Last Thursday, James and I sat in our scorching hot living room in Bisbee and wondered why we were hanging out there. We have already done as much as we can in the preliminary phase of our move to California.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve packed a lot of our stuff and took a few boxes of more things to the local Thrift store. But the only thing which remains is renting a truck and loading it up with our furniture.

The week following Caroline’s wonderful visit with us, James got sick with a summer cold (or allergies). Then I caught it a few days later.

So neither of us were thinking clearly; we just took things day-by-hot-day in Bisbee. After the fog of illness lifted, James turned to me on Thursday and said, “There’s no reason for us to be here right now — I’d much rather be in California!” I nodded emphatically in agreement.

James added, “Besides, the thought has suddenly occurred to me that we need to get the barn and other buildings prepared for our move. The place isn’t ready for the arrival of our Airstream trailer or the furniture.”

Duh! This is a no-brainer. Okay, then — let’s GO!

So we planned to leave on Monday. Then we moved it up to Saturday. But by Friday morning, we thought “Why WAIT?” and decided to leave that very night.

We threw a few clothes into a couple of suitcases, packed our computers, put Rupert in his cat cage and took off in our little Scion XB at about 7 p.m. Friday.

It was pleasant to drive in the relatively cool darkness through Arizona. We arrived in Blythe, on the AZ/CA border, shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday. We found a Motel 6 (which used to be $6/night but is now $60/night for two people) and crashed until 9.

Blythe is one of those “captive audience” border towns where there are few choices for gas, food and lodging for fifty miles in any direction. So they charge higher prices. Gas is especially outrageous.

We drove through the Mojave Desert in the quickening heat of the day, but it was still a bit cooler than it would be later in the afternoon.

The sprawling Los Angeles metro area began to make its presence known at Indio, about 150 miles east. The pace of traffic picked up noticeably with truly stupid lane-changes, speeding and tail-gating. If these people had been taking a driver’s test, they surely would have failed!

It amazes me how most drivers don’t seem to realize what killing-machines their cars are. All for the sake of arriving at their destination perhaps five minutes earlier! If that. It’s all an illusion anyway.

I sound like an old curmudgeon. Guilty as charged, I guess.

Over 200 miles later, we finally emerged out of the LA traffic mess and went over the “Grapevine” leading down to the Central Valley.

Originally we had discussed taking the scenic route 395 up the eastern side of the Sierras (as we did with the Airstream trailer last month) but we decided to get to Sacramento as soon as possible. I-5 is boring, but half a day faster.

Ten hours after leaving Blythe, we arrived at my brother’s house (the house I grew up in, which has thankfully stayed in the family for over 50 years) in Sacramento.

It’s nice to be in a place with slightly higher humidity. Although the Arizona desert is beautiful, single-digit humidity doesn’t agree with James and me as much as we had hoped. It’s generally between 20 and 30 percent in California; just moist enough to make hair and skin feel a bit less desiccated.

We drove up to the land above Nevada City on Monday. First we stopped at the storage area of the RV park on the main street of the little town nearest the land to visit our trailer, and measured the space where the refrigerator resides — we have to buy a new one. Then we drove up the steep dirt road to L.’s property where we will be moving in a month or so.

In the month that we’ve been gone, all the lupin and cornflowers have disappeared from the meadow. The high grass is now brown and crackling-dry. It is fortunate that L.’s partner recently mowed the area around the barn, bunkhouse and studio.

James and I walked through the meadow down to the cabin by the Yuba River and took stock. One of the first things we have to do is clear out the small space completely of its furnishings for a thorough cleaning. Since there are numerous small holes in the walls, all sorts of vermin have left their mark. The one basic room is also very dusty and the large floor-to-ceiling windows are festooned with cobwebs.

We found a couple of clean towels wrapped in plastic on the dining table and walked down the winding, narrow path — nearly choked with greenery — to the river. Just off this path is a streamlet with a couple of inches of water which goes down to the cliff. We managed to clamber along it without getting too wet.

A heavy-duty pool ladder is drilled into its rocky slate side. A waterfall trickles slowly just behind the rungs, a refreshing view of water, moss and ferns as we climbed down to the private beach below.

This small stretch of sand changes height and shape with the water levels of the river each year. This season, the level of the sand and rocks is lower than usual, so there is a 3-foot drop below the last rung to the beach.

This intimate area of the Yuba River is a little slice of heaven.

The water is crystal-clear, running over huge boulders, mostly submerged just below the surface. It is possible to sit on many of these large rocks with one’s head above water. Many other portions of this part of the river are six feet deep.

It is best to wear some sort of river sandals (Tevas are great) to protect your feet and to provide traction on the slippery rocks.

No one was in sight, so James and I shucked off all our clothes and waded into the cool, green sparkling water.

Ahhhh! Refreshing! The outside temperature was in the low-90s, so the cold water felt wonderful. It was almost a shock at first but we quickly got used to it, and were able to stay in the river for an hour.

A few yards upstream from the little beach are a series of boulders which create small rapids. We swam and crab-walked to this section and lay on our backs as the pure water rushed over us. Nature’s effective massage!

Both James and I felt extremely refreshed and rejuvenated after our time in this healing, idyllic spot. We climbed out of the water and sunned ourselves on large rocks on the beach, then reluctantly put on our clothes and climbed back up the ladder, and up the path to the cabin.

We lay on the small window-seat bed which overlooks the trees through a large plate-glass window, and dozed for a few moments. Being in the cabin is like perching in a tree house. Some of the trees, however, will need to be thinned out because of fire danger and also to open up the view a bit.

We stopped in Nevada City to visit with our friends L. & D. (the owners of the land) before continuing down the hill to my brother’s house in Sacramento.

James and I have been resting for the past couple of days; our summer colds continue. In fact, James was feeling better recently but now seems to be experiencing a relapse, while I’ve been in the thick of aches and coughing up stuff from my lungs for a week.

We did shop for a new refrigerator yesterday, and found a small one in black (to match the Airstream’s interior decor) at Lowe’s.

We shall rest today and then attend my nephew’s concert this evening (he plays bass; is attending a jazz music camp at one of Sacramento’s universities this week) and then we’ll drive back up the hill tomorrow.

On one hand, it’s wonderful to be back in Northern California, visiting my brother and sister-in-law in the house I grew up in. On the other hand, I’m a bit unsettled at the moment, sort of caught between two places. Feeling rather homeless, but I know that this shall pass once we move all our stuff out here.

There are some mixed emotions, but basically we are VERY excited about moving to this area. Many advantages here, not the least of which will be our proximity to family.