Gumby style, be flexible

Gumby Style, if you live in an RV, be flexible

Gumby Style means, being flexible. Our first day of being full-time RVers isn’t going well, this is the story about our first day of full-time RV living. If you are old enough, you probably remember a rubber doll that had a wireframe that had no joints and could be folded into any contorted shape.  In the Navy we used to joke – about being “Gumby” — it was the one-word sentence that meant “be flexible” or “standby for changes”.

Gumby Style

We made it back to San Diego after a long drive across the desert (in our car).  We rolled in from Colorado where we departed two days ago and knew we would be tired. Our RV is in the storage lot awaiting our first full-time night, tomorrow night.

First, we thought of staying in the RV, inside the storage lot. This would be Gumby style. It would also break the rules. Tonight we spend in a hotel only a few miles from our new home, sitting in storage.  We made the hotel choice so that we wouldn’t have to get the RV ready and move it to the campground after such a long day of driving. The decisions were Gumby style and aided our being flexible.

We have camping reservations at Lake O’Neill on Camp Pendleton. Having reservations, however, is not Gumby style but rather it is an executable plan. Being flexible “Gumby style” means that even if we have reservations it doesn’t mean that we have to go there. It is also much easier to go Gumby style during the daytime when you are not tired. Tomorrow, during the daytime, in full sun, we take the RV out of storage and start our epic trip. 


Fire is in the news that night in San Diego, not the evening news but continuous San Diego emergency news and the location is Camp Pendleton. Camp Pendelton was where we had our reservations. This fire is the now-famous Lilac Fire. The winds are from the east, called Santa Ana wind, and are strong enough that driving an RV should be avoided.

Since the wind is from the desert, it is dry and this sucks moisture from all the vegetation making it prime for fire. News predictions were that the Lilac fire might burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  4100 acres burned and ten thousand people have evacuated our campground, for tomorrow night, is part of the evacuation. Glad we were not there.

Southern California fire danger for 2017 was not out of the ordinary, but this year, in southern California on the same day, several fires burned — from Santa Barbra all the way to Mexico. The Lilac Fire raced through entire neighborhoods burning houses along the way. (157 structures) We were veterans of numerous San Diego fires, including the 2007 wildfires that burned two thousand structures, causing evacuation — almost to the coast, burning 300,000 acres. Respect and distance are operable words when dealing with a fire.

Gumby style, be flexible
Gumby Style, if you live in an RV, be flexible 4

New Plan

We have to come up with a new plan fast, Gumby style, and be flexible. We have three options. First, we could get a new reservation at a different campground, but that would mean that we would have to drive the RV in the bad wind.  Second, we could go to the storage yard and camp in our RV right there in the storage lot. (not allowed, but it is an emergency)

The third and chosen option was to get an additional day at the hotel and get a reservation at a different campsite to wait out the fire. This would give us time to get the RV ready for a trip to the new campground and be ready once the coast was clear.  

Gumby, to you all, Scott and Tami

Link to our 2018 Route.

Link to our route from San Diego to Las Vegas.

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