Searching for Family and Cool Air

Thursday, Day 29

Tonight we’re camped at Ocean Cove, California. It’s a site with neither hook-ups nor levelled lots. We can’t use internet, or empty our holding tanks or fill the propane tank.  But we’re right beside the Pacific Ocean, watching the sun go down, and the cool, crisp air is a welcome relief from the 105 degree temps this afternoon.  What could be better?

We didn’t travel very far today, but it was a slow drive.  Our first stop was in Sonoma where we began a search for a family who was very close to Jim’s Uncle Peter and with whom he and Jim had spent time during Jim’s visit. We had names and an address, but hadn’t been able to track them down after Jim and his family last visited them in 1964. It wasn’t too difficult to find the house, and it too was listed for sale. No offers of a tour were forthcoming this time though. There appeared to be no one home. A chat with neighbours on either side provided us with only one small piece to the puzzle. One neighbour had been there since 1968 and he didn’t recognize the name, so we could conclude that the family had left the neighbourhood sometime between 1964 and 1968.

We checked for records at City Hall and found nothing. We continued on to Santa Rosa, the County Seat, and at the Office of the Registrar were able to find a few more details about Peter’s death – he’d been cremated, which could account for the lack of burial records. There was nothing about the other family.  While we were parking the motor home in the parking lot, we’d been chatted up by a friendly fellow who talked about his motor home experiences and shared much of his life story with us. Once, when he was telling us about how he’d prayed for a good outcome to some financial situation, he asked if we were believers. We braced ourselves for a sermon, but our positive response seemed to suffice. He eventually let us go on our way and he went on his.

Disappointed with our meagre findings, we returned to the motor home to  find a book on my seat, obviously tossed through the open window,  National Sunday Law – forces unite amid stupendous crisis. Might make some interesting reading!

We left the cities, and the exhausting heat behind. Even the fans in the cab of the rv were of no use in that temperature.  The air was so warm it felt more like hair dryers blowing on us.

We soon began our journey through some rather narrow, always twisty roads that eventually led us to US Hwy 1 and the ocean.  We’d planned to stop at the next available KOA, in Manchester, so we could catch up on laundry, fill up with water and propane and empty the holding tanks, because we’d hoped to find

Sunset behind Jim, over Ocean Cove

a nice camping spot in a State Park the next night, where we knew there would be none of these amenities available. But the winding,steep roads reduced travel speeds to between 35 and 45 mph. The scenery was glorious, yet some of the turns caused us to hold our breath as the road appeared to drop away over a cliff. As I photographed one turn, I was stunned to see three cows on the narrow inside shoulder!

By 6:30 the all-day upper-body workout had Jim badly in need of a rest. That’s when we pulled into this very relaxing spot for the night. The laundry will have to wait for tomorrow.


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