Monday, May 25, 2009

Hiking Rock Creek

Location, Bishop, CA

We started the day with a chorizo and egg breakfast along with other scrambled egg dishes and fruit.

About 11 AM we organized everyone for a drive to Rock Creek canyon for a hike from Rock Creek Lodge up to Rock Creek Resort a distance over just over a mile with a 300 foot elevation gain. It was a great hike under cloudy skies and cool weather. At the completion of the hike we had homemade pie at the resort. Some of the group decided to hike back down the same trail while the rest of us drove down.

Eating pie on the upper deck.

We completed the day with grilled hamburgers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bishop Mule Days

Location, Bishop, CA

We left home at 7:30 AM on Tuesday, May 19th and stopped in Fillmore to meet the rest of our traveling companions, Jim and Michelle, and Marcie and George. We drove to Mojave via I-5, Hwy 138, and Hwy 14. After getting fuel we drove to the Coso Junction rest stop and had lunch. An hour’s drive later, we arrived at Diaz Lake about 2 miles south of Lone Pine, CA. Jim had made a reservation for a group site. The site was a “grassy area” on the west side of the lake defined by a posted notice stapled to some cottonwood trees.

After some discussion we managed to park our rigs as near level as we could. A short time later, Chuck and Jan joined us from Kingman, AZ.

The day was very pleasant so we gathered in the shade for conversation and drinks.

We were in no hurry Wednesday morning so everyone was lazy until it was suggested we stop in Lone Pine at the Movie museum which opens at 10 AM.
This was a very pleasant stop with lots of movie memories. A must see for any movie buff.

An hours drive north and we arrived at J Diamond RV Park in Bishop. This is an old park with very small sites for RV’s with slide outs. We all managed to get into our assigned sites however. The remainder of the day was kick back time and moving our chairs to stay in the shade. There is a small stream running through the campground with lots of mallard ducks swimming on it. It also has lots of cottonwood trees which are in bloom. Cottonwood fluff flying everywhere. Clyda has been allergic to this stuff in the past so we are in a wait and see mode.

On Thursday we drove up to the lakes in the Sierras out of town. It was a nice sunny day with a few clouds but no jackets required. We drove to Lake Sabrina which is just beginning to fill from the spring runoff then on to North Lake which is reached by a one lane dirt road with no guard rails. Lots of fisherman in this area.

A trip to South Lake which in the past has had a parking lot full of snow when we last visited it years ago. No snow this time but the lake is still very low as the runoff has just started. We stopped at a picnic area down the road and had a nice lunch with a view.

Friday is a blur. I don’t know what we did. Part of the group went to Laws, CA to the railroad museum to ride the Brill car on a short piece of track.

Saturday morning was the big Mule Days Parade down Main Street which is Hwy 395. They close the road and detour traffic to a side street during the parade which lasts about 2 hours. A very nice parade.

Saturday afternoon we all had tickets to the Mule Days arena show. This was probably the premier show of Mule Days as it featured a 20 mule team hitch which is a delight to watch as they turn in the small arena. Each turn requires 4 mules to jump the main pull chain to keep the wagons following in line.

When the mule hitch was in place, the Budweiser Clydesdales came in. A beautiful horse hitch pulling the traditional beer wagon. They were followed by an eight horse hitch of Black Percherons which absolutely stole the show. They were magnificent to watch. They are such huge animals.

Before the show was over, a wind and rain squall passed over and most of the spectators including us headed home. It never did rain much but the wind was bad.

Today, Sunday, we had a pancake breakfast for about 18 people in our group. Two of us cooked the blueberry pancakes while others did the bacon and fruit salad. A nice breakfast!

It was decided that dinner tonight would be out so a local Mexican restaurant was picked and we all descended on it about 6 PM. Considering our numbers (about 18), the restaurant did a great job.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ready to go.

Location, Home, CA

Well.....Hopefully we have everything loaded in the RV that we think we need. Our problem is somewhat complicated because we are unsure of the length of this trip. We are planning on two months minimum so have taken things along to support that time.

I backed the truck under the RV tonight so it is ready to go in the morning. We need to leave about 7:30 AM so we can meet the rest of our convoy (3 other rigs) about 9 AM in Fillmore, CA. We will travel together to Diaz Lake south of Lone Pine, CA for the night and then go to Bishop, CA the next day.

We will be in Bishop for 6 days to Celebrate Mule Days. We have known about this event for years as we traveled this route to ski at Mammoth and also spend time each summer in the area.

I have no idea what the WiFi or internet access will be while we are there but I will do my best. At the worst, we will update while we are in Mammoth the following week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More getting ready to roll!

Location, Home, CA

I added more photos to the Monday May 11, entry.

Our days have been occupied with getting ready to leave on Tuesday and doing those last minute chores which have been put off too long.

I added new drip irrigation to the flower bed I dug up last summer. The bed is not completely planted but I wanted those plants we do have in to be well watered while we are gone. All of the beds are now on automatic timers so that should make it easier for Craig to keep things green.

I finally washed the truck yesterday. Boy, was it in need of it. There was lots of pollen and road grime on it. I also washed the bugs off the front of the RV. That needs to be done fairly often while we travel because of all the bugs it collects.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A whirl-wind trip

Location, Home, CA

A whirl-wind week end to be sure. We drove up to Walnut Creek Saturday morning at the invitation of our friends Cindy and Gary. We made a couple of stops on the way. Saturday afternoon was catch up time for the guys while the ladies shopped.

On Sunday morning we were treated to a very nice Mothers Day brunch by our friends who had purchased the brunch at an auction at their grand daughters school.

On Monday we drove to Sacramento and toured Sutter’s Fort. A two hour tour with people playing the roles of pioneers refreshed our knowledge of early California history.

Shooting a flint lock gun.

Later we drove to the capitol and managed to get a tour of the Senate and Assembly rooms plus older refurbished rooms. Neither Clyda nor I had been to the capitol before.

In the capitol rotunda with Queen Isabella.

The capitol exterier.

On Tuesday we drove into San Francisco early to Golden Gate Park and The Academy of California Sciences. Our friends knew the routine as they are members of the academy so we quickly got tickets to the Planetarium Show and tickets to the 3D Bug Show. The planetarium show was awesome. The seats were tilted back at a 30 degree angle for easy viewing. The latest satellite images were incorporated in the show. What a great view of the universe. It is as if you are flying through space.

In the tropical zone.

Roof of the Academy building in all of it's green glory.

When the building started filling with school kids we walked over to the de Young Museum of Fine Arts for lunch. Later we toured the Warhol exhibit before returning to the Academy building to see more displays.

The de Young Museum.

The California Academy of Science.

Wednesday we left for home but stopped in Paso Robles to checkout the status of Dick’s railroad.

We got home at 8 PM.

Today I started cleaning up the RV and dumping the tanks. I need it ready to leave next Tuesday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rancheros and Walnut Creek

Location, Walnut Creek, CA

My 10 days at Ranchero Visitadores is over and we have come north to Walnut Creek to visit friends for a few days. The time at Visitadores went by fairly fast with few problems. We do deal with issues as they come up but most are deferred to our boss or the General Manager.

We did have a change from last year in that all check-in was done at our gate and all passes and credentials handed out by another crew just inside the gate. It had been anticipated that problems from excessive traffic would be encountered but this never materialized. Things flowed very nicely.

My RV in the background.

Working the gate wearing our new security vests.

On Monday afternoon a fire started behind Santa Barbara which was visible from our gate area and also caused some concern for those folks living in the area. We were under the flight path for fire fighting aircraft and helicopters as they traveled to and from Santa Maria where a retardant base had been established.

Fortunately, the fire didn’t come over the pass but the road was closed to traffic. To get home I had to make a round-about trip.

Saturday morning we drove to Walnut Creek for a short visit with friends and will return home on Wednesday in time to get ready for our trip to Seattle.