One Year on the Road

Women on the Land

Parked in the meadow together.

By the time we got to Linda’s land near Point Arena on Friday, we were so exhausted by three days of white-knuckle driving that we were ready to stay put for a while. Linda had to leave the next morning to go to San Francisco for her granddaughter’s 7th birthday. (Apparently she thinks nothing of driving her smaller RV on these crazy-ass roads.) She would be back Sunday afternoon.

So all of Saturday, we just hung out on the land. As soon as the sun came up over the trees, it warmed up enough for shorts and tee shirts. Kelly, Kate and I brought books and magazines out to our lounge chairs and reveled in the quiet warmth. We had no plans that first day other than puttering around and organizing our rigs a bit.

Relieved to finally be there.

The land is set up as a family camp, with five or so individual cabins, a kitchen, a bathhouse, laundry, etc. It’s about 20 acres and is quite private and lovely. Linda bought it with her daughter several years ago. It includes a large solar panel that provides electricity to all the cabins and to the well pump. But getting it all going is a complicated process, and try as she did, Linda wasn’t able to make it happen. So no electrical or water hookups.

We hadn’t had hookups in the first two campgrounds either, so we were used to that, and we’ve got a generator when needed, but we were running low on water, and Kelly’s trailer battery was nearly dead. So when restful bliss turned to restlessness, we set about trying to come up with a solution. Linda had said to feel free to give the electrical system a try, so we opened the shed and looked over the instructions, but it seemed both complicated and easy to screw up. Eventually we realized that if we ran our generator with Kelly’s trailer plugged into an outlet, we could charge her rig.

Our innovative water fill solution.

Then there was the water. The outdoor spigot didn’t have enough pressure to push water up a hose to Bessie’s fill spout. But you could fill up a two-gallon container and pour it into the “gravity fill” port. We needed some sort of funnel, though. Kelly produced an empty aluminum Bud Light bottle and I produced a hack saw. A few minutes later, we were able to stop laughing long enough to slosh a good gallon into the 50-gallon tank.

You would think we were contestants on “Survivor,” we were so pleased with our team’s innovative solution. With nothing better to do that day, we took turns hauling jugs of water from the spigot and carefully pouring them into our fashioned funnel. Kelly and I were ready to call it good when the tank was 2/3 full, but Kate has a ferociously tenacious streak when she gets into a groove with something, and damn if we didn’t fill that whole 50-gallon tank, jug by jug.

“Chill-axing” as our son would say.

The next day, we left the dogs in Bessie and drove back up Highway 1 35 miles to Mendocino. We got back to the land just as Linda drove in and just before a heavy rain that lasted the night. The day after that was beautiful and we enjoyed some down time. Kelly and I went into Port Arena to use the free WiFi in the library. Kate got out her sewing machine and made a dress for Linda’s granddaughter’s American Girl doll, as a sort of hostess gift. And Kate and I took the dogs to a nearby beach.

Note: Although towing the Honda has been an added stress, with drained batteries and issues with the brake-assist, I’m so glad we have it for daytime excursions. It would be hard to be limited to only where Bessie can go. And once we set her up, we hardly want to disconnect her for a drive to town.

Bailey anxiously awaits her roasted marshmallow.

That last night, we built a huge fire in the campfire pit and cooked burgers and marshmallows over it. It was so enjoyable to be with our friends there. Getting there had been a little rough, and I don’t think I’d recommend Highway 1 to anyone in a Class A RV (or without nerves of steel), but I’m so glad that we did it.

The next morning, Linda left for Eugene, and Kelly followed us down Highway 1 (one more day of white-knuckle travel) and over to Cloverdale on Highway 101.

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4 thoughts on “Women on the Land

  1. willibus

    I am enjoying your travel log immensely. Two years ago, Janet and I drove down Big Sur in our 23′ Class C. She was driving and I was white knuckling it. She actually drove it up to Ventana and scared the bejesus out of one or two patrons who were trying to drive down the same narrow road. Delivery trucks go up there all the time and we actually aren’t any bigger than some of those, but it still seemed like a challenge. We did find a place to turn around and park and had a lovely lunch up there with a fantastic view. I don’t recall how long your rig is, but I’m wouldn’t recommend Big Sur to anyone in a motor home.

    1. Jennifer Meyer Post author

      Big Sur is one of my very favorite places in the world, but we’ve ruled it out for this trip, and the drive to Mendicino confirmed that for us. Our rig is 28 feet, short for a Class A, but just as tall and wide as the biggest of them.

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