Roads, repairs and rain!

15 Feb

It is a wet Sunday afternoon and time to update on our past week.

It all started with a drive to Lakehead, at the time we thought it was a bit twisty, one week on and we are getting quite used to upy downy twisty turny bits… and I am not delivering kittens anymore, well not often anyway! We had a nice walk on Monday afternoon to what should have been the lake but with the local drought the water level is extremely low and very little water to be seen. It was sunny and warm enough that I took off one layer on the walk back to the site. It was great to stretch our legs, we haven’t been able to do as much walking as we would like as yet.

Tuesday morning we had an appointment to see a Norcold fridge Dr as our fridge was not working correctly. After about 3hrs he pronounced we needed a new cooler unit. This would take a week to be in stock. We had spotted the area Fleetwood Service Centre down the road and decided to take a drive there and see if they could be of more help through the Fleetwood network and our warranty.
Long story ensues, involving testing and cooling, two nights plugged in on Dan Gamels car park, lots of nattering to Sherry and Wilmet, 7yr full time RV’rs also waiting for repair plus conversations with Dan G’s lovely staff. We were also included in their staff lunch to celebrate their Manager. They had had some tough times (think they are probably not over yet) and he had kept them going, for which they were very grateful.
By Thursday lunchtime we were a bit further forward and set off on the road at the same time talking with Norcold and Hansel RV in Petaluma to organise a part to be fitted when we arrive with them.
We had wanted to get to Clearlake, but realised the time we had was a bit short, it could be dark before we arrived at the site and we really didn’t want to drive in the dark. (No we are not wimping out, some of these roads are quite twisty, even most main roads are not lit, and as for direction signs, well just be grateful for the UK systems!) We were willing to pitch up if we saw a site enroute, but other than what appeared to be a storage site saw nothing, so of course it got dark.
Clearlake town was quite bustling and we stopped at the local gas station to ask if we were on the correct road, we were, so we carried on. In the dark the road seemed to get narrower, in fact it warned it was getting narrower, it also got darker, twistyer and uppyer. At one point we had to do a 3 point turn (very proud of my driver) on a horrid hilly junction bit as we had gone the wrong way. We eventually, in the gloom of the headlights, thought the buildings either side might be the site. We got out with the torch and Robert decided that to the left of the road were hook ups, the lake was about 50ft from the road, so we drove in and set up. We were not going anywhere else that night, our nose was about 15ft from the edge of the lake.
It was a bit deserted and I remarked they didn’t look very open…knock knock on the door…. young man to tell us they are actually closed! A brief conversation, and he understood our plight and in fact was concerned we may have gone on further where the road had actually crumbled away….. no … I will think nor say no more…… He spoke to the owner..we stayed the night…
Next morning we were in a lovely spot overlooking the lake, with snow falling on the hills opposite and rain on us. We decided to get the thoughts of the drive back out of our head and find a site elsewhere. The road, in the daylight did not seem half as bad (although we still had to do a reverse turn to get round tight bend). We circumnavigated the lake without finding another decent site and headed off towards Calistoga. About 3pm we spotted a RV site at Hidden Lake and took the opportunity while it was light to stop there, as we were unsure where the next site might be.
It was just us and the rain that night, a small site with hookups, which is probably very popular in the summer, not early February though, they still charge $32.70 and the water was turned off! Next day, Saturday we headed off for Calestoga again. Once again the road was hairpin bends with varying speed limits between 20 – 35 mph, up to the summit and down into Napa Valley, approx 10miles of hard driving, a total of 40ish miles taking us about an hour and a half. We knew the town from our holiday a couple of years ago, called at the tourist office and then parked up on the Fairground RV park with 20 – 30 other campers dotted across the site. We have at least got Wi-Fi here and can get some info for routes and sites.
We had a potter around the town and bought provisions in the supermarket/deli. and had a laugh with the hardware store staff who hadn’t a clue what a metre was. Having spent years trying to become metric I now find I have to go back to good old feet and inches, gallons and miles for this place we consider to be so forward thinking it leads the world!
Tomorrow we have arranged to get the fridge ‘bit’ fixed, not convinced this will repair the problem we have sites earmarked local to Petaluma and then Bodega Bay, starting to head north again. The weather is shocking, as is the forecast and we have spent the whole day watching the growing lake around us and the RV park emptying leaving only the hardiest (or most foolhardy?) behind. Fortunately the surface is hard and gravel so we should not have a problem moving off.

Hopefully this coming week will be a little brighter!

PS still not able to upload photos, to view new ones click on web album and view Elaine’s album to view public gallery.

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