Friday, April 17, 2009

steve and darrel's excellent adventure

It is easy to stay on plan when you don't have a plan.

If that is true, Darrel and I are right on target.

We planned on getting on the road on Thursday morning at 4:30 AM. We left the house around 5:15, and made rather good time for a leisurely road trip.

The original plan was to drive east and south through eastern Oregon and central Nevada. The weather put sold to that idea. So, we struck out like 49ers down the I-5 corridor.

Our stops will not inspire remake episodes for Route 66. We had breakfast in Roseburg. Gassed up in Ashland. Gassed up in Sacramento. Gassed and ate dinner at Buttonwillow (on the outskirts of Bakersfield).

In Buttonwillow, we discovered that the ride was taking a terrible toll on Jiggs's legs. He walked as if he had fallen down a flight of stairs.

We weighed our options and decided, rather than skirting Los Angeles by driving through Bakersfield out through the desert, we would drive through Pasadena and come out near San Bernadino, where we would stay the night. It was late enough to avoid rush hour traffic, but not the usual mayhem that passes for traffic around Los Angeles.

We are now at a hotel in Ontario. (We fell a little short of our target.) And the amazing Professor Jiggs has shown a Lazarus-like recovery. I was going to take him up the elevator, but he rushed up the stairs right after me. With a little walk, he was well enough to enjoy his favorite treat: a hunk of baguette.

Every time I drive through the central California valley, I marvel at its simple beauty. Most of the colors are tans and browns, but the vistas are wide, and the contours fascinating.

I wish I had taken a few more photographs. But I thought this one would interest my friends who are fascinated with signs in Mexico warning about dangerous crocodiles. We saw it at a rest stop in central California -- in the middle of the dog walk area.


Calypso said...

A long haul for day one - how many miles? I know I could use Mapquest - but this is easier.

Have fun

Larry in Mazatlan said...

I'm so glad about Jiggs. Maybe he's starting to get the idea that this just might be a gread adventure.

We're all watching for your progress. I'll never forget our trip south. It was full of all kinds of little surprises, none really bad.

Take care and enjoy each mile, oops km, of the way.


1st Mate said...

Hurrah for Jiggs! What a trouper!

By now, you're deep in the desert and seeing saguaros and barrel cactus and everything is blooming. Enjoy! It's frustratingly hard to take photos out the window (especially as the window gets dirtier) when you're zipping along at 60+mph.

By the way, don't be surprised if you come upon a rest area that has wifi.

Babs said...

Wow, that sign will get your attention....and's in English so you know what it says. Ha.

glorv1 said...

Oh how exciting. You came right up my alley, the central valley. Jiggs just passed on by, I might have waved to him in my dreams. Your exciting trip is something I'm looking forward to reading. Oh I'm hopiing Mr. Jiggs will do fine. I think he ran up the stairs because he knew it was time to hit the sack the right way. I bet all he is thinking about, and sending you messages that "As long as I'm with you daddy, nothing matters." He loves you and that's all that matters to him. I can hardly wait for your next post and see what happens next. Happy driving.

::hugs::to Mr.Jiggs

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- We drove just under 1000 miles yesterday.

Larry -- Jiggs was up and moving this morning -- looking for adventure. Instead, he is going to get more truck riding.

1st Mate -- We are having a nice slow breakfast in Ontario. But we will soon be on our way to the land of deserts.

Babs -- It was an attention-grabbing sign.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- I thought of you as we drove down the valley. Jiggs sends his greetings.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

I seem to recall you were going to stop in Phoenix for a spell before continuing south. Not far from Ontario to Phoenix, so should be a good visit. Still crossing at Lukeville, or are you going to try Nogales?


Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- We are going to skip Phoenix. Instead, we are going to take our time and drive over to Gila Bend to set up shop for our crossing tomorrow.

Larry in Mazatlan said...


Gila Bend is okay, but Lukeville will put you closer to the border and it has nicer places to stay. If you stay in Gila Bend, look for the motel that has the flying saucer on the roof. It's a hoot.


Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

DANG! Almost 1000 miles (Larry's right, gotta say about 1600 km) on your first day. Where is the leisure part? HA Anyway, we're glad to hear you're on the road and that Prof. Jiggs is diggin' it.

Anonymous said...

Red Hill Coffee Shop
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

Best Breakfast anywhere.

near Ontario, closer to Upland.


Brenda said...

Glad to hear things are going well.

Anonymous said...

Steve - wonderful to see your update...

Good to hear the family has had some rest and is ready to resume travel. Onward and forward!

Best wishes,

Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- Good news. Bad news. Bad: we are in Gila Bend. Good: We are staying at the space station. You are correct: it is a hoot. We were just ready for a room after yesterday's journey.

Cynthia -- It appears that both my brother and I inherited our father's travel gene. Being in the car is enough for us to look for the next destination -- quickly.

Charley -- Sorry I missed the comment while we were still in Ontario. Instead, we had the hotel's free cereal, roll, and boiled egg breakfast. Hardly memorable.

Brenda -- Thanks. We should be in your neighborhood tomorrow. Any dog-friendly hotel suggestions?

Kim -- On the road, where every day takes us closer to Melaque.

Brenda said...

Sorry Steve we haven't travelled with dogs.
If I remember correctly I mentioned to Paul and Nancy to try the apartments in the Totonaka RV place in San Carlos and I think they stayed there with their dogs. Totonaka RV is on the main street of San Carlos not too far into the town. Very easy to find.
Roy suggested that we could meet you somewhere easy to find and we could keep Prof. Jiggs with us overnight for you. Not sure how Jiggs would like that; but you are sure welcome to do that. We would meet you somewhere and show you the way to our apt. and then you could just pick him up on your way out in the morning.

terri said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and look forward to your posts everyday. All I can say is you make me smile. I'm glad that your finally on your way. I'm lying in my hammock now just dreamin' of msking a drive like yours to a life in Mexico. If only I could get El Jefe (mi esposo) to cooperate. Bien viaje.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but the phrase, "reasonable watchfulness should be sufficient to avoid snakebite," caught my attention. It seems so sensible, unexcited, and normal. It's the kind of warning that people deserve. But instead, we're all getting bizarre warnings these days. They seem to be either extreme (like the current "elevated" risk of terrorist attack), or so all-inclusively wordy as to cover every possible nuance of possibility. (Just read some company's annual report's risk section some day).

That sign must be old. Very old.

Hope you are enjoying your excellent adventure as much as your readers.

Fond regards,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where plenty of dangers lurk, but we're blessedly free of rattlesnakes.

Brenda said...

Forgot to mention Steve that there are several motels on the way into Guaymas that might accept dogs. There is also a "no tell motel" on the way into town. We stayed there one night so that we could hide our car full of stuff. Rooms were fine, bathroom was great lol. Each room has a garage with a heavy curtain that you can close so that no one can see what is in your vehicle. I was up 1/2 the night just watching all the comings and goings. lol

Steve Cotton said...

Brenda -- The Flamingos Motel takes dogs. We just need to find it tomorrow. But thanks for the offer. I look forward to seeing you and Bliss tomorrow.

Terri -- Thanks. So far, it has been a great adventure. I am glad my brother is making the trip with me.

Kim -- You can tell it's old because it is helpful. I fear my profession has helped cause a lot of the muddle. But not any more -- for me.

Steve Cotton said...

Brenda -- As interesting as the "no-tell" motel experience would be, I think we will stick with the Flamingos. If that falls through, who knows?

Brenda said...

OK, the Flamingo Motel is easy to find. It is on the road into Guaymas. It will be on your left hand side as you come into town.

Brenda said...

LOL. Enjoy your day tomorrow and hope to see you in the evening.

Cory said...

Excellent pictures and update!

Glad you, Darrel, and Jiggs are having a good trip. Tell them "hi."

Enjoy the travels.

Steve Cotton said...

Cory -- Thanks. I will tell both of them "hi" for you.

Steve Cotton said...

Brenda -- Thanks. See you tomorrow.