Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Update of past week.

Location, at Home, CA

After spending more than a week away from home over Thanksgiving, we returned today. This is a shortened version of our week away from home.

We spent 6 days with our friends Cindy and Gary in Walnut Creek over Thanksgiving with side trips to the Napa Valley and Nevada City. We had a really nice Thanksgiving with Cindy and Gary and got in some shopping on Friday.

The fall colors were spectacular in Walnut Creek and Napa. We visited Mumm Champagne Cellars and sampled some really nice champagne. Here are some pictures.

The grape orchards had really vivid colors.

On Monday we drove to Tehachapi and visited Budd and Brenda. It was good to spend time with them. We managed to get in a few card games, some Pegs and Jokers, and a round of Checkit. The weather was really nice yesterday.

We drove home through the wind on Hwy 138 but it was nice and 75 degrees after that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Water every where.

Location, at Home, CA

We woke up to rain this morning. Actually it was quite a downpour when I left for church at 7:10 AM. The gutters were running full but the streets were not too bad. I checked the rain gauge a little while ago and it showed almost 1 ¾ inch so far.

There has been a bad odor in the car when I drove it Friday so last evening I started to investigate. I pulled everything out of the back compartment and then removed the spare tire cover. There was water in the bottom of the well the spare lies in. The cushion the spare lays on is made of old rags and it was soaked. That is where the smell was coming from. I pulled everything out and dried out about a quart of water. I hung the cushion over a bar to drip. It needs to lie in the sun, whenever that comes out, to dry completely.

With all the rain we had this morning I thought there would be water in the spare tire well but so far there isn’t any. Tomorrow we will run a hose over the back and see if it gets wet.

I also had water in one of the side compartments in the RV again. I had replaced the seal but I guess I need to take another look at that. Bummer.

We will be gone over Thanksgiving so I doubt if I will blog.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Synopsis of my annual Fall Trip.

Location, at Home, CA

After a nice long trip it is hard to get back in the routine, especially updating the blog.

I think a synopsis will have to do for this trip as there wasn’t any internet available so no daily updates were possible.

I left home about 7:15 AM on Oct 18th headed for the Boron rest stop on Hwy 58 East of Mohave. Traffic was light and I arrived about noon after a short stop in Mohave for food and fuel.

Dick arrived about 12:30 and we decided to go on to Baker and spend the night behind the Mad Greek Restaurant in their big parking lot.

We used the 19th to go over our schedule for the trip and to make sure all was ready when the remainder of the crew arrived.

Everyone else arrived before dark so we had a meal together at the Mad Greek.

On the 20th we moved to Las Vegas where we will spend the next four days.

Saturday we drove to a petroglyph site South of Boulder City which is situated in a canyon. This was an easy drive with some very good rock art. On Sunday we drove South of Las Vegas to Sloan Canyon, another petroglyph site which is located in a canyon and requires a 1.1 mile hike and some rock scrambling to view the extensive rock art. Here the petroglyphs are located on individual rocks with only a few on panels. Lots of real nice rock art here.

Keyhole Canyon.

Rock Art in Sloan Canyon.

On Monday we left Las Vegas and drove to Pahrump, NV where we topped off our fuel and proceeded to the Tecopa BLM camping area. Our site of the last few years was unoccupied so we circled all the rigs. This site has spectacular views but can be nasty if the wind blows and blow it did but only for a day. No one got much sleep while the wind blew as the RV rocks so much that you wake up with every large gust.

We had four 4x4 trips scheduled here and we managed to do all of them. A new map showed us all the allowed 4x4 corridors through the wilderness and the National Park.

 Saratoga Springs.

Picking our way down China Ranch Wash.

Railroad cut through China Ranch Wash.

A well earned date shake at China Ranch.

On Friday Oct 28th we moved to Sunset Campground at Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park. We kicked back on Saturday and moved to the Furnace Creek Campground where we had reservations for two weeks.

While in Death Valley we took several 4x4 trips. The most spectacular was a long trip to Panamint Valley and up Pleasant Canyon with a return down South Park Canyon. We saw lots of mining areas, cable ways to remove ore from high on the mountains, wild burros, mines, old cars, and cabins which are available for anyone’s use. Just hoist the flag while you are there to let others know the place is occupied.

Cable in Pleasant Canyon.

A very rough road in South Park Canyon.

We explored an area where we had found early man evidence last year. This area has many sites which coincide with the areas in other parts of Death Valley.

Rock Alignment in Death Valley.

We visited the old town sites of Furnace, Kunze, and Greenwater which are within Death Valley.

The last 4 days in the valley were spent partaking of the events that are part of the Death Valley 49er days. The finale is the playoffs for the fiddle contest winner on Saturday night.

We left Sunday morning Nov 13 and again drove to Baker and a spot behind the Mad Greek where we watched all the southbound traffic on I-15 which was stop and go. The heavy weekend traffic from Las Vegas slows in this area and creates a 60 mile backup because of the Agricultural Inspection Station north of Barstow, CA. Even though no actual inspection takes place, all vehicles must slow to pass through the station.

I drove home on Monday Nov 14. I had a little wind but still made it hear by 1:30 PM.