How is this color for a change? We left Thousand Trails in Palm Desert on Tuesday and drove here without any problems. This is, of course one of our two parks we consider "home". The other is Silent Valley, but we prefer not to go up there during cold weather. To those of you who don't get the local So. Cal. news, I would like to mention that the back road up to Idyllwild, which is 16 miles up the mountain from Silent Valley was recently closed because of a huge boulder that came down onto the road. For those familiar with the area, this is the back road, Highway 74, from Hemet up to Idyllwild. That is not the way we drive up to Silent Valley, but once a few years ago we had to take that route because of fires burning on Highway 243 from Banning up the hill.
Anyway, we got here and found a site with 50 amp electricity, so we are again, happy campers. There was a very beautiful sunset last night, so I had to get some pictures of it.
God is the MOST awesome artist ever! On Wednesday we attended a "manager's social" here at the park. Not all the news was good. It seems that they have cleared the way to be able to soon start charging $5.00/day for anyone who camps in the sites that offer 50 amp service, even for those who only use the 20 or 30 amp hookups. He didn't say how soon that will happen, but he expects it will be fairly soon. He also said they want to eliminate the option of living full time here at the park. The current rate for extended stay campers who live here is $550.00/month, which will be raised to $750.00/month before too long. They are going to set a seven month limit on the extended stay policy soon. They also said they want to discourage campers who have "trashy" looking RVs from being here, and the manager is actually going around the park and advising campers if their site looks too cluttered or trashy. OMG!
These friends of ours were at the social too. I took this picture after we had sat through TWO hours of what the manager had to say. The couple on the far left are Steve & Diane Villareal. They visited us back on Halloween and I posted their pictures then. The couple on the near left are Nelson & Ava Burke. He is a past Exalted Ruler from the Garden Grove Elks Lodge. He also serves as Santa Claus for some events in December, I believe. Great folks.......as many say, BPOE not only means Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, it also means Best People on Earth!
Now for a change of topic. Many of you will remember that back in July we had what seemed like a very minor accident with the RV. We hit a traffic cone in a road construction area, and it ended up doing about $2500.00 in damages, which we submitted to our insurance company. We have been with that company, National General Insurance Company, through the Good Sam organization for over 25 years, without any claims or driving violations EVER before. All those years of good driving ought to count for something, but apparently they don't!!! We got the bill to renew when we picked up our mail on Wednesday. For this one small accident, they wanted to raise our 6 month premium from $608 (yes rates are usually much lower in South Dakota) to OVER $1200.00!!!! They said that rate increase would remain in effect for three years. I couldn't believe they thought we would just say OK to such an excessive rate hike. I spent the rest of the day shopping around and found a much more favorable rate through Geico, AND it includes roadside assistance, so we will be dropping both the Good Sam Roadside Assistance plan and the Auto Club plan. We have been disappointed the last two times we had to call Auto Club, so we were thinking of dropping that one anyway. When we needed to be towed last April in Texas, we waited FIVE hours before the driver arrived! So as you can imagine, my New Year's resolution to maintain a more positive outlook took quite a hit on Wednesday, but by Thursday we were happy campers again!
This morning we had to do laundry, and met a really nice couple from Canada. You never know where you will make a new friend. Some people have bigger RVs with small washers and dryers in the RV. We have never wanted to go for that as they usually only do small loads, and most people still have to hang their clothes outside to finish drying. We prefer to have more inside storage space instead. We can go to the laundromat and finish two or three loads, usually in under two hours. When we got back from there, we saw an interesting bird across the road from our RV.
These birds at the park are so used to the people here, they are not even afraid when we take their pictures. He watched me take his picture and stood right in front of another RV by their picnic table.
We also spotted this on the front of another motorhome in the row behind us. RVers have a great sense of humor, I think. Life is too short to not enjoy each and every day!
Please remember that we can never know what other people are dealing with. Folks used to say you must walk "a mile in his shoes" before you judge. However, that still doesn't seem to tell the whole story. I don't think it's our place to judge others around us. As I said, we can't know what battles others are facing. We simply should not judge others, period. I prefer to say, be a little kinder to everyone, because you'll never know who really NEEDS your kindness. Hopefully, your kindness to one person will lead that person to "pay it forward." Have a wonderful day, and, as Walt Wille used to say, "keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down". Don't worry, be happy, like the song used to say. Bye and bye now :o)