Wednesday, December 14, 2016

All is well.

We are still alive and well here on the West coast.

We just came home from a 15 day cruise through the Panama Canal on the Celebrity Infinity with friends from Walnut Creek. It was a wonderful cruise with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, Puntarenas, Cost Rica, the Panama Canal, and Cartagena, Cloumbia. We completed the cruise in Ft Lauder dale, FL on Friday and visited the Henry Flagler Museum in West Pam Beach. On Saturday we flew back home.

I particularly like the ancient Guatemalan city of Antigua. It is up in the mountains and is UNESCO World Heritage site. That means it can be maintained but not changed. The streets are cobblestone as they have been forever.

We had perfect weather and calm seas for the entire trip.

Arriving home we hit the ground running to get all the Christmas stuff done. The outside lights are up, the tree is up and decorated, the Christmas letter is written, the packages have been mailed, but the cards remain. Those should be done in the next few days.

A very merry Christmas to all.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Another Desert trip complete.

Back from my fall desert trip.

What a great trip this year. We extended the trip by over a week so we could camp in Panamint Valley, West of Death Valley and explore those things which have been our our list of to-do’s for some time. In the past we had to drive from Death Valley which is about 50 miles by road each way.

A bonus was the military jets which used us as targets while flying low over the valley. We had parked our 4 RV’s in a row along a turnout in the road and I guess our predominately white vehicles made a convenient target for the pilots to see. We were buzzed numerous times and some at very low altitude. What a hoot! We also got some good video.

An ancient geoglyph or rock alignment.

Overview of Panamint Valley from the old townsite of Lookout in the Argus Range.

The downside of this week in Panamint valley was the 2.5 days of wind which piled up sand around our rigs and got into every opening. We eventually spent a day at the Ridgecrest Elks club blowing the sand out of everything with my air compressor. Every lock, window, under all the truck hoods, door hinges, etc.

While in Panamint Valley we explored the town of Darwin (people still live there), drove the back road from Darwin to China Springs and back to Panamint Springs Resort in Death Valley. A very nice trip.

One day we drove to the Owens Valley, West of Panamint Valley and visited the mining camp of Cero Gordo located at 8200 ft above the valley. We had made arrangements for a guided tour from the care taker. Many of the old buildings still stand and some are being refurbished by the present owner. The Silver and Lead mined at Cero Gordo were the predominant reason for the growth of Los Angeles. Eighty Six pound ingots were hauled by mule teams to Los Angeles for trans-shipment to smelters in San Francisco for processing. The freighting was done by Remy Nadeau of 20 mule team fame.

We moved to Calico Ghost Town near Barstow for 2 days so we could explore Inscription Canyon and all of its many petroglyphs. This involved about a 100 mile round trip, most of it off highway. We also visited the NASA display at the Barstow train station and well as the railroad museum nearby. Both worth the visit. We also got to see the worlds second largest meteor (6000 lbs) at another Barstow museum.
Ancient petroglyph in Inscription Canyon.

Petroglyph of Big Horn Sheep in Inscription Canyon.

We moved on from Barstow to the BLM area near Tecopa, CA, our usual stopping place after spending a night behind the Mad Greek restaurant in Baker, CA. The BLM area allows us to circle the wagons as it is not an organized campground.

From Tecopa we visited Saratoga Springs along the Harry Wade 1849 exit route out of Death Valley. We have been here before but this time we wanted to look for ancient Indian village sites as well as check out the mining areas. We did all of the above.
What 1.5 inches of rain look like at Tecopa BLM.

Armagosa River in Southern Death Valley crossing Westside Road.

We planned to visit Galena Canyon in the South end of Death Valley but a day of rain raised the level of the Armagosa River making it too dangerous to cross with 4x4 vehicles so instead we drove to the Ashford mine trail head and hiked 2.2 miles up canyon to the mine site. Soon after we arrived it started raining so we took shelter in the mine kitchen and had lunch. The rain stopped shortly thereafter so we explored for a while before going back down the canyon to the vehicles. This was my third trip to the Ashford mine and not one I was planning to do this year.

Ashford Mine in Death Valley.

Tim exploring Phinney Mine in Nevada North of Beatty.

King of the Hill!

Old telegraph wire and pole on the line from Bullfrog to Skidoo.

No trip to Tecopa is complete without a stop at China Ranch Date farm for a date shake and we did that twice this year. The second time was so son Tim could checkout a geo-cache high atop a mud hill near the ranch.

Eventually we moved to Death Valley and continued our exploring of mines, ghost towns, and Indian relics and then ended up attending lectures and events connected with the Death Valley 49er days.

DBRC (Desert Balloon Recovery Crew) haul of mylar balloons (33).

Campfire at Furnace Creek Campground.
On Sunday Nov 13th we again drove back to Baker, spending another night there before driving home on the 14th. We never drive from Baker to Barstow on a Sunday afternoon as the home bound Las Vegas traffic is a night mare. Much better to drive home on Monday.

 One of many great sunsets on our trip.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Yes, I am still here.

I picked up the RV from the repair shop and put out both of the slides here in the yard so I could check the closet up front and the pantry in back to see what supplies needed to be added for my fall trip. After that they came in just fine and the big living room slide seemed to work better than ever.

I have been working on menus and food lists for the trip. Also doing some yard work, etc. I am down to the last week before I leave so my to-do list has something on it for every day until I leave.

Tomorrow the truck gets a smog check. That happens every 2 years and is a joke. They check to see if I have messed with the truck computer or added anything to the engine. That takes about 10 minutes for which they charge $75. The only reason it has to be done is because people with strictly gas rigs complained that it “isn’t fair that we pay and they don’t”. Also, state officials wanted the extra revenue. The whole smog check thing is a joke as all the new cars really don’t need checking anymore but still must get checked for the revenue.

I made pizza tonight using a store bought crust in a can. It was thin crust which is what I like but it is awful to work with. Craig wanted to do his on a pizza stone in the oven. That didn’t turn out to well because once the crust is rolled out you can’t easily move it to the stone. He cooked his on a cookie sheet on top of the stone.

I put my crust on a grill mat and then transferred the mat to the BBQ on a cookie sheet. That worked fairly well but the crust cooks very fast so the bottom was very dark and crusty. Crusty is OK, dark not so much. Mine was Canadian bacon and pineapple. I want to do this for one of my meals on the fall trip. I just need to keep and eye on the crust cooking time.

Short post tonight. Mainly I wanted to let people know I am still kicking and looking forward to the fall trip.

Oh, by the way,,,,, Clyda is in Lynden, WA for a week to help niece Dawn celebrate her daughter Samantha’s first birthday which was yesterday.

She will be home Wednesday evening.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Signs of fall are in the air.

The weather has turned cooler, especially in the morning when I walk but warms up nicely by mid morning. Working outside during the day has been quit warm. I need to take frequent breaks from the heat or is because I’m old and need breaks! Probably both.

I got a call this week from the RV shop and they think the hydraulic ram for the living room slide is bad. If they can get it out it will be replaced or rebuilt if it isn’t replaceable. With an older RV, the possibility of finding replacement parts is a crap shoot.

I also had the water softener people out to check why the softer is recycling every other day and they couldn’t reset the timer. It is mechanically shot. I guess for being 28 years old, that isn’t too bad. It was only serviced once in 2003. The real bad news is the cost for a new one. PRICEY! They will install it on Wednesday.

This week I started my fall yard trimming by attacking all of the front yard plants first followed by 2 days of trimming in the back yard. I also cut down the dead orange tree. That one is a real loss but it was also 50 years old. I shredded all the trimmings on Friday which amounted to two garbage cans full which I will let compost in the cans for a few months. That is the lazy mans way of composting.

Poor orange tree.

Shredding orange tree.

I am still finding things that are missing from my new computer but have slowly worked my way around them. Painful in the least but doable.

I am working on food lists for the upcoming desert trip as well as shore excursions for our November Panama Canal cruise. All of this takes lots of time of course.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Things are moving along.

Finally, after more than a week of trying to fix the problem with my email, I got it to work on Saturday. It seems I neglected to check one box in the email server panel. After checking that box and trying a couple of password possibilities, it downloaded my email.

I spent much of today continuing with the setup of more software, etc. It is a never ending process it seems.

Last Saturday we had a nice family get together at the beach. The weather was just perfect and it was really nice to spend time with family who we sometimes only see at Christmas time.

On Wednesday we took the RV to a repair facility in Arroyo Grande. Friends had highly recommended this place so we shall see. I need the rig much earlier than I had planned because of some changes to the desert trip. More on that at a later date as the plans get firmed up.

Saturday night we attended a wedding reception for Clyda’s second cousin. They actually were married a year ago in New York State but decided to have a reception locally for friends and relatives who didn’t attend the wedding. It was a very nice party held at a local restaurant.

Sunday we drove to Nipomo with friends Don and Bev to celebrate Don’s and my birthday with friends Budd and Brenda and their daughter Kori and her daughter Jessica. We had a nice lunch at Figueroa Mountain Brewing CO.

The weather has turned cooler today. I don’t think the sun even came out at all. I may need to resort to Levi’s instead of short pants. I’ll see what tomorrow looks like before I get that drastic.

I thought I would add this photo of this trumpet plant in our side yard. It really has put on a lot of flowers this summer.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Total frustration the past 2 weeks with our internet. It has been up and down and almost useless. I have called so many times to the help desk that I think they cringe when they hear who it is.

They finally came yesterday and replaced my modem with a high speed modem and router combined and thought they had corrected all the problems. So, the same thing today, up and down, like a yo-yo.

A speed test shows speeds less than I had with the old modem. I called again and was cut off part way through the call. I gave up and went on to something else more productive.

I am slowwwly cleaning up some things around here. I worked on the shed behind the garage for two days, then moved on to the workbench in the garage. Two days barely made a dent in it.

One of the things I have been doing is getting rid of all those boxes you save from computers, printers, etc which I have kept "just in case". I took a bunch of those I had flattened to the recycle center today but my recycle bin is filling up again.

I have given up on trying to fix the slides out on the RV after putting them in and out several times and changing the fluid each time the slides were in. The bedroom slide works fine but the living room slide will go out just fine but won't budge coming in.

I have made an appointment to take it in next Wednesday. I suspect it needs a new pump. Pricey!

Adding to my frustration has been the failure of my desktop computer. It just wouldn’t turn on. All of my trouble shooting efforts and Google help did no good. I eventually went to Costco and bought a unit similar to the one that quit only more powerful and with the Windows 10 operating system. This of course has it’s own frustrations. I have managed to get most things working except for my Verizon email. It rejects my password and Frontier who took over for Verizon can’t seem to figure out what I want.


I am not without email as I have my laptop and Microsoft does have Outlook with Windows 10 as email which I HATE!

Anyway. On to better things for now.

Tomorrow we will meet some of the relatives for a small get together at the beach. I am sure it will be crowded because of the Labor Day weekend. I hope the weather stays nice. It has cooled off in the evenings now. Days are still nice.

It is time to start thinking about the desert trip. I need to work on meal planning and cooking assignments. I usually get that done before October so everyone can plan meals.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another month gone by.

Whoa! Another whole month gone by without a new blog.

It has been a busy month with lots of family members coming early in the month for a memorial service for Clyda’s sister Candi.

Tim, Matthew and Ivy arrived on Saturday before Clyda and I got home. It gave them a few days to explore the local area. They found a place up on Camino Cielo called “the Playground” which is a place of big rocks overlooking the valley. Awesome!

They also spent one day at Pismo Beach riding ATV's. That is Matthews real love.

We spent the first weekend at Mammoth Lakes, CA at Clyda’s cousin’s place. While there Tim and the kids rode bicycles on the free trails from the lakes down to town and also up the chair lifts and back to town. They had a great time doing it. 

The next weekend everyone else came. Our niece Dawn, her husband Mat and baby Samantha as well as nephew Michael, wife Lizzie and baby Mathias. Also brother-in-law Mark arrived. We had a house full, so much so that Clyda and I spent our nights down the street at our friend Sharon’s while Mark stayed next door at Paul and Cathy’s house.

On Sunday we all went to the Beach at Rincon Point for a gathering of family, friends, and neighbors to honor Candi. Mark had created a slide program of old and new photos from Candi’s life which we played on a TV. Mark spoke as did Dawn and Lizzie.

This was followed by a lite meal of snacks and sandwiches.

It was a perfect day at the beach in memory of Candi.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The good, the bad, the ugly!

A synopsis of or trip so far.

The Good!

Spending time with Mark: Matt & Dawn & Samantha; Michael & Lizzie & Mathias. Our day trip to Bremerton for Mathias’s dedication.

Three days camping at Rest-A-While RV Park on the Hood Canal.

Spending 6 days with Dick and Barbara on the Oregon Coast. Especially tasting wine at the Youngbird winery and B & B on the deck overlooking the vineyards from on high. Awesome!

Clam chowder at Mo’s on the Newport Harbor waterfront and fried fresh small clams which Barbara prepared. Super!

Long talks by the fire late in the afternoon with good friends. Wonderful!

Then on to Roseburg and a day with Gary, my Navy buddy and wife Judy, Clyda’s friend from grade school. Beating the ladies 5-2 at sequence. Perfect!

The Bad!

Loosing the water heater cover the first day out (second time since April). The slide creeping out slowly each day and doing it again after I put it back each time.

A rock through our kitchen window from the lawn mower while camped in the RV park south of Lynden.

Replacing the black water dump valve.

The city water check valve getting stuck and filling the water tank so it came out the overflow vent (twice). We are using on-board water the remainder of our trip home.

The Ugly!

Blowing one of my Goodyear Marathon tires on I-5 south of Olympia, WA.

Trying to service the hydraulic pump by adding a cleaner to the reservoir. Not a good choice. The slide quit working in Newport when I tried to run it in so the Les Schwab mobile service guy could remount the tire in place of my spare. He had to do it with the slide out.

Called a Mobile Mechanic to help with the slide. Four and a half hours later, we rounded up six guys in the campground and pushed the slide in manually. It is now locked in place with 2 2x4’s on top of the slide to keep it from going out. Same for the front slide.

We are going home on a wing and a prayer.

 Sunset at Winchester Bay, OR

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We are in Hoodsport, WA.

We are camped at Rest-A-While RV Park just north of Hoodsport on the Hood Canal. It has been several years since we last camped here and it looks like there has been a change of ownership which appears to be for the good. What did surprise me is the lack of campers during the week. Usually getting a reservation here was iffy in the summer months but not this time. Almost empty park.

Sunday was a very long day for us. We got up at 4:45 AM to drive to BIL Mark’s house and then out to niece Dawn’s house so we could take her car down to Bremerton for the day. It was awful early to get Dawn’s 9 month old daughter Samantha up but our goal was to catch the 8:50 AM ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. From the ferry we drove to nephew Michael and wife Lizzie’s house and had about a half hour before driving to the Calvary Chapel in Silverlake for the 11AM service at which their son Mathias was dedicated.
Edmonds ferry

Prior to the sermon the pastor called Michael, Lizzie, and Mathias to the front and holding Mathias, he dedicated him to God. During all this Mathias was perfect, no crying, just taking it all in. Outstanding for a 6 month old.
Mathias and the pastor.
Michael and Lizzie.

Attending the service also were Lizzie’s parents and Grand Parents. Quite a family representation for the little guy.

After the service we went back to Michael’s house for a BBQ and a birthday celebration for Michael.

About 3 PM we collected everything and everybody and headed for the ferry again. This time we elected to catch the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle as the Kingston ferry likely would require us to wait at least 2 ferries before we could board because of the Sunday traffic. Thank goodness for Smart phones as we could check ferry traffic before we left the house and also check freeway traffic in Seattle. All went according to plan and we made the 4:20 ferry for the 1 hour trip.
Seattle skyline from the Bremerton ferry.

Clyda, Dawn, Samantha, and Mark waiting to leave the ferry.

Eventually Clyda and I arrived back at the RV about 8:20 PM tired but glad for being with family all day. Samantha? She was awesome! Not a peep out of her until the last 15 or 20 minutes of the trip home but once she saw her daddy, she was fine, What a trouper!
Are we home? I'm tired.

Monday morning was again another early day as we had to have the RV at the glass shop in Lynden by 8 Am to have the broken window over the sink replaced. As soon as I pulled up the guy came out of the shop with the glass to check the size. Wonderful! He knocked out the old glass which I had taped on both sides, vacuumed up the pieces, cleaned the old caulking off, recaulked and put in the new glass. All done in 25 minutes. Oh, the new glass is darkened like the old glass and matches perfectly.

We left Lynden and drove to Coupeville at Anacortes to catch the ferry to Port Townsend. We had a 2 PM reservation but actually got on the 11AM ferry. Cost $86 but saves going through Seattle. I will pay that anytime to avoid driving through Seattle with the RV.

Close quarters on the Port Townsend ferry.

We arrived at Hoodsport about 1 AM and have a great view of the Hood Canal which is right in front of us. The drawback is that Hwy 101 is right behind us with a lot of daytime traffic however, it gets quite at night.We have no plans for our few days here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two blog posts in one week, my my!

This will be a somewhat technical post so if that doesn’t float your boat, just check back later.

I have heard it said that “taking your RV down the road is like having an earthquake at your house every day."

I do think that is true, for instance, the first day of our trip Clyda said, “Don’t look now but you lost the cover to the water heater again." That is the second time this year that we have lost the cover. Not only is it a pain, it also cost between $65 -$75 to replace it. Mine happens to be a 10 gallon water heater which means it always comes with the frame around it which I do not need. I throw it away as it is of no use to me.

I bought a new door today and added a clip so that the door if it should come open can’t get loose from the RV. Problem solved, I hope.

We have had a problem with our slide creeping out as we drive. It only moves out a small amount but in a rain storm it would be significant. I usually stop occasionally and run it back in but it soon comes out again.

Talking to local RV repair persons gets me not much sympathy as they really don’t want to work on it. There is a multitude of possible problem areas, so where do you start? They and I think it might be in the pump valve area which is leaking back into the reservoir when the rooms are in. The cheapest possible fix is to remove some of the hydraulic fluid from the reservoir and replace it with Sea Foam Transmission Fluid which may clean up the valve. It is worth a try. It is also the simplest fix. We shall see.
Hydraulic pump on left and reservoir on right.

Today, the park started mowing the lawns around the few RV’s remaining after the holiday. I went out and put up our steps and moved the truck so the kid could do a better job around our RV. As I stepped out of the truck I heard a loud ping as the mower threw a rock. Clyda yelled at me to come see what had happened to the window over the sink. The rock actually came through the window and shattered all the glass. I talked to the kid who had just started this job and was very sorry for the rock. It was just an accident. I let the park know.

So, I called a local glass company and they came out this afternoon and measured for a new glass. I need to take the RV to them on Friday morning so they can install the new window. I think I will ask them to wait until Monday as we leave on Monday and can take it by on our way out of town. That way I don’t need to move the RV twice.

I also need an oil change in the truck so will have that done tomorrow. I take it to an Express Oil Change place here which also has the oil I use, DELO 400. It is the first time I haven’t had to go to NAPA or someplace like it to buy my own oil to have it changed. In fact there are two oil change places in Lynden which have DELO 400. Small world.

We have a full week of things to do with our few remaining days here in Lynden.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

We arrived in Lynden last Thursday morning after spending the night at the Expo Center Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA. Not my best choice of places to stay but it was on our route. We always bypass Seattle if we can by driving on 2 lane roads through small towns to the East of the city. This is much slower but less frantic than big city driving especially as we can’t keep up with the speed of traffic that most folks want to drive at.

Our first order of business was to pick up a Fed Ex package from our brother-in-laws house. It contained escrow papers for the sale of property in Las Vegas and the purchase of another Las Vegas property. We knew this was in the works but had hoped to complete the sales while at home where all pertinent info is available. However, as I said to someone, “it seems that most of our real estate sales have been done while we are traveling” so this one is no different.

After filling out all the sections required of us we went to the bank to have several sections notarized. Eventually after a few phone calls for clarification of some fine points we mailed the package back to the sender.

The weather here has been variable. It started out nice with big fluffy clouds mixed with sun but has deteriorated to overcast mixed with light rain showers. Not a good recipe for the 4th of July.

Our BIL Mark has been a most gracious host. He has BBQ’ed the last two nights for us and his daughter Dawn and husband Mat. Last night was excellent smoked salmon, his specialty.

We have been spending most days at Mark’s house as Dawn and her 9 month old daughter Samantha spend the days there also. Samantha is a joy to be around. She is curious as only 9 month old’s can be. Of course, everything goes in her mouth first so it keeps us on our toes to keep everything picked up that she shouldn’t have. 
Dawn & Samantha

Samantha with the 4th of July outfit Clyda bought for her. 
 Look at that red hair!
Saturday Mark and I worked on his garage door project which involves sanding down the door panels which are varnished wood with raised panels. We have one more to do which we hope to get done next Saturday.

If the weather improves we will drive to the coast a Blaine, WA for the fireworks display. If not, we may watch it on TV or see it here from our campground as some folks living near here fire off some really big fireworks each year.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Through the fire zone.

Just a short note to tell everyone that we made it out of the fire zone at Lee Vining this morning. We left the campground at 7:30 and had to wait about 20 minutes for the pilot car. They escorted us to the north end of Mono Lake.

It must have been a really interesting day on Friday at Mono Lodge as the fire burned right up to the back of the motel. Hand crews with shovels were still digging up hot spots as we went by this morning.

Edison brought in a large load of power poles last night and they had a very large number of trucks staging along the highway at Mono Lodge this morning. Hard to tell where they lost poles as we went by.

Other than it being a long day, 300 miles, and hot, in the nineties, we are fine. Tomorrow is another 270 mile day to Redmond, OR.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Every RV’er knows that not all plans go as scheduled.

Our plans certainly haven’t. We have gone from the frying pan into the fire or I should say, from one fire to another fire.

We left one fire at home only to get stopped by another fire in the Eastern Sierra.

We left home at 6:10 AM on Thursday to get ahead of the morning rush hour traffic. We stopped in Fillmore for an Egg McMuffin and that put us going up I-5, the “Grapevine” when the temp was only 72 degrees and little traffic. Perfect! We stopped in Mojave for fuel and then carried on North on Hwy 395.

Our original destination was the Elks Club in Ridgecrest but the temperature was predicted to be 108 degrees so we abandoned that in favor of Boulder Creek RV Park South of Lone Pine. However, when we got that far we decided it was too early to stop so continued on to Brown’s Town at Bishop, CA.

The temperature here was 103 so we stayed inside with the AC on the remainder of the afternoon. It did cool off overnight so sleeping was ok.
Sierra Nevada Mountains from Bishop.
The next morning we fueled up in Bishop and Clyda said she saw a sign that Hwy 395 was closed at Lee Vining due to a fire. I immediately got on my phone and confirmed that yes, there was a fire and yes, the road was closed. Our plan was to go to Glass Creek at Mammoth anyway so that would be a good place to wait out the road closure if we could get in.

We arrived about 10:30 and the place looked pretty full. As we drove around a guy stopped us and said only one site was open if we wanted it. So, we took it. We were lucky as more rigs showed up and there were no open sites. The bad news is that the campground was full of off road vehicles of all kinds along with their big motor homes and long trailers. It is not a very nice place anymore and doubt if we will every stop there again.

As the highway continued to closed we decided to take a picnic lunch and go to June Lake for the day. When we arrived at June Lake Junction it appeared from the traffic that the road may be open so I stopped and asked a waitress if in fact the road was open and she replied “Yes.” So, we turned around and went back to the camp ground for the RV. After a quick lunch we hooked up and left.

When we got to the Hwy 120 turnoff to Benson a sign said “Hwy 395 closed.” Now what do we do. I kept on driving into Lee Vining and at the North end of town all traffic was stopped. We pulled off to the side and talked to a young couple walking back from where the road was closed by vehicles with flashing lights and they told us that “the road was closed by a rock slide from the fire until Cal-Trans could install a K-rail to contain the slide and who knew how long that would be.”

So we made a u-turn and stopped along the road while we decided “whats next?” I just so happens that Mono Vista RV park was right there so we pulled in and secured a site for the night. This park was on our original schedule when we first planned this trip but got dropped when our plans changed. I guess it was meant to be.
Fire visible from our campground.
We are right next to the fire and also within view of the road closure. And hour after we got here they opened the road one lane at a time with escort. So, we relaxed along with every one else in the same situation and will leave early in the morning for our next stop, by passing Carson City, NV and going on to Likely, CA which will put us back on schedule.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Trip planning and a nearby fire.

While not quit a month since my last post, still long enough I guess.

I have been working and planning for our trip to Lynden, Washington starting next Thursday the 23rd. I do a little each day.

We will make the trip in 8 days with little time for sight seeing. It really doesn’t matter as we have made this same trip many times before. A few of the nightly stops will be different this time but I will report on those as we travel.

Now however, we have a large fire burning to the West of us on the coastal range. It started 3 days ago and has grown each day since. It has been named the Sherpa Fire after the ranch where it started. During the day the winds blow from West to East along the coast but at night they shift to the South and blow down over the mountains (called sundowner winds) causing the fire to cross Highway 101. In places the center medium has burned and the highway has been closed for the last 2 nights when this happens. Probably will be closed again tonight. The sundowner winds have been 35 to 45 MPH which plays havoc with attempts to control the fire. There are some pretty dramatic photos on line of the fire at night. Check Google Images and Sherpa Fire for those.

So far the only building to burn was the pump station for the State Park at El Capitan which was located way up a canyon. We have several friends living on ranches in the fire area and are in contact with them. It has been reported on TV that there have been losses to avocados, lemons, and olive groves.

We are about 10 miles from the fire I would guess and the standby evacuation line is a road about 3 miles West of us. If they move it closer to us, a lot of houses are in danger not only ours. If we are forced to evacuate we will take the RV and move to one of the staging areas set up for that and wait it out.
Smoke as seen from our backyard yesterday(sorry for the pole).

For now we keep the house closed up to keep the smell of smoke out and also the ash that falls. It hasn’t been too bad so far. However it is supposed to get into the 90’s here on Monday which will mean using fans to keep cool.