Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sunriver near Bend, OR - June 2019

We have needed to extend our stay here as we were waiting for some RV parts to arrive, which didn't arrive on time.  Just like living in a house, this house on wheels requires maintenance and repairs as it ages.  The toilet required a new electric flush control, then the inverter (this takes 12 volt current and converts it to 120 volts) died and then the microwave followed.  We were able to find the microwave at the Lowe's in Bend.  Since there is no oven in the motorhome we have a microwave/convection combination and a little hard to find.  Len got it installed but had to remove the glass panels that were around the stove top.  Can't say that broke my heart as it was a pain trying to keep that glass clean anyway.  Will now need to be shopping for a back splash.  Len is able to do these repairs on his own so saving a large sum in labor.

We did take a trip to Newberry National Volcanic Monument, this monument provides a unique opportunity to view the Lava Lands of central Oregon. Newberry National Volcanic National Monument includes 54,000+ acres of lakes, lava flows, and spectacular geologic features in central Oregon. The highest point within the Monument is the summit Paulina Peak (7,985 ft.), showcasing views of the Cascades, Newberry Caldera and across the High Desert. Enjoyed a talk presented by one of the park rangers and learned so much more about the area.

Another day we drove the Lava Cast Forest. At the Lava Cast Forest you walk through a 6,000 year old lava flow where you will find the casts of ancient trees. The Newberry Volcano to the south spewed hot pahoehoe lava to the Earth’s surface, spilling through standing forests. The trees became encased in stone when the lava cooled. What remained were “casts” of the trees, many of which go down several feet below surface level. The surrounding landscape includes molds of the trees, some new plant growth including flowers, Indian paintbrush, and Ponderosa pine trees.
There is a one mile paved self guided interpretive trail with barrier free access. The trail loops through the area where hot molten lava erupted from the northwest flank of Newberry Volcano and engulfed the forest.

The park serves breakfast on the weekends so we enjoyed that one day.  Also Len did a walk with other park members during the Memorial weekend.  Ice cream socials on Saturdays and one weekend we played bingo, Len once again was the lucky winner 3 times, I did bingo once myself.

Youngest son Jack, was traveling from his home in Waldport, OR., where they are having their place remodeled, back to his place in Colorado.  What I didn't know was Brooke was with him, what a great surprise and we had a fun time over lunch.

We should be on the move today or tomorrow, waiting on another package that is needed for the inverter, isn't it funny, NOT, ordered at the same time from the same place and both are shipped separate and took a completely different route.  They we both suppose to arrive yesterday but only one showed up, so we continue to wait.

See you down the road.....

Lake Minden, Nicolaus, CA -May 2019

Think I fell down on the job here.  I usually post when we are leaving an area but didn't get it done and we are already leaving a different area, so better get caught up.

Enjoyed the time we spend at Lake Minden as we are close to Len's family and getting caught up with them.  We were able to enjoy lunch with Len's great nephew, Xzavier, at his last day of pre-school.  Since it was 2 years ago that we saw them and he is now 4 he seems so grown up, and his little sister, Violet is now 2, she was a newborn last time we were in the area, boy has she changed.  Such great kids, enjoy anytime we get to spend with them.  Craig, Len's brother also joined us at the pre-school lunch and the kids mom, Alex.

While we spent most of the time being down with colds and trying to get well we didn't do much while here.

Did have the family out to the RV park for lunch one day.  Brandon, Len's nephew was able to join us that day.  Xzavier and Violet kept us entertained enjoying blowing bubbles and playing ball, oh to be young again, so much energy, just made me tired watching them.  They also enjoying playing at the park playground on the new equipment that was put in this year.

Hard to leave family and move on but time to hit the road again.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Yosemite Lakes - Groveland, CA. May 2019

Had a fabulous stay at Yosemite, nice RV park and so close to Yosemite National Park..  We visited the National Park several times.  Can't even explain how beautiful the falls were, the snow melt has created the most amazing falls we have seen in the park.  You hear the falls before you see the water, some places you will get wet also.  Len's brother came to visit, so lucky to have a parking spot right next to us for his 5th wheel, good to see Craig again.  Whenever we visited Yosemite we packed a lunch to enjoy while inside the park, some nice picnic areas also.  Len did some hiking in the park and we both enjoyed seeing the Redwoods once again.  Those trees are gigantic.

We took a drive to Hetch Hetchy, an area where Len spent time with his boy scout troop. Hidden in Yosemite National Park’s peaceful northwest corner, Hetch Hetchy Valley is a treasure worth visiting in all seasons. Located at 3,900 feet, Hetch Hetchy boasts one of the longest hiking seasons in the park and is an ideal place for thundering spring waterfalls and wildflower displays. High temperatures prevail in summer months, but that is a small price to pay for the reward of vast wilderness filled with stunning peaks, hidden canyons, and remote lakes.

So happy to add new RV friends to our traveling family.  We met several new friends, Greg and Michelle stopped to introduce themselves to us, ended up meeting them at the clubhouse to play some games, also met up again with Bob and JoAnn that Len met at Turtle Beach (our last stop), and also met Andy and her hubby John.  We had campfires together and shared meals, such a fun time, hope to catch up with them again in our travels.  One night we ate dinner in Groveland at the Iron Door Saloon, oldest saloon in California with Greg and Michelle.  Another night while Bob's sister was visiting, we ate brats at Bob and JoAnn's place, rainy night but still a fun evening.  Andy and John had us all over for a taco bar and bonfire one night, Andy said she only invited us in hopes I would bring my homemade salsa, which I did.  Good food and great new friends.  What a great life we are enjoying, especially meeting such wonderful people. Even took in a local flea market in Groveland.

The park had a couple of meals, one was a taco night for Cinco De Mayo, then a pancake breakfast for Mother's Day.  Both were good and when you don't have to cook it is even better.

Until the next time...……...


Monday, April 29, 2019

Turtle Beach - Manteca, CA 4/2019

Leaving tomorrow and headed for Yosemite, our last visit there was in 2013, at that time we had no cell service so internet was bad also. So need to get this posted today.  (just in case anyone is stilling following us on the blog).

Not a lot to see and do in this area, we always enjoy finding the local museums.  We visited the Manteca Historical Society, which houses a vast array of artifacts, documents and thousands of photographs of the area. I enjoyed talking with the volunteers while Len ventured out to the outer building to check out what was housed there. Nice museum.

We did find a casino which I donated a small amount to while Len walked out with full pockets.  Did take advantage of the senior buffet for $5.99, wasn't that bad but serving out of the bingo hall while the casino is renovating so you can't expect much, but it was good and a cheap meal.

Len took me out for my birthday, decided to check out Billie's Hillbilly's Bar-B-Q, ribs were good. Wish I would of had room after my meal because the fried pies really looks good.  Also had a birthday breakfast at IHOP as oldest son had sent a gift card for my birthday.

Made a stop a one of the local veggie/fruit stands that we have been to before.  The strawberries are so sweet and fresh here, picked right out of the field. Also bought some pears but still need to ripen some before I eat them.

Sat outside and enjoyed watching a goose that has her nest in a dead tree here in the park.  We kept hoping to see some babies but doesn't look like that is going to happen before we leave.

Will be in Yosemite for 2 weeks, so will post after that.

Friday, April 19, 2019

San Benito, Paicines, CA - April 2019

                                  CLICK HERE TO SEE PICTURES OF OUR STAY

Always enjoy our time at this Thousand Trails, not a lot of activities but we enjoy trying to find the bobcats that call this place home.  Only one sighting this visit, saw one bobcat the first evening.  The park is trying to capture the cats and have them checked out by a vet, the one we saw was sickly looking but seems it is too smart to get trapped.

While here we did some sightseeing.

It was a short drive to Pinnacles National Park from the campground.  Packed a picnic lunch which we enjoyed after Len did a hike on the Bear Gulch Trail.  This is such a pretty area, seems to be busy even during the week. Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed and slid to form what has become this national park.  Which remains a unique landscape.  Len was able to spot a California condor, which had a young one in the nest, an amazing sighting.

Also visited Henry Cowell Redwoods, a state park. Henry Cowell Redwoods is located in the Santa Cruz mountains and is most famous for the 40-acre grow of towering old-growth redwood trees. The Redwood Grove Loop Trail will take you through some of the redwoods.  Nice trail and many signs explain what you are seeing.

Len did a trip to the San Benito Historical Park. Last time he visited he was able to have access to all the buildings, but not this time.  Seems the place is going downhill which is a real shame as they do have many nice items that should be preserved.

Drove into Santa Cruz, know better than to go on a weekend, but there we were, in bumper to bumper traffic driving past the boardwalk.  Think everyone that lives in Santa Cruz was there, enjoying the beach and the amusement park.

Onto the next stop, more later.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Soledad Canyon, Acton, CA March 2019

                                  CLICK HERE TO SEE PICTURES AROUND ACTON CA.

Twelve days have flown by during this stay at Soledad Canyon RV.

Len has been shooting some pool in the afternoons and also on Wednesday night, the roving tournament in the parks starts after we leave so he will miss shooting in the tournament.

One day we took the Metrolink into Los Angeles, the ride into Union Station was about an hour and forty minutes. 
Los Angeles Union Station is the main railway station in Los Angeles, California, and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.  It opened in May 1939 as the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal, replacing La Grande Station and Central Station.
Approved in a controversial ballot measure in 1926 and built in the 1930s, it served to consolidate rail services from the Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Southern Pacific Railroads into one terminal station. Conceived on a grand scale, Union Station became known as the "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Today, the station is a major transportation hub for Southern California, serving almost 110,000 passengers a day.   Amtrak's fifth-busiest station, and by far the busiest in the Western United States and the tenth-busiest in the entire country.
From Union Station it is a short walk to Olvera Street, one of the oldest streets in LA. The oldest house in the city is Avila Adobe. The Avila Adobe, built in 1818 by Francisco Avila, is the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles, California.  Avila Adobe is located in the paseo of historical Olvera Street, a part of Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, a California State Historic Park. We also visited the Plaza Firehouse. The Plaza Firehouse was the first building to be constructed by the City of Los Angeles for housing fire fighting equipment and personnel. The City Council hired architect William Boring to design the structure which was built by Dennis Hennessy. Boring's design followed closely a fashion then current in his native Illinois, with the horses stabled inside the station as was the custom in colder climates. A unique turntable in the floor made it unnecessary to back the horses in or out. Construction began in May, 1884 and was completed by mid-August. Firehouse No. 1 opened for business in September that same year. There is no admission charge at any of the museums.  We also stopped in the Chinese American Museum and the had lunch at one of the local restaurants.  It was a long day but had a good time exploring the area, so much more to see, hope to return when we are in the area again.

We wanted to visit Regan's library and were lucky enough to visit while the Pompeii exhibit was on display.  The extra charge was well worth it. 
Around mid-morning on August 24, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted.  Molten rock and pumice was expelled from Mt. Vesuvius at a rate of 1.5 million tons per second.  Rocks and volcanic ash filled the atmosphere, turning day into night.  Within 24 hours, the Roman city of Pompeii lay destroyed – and perfectly preserved – under 15 feet of ash and volcanic debris.  It is estimated that about 16,000 people died in the eruption.

In 1748 when explorers examined the site, they found that the volcanic ash had acted as a preservative, and many of the buildings and even the skeletons and remnants of city life were still intact. This city frozen in time provided historians with a glimpse into what life was like in ancient Rome.   These are not replicas, but rather original, 2,000-year-old objects that were preserved in the ash.  These artifacts include wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims.

From Pompeii it was onto the library.  We walked onboard the actual Air Force One aircraft, tail number 27000, which flew seven U.S. presidents. The volunteers were a wealth of information.
We also viewed a full-size replica of the White House Oval Office, the office in which President Reagan never took off his suit jacket.  Len even stepped up to the podium and threw his hat in the ring for the next president. We also ate lunch at the Regan Country CafĂ©, good burgers and garlic fries, while we were visiting the library.

One day we took a drive to the Devil's Punchbowl, The most conspicuous features of the park are geological. The Punchbowl is a deep canyon cut by the runoff of large quantities of water from the higher San Gabriel Mountains occurring over a long period of time. These mountain peaks above the park are 8,000 feet in elevation while the Nature Center is located at 4,740 feet above sea level. The Punchbowl Canyon is 300 feet deep at the vista point. The peculiar up tilted rock formations to be seen in the entire area are layers of sedimentary rocks that were formed long ago by the depositing of loose material in horizontal layers by water. Later they were squeezed into their present steeply-tilted form by the continuing action of uplift along the Punchbowl and Pinyon Faults and pressures along the San Andreas Fault. The Punchbowl Fault is to the south of the rock formation while the Pinyon and San Andreas Faults are to the north.

Along the way we stop to view the Joshua's trees that were in bloom, there is a totally different look to the desert when it is in bloom. I find it beautiful.

Tuesday will be another moving day, stay tune to our next stop.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Palm Springs, CA - March 2019


Another fun stay at Palm Springs has come to an end.  Enjoy this area with so much to see and do.  Our first meal out was so Len could enjoy the all you can eat lobster buffet at Augustine's casino.  Just so proud of him, he managed to tie his old record of 7 lobster tails, plus some prime rib and crab legs.  He thought of going for the 8th lobster tail to break his old record, but the ice cream got the best of him.  While the buffet is pricey at $34.99, Len did get his monies worth.  I ordered the fish-n-chips off the menu, (not a lobster fan).

We visited the Coachella Valley History Museum in Indio. It is a historical campus which contains the 1926 adobe Smiley-Tyler House - housing our main exhibits - the historic 1909 Indio Schoolhouse and the world's only Date Museum.  Other highlights include the Desert Submarine, a Blacksmith's shop, pioneer farming implements and the archives for the Historical Society.  Also, the spacious grounds hold a variety of gardens which include a Memorial Date Garden, Japanese Garden, the Geissler Rose Garden, the Jardin del Desierto (Desert Garden)  and our Liberty Tree - the oldest Cork Tree in the Coachella Valley.

One day we took a drive down to the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in the U.S. state of California's Imperial and Coachella valleys. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. Its surface is 236.0 ft below sea level as of January 2018. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft higher than the lowest point of Death Valley.

From Salton Sea we drove on down to Salvation Mountain.  We were concerned on how we would find the condition since Leonard Knight, who built this, has since passed away.  Very pleased to see the mountain is being cared for. Salvation Mountain is located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about a hour and a half from Palm Springs. Salvation Mountain is Leonard's tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: "God Is Love." Leonard's passion has lovingly created this brilliant "outsider art " masterpiece resplendent with not only biblical and religious scripture such as the Lord's Prayer, John 3:16, and the Sinner's Prayer, but also including flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating and colorful objects. Salvation Mountain must be seen to be fully appreciated as those who have made the journey will attest. Its 50 foot height and 150 foot breadth is made totally of local adobe clay and donated paint and is truly unique in the United States and probably the world. From its Sea of Galilee at the bottom, to the big red heart in the middle, to the cross at the very top, the reoccurring theme of "Love" is everywhere at Salvation Mountain.

Onto Slab City, also called The Slabs, is largely a snowbird community in the Sonoran Desert located in Imperial County, California, 100 miles northeast of San Diego and 169 miles southeast of Los Angeles within the California Badlands, and used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It took its name from concrete slabs that remained from the abandoned World War II Marine Corps barracks of Camp Dunlap. Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during  the winter months. The "snowbirds" stay only for the winter before migrating north in spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during summer are as high as 120 °F (48 °C); nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in "The Slabs" year round. Some of these "Slabbers" derive their living from government programs and have been driven to "The Slabs" by poverty. Others have moved to "The Slabs" to learn how to live off the grid and be left alone. Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.
The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The site has no official electricity, running water, sewers, toilets or trash pickup service.[3] Many residents use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. The closest body of civilization with proper law enforcement is approximately four miles southwest of Slab City in Niland where the residents often go to do basic shopping. 

Len shot in the annual pool tournament while we were here.  Still some people are shooting from past tournaments he knew, but so many are no longer able to do it for one reason or another.  I walked over one morning to say "hi" to the few that I knew from years back when we both shot in the tournament.

The weather was mostly warm so we took advantage of sitting on the patio and visiting with friends that stopped by.  So good to catch up with Phil and Darlene (they shot the tournament) and we had a couple of visits from Cyndi and Erald.  One night while at Cyndi and Erald's we decided to head to the Spotlight 29 casino and have the prime rib buffet.  Len and I had already taken advantage once before, but why stop at one visit.  Good meal both times and you can't beat the $9.99 for a prime rib buffet.

Met up with my cousin Mike and his wife Janet at Shield's Date Farm for a great lunch, so good catching up with them again.  After our meal we took a stroll through their garden,  In 2011, William and Lillian Vanderzalm contacted Shields Date Gardens with a wonderful opportunity. The Vanderzalm’s owned a biblical garden in Vancouver, Canada. They had recently sold the property and were looking to relocate the statues to the Palm Springs area.
The details were finalized and on March 1, 2011. Shield’s horticulture and landscape team then began construction. The Garden was open on a limited basis October 2012 and fully completed October 2013. The garden path winds through our 17 acre date farm. It depicts 14 scenes and includes 23 statues that chronologized Christ’s life. Such a  pretty place.

We plan on being in California till the end of May before heading into Oregon. 

More after our next stay.