Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Elks, Museums ,and Oil Wells

My first night on the road. This is the Coalinga Elks Lodge. Coalinga is a small town of 18,000 15 miles off  Interstate 5.  The pictures below on the right and left show that I am the only  RVer here. The view from my bedroom window  goes on forever. It is hot but I have hookups, electric and water, for only $10.00 a night. As a solo traveler I like staying at Elk Lodges. Even alone I feel safe, but most of the time there is always  something going on, a dinner, folks playing pool, and though I don't drink the bar is a great place to hang out and talk to the locals. And there are usually other RVers to visit.

Because I travel alone, the questions I am asked the most are, "Aren't you afraid ? "and "Do you ever break down?" 
I will try to give folks a more detailed flavor of Sportster’s and my travels.
First of all this first day on the road is only possible after  hours of preparation. My rig receives  a complete wash and wax by Brad from Monster Detail in Hemet, Ca. I do this every six months to insure protection from the hot California sun.

Every time! Before a long trip, I visit my favorite garage, Bradley Auto for a thorough checkup.
I also make a visit to Chad at Dedicated Express to insure  the water heater, refrigerator, generator, and house batteries, and all the other components that make life a luxury in a motor home,  are  good to go.
So much can go wrong, but preventive maintenance is the key to avoiding trouble on the road.
My  stick home has only drought resistant plants. I turn off the water and the water heater. My wonderful neighbor picks up those pesky flyers and free newspapers that land at my doorstep. If anyone breaks in, I have everything of value with me.
So the sun is setting on my first day. Tomorrow before I leave this quaint town I hope to visit  The RC Baker Museum, a restored Richfield Gas Station, and The Iron Zoo.

The excerpt and pictures below I have borrowed from a wonderful website I discovered called Roadside , your guide to offbeat tourism. After you spend some time browsing this website, you will discover places that you have never heard of, yet will have to be added to your bucket list.
“Coalinga, California In the hills edging the western Central Valley, the town of Coalinga evolved from a late 19th century coaling station that became part of the region's oil boom. The R. C. Baker Memorial Museum tells that story and others. There's a fat scrapbook of news clips and photos chronicling the 6.5 earthquake that knocked down part of the town in 1983. The museum offers an organized hodgepodge of glass display cases and full-size dioramas depicting daily life in Coalinga. You can glean interesting arcana about Coalinga from almost any display. Who was the Grand Marshall in the 1937 Horned Toad Derby? How often did the buildings on "Whiskey Row" burn down? Where was the "Nation's First Municipal Water Demineralizer"? In Coalinga, of course -- the water was too terrible to drink and had to be trucked in until someone perfected reverse osmosis purification. A large metal plaque, apparently retired from public life, salutes that first demineralizer. On one end of the museum property stands its restored 1934 Richfield Gas Station. And don't miss the 80. ft. long mural along one outer wall of the museum, painted in 2006 for the town's 100th birthday.
 Restored Richfield Gas Station A 1934-vintage petroleum service station was meticulously restored in 2003 in the heart of this Central Valley town as part of the local museum's exhibits. Originally standing at the corner of 5th and Glenn St., it was moved here in 2004. The station can be viewed from outside its perimeter fence at any time. For a more intimate tour, inquire at the R. C. Baker Museum a few doors down. They maintain the station, and if it's not too busy or someone is available, they can open it up. Then check out the rest of the museum.

Iron Zoo - Oil Pump Art

You can see three animals safely from the road. However they really do not want you hanging around there, and for good reason: the air smells very gassy.

Next stop Sacramento, California.

Please don't forget our veterans.
MASADA'S MARINE and other books by Judy Howard on Amazon