Summer of ‘21
It wasn’t long after our wedding that Alan and I concluded the Nash trailer was just too small for two people. In addition, neither of us wanted to continue having a large pickup as a daily driver. We started looking online at floorplans of different types of RVs. While we were camped at Pima County Fairgrounds RV Park in Tucson, Lazy Days RV had a show there. We went over and looked at different models.
We knew we wanted a motorized RV so we could tow a small SUV type vehicle for our daily driver. I had actually already been considering a larger RV. I really wanted a comfortable seating area with recliners or sofa. So as we were looking at floor plans online that was the first requirement. After looking at many RVs online at RV Trader and other sales websites, we found a Winnebago floorplan that looked just right for us. A few days later we found a small class A Winnebago Vista 30T for sale with this floorplan. In early July, we drove to Tennessee to look at it. It had low miles and was in excellent condition. We really like it and decided to make the purchase. This was in mid July 2021 at the peak of the RV sales, so there weren’t many units on the market. We were happy to have found this one. We drove it back to Arizona and moved out of the Nash and into the Winnebago.
The Nash went to a consignment place in Phoenix. Alan had a RAV4 which could not be flat-towed. So we looked around for a small SUV that had that capability. There aren’t many vehicles outside of Jeeps that can be flat-towed. We found a GMC Acadia that could be. Again, this was during the height of the demand for cars when vehicles were in short supply. We traded in the RAV4 on it and the dealer also took my truck with cash back. So everything really fell into place for us – it was pretty amazing! We were due in California in late August for a gathering with Alan’s children. We were able to buy the motorhome, leave the Nash at a consignment place ( it did sell), dispose of two vehicles and buy another vehicle and get it equipped to be towed, all in the space of about five weeks. It was crazy!
The photo above was taken at Pahranaghat NWR in Nevada. We were in site #1, which is very roomy and level. Camping is free, with a 14 day limit. We were there in October on our way south to Arizona for the winter. There is a trail around the lake that is a nice walk. There are also other trails in the refuge. We often put out feeders and bird seed at our campsites. There were quite a few birds around the lake.
My favorite was this Fox Sparrow that came to our site for several days. It is a very large sparrow. It liked to eat the large white seed that was in the seed mix. The smaller birds didn’t eat it so there was plenty for the Fox Sparrow.
We also saw this pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers. They were usually in this tree working on drilling their sap wells.
The third week of August we left Tucson bound for California. After getting through LA, we took the 101 north to San Luis Obispo.
This was the first time I had been on this part of the Pacific Coast. It really was a beautiful drive. We spent a couple nights at El Capitan State Beach Campground.
From El Capitan we drove on up to San Luis Obispo. We were able to dry camp there in our motorhome. That was our home base for a couple weeks while we explored the area. We also made an overnight trip in the car up to Monterey where we visited the aquarium. The next day we drove back south on the 101 through Big Sur. It really is spectacular.
Elephant seals could be seen in several places along the way.
We saw this male Surf Scoter somewhere along the way.
Great Blue Heron looking for breakfast.
This immature Western Snowy Plover is a welcome sight. The Western Snowy Plover was declared a threatened species in 1993. A leading cause of their decline is disturbances on their nesting grounds. Eggs are laid on beaches directly on the sand in a small, shallow depression. The adults are easily disturbed by human activity, dogs and other things. This may cause them to abandon their nest leaving their eggs to be destroyed or chicks to die. A management plan was created that includes gathering abandoned eggs to be incubated and then releasing the chicks. Many state beaches also have nesting areas fenced off to help protect the plovers. These efforts have met with success and numbers are increasing.
We saw this Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar on one of our walks. It is much prettier than the moth!
A final look at the Pacific Coast before we head inland and begin our travels north to South Dakota. We continue to have our residency in SD. Alan needed to get his drivers license and we needed to register the Winnebago.
We were in Rapid City, SD for about a week taking care of business matters. We took one day to go to Custer State Park and drove out the Needles Highway.
It was close for this truck so I was amazed to see tour buses driving through this tunnel. When we began our trip south, we stopped at the Crazy Horse Memorial. It was very interesting and well worth the stop.
That’s a quick recap of 2021.
Sunset at El Capitan State Beach
Looks like it has a V10 emblem on the front corner. I have a Ford V10 with 75000 trouble free miles (most of them towing my travel trailer). It’s never needed any repairs, only the required maintenance.
Thanks Brian! It does have the V10 motor. Glad to know your truck has performed so well.