Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!

Location, Home, CA

Looking back at my calendar for 2009 I see that we spent 191 days on the road in our 5th wheel. That is just over ½ of this year on the road.

We started out by spending our usual time in Quartzsite, AZ in January and February and then driving on to Houston, TX with our good friends Budd and Brenda to visit our grandchildren. We arrived back home in late March.

By the middle of May we were on the road towards Seattle, WA with stops in Bishop, CA for Mule Days then a leisurely drive up the Eastern side of the Sierras to Washington. We spent 7 weeks in Seattle while Clyda’s sister under went cancer treatments.

On the way home in August we spent a week with our friends Cindy and Gary in Walnut Creek, CA for Hot August Nights. We arrived home after 3 months on the road.

In mid August I went on my annual desert trip with stops in Las Vegas and Beatty, NV before going to Death Valley, CA for 2 weeks.

Somewhere I have the miles totaled for all this traveling which is considerable. The old truck is getting up there in miles but still has a long way to go I hope as we have more trips planned.

Here is hoping everyone has a great New Years with better things to come in 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas is past.

Location, Home, CA

We had a very nice Christmas Day at niece Chelsea and husband Steve’s house yesterday. While most of us relaxed and enjoyed the day, poor Steve was stuck in the kitchen cooking. He did a really good job and with ham and all the goodies to go with it.

We all got way to much stuff as usual but it is still fun to open all those presents. My wardrobe was improved immensely so now I need to clean out the closet to make room. It is about time that happened as some of the old clothes have been around for many a year.

We were back home by 7:15 or so last night.

In my last post I mentioned the possibility of purchasing a new quality slide scanner. Well I did find what I wanted at at a reduced price so ordered it. It came on Wednesday so I have had time to play with it some. So far, it looks like it will make very nice copies of those old slides. I scanned some from 1966 and then tweaked them a little to bring out the original color. They look really good!!!. I do need to play with some of the features to find the best way to scan and store those thousands of slides I have.

We are supposed to get some rain tonight but right now the sky looks like it is clearing. Time will tell.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Frustration with a scanner.

Location, Home, CA

A whole week gone by and no entry to this journal. There hasn’t been a lot to write about.

We did have rain this week, about 3 inches worth I guess. It all helps. Everything is getting green already and of course the weeds are growing also.

I have spent way too much time playing with a new slide scanner I picked up at Costco the other day. It is a very small unit, which I like, but there are some problems with the scanning software. I have determined that for certain slides the copy gets changed which renders them unusable. It has to do with the predominant background of the slide. I have tried slides with different backgrounds but they still are not satisfactory.

A test using neighbor Paul’s scanner showed no problems copying the same slide.

I think I am going to bite the bullet so to speak and buy a good flatbed scanner that will also do slides. I really don’t need another flatbed scanner but if that’s what it takes to get good copies, so be it.

Neighborhood tree.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sunny but cold.

Location, Home, CA

It is cold here! At least it is cold for us. The sun is out but there is a real chill in the air. We had almost 2 inches of rain yesterday and last night it froze hard enough to put a sheen of ice on standing water.

A very good day to stay inside and get the Christmas cards done.  I did have a doctors appointment this morning so had to go out. I needed my prescriptions refilled but it isn’t time for my annual physical so just did a quick office visit. I ran a few errands like paying the property taxes and buying a few items at Trader Joe’s and I needed salt for the water softener so picked that up also.

I have been looking at gas logs for the fireplace. I just don’t want to use wood anymore. They are not really expensive but I need to know more about the gas hookup. I already have a gas lighter so I think I can just remove it and connect the gas log.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas lights are up.

Location, Home, CA

The Christmas lights on the front of the house went up on Wednesday and the tree went up on Friday although it wasn’t decorated until today. We had been holding off on the tree decorations as on half string of lights wasn’t working. The lights came with the tree so it is hard to trace them as they are tied onto the branches. I bought a light tracer today which did identify a few burned out bulbs but I suspect there are more with problems and I don’t have enough bulbs to replace them all. So I just put that side of the tree to the wall and problem solved.

All the neighbors have lights on the front of their houses which makes it look really nice as you come up the street. I have mine on a timer to come on at 5PM and go off at 10 PM. I should buy LED strings which would cut down on the power consumption but I only bought these lights a few years ago.

We went to the college men’s basketball game last night. They didn’t play very well and lost. The second game in a row they have lost.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow and most of next week so we are prepared for that. Craig has been covering things today in preparation for rain.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving in Walnut Creek.

Tue Dec 1 /2009 – Location, Home, CA

I seemed to have missed a few days posting on this blog. We drove to Walnut Creek on Thanksgiving morning for dinner and several days with our friends Cindy and Gary. Over the last several years we have spent many a Thanksgiving day with them. Thanks again Cindy and Gary for a great weekend and all the food.

On “Black Friday” Cindy and Clyda left very early for a day of shopping. Gary and I went on a short hike and watched football.

The street trees were in full color.

On Sunday we drove to Lake Berryessa north of Walnut Creek.

There were very few people around but the Ranger opened the visitor center for us and answered our questions. All but one of the campgrounds is permanently closed. They were run by private concessionaires but are in a state of disrepair now.

The dam and powerhouse at Lake Berryessa.

We drove to Winters, CA to checkout the Palms Theatre where we intended to attend a performance later that evening. We drove to Davis and drove around the campus and then stopped at a coffee shop to kill some time before going back to Winters.

The performance was by Maria Mulduar and her Garden of Joy jug band. Check out for more info. The Palms is a small venue with about 100 people in attendance. Tickets were only $20 each. Maria is best known for her 1974 song “Midnight at the Oasis” record which is still heard on radio stations. This performance was all early jug band music which is some blues, some blusiana, and a little rock and roll thrown in. The show was quit good and the band was exceptional. We very much enjoyed 2 hours of that kind of music.

We drove home today with stops in Paso Robles and Nipomo dropping things off and picking things up from friends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exhaust brake working again.

Location, Home, CA

I had been having a problem with the exhaust brake on my truck. I quit working while I was driving in to Primm, NV on my desert trip. I did a little troubleshooting while we were in Death Valley but couldn’t find the problem. My only concern driving without it was coming down the “Grapevine” on I-5 on the way home. I did manage to drive it buy dropping out of overdrive and braking a couple of times.

Yesterday I decided to really take a look at the problem. After checking fuses and tracing lines and hoses, neighbor Paul and I found a disconnected wire which senses when the engine has warmed up and opens the exhaust valve. As soon as I connected the wire the vacuum pump ran like it should. A road test followed and the valve worked as it is supposed to. I have no idea why the problem on the road earlier.

Clyda has been wanting me to make some baskets for her so today I gathered what materials I thought I needed and started. I managed to remember most of the techniques to make this particular basket but it took me much longer than it should have. Of course, it has been quite some time since I actually made a basket. I plan to make a few more tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Working with computers.

Location, Home, CA

I accomplished a few things this week like washing the truck, servicing the Honda generators and cleaning the BBQ grates. I also have been working with the Dell laptop which is still running by the way. I seems slow after using the Acer Netbook which of course has a much faster processor.

I have also been helping friends with their computer which has problems connecting to the internet consistently using a cable modem hookup. Yesterday, I and neighbor Paul checked the cable from the modem to the CPU and replaced it but still no connection.

We brought the CPU back to Paul’s house and ran a virus scan overnight using his DSL line for connection to the internet. Norton didn’t find anything but McAfee did find two dll (dynamic link load) files which were part of a back door trap which could allow someone to enter the computer. We removed the files and re-ran the virus scan and now all is good.

Today we took the computer back and hooked it up. Unfortunately, we still had connection problems. We think the cable signal may be weak as they already replaced the modem. It may be a bad input cable, so it is back to the cable company for help.

Today I had 3 computers running while updates were done and virus scans run. I can usually use one of the 3 while the others update.

Tonight I made dinner which was batter fried halibut with oven fries. I had planned to make the fries for a dinner while I was in Death Valley but decided at the last minute that I couldn’t do fries along with the rest of my planned dinner. So, tonight I did them and they were GOOD!!!

Of course, the secret was using a mandolin to cut the potatoes, cooking them in a convection oven, and seasoning them with a salt grinder. Yummy!! The halibut was also good!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Short post.

Location, Home, CA

Where has the time gone? Almost a week since I last posted.

First, a Craig update. He has done remarkably well after his surgery. He is actually doing more than he should but I think he feels so good that is hard not to do something. He has an appointment tomorrow to have it looked at again.

I, on the other hand have been rather lazy. I did get the RV cleaned up and ready to go again whenever that happens to be. Probably in January.

I still need to wash the truck but am waiting for a warmer day. Ha-ha.

I did get up in the attic this morning and removed some insulation from the vent area above the heater. When we had the house tented back in September, the gas company brought this to my attention as no cold air could get through to the furnace. The vent had been blocked for at least 20 years I would guess.

I also worked on my Dell laptop which has been in a state of partial disassembly since August. I completed the disassembly to a point where I couldn’t see anything else to do so reassembled everything and lo and behold, it worked. I am now wondering if a connector was partially unplugged. Anyway, it took several hours for all the updates, scans, etc to bring everything back as it should be. Time will tell if I have permanently fixed it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home from Death Valley

Location, Home, CA

I arrived home on Monday afternoon from Death Valley after spending Sunday night in Baker, CA behind the Mad Greek Restaurant where I spent the first night of my trip in Oct. This made my trip home on Monday 115 miles shorter but still 300 miles for the day.

Our time in Death Valley was very nice with all but two days in the low 90 degrees and short pants and tee shirts were the dress for the day. We did have those two days of wind early on but everyone closed down their RV’s and stayed inside for the most part. I got a lot of reading done.

We did some 4x4 trips, looked for petroglyphs and rock alignments, and participated in the annual Death Valley 49’er activities. I talked with old friends and met a few new friends.

Our favorite lady at the entrance kiosk is retiring after this season and boy will we miss her. She has bailed us out of many problems in the past and we thank her for that.

Craig had shoulder surgery this morning to clean out some scar tissue from his car accident more than two years ago. The surgery took a little over an hour and was exactly what the doctor expected to find. He will have a period of recovery but should be fine when it is all said and done.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Death Valley week 1.

Location, Furnace Creek in Death Valley, CA

I have been lazy and busy. Busy with trips here in the park and lazy when I haven’t been doing anything else.

We had wind for two days with gusts to 65 MPH, blowing dust and much lower temperatures. Today we are getting back to normal with rising temperatures and no wind.

I have been playing tourist guide to some of the guys who have never been here before which also takes me back to places I haven’t visited in years. Places like Badwater, Dante’s View, Artists Drive, etc.

Yesterday 3 of us took Nobbies Jeep up Echo Canyon to the Inyo Mine and over the top of Echo Pass to the Armagossa Valley on the east side of Death Valley. It was an all day trip with lots of bouncing around in washes and rock climbing and then a long drive back via Hwy 373 and 190.

Nobbie was really pleased with the way his Jeep operated and it really can climb some incredible rock falls. Of course, it is all tricked out for off-road 4x4 driving.

Tomorrow is grocery shopping in Pahrump day. As usual we will make it an all day trip with stops at Shoshone for their Death Valley Days and China Ranch for a date shake before going into Pahrump. No stop at Tecopa for a soak in the hot springs as I am the only one interested in that.

No photos as the WiFi here is slow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Desert Trip Day 5

Location, Beatty, NV

The temperature overnight was a low of 41 but it warmed up niceley during the day to the high 70's. A beautiful day.

We didn’t rush out of camp as usual this morning but eventually some of us decided to visit Rhyolite via the old railroad bed from Beatty.

This took us right to the Rhyolite train depot.

Eventually we moved down to the Bottle House which was rebuilt and stabilized a few years ago. It is a shame that had to be done but the walls were crumbling and the building would have collapsed without the rehab.

A section of a wall on the bottle house.

We then checked out the artwork nearby. Each piece has a story which a local volunteer passed along to us.

The last supper.

Originally designated as Eve with a statue Adam to be placed later. Locals objected and Adam was never completed. Each block of Eve represents a pixel in a photo.

We stopped at the museum in Beatty which is very good and then drove back to the RV Park for lunch.

After lunch we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce building before driving down Hwy 95to Caraera where marble was mined. The marble was of poor quality and not commercially viable.

We checked out a local mine which also gave us a great view of the valley.

Back at the RV Park I started getting things ready to leave tomorrow morning. Everyone else will drive to Death Valley while I will drop the trailer at Death Valley Junction and go to Pahrump, NV for groceries before picking up the trailer and proceeding to Death Valley.

There is limited WiFi in Death Valley so I don’t know if I can post to the blog while there or not. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Desert Trip Day 4

Location, Beatty, NV

Today’s trip started out with another flat tire before we even got out of the parking lot. A quick trip to the tire store for repairs (a small piece of juniper wood in the tire) and we were on our way. We drove North of Lida Junction on Hwy 95 and then East on a good road to Ralston, a siding on the old Las Vegas and Tonopah rail bed. All that remains is a converted box car used for storage. This box car shows up in an old photo from 1968.

We then took a side trip to a falls in the mountains nearby. There is enough water coming out of the mountain for animals to drink.

Back to the rail bed at Ralston we continued north towards Goldfield mostly driving on the rail bed. After a stop for lunch, we continued on to Goldfield.

In Goldfield we found the remains of the old Las Vegas and Tonopah depot.

Later we drove North on Hwy 95 to Klondike which was on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. It was a watering place for the railroad and there is a deep cistern near the rail bed.

We drove back to the RV Park and arrived about 5 Pm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Desert Trip Day 3

Location, Beatty, NV

Any RV trip or 4-wheel trip plan is only good until you begin the trip. Once begun, anything can happen as we have discovered. Yesterdays 2 flat tires necessitated using most of today to get the tires repaired or replaced. It also meant traveling all the way to Pahrump, NV for this. Both Jeeps made that trip today.

Also, Nobbies Jeep has transmission problems so it will be headed back South tomorrow for repairs. Nobbies friend Paul will follow in Nobbies pick-up in case there is a problem.

In the meantime, the rest of us took a couple of trips South of Beatty today. We explored some older mining areas and did see one new mining operation. The camp had all new trailers and vehicles with lots of earth being moved.

Old miners cabin.

The weather turned cold last night but we did have clear skies today with a rather cold wind. It is supposed to warm up again tomorrow. The wind has already stopped tonight.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Desert Trip Day 2

Location, Beatty, NV

Desert trip day two began at the point we ended yesterday along the Tonopah and Tidewater rail bed. However, today we are driving on the rail bed itself as there is no road paralleling the bed. When I say driving I really mean going forward until a washout is in our path which means driving off the rail bed until we get around the washout. This occurs every few minutes which means progress is very slow.

We came across our first wooden culvert today. Most of these culverts have long ago been washed out and have disappeared with time.

Our travels eventually reached Hwy 95 and continued on. We again drove some good and some very bad road bed. One of the Jeeps picked up a large nail in a tire so the spare was put on. Within a mile the other Jeep had a leak in a tire so its spare was put on. At that point we decided to have lunch and discuss our options.

After lunch the Jeeps decided to drive to Tonopah to a tire shop for repairs while the Pathfinder group drove past Bonnie Claire of yesterday to visit what we call the “Castle”.
Actually it is called “The Hard luck Castle” by its owner. After a mile drive on a very good road we arrived to find a sign which said “Gone for water – be back in an hour”.

We took a few pictures and returned to the RV Park.

The rest of the group got back from Tonopah after not having any luck with the tire repairs. A storm front was rapidly approaching with projected rain and winds of 40 – 50 MPH. We gathered up the loose gear and decided to eat indoors tonight. It did rain a little and the wind did blow but not at the extremes predicted. I think we are at the southern edge of the front.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Desert trip Day 1

Location, Beatty, NV

Today’s trip was our first attempt to follow the Tonopah and Tidewater rail bed from Rhyolite to Goldfield, NV. We decided to start our trek from the junction of the road to Phinny Canyon where it crosses the railed coming out of Rhyolite. We had driven the rail bed to the south of this junction in the past so now we wanted to follow it north from the junction.

Our trips always start at 8:30 AM which at times causes some grousing about the early hour. All in good humor of course. With lunches packed, folding chairs loaded, maps in hand, and radios checked we are off to adventure.

Today we actually decided to explore the town of Pioneer first as several of our group had not visited this mining site before.

Later, we drove up Hwy 95 to the road to Phinney canyon and in to the railroad crossing of this road. Unfortunately, the road bed at the crossing lies within Death Valley National Park so is undriveable as no off road driving is allowed.

Back tracking to a driveable road we finally headed north to where the road intersected with the railed. This also became our lunch stop.

After lunch we had a very rough 16 mile drive to the Bonnie Claire town site. At one point we stopped to explore remains of the telegraph line which parallel the railed.

We stopped to explore the remains of Bonnie Claire through which a branch of the railroad went.

Our next stop was to Bonnie Claire Lake on Hwy 267 and a look at the moving rocks. These are much like the moving rocks at the Race Track in Death Valley. Here however you can drive right to the rocks.

We returned to the RV Park via Hwy 95 about 4:30 PM. A long hard day but tomorrow we will start where we ended today.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Location, Beatty, NV

Thursday and Friday are sort of a blur to me. I know we picked up Dick’s friend John at the Las Vegas airport on Thursday around 5 Pm and Nobby and Paul arrived shortly there after at the RV Park. We ate at the Main Street Station buffet which was their Steak and Scampi night. It did not disappoint any one.

Friday was all involved with getting Nobbies refrigerator fixed. It wouldn’t cool so he took it to a local shop that did RV repairs and they replaced the thermistor which senses when to cool and also the circuit board which didn’t allow the refer to work on 110 volts.

We spent much of the afternoon babying the refer to get it to cool down in the heat as it was 89 outside.

Friday night we ate dinner at the Bay Café again. Good as ever. The prime rib dinner is outstanding.

Later, I took all the new guys (who haven’t seen it before) to the Rio and Masquerade in the Sky. It sure wasn’t what it used to be. Harrah’s has taken the heart out of the original Brazilian celebration and replaced the Samba ladies with scantily costumed go-go dancers.

This appears to be a theme of all Las Vegas now. Even on Fremont Street where every casino now has an outside bar on the street. Several casinos use the same scantily clad girls as blackjack dealers when they aren’t dancing or serving drinks.

The hourly shows on the large overhead canopy are works of art. With the addition of digital photography as input to the display, anything can now be shown. I had hoped to see the 10 PM tribute to Queen last night but arrived back from the Rio too late.

Today, Saturday we checked out of the RV Park and drove to Beatty, NV and the Beatty RV Park. The drive out of Las Vegas was not without its own adventures. We stopped at Hwy 95 and Durango for groceries before driving on to Armagossa Valley rest stop for lunch. We arrived in Beatty about 2 PM.

Our friend Al arrived from El Dorado Hills, CA yesterday and Paul arrived from Goleta about 4 PM today. That makes 8 of us all together with 3 off road vehicles to explore with.

We all share dinners so I cooked tonight and won’t cook again until we are in Death Valley at weeks end.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shopping in Las Vegas

Location, Las Vegas, NV

A slow start to the morning with overcast skies from the rain on the coast. No rain here however and by evening we had clear skies and 80 degrees. Very pleasant.

We eventually got a plan together for the day which included several stops for shopping. The first stop was a near by map shop which had every kind of map you could wish for.

The second stop was a radio shop looking for info on scanners etc. From there we made our way to Harbor Freight where some serious shopping took place.

It was now time for lunch and our favorite ritual stop at the In and Out Resturant on Tropicana and I-15 was the plan.

After lunch we got on I-15 South and drove to Rose Way and the new Camping World store which is in the old Wheelers RV location at the South end of Las Vegas Blvd.

Heading back north we stopped at Fry’s Electronics for a printer purchase for Dick while I picked up a couple of printer cartridges.

After Fry’s it was back on I-15 North and a quick trip to the RV Park.

Meanwhile, as we left this morning, Jeff’s door lock on his RV broke as he pulled the key out so he called AAA who called a locksmith. The guy showed up right after we got back but told Jeff he couldn’t help him. Jeff is now in a panic trying to figure out how to get in his RV. He decided maybe he could get in through the escape window by the bed. However, this is only opened from the inside, normally.

Eventually he removed all the screws on the top of the window and was able to reach in and release the latch. The window was removed and he crawled in to tackle the door lock. This took about a half hour to remove parts and eventually bend a tab to get to the dead bolt slide. He had already purchased a new lock set while we were at Camping World so it was just a matter of reassembling everything.

We later went to dinner at the Triple 7 Brewery at Main Street Station. Good ribs for $9.95.

We walked down to Fremont Street to watch the 9 PM show which was a repeat of last night’s 9 PM show, American Pie. I would like to see the 10 PM show which is a tribute to Queen but we are all party poopers so came back to the RV.

Tomorrow 3 more of our group arrives. Two by RV and jeep and one is flying in around 4:20 PM so we need to pick him up. We also have a little more shopping to do, of course. :)

Las Vegas bound.

Location, Las Vegas, NV

I did leave Monday about 1 PM after buying propane and groceries. The sky was overcast but no rain or wind and traffic was light. I made good time and stopped in Mojave for fuel and to Call Dick to find out where they were as they left in the morning also. They had been held up by a truck fire East of Mojave so planned to spend the night in Baker.

I calculated that Baker was about 2 1/2 hours away for me which would be about 6:30 PM by the time I got there. It would just be dark by then. With no problems on the road and no evidence of a truck fire, I pulled into Baker behind the Mad Greek restaurant about 6:40 PM, just after dark.

After a quick set up, Dick, Jeff and I went to the Bun Boy restaurant to eat. Talk about pricy!!!! It was $7.99 for a double hamburger, fries, and a small salad. All the other burgers were around $10 each. Enough said.

I went to bed at 8:30 PM and read a while. Woke up at 6 AM but stayed in bed until 6:30. Shaved and had a cup of tea and we left around 7:50 for Primm, NV which is about and hour up the road. Arrived at Primm and parked back of Buffalo Bills Casino where we had breakfast in the café. A BIG breakfast. Eggs, pancakes, 2 bacon and 2 sausages for $3.99. That’s more like it! :)

I called the RV Park in Las Vegas to tell them we would like to come in a day early. They accommodated us but not in our original sites which is ok.

We drove to the Outlet Mall where Jeff was looking for pot lids at Williams Sonoma and later Dick wanted to look at jeans at a Lee outlet. He actually found some as did Jeff and I. I bought a pair of Lee jeans for $16. Not bad.

I call the RV Park again and received our assigned sites so we drove on to Las Vegas. Not a lot of traffic on I-15 so we made good time. After parking in our sites we walked over to reception and checked in.

After getting all set up we hung around as it is overcast and gloomy but still 75 degrees. Can’t beat it.

There is area wide WiFi here in downtown Las Vegas but it is very pricey, like $6.99 per hour or $49.99 per month. I think I will wait and post this from the casino as it has free WiFi. *

We ate at the Bay City Diner in the Golden Gate Club. We all had prime rib for $8.99 and it was very good. After eating we watched the 9 PM light show on Fremont Street. It was Don McCleans American Pie song. Excellent show.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting ready for the Desert trip

Location, Home, CA

After a relaxing week of camping at El Capitan State Park on the California coast, we are back home getting ready for the dessert trip.

The weather at El Cap was fantastic although we did have wind the first night. The remaining time was very pleasant and relaxing. The group we were with are all good cooks and love to eat so food was talked about a lot. I got in the act by putting on my chefs apron and hat while cooking chicken breasts. It was good for a laugh. Of course, everyone who went by the campsite sure looked.

Chef d'jour.

We came home Friday around noon and I spent the afternoon scrubbing the RV roof. That is definitely not my favorite thing to do. It was so slippery that I was afraid to stand up for fear I would fall off the roof so I stayed on my knees the whole time. I also washed the rest of the RV. It really needs waxing but that will have to wait.

I think I have everything under control for the trip but still need to buy groceries tomorrow.

A look at the weather suggests that we may get rain tomorrow night and Tuesday so I will try to get out of here tomorrow afternoon. Normally I would go to the Boron rest stop east of Mojave but it is closed until February 2010. I may stay in Mojave somewhere. I don’t want to drive in the rain and I don’t want to drive at night if I can avoid it.

I may have WiFi while in Las Vegas and will try to post later in the week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Location, Home, CA

The days have flown by this week. The woodshed has been all consuming and has taken up all my time until this morning. The roof is done and the walls are up. The only remaining item is the door and that will wait until I get back from my desert trip.

Today I concentrated on getting everything ready to go for tomorrow. We are off for a week of camping with friends. If I had thought about it when we agreed to go, I would have declined as it is very close to my fall trip. However, after spending all day whittling down my departure list this morning and spending the afternoon getting packed, I think we will be ready to leave by noon tomorrow.

We will return home on Friday morning and I hope to wash the RV before I back it into the yard. I have until Tuesday morning to complete everything else for the trip. I will do my shopping on Monday, and repack the truck as well then.

We won’t have internet so will be out of touch until Friday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More shed work.

Location, Home, CA

I took the truck in for maintenance this morning at 8 AM. Besides the normal lube, oil, and filter, I needed the transmission serviced, and the radiator flushed and new anti-freeze installed. Everything else was ok but it still cost a bundle. I would take it somewhere else but this shop has always done good work and I trust them.

After I got home I went back to working on the woodshed steel frame. I made some plates to anchor the upright posts to and bolted them to the rafters. I also completed attaching all the rafters to the frame. Of course, this wasn’t accomplished without another trip to the hardware store for more bolts. I also checked on the corrugated metal for the roofing. At $17.49 for a 10 foot sheet it beats the price for polycarbonate sheeting by $25 a sheet. No choice here, I will use the corrugated metal. After I take the car in for service tomorrow, I will pick up the metal and more cement to back fill the up right pipes.

I reinstalled the AC cover on the RV so I can check that job off my list. Still lots of items on that list but hopefully the most critical ones will be done before I leave on Oct 13th for the fall desert trip. We also are camping, 10 minutes from home, from Sunday afternoon until Friday morning. Just more pressure. It happens every fall before I leave.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Progress on the woodshed.

Location, Home, CA

I let a few days get away from me without posting to the blog it seems but I have been rather busy. We got everything moved back into the house and the freezer back in the garage after the tenting was done.

I picked up the steel for the woodshed roof. It cost more than I expected but it is heavy duty and will hold up well. I started to make some cuts in the steel but decided to wait until Craig had time to really set me up for cutting, etc. That all happened on Friday. I got the outside frame for the roof completed and screwed together.

Cutting steel.

Saturday I started working on the rafters. I also fiber glassed the AC cover for the RV. There were cracks around some of the screws and a few short cracks near the bottom of the cover. I used a 2 inch wide fiberglass mat as a stiffener.

Sunday was a day of rest. We went to Jazz at the Elks club in the afternoon and dinner at Lee and Peg’s house after. It was a very nice Sunday.

Today I finished cutting the rafters and screwed down the two end ones as they will attach to the support posts. I completed digging the holes for the posts in ground as hard as concrete. It is all hard pan and adobe soil in my side yard.

I mixed a 90 lb bag of cement for each hole and aligned the posts as I went. Tomorrow I will finish screwing down the rafters.

Framework done and posts cemented in.

I bought all the hardware to attach 2x4’s to the posts so it will all look like my existing fence. That hardware was EXPENSIVE. I also bought the pressure treated 2x4’s stingers for the walls. I still need to buy roof material.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Circus has left town!

Location, Home, CA

The tenting of the house is done. Hopefully all the termites have met their demise.

The tent came off yesterday and the house was vented overnight. Late this morning we got the all clear from the Termite Company that we could go back in. Our first order of business was to wipe down all the cupboard shelves with Clorox. Not that it was a requirement but it was a good opportunity to clean things. The refrigerator also was wiped down inside.

The gas company restored our gas and relit pilots and checked that all appliances worked. We moved things back where they belonged, made the beds, and threw out a few items well pass their useful date.

The only odor in the house was that of old tarps which covered the house. A little baking soda sprinkled on the carpets cleared that up.

Tomorrow we will move the garage freezer back and the bulk items back in the garage.

Yesterday I finalized the order for the new front door. It will not be here until Oct 27th. They will install it while I am gone.

The steel I ordered for the woodshed came yesterday. I need to pick it up tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Circus is in town!

Location, Home, CA

The tent went up today. The gas was turned off this morning. We have spent 2 days moving food, bedding, the freezer, and other things out of the house. That was easier than double bagging everything. Thank goodness Paul and Kathy are gone as we stored lots of things in their house.

The tent stays on for 24 hours and then the house is ventilated for 24 hours to get rid of any residual gas. After the air is tested on Wednesday we can have the gas turned back on and move in.

This afternoon we went to finalize the order for the new door but the paperwork hadn’t been submitted yet so I need to go back tomorrow.

While we were out we picked up a large pizza from Costco. It was really good. We haven’t had pizza in a long time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This and that!

Location, Home, CA

Can’t figure out where the days went or what I did each day.

I now have the outside lights up for the back of the house and garage. I found some neat Halogen spot lights which do a lot more than the old fixtures. At least you can see something in the back yard when they are on.

Tuesday evening our friend George came with his motor home and parked next door in the neighbor’s yard. They are gone which works out just fine as it gave him a place to park for a few days.

We have completed all the arrangements for the house tenting for termites. That will happen Monday and we will be out of the house until Wednesday afternoon. I picked up all the bags and info on what we need to remove today. A lot of work as all opened food containers, refrigerator contents, freezer contents, spices medicines, etc need to be doubled bagged or removed. We will remove the bedding also as it would need to be washed if we left it in the house.

We will stay in the RV and also store most of the stuff in it. We will try to move the freezer next door if possible.

All the plants are already away from the house as we did that to paint so that helps.

Yesterday I talked to the BIG BOX store about ordering a fiberglass pre-painted door to replace the front door on the house. Someone is supposed to come out and look over the job as I also want them to install it. No one has called yet.

I also checked on steel rafters for the woodshed roof. They need to be ordered. More delays. It will be November before I get this all done.

I hate waiting on other people. I want it done NOW!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More RED DOOR saga.

Location, Home, CA

Yesterday was a day of rest. Well, I did look at a little football and some golf on TV but mostly I read. I have a really good sea series that I picked up in Everett, WA this summer and it hasn’t let me down yet. I am on book six of about 20 in the series.

We had a heavy fog yesterday which really was a light rain. I needed to use the windshield wipers going and coming from church. This morning I had my walk done before it started again. It didn't last long today however.

I have been making RV park reservations the last few days for some of the gang who will be going on the fall desert trip. I think we are all set, unless someone changes plans.

Now, the SAGA of the RED Door. No one likes the color I have been painting on our front door so Clyda suggested another red to try. I only painted the upper part of the door but do see a little more zip to this red. What do you think?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Front door paint.

Location, Home, CA

Yesterday I installed all of the downspouts and touched up what spots needed it both on the stucco and trim. I also painted the foundation for the patio room. We discussed painting it when we were spraying but decided to leave it. Well, I decided yesterday to paint it and it looks much better.

The estimator for the termite company came by and measured the house. We should receive an estimate in a few days.

I bought a sample of red paint for the front door. It is supposed to match our colors according to the paint sample. After just a few swatches I got a lot of flack from everyone about the color. Too pink, not red enough, etc. So I painted more of the door today and added white trim around the frame. I think it looks good. I would like to buy a ready painted door which is available at the BIG BOX store but no one can find the material describing it. I even went back today but no workers in the door department today. Arrghhh!

Anyway, here is the door as it now looks. Anyone care to vote????

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Still painting.

Location, Home, CA

Still painting. I finished putting two coats on the downspouts and completed the rear garage door and patio door. I also found one more spot in the starter boards that needed a little more work. Tomorrow I have some caulking to do and touch up painting in a few places. I hope to have everything done tomorrow.

We do need to have the house tented for termites so I called today to get that started. Someone will be out tomorrow to measure the house for an estimate.

My next goal is to build the woodshed back of the garage. I only have a half formed plan for that.

It is the usual fall rush before I go off for my desert trip. It never fails.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Painting almost done.

Location, Home, CA

I took two days off, Sunday and Labor Day after working hard all week on the house prep and paint.

Today, I put a final coat on the window trim and the rain gutters. They look really good! I finished the garage door trim and put one coat on the rear garage door and patio room door.

Here is the results.

The front of the garage with all the "gingerbread" removed.

The front of the house.

The patio room.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More painting.

Location, Home, CA

The house is painted but I still need to do some trim painting on the rain gutters and down spouts and also the doors.

Thursday all day was sanding and priming all the bare spots. Friday morning we taped the windows in the front of the house and the doors. Using high pressure air we blew off all the surfaces to be painted to get rid of sanding dust and spiders.

We started spraying at 11 AM and finished the first coat at 3 PM including a stop for lunch. A final light coat was applied in about 45 minutes. There should be 3 coats of paint on all the stucco and eaves. While the spraying was ongoing, I completed taping the remaining windows and doors in the back of the house.

This morning I did the trim around the patio room windows but didn’t like the result so later I did all the window trim in the off white we used for the fascia boards. It really made the white window frames POP!

We reinstalled the rain gutter at the back of the garage and then started painting the drip molding and the rain gutters. I finally stopped around 4 PM as my back was giving out from all the twisting and climbing up and down the ladder.

I need to complete the final coat on the rain gutters, down spouts and doors. This I can handle by myself at my leisure.

I didn’t get an pics today as the sun angle was wrong by the time we had the trim painted. I do have some of the prep work and one of our trailer parked next door while we sprayed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More house prep.

Location, Home, CA

Oh am I tired!!!!!! This paint prep is hard work, and I am not doing the hard stuff!!!

Yesterday I went to the big box store to buy paint and supplies at 8 AM. Paint is really EXPENSIVE! Several hundred dollars later, I hope I have all we will need to complete the job.

Yesterday the back of the house was pressure washed which showed some extensive starter board damage in one section. The rest of the back wasn’t bad. The front of the garage was caulked and made ready for sanding.

Last night I took a birthday cake to Elks for the gang. It is a tradition at our table to provide a cake during your birthday month. Clyda picked up a sheet cake from Costco which fed everyone nicely. We had 18 people at our table. Usually we only get 10 or 12 on a Tuesday for dinner. They must have all known I was bringing a cake.

This morning we removed the patio room rain gutter to better clean it. The patio room was pressure washed lightly to remove any dirt. It is in good shape. Above it, the house wall needed stucco patch and repair to two starter boards near the chimney. We also replaced several feet of starter board at the back of the house.

This afternoon we started sanding everything on the front of the garage and all the eaves on the front of the house. After the sanding I primed all the sanded spots.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Painting prep starts.

Location, Home, CA

Friday I bought several samples of the paint we would like to use on the house. I painted swatches in several places to see the effect in sunlight and shade. They are all shades of tan with an off-white trim. We will only use two colors but paint the front door a contrasting color, maybe red!

The house color will be the first swatch on the left while the trim will be the fourth from the left.

I moved everything away from the house so we can pressure wash it. That is the best way to get all the dirt off. Clyda has been trimming the plants back that are close to the house. There aren’t many but it needs to be done.

Saturday I bought one more sample to try but the tan looks like muddy water so that one is out. The samples come in small jars which cost about $3.00. So much better than buying several quarts to get the same effect.

Saturday afternoon we attended a birthday party for a friend who turned 70. What a great house and yard they have! A nice pool with covered patios for shade and plants everywhere. A DJ supplied music and a local pizza parlor supplied the food. Not pizza but tri-tip and chicken. All very good!

On Sunday after church I started to pressure wash the front of the house. I immediately flushed out a lot of termite droppings around the window. Not good news. It was worse back of the garage as the first starter board had lots of termite damage. I guess after 43 years I can’t complain.

This morning Craig’s friend showed up ready to work so we removed the rain gutter at the back of the garage and pried up the first starter board so we could cut off the nails with a sawzall. Then it was just a matter of pulling the board out while lifting the drip edge and shingles. Simple!

Old starter board out.

New starter board in.

I bought new starter boards, primed them and we had them installed by afternoon. Meanwhile Craig’s friend marked and cut the front fascia board to remove the “Swiss scallop” which came with the house. It was the last remaining added feature on the front of the house. It now looks modern.

Front fascia before.

The front of the house and the north side were presure washed. There is a little termite damage but nothing as extensive as the back of the garage.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A plan for painting the house

Location, Home, CA

I now have a plan for getting the house painted. A friend of Craig’s who lives around the corner is painting the rental he lives in and is quite handy. He came by today and we talked about what needs to be done for the prep work. He has most of the things we need to do the job including the spray gun. Preparation is the key to getting a good paint job. I need to walk the isles of the major Big Box improvement store for some materials we will need. Maybe tomorrow.

We sort of have a color picked out but I will buy some samples to try before I buy the final paint. Just as luck would have it, I got a 10% off coupon for the Big Box store in the mail today. So, I will use it to purchase all the major items including paint.

In the last blog I mentioned converting some Microsoft Works files from new to old format. It turned out not to be a problem as several converters are built in and it was a simple task to convert all the files.

On another tech note, I ordered an enclosure for the laptop hard drive so I can use it as a standalone backup drive while traveling. It requires no power but runs off the USB cable. Simple and elegant!

I also started to disassemble my Dell laptop in search of the possible problem as to why it quit. Searching the internet I found two possible problems listed. One is the internal AC power receptacle may be defective and the other is a possible problem with the BIOS. The BIOS is the heart of a computer and it tells things how to run and in what order. There was a BIOS update several years ago but I was afraid to try it. So, I am taking it apart. More on that in a later blog.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chores at home.

Location, Home, CA

I finally got to the rest of the RV chores after church this morning. Tanks dumped, carpet vacuumed, floors scrubbed and the last of the items removed to the house.

We had rain yesterday for several hours. Just sprinkles with no accumulation. Most of the time we just continued whatever we were doing outside.

On Friday, I ran all the berry vines through the shredder along with some brush Craig had cut which hung over our fence in back. In all it filled three garbage cans. I will leave it in the cans for a few months to compost then put it on plants as a side dressing or in the garden.

I am trying to get my Netbook computer to look like my desktop. By that I mean to have both with the same software on them. Wellll, it isn’t quit that easy as the desktop is old software and the Netbook is new. I loaded Microsoft Word on the Netbook from my original disk that came with my Dell laptop. That was fine except it loaded a bunch of junk I didn’t want and it also messed up my Microsoft Works software. The easiest thing would be to wipe out Works on the Netbook and install the old Works and Word. However,,,,,I have files created with the new Works on the Netbook and I don’t want to lose them. I need to see if they can be converted somehow. Always something I guess.

I do like the Netbook because of its size and speed. The keyboard gives me problems as the keys are smaller but spell check takes care of a lot of those problems.

I did get all the data entered from our summer trip so here it is:

Length of trip, 90 days
Total miles for the truck, 4441
Total miles for the trailer, 2891
Total fuel in gallons, 345
Total cost for fuel, $897.82
Ave cost per gal of fuel, $2.60
Lowest cost per gal, $2.299
Highest cost per gal, $2.949
Ave MPG*, 12.67
Camping costs, $2429.57
Ave per day for camping, $26.99
Highest paid per day, $38
Lowest paid per day, $11

Compared to the last few years, the average cost a day for camping has gone up quit a bit. Last year we paid about $17 per day.

* Average for all miles driven both with and without the trailer behind.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Like running a hotel.

Location, Home. CA

Getting back to reality after living on the road for 3 months is the pitts. We have been home for 3 days but I find I am still dragging things out of the RV. Progress is being made however. The linens are washed, the bed is made, the refer has been emptied and cleaned, the books have all been moved out, cloths have been removed, and the bathroom and shower have been cleaned. Still remaining is vacuuming the rugs and scrubbing the floor and dumping the tanks. I leave that until last. It is like running a hotel.

Little work has been accomplished around the house however. I need to get on to the big job of getting the house ready to paint the outside. There are a few things I want to do before I start on that. I would like to replace the rear garage door as it is really weather checked. Lots of loose paint needs to be pressure washed off the eaves and the front fascia board needs to be trimmed to get rid of the ginger bread look.

One other job that needs doing is to rebuild the woodshed back of the patio fence. I don’t intend to use it for wood storage but rather as plain storage for RV stuff while we are home.

I did get the boysenberry vines untangled and back up on their wires. It was an awful mess with new vines mixed in with the old ones. I cut the old vines at the ground, pull the wires out and then pull the old vines out to be shredded. After putting the wires back I start to untangle the new vines without breaking them and putting them up on the wires. I cut off all but about 6 or 8 new vines as that is plenty for next year. Later as the vines grow I will cut off the lower leaves and any new growth until the berries are bearing next spring.

The pictures show the heap of vines removed and the tangled mess of new vines before they are put on the wires. After they are all up on the wires they look ready for another year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Home once again

Location, Home, CA

We drove home yesterday, Monday, from Tehachapi and arrived about 2 PM. We unloaded some things and Clyda got the laundry started.

Sunday in Tehachapi we went to the Mountain Festival which was held in a park and on several streets. The park had craft and food booths along with entertainment. After looking at the craft booths and having an Indian Taco, the ladies went home while Budd and I cruised the streets filled with old cars. It was quit a show as we guessed the number of cars at 500 with even parking lots filled. We heard that some late arrivals were turned away due to lack of space.

Sunday afternoon Ron and Becky arrived from Merced. They are on their way to Mammoth for a few weeks of camping. Most years we go also but had stopped there on our way North in June so will pass this time.

Monday morning after a nice breakfast by Budd and Brenda, we got Ron and Becky ready to travel and we left also. It was a great weekend with friends and we thank Budd and Brenda for the great hospitality.

I haven't totaled up the miles yet but hope to do so in the next few days. We were gone exactly 90 days.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hot August nights.

Location, Tehachapi, CA

Hot August Nights is over. After 5 days of fun and sun, we have moved on to visit Budd and Brenda in Tehachapi before going home.

Last Sunday we left Dunnigan fairly early to avoid traffic on I-80 and I-680 on our way to the Elks Club at Walnut Creek. I-80 was BAD. The lanes are being resurfaced but only the 2 inside lanes are done. That leaves the 2 slow lanes a bumpy chopped up mess. At times 45 MPH was too fast as the truck and trailer were all over the road. I-680 is not much better as it has lots of dips and broken cement and makes for a bad ride. We were really glad to get off the road.

The Elks club has only one RV site which was occupied when we got there. We were offered a site across the parking lot with no hookups for $10 a night. That’s not a problem as the solar panels will keep the batteries charged and the refer runs on propane. We packed what we needed for 5 days and drove to our friends Cindy and Gary’s house.

The temperature had increased to the upper 90’s so Cindy and Gary were already in the pool when we arrived. Needless to say, we soon joined them . Don and Bev arrived later to complete the group for this year. Budd and Brenda couldn’t make it this year.

We spent the next 4 days lounging around, drinking, and eating with an occasional dip in the pool. At night we would take a dip and end up in the spa before going to bed.

On Monday morning we drove to Oakland and took the ferry across the bay to San Francisco and walked through the old ferry building which now houses shops and eateries. We had lunch at The Slanted Door a Vietnamese restaurant which normally requires reservations well in advance even for lunch. However, due to the slow economy, we were seated immediately. We tried several dishes and the food was good for a lite lunch. We returned to the pool by early afternoon.

Waiting for the ferry.

Snacks, anyone?

On Tuesday we drove to Treasure Island which was created from mud dredged from the bay and checked out the old terminal building which was built for an exposition in 1939. Later it became the headquarters for the Navy and only recently was turned over to the city of San Francisco. We drove around the island which eventually will be host to some high rise buildings, shopping and housing.

San Francisco skyline from Treasure Island.

A little chilly on Treasure Island.

On leaving the island we drove to Golden Gate Park and parked under the De Young Museum where we went to the ninth story observation deck. It is a great place to get spectacular views of San Francisco for free. We had a bite of lunch next door at the Academy of Sciences building before heading back for more pool time.

On Wednesday the ladies shopped and the guys went to Costco and Fry’s. Pool time followed.

After breakfast out on Thursday, Don and Bev left for home. The rest of us laid around the pool most of the day and played games on the Wii.

Friday morning after breakfast, Clyda and I went back to the Elks Club and picked up the RV. We drove south on I-680 to I-580 and eventually to I-5. We traveled south to Hwy 46 which took us to Hwy 99 and Bakersfield and to Hwy 58 to Tehachapi. We arrived about 4 PM at Budd and Brenda’s. Their daughter Kori is with them since she had baby Jessica and their daughter Julie from Mesa, AZ was visiting for the week. We had not seen either girls in about 9 years.

Saturday the ladies and baby Jessica drove Julie to Burbank to catch a flight home. Budd and I checked out the Mountain Festival in Tehachapi which we will visit again tomorrow. Our mutual friends Ron and Becky will arrive tomorrow for one night on their way to Mammoth for a few weeks. We will drive home on Sunday.

Now for all those readers who wondered why there was no blog, I hope this explains what we have been doing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting close.

Location, Dunnigan, CA

We again had an easy drive from Yreka to Corning, CA. The weather also warmed up to the low 80’s. Our stop last night was Woodson Bridge RV Park east of Corning about 6 miles and on the banks of the Sacramento River. Sounds good, right? Well, not quit. It is one of those RV parks that reminds me of places you see in the south. Lots of big trees, old trailers, dilapidated buildings. No TV service but they did have WiFi for a fee. First hour free then $5 for all day. The kicker is that it is Use Net which is so slow as to be unusable. I declined.

A nice view of Mt. Shasta south of Yreka.

To top it off, the oak trees dropped sap all night on the truck and RV which looked like a speckled shiny paint job this morning.

We drove to Dunnigan to day and stopped at Happy Time RV Park which was another of those parks with a lot of old trailers around the edges, a poor driveway, but it did have green grass between sites so I picked one with lots of grass and shade. Temperatures got into the 90’s today but the AC made it ok. Oh, and they have free WiFi. Good signal but slow. I sat in my chair outside until it got dark. Very pleasant.

A comment: I have been dreading the drive down I-5 as the road in the past has been in very poor condition. To my surprise, it has been a pleasant drive with a very good road bed most of which is new blacktop. We just rolled along.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moving south.

Location, Yreka, CA

We had a fairly easy trip to Roseburg, OR even with the heavy traffic. We checked in to Twin Rivers RV Park west of Roseburg. Twin Rivers is a very nice secluded park with lots of trees which actually make it a little dark during the day.

After lunch we decided to check out a few wineries in the area. We headed west intending to make a loop back to the RV park. The two wineries we stopped at were surprisingly large and had been in business for many years. The second one was Melrose Winery which was a converted barn with awesome landscaping. They also have a new large outdoor facility for weddings, and other events. A really nice place.

Melrose Winery large event facility.

Clyda had called an old high school friend who lives in Roseburg with her husband who I had served in the Navy with. (Short story, 4 Navy swabs married 4 girls who went to high school together. Two of us couples have been married for 47 years while the other two had divorced).

Anyway, we got together last night for Mexican food and later for a few hours of catching up on families and acquaintances. This morning Gary came by the RV park with some frozen salmon filets he had caught. It was a great short stop with old friends.

Thanks Gary and Judy.

This morning we drove to Yreka, CA and stopped at Yreka RV Park. It is probably the most expensive RV Park we have stayed at. Because it is fairly new I guess they figure they need to pay for it in a few years. Oh, well, on southward tomorrow.

It is cool and spitting rain with more to come tonight they say. Warmer weather to the south I hope.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meeting friends in Portland.

Location, Wilsonville, OR

A quick update on the past two days. We arrived at Pheasant Ridge RV Park in Wilsonville south of Portland about 11 AM on Monday. After lunch we drove west towards Newburg and the wine country. We did take a round about way which took us over Parrot Mtn with all of its large ranch’s and big, big houses.

Eventually we reached Newburg and stopped at the visitor center to pick up some maps of the wineries in the area. They gave us free tickets for wine tasting at a small winery south of town call The Four Graces. It is named after the four family daughters. Very nice place but very pricey wine.

We continued up the road which turned to gravel and climbed another mountain to reach a winery called Torii Mor. Very nice place decorated in the Japanese style. Continuing up the road we eventually completed the circle and ended up back in Newburg. By now afternoon traffic was building so we found the river road back to Wilsonville. This is a very country winding road with lots of sharp corners. Slow, but a nice drive.

We met our friends Thomas and Debbie for dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s Grill for dinner. We closed the restaurant I think. Thanks Thomas.

On Tuesday, an old friend from our Boy Scout days came to lunch at the RV. We had a nice few hours of conversation. Later in the day Thomas and Debbie came for a camping dinner at the RV.

Today we are off to Roseburg, OR.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

No sweat travel day.

Location, Kelso, WA

We got an early start today and drove through Seattle without any problems. The goal was to get through before they closed the I-90 bridge for the Blue Angels which would cause traffic to back up on I-5.

We did get on the road by 7 AM as I had hoped to and the traffic was light all the way to Kelso. We arrived at Brookhollow RV Park before noon which was at least 2 hours earlier than I had planned. So much for my planning. I usually am right on about travel times. Not today.

We stayed in all afternoon as it warmed up enough to put the AC on. After dinner we filled the truck with fuel and took a walk along the dike which surrounds one side of the RV park. It is a great hiking trail and used by people in the RV park as well as locals.

We are in no hurry to leave tomorrow as we only have about 75 miles to go.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Heading South.

Location, Lynden, WA

Another warm day but the temperature has really moderated the last 2 days. I spent part of the day getting the rig ready for the road. All the jacks are up, tripod stowed, tanks dumped, and big items inside stowed.

We plan on a 7ish AM departure tomorrow. I would like to be through Seattle before traffic builds up. This weekend is Seafair, with Hydrofoil races on Lake Washington and the Blue Angels above it . The floating bridge across the lake is closed while the Blue Angels perform. I want to be long gone by the time that happens.

We have been in Washington for more than 7 weeks. Actually the time has gone quickly. We did lots of tourist things which only happens if you spend some time in one area.

Our goal tomorrow night is Kelso, WA

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another hot day.

Location, Lynden, WA

It is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!

Yesterday set a record for high temperatures in Seattle of 103. In Lynden it was 100.
Way to hot for this country.

Not much going on but I did get some work done around the RV in the morning. I washed the front and rear of the rig, defrosted the refer, and got the oil changed in the truck. So, we are set to hit the road on Sunday morning, early I hope.

I still haven’t picked our daily stopping places for sure but have some in mind. I do need to call two of the RV parks as they usually fill up because of their close proximity to Portland, OR. From then on we will take potluck each day and hope to find a place for the night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

HOT and getting HOTTER!!!

Location, Lynden, WA

Not much happening here this week. Candi is doing better each day and we have been spending most afternoons with her. The weather has been HOT and HUMID!!!! We spend part of the day in the basement where it is cool and the humidifier is going. Clyda has been doing laundry and ironing. She also has been doing some work on the quilt for Candi as well as yard work

Saturday evening I drove Michael down to Mount Vernon to a friends house. They drove to Wenatchee, WA the next morning for a few days of R&R. I think there was a girl involved some where in that.

On Sunday evening Dawn invited us, Mark and Candi, and Matt, her boyfriend for dinner. She did a really good job of it. We had spaghetti , Caesar salad and garlic bread. Clyda made a cobbler with raspberries, blue berries, and black berries. It was really good. Quit different than just the boysenberries we are used to in our cobblers.

The cook in her kitchen.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the oil changed in the truck. I picked up oil at the auto parts store on Monday. The DELO 400 was on sale so I got buy two gallons, get one free. Heck of a deal! None of the truck dealers carry DELO so I always buy it before the appointment.

I have been working on our trip south to Walnut Creek and have the route fixed but not the stops each day. I like to travel about 200 miles a day. I am not looking forward to traveling I-5 but time dictates that as the route. We have friends along the way and may stop if time and schedules permit. We will park the trailer while in Walnut Creek as we are staying with friends for 5 days. The weather will be hot all the way so we are not looking forward to that.