I'm going to write an annual summary of my travels tomorrow, but while it is still 2020 here on the West Coast, I wanted to post this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/best-travel-books-steinbeck-charley/2020/12/30/6728eb2c-40b7-11eb-8db8-395dedaaa036_story.html (Please ignore the lack of italics in the blog title above, but this system is not allowing italics.) I read Steinbeck's Travels With Charley when I was in high school, and it helped hook me on travel. (Steinbeck was dying, so he bought a truck camper and spent most of a year traveling in it. Charley was his wife's standard poodle that he borrowed as a companion. There is some evidence that he made up some of his travel adventures, but that really did not matter to most of his readers, then or now.) Travels With Charley was the last book he wrote.
Just for the record, I am on my way from Napa, CA, to the Las Vegas area to spend some time in two of my favorite campgrounds: Valley of Fire State Park and Willow Beach Marina, which is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
I arrived here in Tehachapi yesterday, planning to just spend one night at this campground along the glider airport. I got my grocery shopping done and filled up my propane tank, plus got a full tank of gas for the next morning's trip. However, in the middle of last night, the wind picked up and started rocking my motorhome. In addition, there was an inch of snow on the ground!!
This may be Southern California, but the very pleasant town of Tehachapi is located at the top of the Tehachapi Pass, which is 4,000' above sea level, so it is really cold up here in winter. On both sides of the pass is flat desert, but this town is not only on the top of the pass, but it is surrounded by higher mountains. This means heading either direction is steeply downhill on a major freeway, and high winds and slippery roads are not good when you are driving a 32' long motorhome that weighs almost 15,000 pounds and is 12' tall. Much too easy to slide off the roadway, with me and most of what I own in it.
So, I made the wise decision to stay another night and leave tomorrow morning instead. It is very cold here, with a high of 38 today and 28 tonight, but with two electric heaters and two small furnaces, I am toasty warm, at least if I do not go outside!!
Tomorrow is Las Vegas and Boulder Beach Campground for an overnight. The next day, I will get to Valley of Fire early so I can get a spot there.