the roadside assistance guy did. I will have pictures later in this blog where I re-did this so much better LOL.

I slowly made my way with the spare now on to Cindy’s house in Temecula and arrived at about 8:30 PM. I was so happy to finally have arrived as it had been a very long, harrowing day. I was so happy to see Cindy and happy that I was able to park my RV at her house.

By now I am sure you are losing track of even what day I am on, as I am LOL. Sunday, January 10, 2016,  there is not much I can do about getting my tires checked out on a Sunday as most places are closed, so Cindy and I spent the day having lunch and walking around old town Temecula and doing a little grocery shopping. Old Town was awesome and had a lot of neat shops and activity going on.

This was an awesome mural painted on the wall on the back of one of the buildings.

Monday morning comes and my friend, Cindy is off to work and I must deal with the tire issue. I called a couple shops and get a referral to a small local shop about 20 miles out of Temecula in a little town called “Winchester”. I get to the shop and find it to be very friendly and helpful. They check out my tires and find that my tires are pretty old………9 yrs old to be exact so for peace of mind and to avoid any further damage to my RV I decided to replace all the tires. To make a long story short, the tires had to be ordered and after spending a day and a half dealing with a set that was bad and made my RV shake something awful a new, better tire had to be ordered and I ended up staying overnight in the tire yard that is locked and gated. The guys were feeling bad and very frustrated over the situation and were kind enough to let me stay there as well as hooked me up with their electricity for the night. Tuesday morning came, new tires arrived and were put on and I was finally on my way to Yuma, AZ by 11:00 A.M. This was truly a lesson in patience!

This is my motorhome at the tire shop


This is the new duct tape patch job I did! Don’t you think it’s better than the other one?









January 1-5, 2016

IMG_86901Day 1 – The day arrived, January 1, 2016, the day I was to start my new life and journey for the coming year.  I had been working so hard and pretty much non-stop for the past month and a half. I kinda wanted to pinch myself that this was all real, I had really done it!

I was up bright and early at 7:30 A.M. I was so excited to get on the road. I jumped in my RV turned on the key……………nothing, it was dead, dead, dead. I could not believe it, the battery was dead……..Really!  As I sat there assessing the situation Alyse (my son’s girlfriend) and her friend Corrine were arriving home from work (They are nurses and had just finished a 12 hr shift). They were troopers and jumped right in to help me get this baby fired up. Out came the jumper cables which we attached to the batteries that were located towards the front portion of the RV……………. Now don’t laugh and don’t shake your head but this is what happened and it’s my experience and learning curve LOL. Now in a motorhome, there are two sets of batteries, one is the in-house batteries…..the batteries that run the lights, etc when you are not hooked up to landline electricity and a second set which is at the back of the RV near the engine which is the battery that starts the engine. Now I don’t know what happened to my common sense and thinking skills, maybe it was just too early in the morning LOL, but here we were trying to jump the in-house battery, which of course did not work. I knew Alyse and Corrine were tired from their long work night and they needed to get some sleep so I told Corrine to go on home and for Alyse to go to bed. I had recently purchased “Good Sam” road service so I called them and told them my battery was dead and needed them to send someone to get my motorhome going. After 45 minutes I received a call back that due to the holiday they could not find anyone to come. I thanked the lady, hung up and thought what the heck……….so a person can’t get roadside help on a holiday, what if I was stuck on the side of the road or in a rest stop somewhere……I was going to have to wait until the next day???? I continued to sit and think and assess what I needed to do. I texted my son, Bryce who had gone off for the weekend snowmobiling and told him my situation. It was then that he told me I was jumping the wrong battery…………. Really!  I decided to go to the store and buy a set of jumper cables and a battery charger. I first tried to jump the RV with my car, nope no luck. So I hooked up the battery charger and let it charge for a couple hours……………..SUCCESS, it worked, the RV started up. I was never so happy to hear the sound of an engine. I literally jumped for joy and clapped my hands! Hallajueuh I was going to finally hit the road 7 hrs later.  I did not care that it was late afternoon, this baby was running and I was going to get down the road even if it was only 4-5 hrs of drive time.

Now that I was on the road I was not stopping till I had to, so I be-bopped on down the highway until I needed to stop for fuel. I also needed propane, I had enough to last for a while but knew I was going to run out before too long.  I stopped at the gas station and got diesel and asked the attendant where their propane was……..sorry but we don’t have propane here you will need to go just up the road a bit. One of the things I really like about Oregon is that people can’t pump their own fuel, a gas attendant does it for you. Today I was happy about that cause it was cold. I went down the road a bit and pulled into the station with the propane, well being a bit lazy and not wanting to get out in the cold to go and ask for someone to come out and get propane for me, I hopped back on the freeway and kept on going deciding that I would be okay and get some propane later. I traveled for about 3 more hours (which put it about 7 PM) when I pulled into a small rest area about 25 miles from Roseburg. I was so excited I was sleeping my first night in my new home on the road!  Well during the night guess what? I ran out of propane so there was no heat and it was a bit cold…..BRRRRR!  It was 21 degrees and there was frost on the inside of my windows! I put on my winter coat, my warm sweatpants, and my gloves. I did not have an ice scraper so I decided a credit card would work, but as I was searching for my credit card I ran across my AARP card. I chuckled and thought this would be the appropriate card to use LOL. I proceeded to scrap my windows with my AARP so I could see where I was going. I could have sat there and waited quite a while for the defroster to do its job but I was a bit impatient. I was ready to get on the road and find myself some propane so I could get warmer

Day 2 –  January 2, 2016, went much better, I was able to get propane and warmed up. I made it over Grants Pass, The Siskiyou’s and Mt Shasta without any problem. One of my main worries with all the cold weather we were having was getting over the passes before another storm came in. When I checked the weather before leaving Portland it was to be clear and sunny for a few days.  It was a good time to head out and get to warmer weather.

The Siskiyou’s20160102_140219

Day 3 – I had crossed over Mt Shasta and Lake Shasta the prior evening and so I was not able to see the Lake which  I really wanted to see as I knew the Lake had been getting really low in recent years and the last time I was through here was about 6 years ago. So once I got over the pass I pulled into to a Chevron station that was open all night and a safe area. I pulled around behind the station and parked in a lighted area for the night. I did not want to travel another 52 miles to a rest stop and wanted to be close enough to Lake Shasta to backtrack in the morning to see and get pictures of the Lake.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay parked here for the night or if I would be asked to leave, but I decided to take my chances, which worked out perfectly. I awoke this morning, fired up my motorhome and headed back the few miles to see the lake. I was just amazed and saddened by how low the lake was, the lowest it has ever been. Aside from the low water levels, it was just beautiful to see all the earthy tones of the soil that are now exposed.

Shasta Lake

After getting to see the Lake and getting pictures I continued on my way to Vacaville, California.

Day 4, 5 and 6 – I spent 3 days in Vacaville visiting a couple friends and seeing my brother and his fiancee. My brother was a great help in going over several things in my motorhome with me so that I felt more comfortable with where everything was and what I needed to keep an eye on and maintain. I had a great time hanging out with my friend Colleen, we had dinner at Tahoe Joe’s…………..the closest I was going to get to Tahoe this trip. It was a great atmosphere with a lot of Tahoe/Truckee photos, snowshoes, skis, and even a menu that reflected food choices of places in Tahoe as well as great tasting food, I soaked my aching, sore muscles in the hot tub which was great and much needed, made a trip to Camping World to browse with my granddaughters “Tigger” and did some fun photoshoots.

#Vacaville #traveling #RV #newlife #motorhome #friends #Lake-Shasta