California Dreaming – Day 25, Joshua Tree, California

We were getting more and more concerned with the escalation of covid impacts and by the end of day 24 we had decided that we should be looking to head home early. With the announcements by the Canadian government regarding travel, we were getting worried that the border may close down, and that our travel insurance would not cover us should we contract covid, or in any situation. Several of my ECNO friends were also travelling/staying in the US and some of them had confirmation that they had a limited number of days to return home before their insurance would be void. In the end our insurance let us know that they would in fact continue to provide coverage, but we had decided that we needed to return at any rate.

So March 16 was spent prepping to leave. We headed into town to fill up with gas and get an oil change. I returned the ‘rented’ toy I had bought for Jade and bought a pair of boots I had been eyeing at a local shop. We packed and packed and we COOKED! We had bought food to last the month in our initial Costco run, so we had lots to deal with. The dry goods were no problem as we had the car space, and we had a plug in cooler for some of the consumables, but the freezer supplies needed to be dealt with. They were actually perfect for meals on the drive home. So I spent much of the day cooking. We had chicken breasts and bacon which supplied us with a few days of lunch time sandwiches. And I prepared and filled some containers with rice, stew and pasta which we would eat for dinner each night, heated up in the hotel microwave. We had yogurt, porridge, hard boiled eggs, and fruit for breakfasts. Fruit, veggies, nuts, and health bars filled out our diet. And of course we just ate the remaining ice cream that day :-)!

Michael also headed into town to try to buy some cleaning supplies, hand santizer and toilet paper. We were not sure what the drive home would provide in the way of ‘fluid level adjustment stops’, so wanted to be prepared. But just as was the case around the globe, the shelves were bare as these commodities were in limited supply and he was unable to secure any toilet paper. I managed to take one roll of TP from the rental accomodation and still leave one roll behind. Mike hit a couple of shops before lucking out as a shipment of hand sanitizer arrived just as he was at a local drug store. He managed to score 2 tiny bottles!

I contacted our host and let her know we were leaving early, which was no surprise to her. Unfortunately we did not meet the requirements for any kind of rebate on our rental. In the end however, after a suggestion from my brother, we did manage to get a partial refund from our credit card company. Travel insurance coverage is an added benefit to the card used to pay for the rental, and we were able to make a claim.

So now we were focussed on getting home safely and all that remained was driving, driving, driving.

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