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Return to Telegraph Cove, 2017
 
Parker Dam
Sunday, December 17, 2017: Parker Dam holds back the Colorado River to create the huge Lake Havasu. The dam is located just north of Parker, Arizona. The state of California is on the west side of the river and Arizona on the east side of the river but the main city and shopping area is Parker. Vehicles are allowed to drive over the dam with a guard posted at both ends of the dam. No trucks or RVs are allowed to cross the dam. Click the photo to see another view while on top of the dam. Here is another photo of the dam from the California side.
Bouse in the distance, our spot in the desert
Saturday, December 16, 2017: Listening to the Las Vegas Bowl with Oregon Ducks being run over by the Boise State Broncos. The Ducks have played very poorly with a new coach this year. The coach actually quit toward the end of the season to take a job in Florida. The above photo shows our desert parking location with Bouse in the distance. We are 8 minutes driving time to downtown Bouse and to the community park where we get our fresh water and where we will dump our black water when the time comes. You can see the green line of bushes and trees behind Miss Dory. That is a wash which will fill with water if we ever get a good rain storm. Click the photo to see a closer view of Miss Dory from behind and to the left. I did take the time to take the garbage to the transfer station and get six gallons of water. I talked to Alicia, the camp host at the Bouse Community Park. She is from Oregon, new at full time RVing and a single woman who has mapped her entire year as a host here in Arizona then back to Oregon in the summer. I've introduced her to the Escapees RV Club and the "Solos" subgroup. She has made a poor choice of a full time RV and hopefully the Solos will help her make better choices. Just before the game started I flew my 1.5 meter, two line parafoil kite in a 10 - 15 mph wind, nice flying conditions.
Enjoying Silly Als PizzaNew windsock pole
Friday, December 15, 2017: This day began as a "yard sale" day for us. The yard sales were mostly duds! We drove on to Quartzsite to visit the Senior Center Craft Day. Gwen found a nice kitchen towel she liked, I found nothing. We did pay for Christmas Day dinner tickets, only $9. Bouse is also having a Christmas day dinner but it's a pot luck and we preferred having someone else do all the cooking. We had more than one reason to be in Quartzsite, Gwen had a hair cut appointment in the afternoon. Just before the haircut, we ate at a favorite pizza place, Silly Al's Pizza. You can see the "Mediterranean" pizza if you click Gwen's photo. While she got her hair cut, I went shopping and found a windsock pole. I already owned the windsocks but no pole to hang them. This one telescopes to 22' and is easy to store for travel. That will give me something to do on a windy day, watch my windsocks. Click the windsocks for another view.
Bouse Bingo
Thursday, December 14, 2017: The Bouse Booster Club has bingo every Thursday night so Gwen took me to the clubhouse. It was a little more expensive than bingo in Sutherlin, $18 for the two of us but the winners get a bigger pot, $50. Gwen and I got within ONE number a couple of times but never close enough. We were treated to free treats, however, click this photo to see.

A hike in the desertEnjoying Taco Tuesday at the Ocotillo Lodge

Tuesday, December 12, 2017, Gwen took me on a desert hike today to the top of some nearby mountains where we got views of the surrounding area. We saw RVs scattered around the desert as well as a distant view of the tiny Bouse community. Click the photo to the left to see Gwen on the mountain top with the view behind her. Below you see Miss Dory as we return from the hike. At dusk, we got another fabulous sunset, just click the photo below to see what it looked like.

After the hike we drove to "Family Dollar" a new store in Bouse. I had just read the NPR article about how "General Dollar is Transforming Rural America" so I wanted to see how Family Dollar (a store with the same business plan) compares. I also needed "C" batteries for my weather station. These "rural" stores are suppose to have good prices. I got 50% off the second package of batteries but still not as good a price as Costco but I only bought 4 batteries rather than 14 (the Costco package). The inventory reminded me of the old style "General Store" found in small towns 80 years ago. Inventory jammed together, narrow isles, trying to have something of everything, even a toilet seat.

Next, we went to the historic Ocotillo Lodge for their Taco Tuesday special. It is a restaurant bar with a "rough" interior, a "tavern" atmosphere. Click my photo above to learn how Gwen enjoyed her Taco Special.

Returning from our desert hike
 
Bouse Boost Club on a Monday
The Monday menuMonday, December 11, 2017: Every Monday in the winter, the Bouse Boost Club serves breakfast as a fund raising event. It is always well attended but tough for us to get to because they serve from 7-9am, a bit early for us to get from the desert parking to downtown Bouse. The breakfast menu has not changed since we were here six years ago. I remember from six years ago you could ask for extra pancakes without a charge but it looks like it might cost another 50 cents now. I didn't make any changes except no sausage today so I asked for another egg. Click the above photo to see the interior of the clubhouse. You can see blocks are painted with messages from the donor. The block costs $25 plus $25 to the artist to paint it. This room fills for breakfast and I'll bet it fills on Thursday for bingo. I believe Gwen will be taking me to Bingo so I'll find out. Click the menu to enlarge. After breakfast, I purchased propane for only $2.10/gallon then to the post office to pickup our mail which arrived on Saturday. I was told by the clerk, "general delivery mail would not be up until 11:30". When I said it arrived on Saturday she peaked at a shelf and said, "nothing here". So I drove to the library to use their Internet service. It wasn't working so I drove back home. At 11:45, I returned to the post office and arrived at 11:59 noticing the sign on the door, "Closed Noon - 1:00 for Lunch". I said a curse word but found the door still open and the clerk found my package on the top of the pile. Experienced some cloud overcast today so couldn't switch the refrigerator to electric today. Forecast is clear for tomorrow.
Getting our Quartzite fix Lots of inventory specialize in desert needs Service as well as product out of an RV

Lots of booths scattered around QuartziteMaybe need this if we drive into the desert

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017: We decided to visit Quartzite, Arizona for the first time this winter. Quartzite is a unique town with many snowbirds visiting and camping in the nearby desert or the many RV parks. The parking fees are probably the cheapest in Arizona. It is located 25 miles from our desert parking location. Quartzite is also unique because it has more winter temporary vendors than any other location I know of. Many vendors return every year and the RVers know where they are located so they return to that location each year. For example, Gwen like the kitchen vendor and often waits to purchase from that vendor. There are many specialty tool and RV parts vendors which I like to visit. The tools are often unusual, inexpensive and can't be found easily anywhere else. There are also unusual parts found in Quartzite vendors. For example, there are many RV parts sold as a complete unit when all you need is a single lever which is part of the unit. You can find the lever here for 1/10th the price of the unit price. Unfortunately, it's usually a "treasure hunt" where you must do lots of searching to find exactly what you are looking for. Also, the dilemma is not having a need for the part NOW, but MAYBE in the future, so should I stock up NOW or wait until I really need it? Many vendors specialize in items needed in the desert. For example, the giant nails. The desert is often windy so awnings, mats, table, chairs need to be "nailed down". We use the giant nails on our awning and we found a nice RV mat so will use the nails and washers to nail down the mat. You can also find services in the RVs, such as the barber or pet groomer. I took a photo of the "Hand Puller" because I use to own one and it saved me several times. If we driving into the desert off-roads, we might need it to pull us out of at problem. No, I didn't buy it. Behind that photo are Tesla's connected to charging stands. My assumption, these folks are driving between Phoenix and LA and know Quartzite is a good spot to recharge. I asked one of the owners and was told it would take 30 minutes for a full charge. I did buy a mat, nails/washers, small tool bag, T-shirt, rocks for the grandkids, specialty tools for projects I'm planning and a kitchen knife sharpener. Click all photos for more photos.

Sun setting
Saturday, December 9, 2017: When the sun goes down, the desert darkness swallows us until the stars begin to appear one at a time. We can see a few distant lights from the Bouse community but nothing disturbs the dark. The sound is also in the distance. Yes, an occasional train or semi-truck can be heard but as a low hum. It's the way we like it.

Morgan showing off

Friday, December 8, 2017: This has been one of our toughest days. Our Golden, Morgan, has been with us for our entire RV lifestyle. Today she was 17 years and 25 days old and we had to have her euthanized. This Website has hundreds of pages and she is found on nearly every one. I've been trying to figure why it bothers us so much to loose her and have decided it is because she has been the perfect "human". Or perhaps the perfect human companion. She was never demanding or complaining, always happy to see us. We weren't perfect parents but she was always forgiving and didn't hold a grudge. She was never unhappy with the music I played and didn't demand money so she could buy an X-box and video games. She was never mean in any situation and had no understanding of violence. In fact, once when attacked by another dog, she only cried, didn't fight back, not understanding why this animal would hurt her. She enjoyed every part of life but was always happiest when with her family. The Webster definition of "friend" is: "one who you like and enjoy being with, a favored companion". Morgan was my friend. So she was the perfect "human". I believe humans could learn how better to BE human from this K9. Here are some links to a few of the other pages in this Website so you will understand how much she enjoyed her 17+ years. Just click each link, then the "back" button to return here to go to the next link. Beginning her life as an RV dog. Then she gets her first bath as an RV dog. When she was young and strong she even wrote a story of her adventures mountain biking. She learned along with us how to enjoy a new lifestyle at Howard Prairie Resort for five years. She went to the top of Table Mountain with me. Morgan just misses seeing a bear. Here's another story she wrote about fresh water. Morgan has a cousin, Jackson, who wrote a story about his visit to meet us when he was just a puppy. She has visited many states, here is her experience in Blue Water Creek Canyon, New Mexico, click the creek photo to see her, Alberta, Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. Morgan had a litter mate, Amica, which she would often visit in Lodi, California. More fun times at Howard Prairie Resort. She has hiked to indian petroglyphs. Hiking was one of her favorite things to do. As she got older we tried to get her to use a ramp, but she didn't like them. She couldn't be embarrassed. She has another cousin, Gunnar, who taught her a new area to explore. Here she is in Hat Creek, California, a remote area of northern California. Of course she always loved the beach. Nearly two years ago, she had to have an eye removed. Still enjoying the beach with friends, with Brook and Gwen's son Dave. If you explore these pages, you will find many more photos of her adventures. This morning she struggled to get up and wait at the door for permission to leave Miss Dory. This was her final trip. Finally, here is Gwen's story of our Morgan.

Fresh vegitables and fruit in Bouse

Thursday, December 7, 2017: This was our first "utility" day in Bouse where we took our garbage to the transfer station which is open only Thursday thru Saturday. Then we went across the street to the Bouse Community Park to fill our six gallon fresh water jug for a nickel per gallon. Next, to the Bouse Library to get local news to learn about the happenings in the community. Next to Renee's New and Used store. She seems to have a little of everything but you'd have to search thru everything to find it. Next to Renee's is Salgado Produce where we shopped for apples, lemon, banana, cantaloupe, asparagus, yams, squash, green onion and avocado. All pleased Gwen who thought these vegetables better than any she could buy in Parker. Selgado is in Bouse only Thursday and Friday. Click the photo to enlarge.

Charging amps coming from the solar panels, more than rating.Already above 14 volts at 10:45 am

Wednesday, December 6, 2017: Our first day in the desert is a nice clear day, great for solar charging the batteries. I watched the charge controller carefully today. At 10:45 a.m. I noticed the battery voltage at 14.2 volts nearing full charge. I saw 100%, fully charged by 11:30 a.m. When fully charged, the charge controller reduces the charging amps from the solar panels to a trickle charge (about 3-8 amps). That was when I switched the refrigerator to electric using the inverter to send electric current. I watched the solar amps jump to 23 amps. The charge controller sensed the refrigerator draw on the batteries and immediately increased solar amps to a maximum of the panels. In fact, 23 amps is beyond the rated output of the panels. What I learned from this exercise was 1) all three panels are working at 100%, 2) I left the refrigerator on electric for 2.5 hours and the batteries never dropped below 100% and not lower than 13.3 volts so I will switch to electricity to conserve propane every day, 3) the refrigerator must draw around 15 DC amps. All of this is of interest to me because we are considering a residential refrigerator. The propane/electric refrigerator is an "absorption" model with no moving parts. It is very inefficient and will not hold a normal refrigerator temperature reliably. Additionally, they do not work consistently on propane at higher altitudes. We have had our share of problems with our refrigerator so believe the next problem will cause us to switch to a residential refrigerator. Most of the new RVs are coming standard with residential refrigerators now. That's a good thing unless you want to boondock camp as we do. A residential refrigerator will likely mean the need for more solar panels and more storage batteries. I don't intend to do either. Our friend, Ray, camped with us with his new Allegro Red. It has a residential refrigerator and six 6 volt batteries (I have four six volt batteries). His batteries seemed to power the refrigerator all night. Ray's new motorhome has an automatic start generator which will start if the battery voltage drops too low. I suspect a residential refrigerator will cause us to use our generator first thing in the morning to speed battery recovery and perhaps last thing at night to top off the batteries before going to bed. Winter nights are 13 hours long while summer nights are only 8 hours long which may make a difference in our routine. Another thought, several new RVs have NO propane. Room heat and water heat is by diesel and the kitchen is all electric (stove and refrigerator). That might require new challenges to boondockers. I've always said, we are in the five percent club of RVers. Ninety-five percent travel from one RV park to another so an all electric kitchen is not a problem. The five percent group would have to figure innovative methods to dry camp in the wilderness. Click both photos for different views.

Arizona desert boondocking
Tuesday, December 5, 2017: This was a travel day from Cattail Cove State Park to Bouse, Arizona. There is a BLM area near Bouse where we like to boondock camp. We haven't been here since January, 2011 for various reasons. It feels like "home" to return since we spent many months at various times camped here. There are many miles of ATV roads also good for mountain bicycling. This is our first visit with Miss Dory but we have boondocked with her a month after we purchased her. We expect to be here at least a month. We believe our black water tank will last a month if we manage it well. We will fill our freshwater tank from a six gallon container which will get refilled every visit to town. There are positives and negatives to boondock camping. In the photo above you can see the biggest positive, no neighbors for at least 300 yards. Of course, we love to have friends camp near us and have taught several how to boondock effectively. The night sky is another advantage to desert camping. I'm watching the moon rise as I type this. I have made a video of our camping location and I will post a link once it is uploaded to YouTube.
Satellite view of Cattail Cove
Monday, December 4, 2017: Today is our last day at Cattail Cove before we move on south to Bouse, Arizona. Today was a cold (65 degrees) and windy day, the only windy day in the five days we have been at Cattail Cove. Click this photo for a wider satellite view.

Hiking the trail along Lake HavasuSunset over Lake Havasu

 

Sunday, December 3, 2017: Gwen takes me on a hike along the west shore (Arizona side) of Lake Havasu. The trail is a combination of dirt, rocks, sand following the serpentine edge of the lake. If you continue to follow this trail, you'll arrive at the BLM lake side campground found here. Knowing that, it would be possible to backpack into this lakeside camp site rather than paddle to the site.

Yes, we came back after sundown but got to see some fine clouds and scenes to the west.

Paddling the Bill Williams National Wildlife Area
Saturday, December 2, 2017: Today we paddled into the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. The launch point was only five miles from Cattail Cove. Our paddle was 5.5 miles round trip into cattail-filled marsh and riparian forest. The refuge is habitat for resident and migratory wildlife including many butterflies, migratory birds, mammals and reptiles. Over 365 species of birds have been documented, I believe we saw four. The river passes under Highway 95, the road we will take further south. Click the photo for another view.
Kayak from Cattail Cove onto Lake Havasu
Paddling to California and backBoat accessible only camp site with restroom
Friday, December 1, 2017: Our first full day at Cattail Cove State Park so my first day on Lake Havasu in my kayak. We are on the east side of the lake, the Arizona side. Across the lake on the west side is California. I paddled across the lake to Black Meadow Landing, an RV park and area of recreation for those in California. It seems pretty remote to me on the California side since there are no towns nearby and the access roads are often not paved, narrow and dusty. Behind one of these photos is the Black Meadow Marina and Store. Click all these photos for more views. Paddling from Cattail Cove there are boat accessible only campsites to the north and south of the cove. To the north are state park campsites, most with restroom, tables, garbage and fire pits. To the south are BLM campsites, also most with restroom, tables, garbage and fire pits. Both the state and BLM campsites have fees but we can use our Senior Access Pass on the BLM sites to discount the fee by half making overnight camping $10. I paddled by at least a dozen of these boat accessible sites and none were occupied. It was a high of 79 today which I'm sure the locals think is cold. That temperature is warmer than the warmest summer day in Telegraph Cove so we are already planning a boat camping trip next year when we return. The wind was calm today so the paddling was easy. I paddled for a bit more than two hours on flat water, no wind, a total of 6.4 miles. I made a 30 second video of a BLM campsite which would be a nice place to camp next year.
Parked in Cattail Cove State Park

Gwen and Morgan hiking to the Dog Beach, Lake HavasuThursday, November 30, 2017: Today was a travel day from Laughlin, Nevada to Cattail Cove State Park, Arizona near Lake Havasu City. We were here eleven years ago with Morgan and our first fifth wheel, a quality King of the Road. It all seems new to us now so we will have to explore again. Back in 2006 we were not full time RV and could only spend a month traveling before we both had to be back to work. This time, we will spend five days before we move on to boondocking further south.

We have a friend, Steve, in Havasu City. Steve is a certified RV repairman. When we purchased Miss Dory two years ago we knew the refrigerator was on a "recall" from Norcold because of overheating problems. Within a month we had the service done which is only a small black box attached to detect overheating then cutting power to the refrigerator. Six months after the service, the black box cut power but I was able to reset it. I did not have another problem until a couple months ago when it would not reset. I still used the refrigerator (not a good idea) until I could get to Steve in Havasu City. That happened today. He found that both the black box and the sensor leading to the black box were defective and replaced both. So we are back to operating the refrigerator safely. If we continue to have problems, we will replace this refrigerator with a residential model. That may pose problems with boondocking but we will deal with that when the time comes.

We are at Cattail Cove to use our kayaks on Lake Havasu. The Ranger told us of the wild life refuge on the Bill Williams River only a few miles from here. We will make that our destination while we are here.

Laughlin Casino Row
Wednesday, November 29, 2017: Laughlin has special area next to the Colorado River where all the casinos are located in a mile long row. This is the tourist area and a place were locals avoid due to the traffic. Of course they offer a lot of employment for folks who live on both sides of the river. In fact, the Riverside runs a water taxi free of charge to bring both employees and customers across the river so people can park on both sides of the river. I've been wanting to get out at night to take a photo of the "streaming" car lights on Casino Blvd between the lighted casinos. There is another photo behind this one, just click this photo to see it.
Our night view across the street
Tuesday, November 28, 2017: Our friends, Bud and Anita like the RV park just across from the Riverside Casino. This park provides a lot of business for the casinos and if you gamble (collecting points) you can gain enough points to pay for your stay in the RV park. We've enjoyed our stay and visit with Anita and Bud but the park has some of the usual RV park problems. When busy, RVs are parked slide to slide. The campers on our left have five dogs, the campers on our right have been self installing a new floor meaning lots of banging and cursing. This is just a comparison to boondock camping. Of course, there are unique problems with boondocking too and since we will be doing some, I'll tell you about those as they happen.

Enjoying a late lunch of Mexican
Confirming this method of adding fresh water worksMonday, November 27, 2017: This was a special day Gwen and I took to buy presents for ourselves. After my overnight kayak, I had made a short list of items for the next kayak trip. I used all my backpack gear on the overnight but realized I could be more comfortable since weight does not limit what can be taken onto a kayak. The most uncomfortable part of backpack camping is not having a comfortable chair and cooking on the ground. I found very inexpensive camp chairs and a camp table at another store which would easily fit into a kayak hatch. These would be nice on a lunch stop too. It has also been some time since our last boondock parking with Miss Dory. Our plan is to visit a favorite site near Bouse, Arizona or near Yuma, Arizona. These sites are far enough from a fresh water source to need to move to get fresh water or bring the water to Miss Dory. Miss Dory has an "inlet of fresh water via the water pump" but it has never been tested. I bought a 6 gallon fresh water container but saved the receipt with the idea of testing this method to add fresh water, if it didn't work, return the container. So I filled the container and tried the "Inlet to Pump". It worked. So, when boondocked, we will keep the container in the car and fill it everytime we are driving around. In theory, we won't have to watch our water usage as much and might even be able to take long showers. Another item purchased today were exercise bands. I really feel the need to build the muscle groups needed for paddling and since we aren't on the water, the bands will give a opportunity to use the same muscle groups without actually paddling. I need the strength and endurance if I'm going to paddle any distance. We will be moving again on Thursday so we are finishing up everything we wanted to do in the Laughlin and Bullhead City areas.
Overnight kayaking
The camping gearSaturday and Sunday, November 25-26, 2017: These two days were an overnight kayak trip on Lake Mohave, Arizona side. I launched at Princess Cove, about 5 miles north of Katherine Landing. I paddled north from there. Saturday was a day forecast to have little wind but that wasn't the case, I faced a strong headwind with waves to match. That was a good test of me and the boat. The water is warm and I was ready for a capsize with paddle float and bilge pump for a self rescue but glad I didn't need either. The photo above is of my lunch stop, a nice pebble beach and good camping location if I wanted to use a tent but I'm anxious to sleep off the ground in my hammock. I back tracked a bit from lunch looking for the two trees I needed for the hammock. I ended up sacrificing a nice pebble campsite for a muddy landing to use the hammock. I brought a different menu since weight is not a concern for kayak camping compared to backpacking. I brought a soup mix with bowl (just add hot water) for lunch then saved that soup bowl for packaged oatmeal at breakfast. For dinner I purchased a dinner in a plastic container designed to be microwave. Instead, I put the whole container into my stove pot and heated it in water. It worked perfectly. It was a good night with the sound of owls, large fish jumping out of the water, coyotes singing, and the Coots floating nearby but fluttering every time something disturbs them. Sunday was a flat water day. Calm wind. With such good weather, I paddled back to Katherine Landing, passing my launch point at Princess Cove. This was a great first time kayak camping adventure. Click both photos for more views. I made a short video of the trip too.

Celebrating Gwen's birthday with a special dinnerCasey is fixing Cherries Jubalee for Gwen

Friday, November 24, 2017: Gwen got me out of bed early today because she had found a yard sale where the first line of the ad stated, "Quilting Stuff". She wanted to be there when it opened. So we were up at 6 am because across the river where the yard sale was happen was Arizona time, one hour later. We were on the road by 6:40 our time which was 7:40 Arizona time. The yard sale opened at 8 am. She found a selection of fabric for only a dollar. After the garage sale, we went shopping for groceries. After returning home, I had enough time to put together everything I needed for an overnight kayak trip tomorrow.

We had arranged to have a special dinner to celebrate Gwen's birthday. We chose a Riverside restaurant which was nice enough to have table cloths and Christmas decorations like the tree behind Gwen in the photo. Gwen chose crab stuffed prawns which came with free crab legs. Our friends, Bud and Anita, came with us and they order the same thing. I ordered an Italian dish with chicken, spinach, artichokes, kalamata olives, capers in a wine sauce. You can see my dish by clicking Gwen's photo. Gwen got a special Cherries Jubilee which Casey fixed at our table. Click Casey's photo for another view.

In line at the Harrahs Casino Thanksgiving Buffet

 

Thursday, November 23, 2017: For Thanksgiving, we joined friends, Bud and Anita at the Harrah's Casino Thanksgiving Buffet. It's always a popular location on Thanksgiving. The line was long, exactly a one hour wait as the line slowly moved to the cashier. The surprise for me was how patient and friendly the Harrah's staff was. You'd think after greeting hundreds of hungry guests, their smile and enthusiasm would be worn out. But we were treated as if we were the first in line. The food was worth the wait. I believe we dined for nearly two hours which included visiting and the dessert competition with each other. Click the photo to see the view from the line into the dining room.

Finding a movie at the AVI
Wednesday, November 22, 2017: This is Gwen's birthday and she wanted to see a movie so we drove to the matinee at the Avi Casino to see Thor, Ragnarok. Today is senior day at the Brenden Theaters (inside the casino). Seniors get a free drink and pop corn with every ticket. The movie had a surprising number of Hollywood stars and was as much a comedy as it was an action movie. After the movie we decided to try our Avi player cards thinking we had some free play. It cost us $5 to learn we had no free play. Since we were hungry, we decided to try the Feather Cafe inside the Avi. While eating, we decided to play Keno. We limited our play to $5 each which meant we could play seven games each. My eight spot card earned nothing but Gwen's seven spot card earned $240.30. That paid for our whole day of movies, the $15 gambling, dinner with enough left over for Gwen to buy something nice for her birthday. We've not had that kind of luck before.
Laundry day
Tuesday, November 21, 2017: It's not all fun, games and paddling. It took us six washers to do all our laundry. We did this after cleaning Miss Dory and going for a bicycle ride. Not having a washer/dryer in the rig might be a "deal-breaker" (upgrade Miss Dory) some day but for now, we must spend our time in a laundromat. This one has a high speed spinner for only 50 cents which cuts the drying time to less than half. Back to fun times tomorrow.

Kayaking on Lake Mohave

Monday, November 20, 2017: On the water again, finally. The wind was forecast to be on 7 mph, well..., it was a bit more than that but still a good day to get onto the water at Lake Mohave. The Seda Tango 21 is a heavy boat (because it's a double) but a boat which gives the paddler confidence with it's stability. So we enjoyed a 3 hour paddle on Lake Mohave plus a lunch break in the middle of the paddle. This was our first time to have the Seda in chop and waves and what a solid feeling and confidence building boat. I'm looking forward to spending more time in this boat. Click this photo to see one Gwen took from the front cockpit. Also, watch our short video of today's trip.

Walking on the Colorado River path, looking north toward the Riverside, furthest north casino Mostly a paved walkway along the Colorado Harrahs can't be reached by the walkway, furthest south casino
Sunday, November 19, 2017: Click all the photos for more views. Gwen and I take the walkway along the Colorado River next to all the casinos. It's probably 3 miles roundtrip. Windy but clear and warm weather today. Forecast is for record setting heat this coming week with temperatures heading toward 90 degrees, another good reason to walk today. It didn't seem busy today, my assumption, it's much busier during the summer months. It's my understanding as many as 1000 jet skis are rented each day to play on the Colorado River which remains at 52 degrees all summer.
Our walk to the Riverside Movie Theaters

North toward the Lake Mead Recreation Area, behind: south to all casinos

 

Saturday, November 18, 2017: This was a clear but very wind day so we chose to go to a movie at the Riverside Casino Theaters. I wanted to see the new Agatha Christie, "Murder on the Orient Express" and we were not disappointed. As expected, we were drawn into the movie from the very beginning by the characters and the graphics. Neither of us guessed the outcome. We walked to the theater across the pedestrian bridge into the Riverside Casino where the theaters are located. The view from the bridge to the north is toward the Lake Mead Recreation Area and Lake Mohave. The view to the south (click the photo) is toward all the rest of the casinos in Laughlin. The Colorado River is to the east with a pathway along the river, perhaps a good plan for tomorrow.

Looking for good locations to launch a kayak
Friday, November 17, 2017: Gwen came back from shopping with Anita and said, "I saw an Estate Sale sign. Let's go." I had other ideas but visiting an estate sale could come first. We drove to Bullhead City and found the estate sale, then another large yard sale, then another garage sale. Gwen found a $2 seat cushion she liked. I found a First Nations original Raven painting from the area of Canada where we spent our summer. They wanted $137 for it, which is a fair price but not worth that to us. I bid $50 and made them take my name and phone number in the case they don't sell it. I don't expect to hear from them. After finding the garage sales, we drove into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area where Lake Mohave is located only a couple miles north of Bullhead City. I wanted to look at some of the coves which were accessible by car to learn if they would be good to launch a kayak. I know tomorrow is to be windy so not a good kayak day but a few days into the future should be good. Click the photo above for another view and click here for a nice view of Lake Mohave. Lake Mohave is 67 miles long with a maximum width of 4 miles. It has lots of coves making it nice for house boats which are plentiful in the summer.
Traveling through the Mohave Desert
Parked at the Riverside Casino RV Park
Thursday, November 16, 2017: This was a travel day through the Mohave desert from Tehachapi, California to Laughlin, Nevada. We are meeting our friends, Bud and Anita, who like to stay the winter at the Riverside Casino RV Park just west of the Riverside Casino. Laughlin is separated from Arizona by the Colorado River. Just across the river from Laughlin is Bullhead City, Arizona where most everyone goes to shop. All the upscale entertainment and gambling is on the Laughlin side of the river. It is cloudy but in the low 80s when we arrive and stays warm in the evening making it nice for an evening stroll. Click both photos for more views.
Lots of soaring today
Artificial Christmas tree with many boxes of ornaments Gwen visits two quilt shops Still a railroad theme
Wednesday, November 15, 2017: We started the day watching the sailplanes take off. I walked near the end of the runway but quickly to run off by management. I was instructed to come no closer than the road in the RV park. Next, Gwen and I took a drive into Tehachapi and walked the two blocks of the older city. The city was installing an artificial Christmas tree with many large boxes of ornaments. Gwen found two quilt shops. The cities theme is railroad city, perhaps something to do with their history. All the auto and train traffic coming from the east will drop 4000 feet into Bakersfield beginning at Tehachapi. The decent is steep for auto and truck traffic and requires creative engineering for train traffic. This is the nationally famous location of the Tehachapi Loop on the train tracks. Click all photos for more views.
On the road again, our first stop, Tehachapi

Driving south on US99

 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017: We are on the road again, heading south on US99 in California. It always seems like a long, tough drive to Bakersfield. The first half of the drive seems like one continuous city stretched to 100 miles. The second half is through a major part of California's agriculture. Then we arrived in commute traffic in Bakersfield. We planned ahead to refuel at Costco in Bakersfield. Costco fuel is a minimum of 23 cents cheaper. We inched our way through Bakersfield after refueling and drive east to Tehachapi. There is a tiny RV park we like to stay next to the mountains. The city of Tehachapi is at 4,000 feet and the home of a sailplane airport. There is great ridge soaring at the nearby mountains. The RV park is on the edge of the Sailplane runway. You can see the sailplanes parked on the right of the photo. If you stay at the RV park, it's easy to watch the sailplanes fly. My college roommate was a sailplane pilot so I've been in one twice. I'm tempted to go for a demo ride. I believe it would be easy to transfer my experience as a power plane pilot to these gliders. Click the photo above for a satellite view of the RV park.

Mom is 92 today and hungry

 

 

Monday, November 13, 2017: This has been a tough couple of weeks because Mom has not been feeling well. But she has improved in the last few days and almost back to her energetic self. This is her birthday so when she came to breakfast she ordered a big meal. That's a good thing since she hasn't had an appetite. Happy Birthday, Mom. Click to enlarge.

More grandchildren visiting

 

Sunday, November 12, 2017: We had more visitors today. Ryan and Kristin are behind Mom. They are my sister Sandy's children which makes them Mom's grandchildren. Lindsey is sitting to Mom's right, she is Ryan's wife. They drove from the bay area today and brought lunch which we all appreciated because we didn't have to cook. We enjoyed talking about Ryan and Lindsey's trip to New Zealand. Then Kristin told us of her experience with the recent devastating fires near her in Fairfield. We also shared our stores of Telegraph Cove.

Noah in the hatch behind me

 

Saturday, November 11, 2017: Today, my son Ben and his son Noah came to visit their grandmother/great-grandmother. Since her birthday is on Monday, they wanted to visit. I sneaked them away for a couple hours to take a ride in the double kayak. Ben sat in the front and took this photo. Noah sat behind me in a hatch. We all had fun watching for turtles and spying on the ducks.

The family visits Mom
Friday, November 10, 2017: Monday, Mom with turn 92 so the family is beginning to visit. Today my sister Sandy is on the left with her husband, Ed. Next to Ed is Robin, my sister Dorana's partner. Dorana is on the right. Gwen is behind Mom and Dorana. This photo was taken after Mom's second visit to the cardiologist. The medication he is prescribing is slowly working and Mom is feeling better.

Dennis is the carpet cleaner

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017: Continuing with the clean-up, Dennis is the owner of the carpet cleaning company. Mom had Dennis clean her carpets a year ago and he did an excellent job. Mom's carpets are difficult to clean because they get a great deal of use. A year ago Mom thought Dennis charged too much so she called and told him so. He remembers that conversation and my mother. We wanted Dennis to return because no other cleaner has done such a good job. Click the photo to see his impressive equipment. He did another great job.

Larry is painting the bedroom

 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017: The clock is ticking. We plan to move in a full time care giver next Monday. For that reason we hired Larry, a "handyman" to paint the care giver bedroom. While Larry is painting, I climbed onto the roof to make repairs. When that project was complete, I spent an hour cleaning the chest of drawers for the special bedroom. It was also my job to paint the valence for that bedroom. About that time, Larry let me know we would need another gallon of paint so a quick trip to Lowes. About that time, my sister, Sandy arrived to help. Click Larry's photo for another view.

Neighbor's car

Sunday, November 5, 2017: Our neighbor parks his car on the street. Last night it was hit by a drunk driver who attempted to flee the area. He was caught, jailed, and charged with hit and run, DUI, obstruction of justice and other charges. Fortunately, he is insured by State Farm, the best insurance company IMHO. Once the neighbor has a replacement vehicle, we'll figure out a method for them to park off the street in our driveway.
Wildlife at the Sandhill Crane FestivalA happy wood carver
Perpetual Sandhill Crane scultureThe morning watch list
Saturday, November 4, 2017: Gwen and I attended the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival. We learned the Sandhill Cranes set up permanent winter residence in the Lodi Nature Area. We last thought they were just passing through but that's not the case. The festival consists of exhibits of art, tours, crafts and other products mostly having to do with bird watching. When we first arrived we walked in on a live bird exhibit and lecture. One exhibitor had Swarovski binoculars and spotting scopes which are priced in the $2,000 - $4,000 range. Since we own a nice Nikon binocular, it was fun to peer through a $2,500 binocular. There was also other cultural events and I made a video of the Taiko drumming.
Time for Subaru service
Monday, October 30, 2017: Yes, a boring photo but probably the most excitement today. Time for the 18,000 mile service on the Subaru Forester. Plus four warranty items which include 1)intermittent problem with the driver's window, 2)intermittent starting problem, 3) loose rear view mirror and 4) strange road noise. I got all recorded but only the rear view mirror was fixed. All morning at Subaru service. The afternoon, hand washed the motorhome. So yes, a boring day along with a boring photo.
The best "garage sale" ever

A thousand buyers6500 square foot house

Saturday, October 28, 2017: Gwen and I spent a couple morning hours finding garage sales. The very first one, Gwen found fabric and brand new quilt books with many new ideas. The rest of the garage sales were a waste of time. Then we went to an "estate sale", a bigger sale than I've ever seen. Probably a thousand buyers in attendance. There was a line about two hours long to get into the house. I would like to have seen the inside of the house but unwilling to wait the two hours. We were able to view the grounds of this 6,500 square foot house, well manicured with lots of statues and yard decorations. The line to pay for items was also long. We didn't buy anything but enjoyed seeing the crowd and a house and grounds we would normally nor be invited to see. Click the photos for more views.

Great Grandma visits with the great grandchildren

Friday, October 27, 2017: My daughter,

, Lucy and Elise (on the left), drove from Reno, Nevada to visit with my Mother, their great grandma. My niece, Shannon and her baby Jacob drove from Woodland, California to see great grandma too. Of course, Mindy and Shannon are good friends and both were anxious to visit with each other and share baby stories. My mother was the biggest benefit of the visit enjoying both her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We enjoyed pizza and children playing and visiting family together.

The Vision on the Mokelumne River
Thursday, October 26, 2017: Yes, the Vision floats. Only one mile to the kayak launch on the Mokelumne River where we previously launched the Seda double. It was a little bit of a "rocky" start because it's been a while since I've been in a single kayak but after a few minutes I was feeling much more comfortable and trusting in the boat. I never had to put the rudder into the water to direct the boat but steering by leaning the boat will take more practice on my part. Still, I was feeling a "secondary stability" and began to trust it more. I see that I really need to paddle at least three times each week if I'm going to improve my skills and stamina. Here is a short video of the day.
We find a beautiful Seaward Vision, single kayak
Wednesday, October 25, 2017: While spending the summer in Telegraph Cove we saw a couple thousand kayaks launch which gave us the desire to return next year with our own kayaks. I began my kayak search in the summer by recording a Craigslist search in all the areas we would travel on our way south. With this search, Craigslist would send me an email when anyone posted with the search terms (Sea Kayak). That's how we found our double when in Verdi. I continued my search for a single kayak because I knew there would be times when Gwen would not want to paddle and I would. I've looked at hundreds of kayaks in the four months I've been searching. I didn't want a plastic boat and I didn't want an aggressive boat like my Seaward Chilco I owned in 2005. An aggressive kayak is narrow and long, the Chilco was 22" wide and 18.5 feet long. When I spotted Rich's Craigslist ad for the Seaward Vision and read the specs, I knew this was the boat I was looking for. It's 24.5" wide and 17 feet long. That means the Vision will sacrifice speed for stability, exactly what I'm looking for. It also has two large hatches for camping gear. Today, I drove all day to get the Vision. Rich, lives 180 distant so it took the whole day to get the Vision and return. Rick and Ann were so nice. I not only got the kayak but several other paddle items I needed plus a handmade lunch by Ann and homemade preserves to bring home. If you click the photo, Gwen caught me adjusting the rudder control cables.

Replace the dryer switch
Tuesday, October 24, 2017: Today was a very busy day. The part for Mom's dryer arrived so I decided to make a video of how to change the switch. The video I found at YouTube was for a different dryer with different access so this video will explain access to THIS dryer. Another item on the To-Do list was to shampoo some particularly bad spot on Mom's carpet. I rented a carpet cleaner and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the carpet. I also looked at a loose receptacle and decided it could not be fixed so needs to be disabled. I'm almost at the end of the To-Do list. Click the photo for another view.
Gwen's new sewing machine
Monday, October 23, 2017: Gwen and I had a financial meeting this morning then Gwen took Mom for shopping and nail trimming. While they were out, I worked most of the day on a new Webpage for Lesa, Gwen's daughter. She has started a new business and is doing very well. I'll publish a link once her page is completed. When Gwen got home I got her permission to use her sewing machine. I wanted to extend the back support of the seat in the kayak. I had saved old seat backs and chose to use the padding for a back extension. I will use "hooks and loops" (Velcro but not the Velcro brand). I ordered from Amazon and got two five foot rolls. One roll should have been hooks and the other, loops. Instead, I received two rolls of hooks. The seller gave me a refund and told me to reorder which I did. Once I get the loops, my sewing project is done. Gwen's new machine is really nice and smooth. I figured out how to use it for my project except for reversing the direction of the sewing. Yes, I used the Tiny Owl fabric, what-do-you-want-for-free?

A paddle day with Gwen, Dorana and Robin

 

Sunday, October 22, 2017: Dorana and Robin own a canoe and they know of some paddling in a nature area on the Cosumnes River Preserve. First we met at their house for a late brunch and visiting then off to the Preserve.

For Gwen and I, it was a tough launch because we mounted the wheels too far back which made the boat heavy and it was a long walk to the water. We learned our lesson and set the wheels further forward for the return trip, it was much easier.

The paddle was very nice with perfect weather, little wind and great company. The Cosumnes is slow moving so little current to deal with. A two hour paddle was just what we needed.

Sister Dorana, ready to launch
Friday, October 20, 2017: Nearly the same time as yesterday, my sister Dorana has joined me for a kayak trip up the Mokelumne River. Our destination is the Highway 99 overpass about two miles distant. This turned out to be a very scenic trip mostly next to the finer river homes of Lodi. We passed three other kayakers also enjoying the river and the good weather. This was Dorana's first time in a kayak but she owns her own canoe so has a good feeling for paddling. We succeeded in reaching the Highway 99 overpass, made a U turn and paddled back. I believe it was the same distance as a paddle from Telegraph Cove to Hanson Island and back. Here is a link to the paddle video from yesterday and today.
Gwen, ready to launch

Thursday, October 19, 2017: It's time to learn if the SEDA, Tango floats. Gwen and I take the first kayak paddle in the Mokelumne River only one mile from Mom's house. At first we thought we would paddle, gentle Lodi Lake but learned there was no direct access with the boat launch closed. Then we learned of a "Canoe/Kayak launch into the Mokelumne River which leads to Lodi Lake. Look at Gwen's new, pretty water shows she found in Reno. Yes, we both had to step into the Mokelumne to launch the kayak but we stayed upright. We first paddled to Lodi Lake then turned around paddling up the river. I've combined a video of this kayak trip with the trip I take with my sister tomorrow. Check that description for a link to the video.

Cleaning up the kayak
Wednesday, October 18, 2017: This has been a busy day. It started with cleaning Mom's furnace filter then the whole day to clean and polish the kayak. This was tiring work since it involved three steps. First step was a polishing liquid, second step was a polymer marine finish and the third step was polishing. Each step meant using the electric polisher over the entire kayak, top and bottom. Hard work. It polished up pretty well, hope it floats.

Keep the leaves out of the downspout

 

 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017: I always look forward to Mom's "To-Do" lists when I visit. The first item on the list was her electric dryer. When she opens the door to the dryer, it doesn't stop turning. Well, that was easy to diagnose, the door switch was not working. I was able to find a replacement switch online within 5 minutes but I wasn't about to order it without knowing how to replace it. So I did a YouTube search and found this video which made it look easy. The new switch will arrive on Thursday.

Another item on the list was to make sure the downspouts were clear and ready for the rain which will eventually begin in central California. This is a perpetual problem so I purchased these downspout screens and inserted into every downspout. Hopefully these screens will delay a downspout problem long enough so they can be cleaned before a problem happens.

Parks in Mom's driveway
Monday, October 16, 2017: This was a travel day from Verdi, Nevada to Lodi, California. The traffic through Sacramento was heavy but moving in our direction. It wasn't moving in the opposite direction. Still, it was only a three hour drive, our first time with a kayak on our toad.

Noah digs for a dinosaurChloe like the wood train

 

Sunday, October 15, 2017: This is our last day in Reno. Tomorrow we travel to California to visit my mother. We spent some time today with Noah and Chloe. Noah is working on a birth present. It's an interesting "toy". The manufacturer came up with a unique idea for a toy. Encase a plastic dinosaur skeleton in a block of dried clay. Digging tools and a brush are included in the kit. Kids carefully "retrieve" the bones, brushing them out of the block to avoid breaking them. Chloe liked the bubble machine I gave her. She also played with the wood train I built several years ago. Chloe plays a lot of soccer and in the second grade this year. We said good-bye to everyone then returned to begin packing up.

Visiting the Harvest Festival Face paint The Cobbler station
Saturday, October 14, 2017: This is Harvest Fair day where Lucy gets to try several different stations of pioneer activities. It included a "pull the turnip" skit, peeling apples for applesauce, making a corn husk doll, baking a biscuit, face painting and cobbler marking a leather bracelet. Lucy carried a basket for treasures then collected a treasure (like the corn husk doll and leather bracelet), from each station. Click each photo for more stations.
Lucy at Sushi 1 Lucy at Sushi 2 Lucy at Sushi 3
Lucy at Sushi 4 Lucy at Sushi 5 Lucy at Sushi 6
Lucy at Sushi 7 Lucy at Sushi 8 Lucy at Sushi 9
Lucy at Sushi 10 Lucy at Sushi 11 Lucy at Sushi 12
Thursday, October 12, 2017: This was an important day for our Subaru Forester ... Scott and I installed a trailer hitch so I can move the bicycle to a hitch mounted bike rack. My son Ben, donated the bike rack to me. I need to move the bicycles from the roof top bike rack to a hitch mounted bike rack to accommodate the new kayak on the roof. Additionally, I needed someplace to tie the rear stabilizer cable for the kayak. The video instructions Scott and I watched showed expert installation would take 30 minutes and novice installation would take an hour. Scott and I decided to subtract the time it took us to find the right tools for the job, that way, we are experts! After the installation we took ourselves to Sushi. We all enjoyed Sushi including Lucy.

Lucy has grandpa's hat

 

 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017: After grocery shopping, Gwen and I spent the afternoon with Mindy, Lucy and Elise. In this photo Lucy has stolen my hat and wants her photo taken with it. Gwen and I took turns playing with Lucy. Turns because she would wear us out quickly so Gwen and I were "switch hitting". Lucy never got tired. Click the photo for a view of the three of us.

Lucy at the Dinosaur Park Playing with friends Dad with Lucy and Elise
Tuesday, October 10, 2017: Almost the whole day with Lucy and her sister Elise. I arrived at my daughter's house at 9 am. We drove to the dinosaur park to meet two of Lucy's friends. They played nonstop for two hours at a wonderful park with lots of play equipment and real dinosaurs. Here's a short video so you get the idea. After the park, Scott (Lucy's dad) made us broccoli, cheddar soup with onions and carrots from scratch. Meanwhile, Lucy and I played Hide and Seek, Hot wheel race cars, catch and pitch the ball. Just before I left, Scott read a book to Lucy then carried on a conversation with Elise. Click these photos for some great views.
Lucy gets a swim lessonNoah gets a nebulizer
Monday, October 9, 2017: Gwen and I were with two of the grandkids today. Noah stayed home from school with a slight fever and cough. The photo at the right shows Noah using a nebulizer to help control his cough. Noah's dad is a PA (physician assistant) and set up the nebulizer, I just had to administer it. Everything worked well to help Noah, his fever was gone by the afternoon, he ate is lunch, took a nap and was feeling better. Today was also Lucy's swim lesson. She has been taking swim lessons for a couple years and now, at 3-1/2 is safe around water. I made a short video of her lesson.
Lisa sold us her Seda Tango 21 Kayak
Sunday, October 8, 2017: We took a long drive today to Fiddletown, California to investigate a Craigslist ad for a double kayak. Gwen and I have been watching the Craigslist ads for months looking for the right kayak to take back to Telegraph Cove next summer. This is a fine kayak in good shape at a fair price. Lisa is the current owner and a very accomplished kayaker. She told us wild stories of her kayak adventures so I'm afraid this Seda, Tango 2(1) will be bored with our adventures. The Tango is a very stable boat with three large storage hatches for camping gear. I guess Gwen and I might have to do some serious paddling around the Johnstone Strait. It's a big boat on our little Forester but we saw plenty of big boats arrive in Telegraph Cove on cars smaller than ours. Click the photo for another view.

Chloe as goalieNoah on the climbing wall

Saturday, October 7, 2017: Beautiful, sunny day in Reno. I am at Chloe's soccer game today. Chloe plays the goalie during the first half of the game then the middle during the second half of the game. An exciting game with goals scored on both teams. Meanwhile, during the half-time, Noah and I walk over to the playground where Noah likes the climbing wall. Click both photos for second views. Here is a short video of the soccer action.

Friday, October 6, 2017: Chloe and Noah stayed the night with us in the motorhome. They like to get pancakes, eggs and bacon at the little cafe we can walk to. After breakfast we played Pokeno with pennies and they loved that game too. Then it was time for swimming in the pool. They found friends to swim with after grandpa gave up. Lunch was next. Finally, we decided to make a "how-to" movie called "How to Ride a Bike". Click on the movie to see "How to Ride a Bike".
Noah Chloe Noah and Lucy

Noah, Lucy and Chloe

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017: This was play day for ALL the grandkids, Noah, Lucy and Chloe along with Scott, Lucy's Dad. Scott took us to the "Mogul Park" which was new to everyone except Lucy. New apparatus is always exciting. Everyone did the rock climbing wall at least once plus the regulars: slides, bars, stairs, suspension bridge and more. After the park, we hiked the nature trail along the Truckee River and read all the signs. At the pond, we searched for frogs. Click all photos for more views.

Library story book day

Wednesday, October 4, 2017: This is library story book day. Lucy always like to sit in the front row so she can easily see the pictures in the book. This librarian read four books to the kids and they were all focused on everything the librarian said. The children also listened to music and each held hand bells to ring along with the tunes. I made a short video at the end of the lesson, missed the stories but caught all the action in the room. Lucy gets a hand stamp at the end of the lesson then discusses it with her Mom. Click the photo for the video.

Elise is smiling, talking and watchingA special place for everyone to eat

Tuesday, October 3, 2017: This is Tuesday. Tuesday turns out to be a special day for Lucy, Mindy and Scott. We visit "Mod Pizza" which is a relatively new restaurant idea. It's a place where you build your own pizza. Lucy ordered her own and ate it all. Mindy, Scott and I did the same. Gwen ordered a salad, It was a fun place, affordable and each of us had exactly what we wanted. One of Mod's promotional features is a "MOD" sticker where you write a message then post to the wall inside the restaurant. This sticker was in our booth and Lucy pointed it out to me. Click both photos for additional views.

A day at the park with Lucy

 

 

 

Here is a video of Lucy with her Dad at the playground.

An expert on the slide

 

Monday, October 2, 2017: Scott and I took Lucy on a hike today to the neighborhood park. Lucy spent much of the time with a friend chasing the friend's dog. The rest of the time she used the swing, the slide, the rock climbing wall and the climbing apparatus. Click the photos for other views.

Lucy at the pumpkin patch Uncle Joe with Lucy Chloe at the pumpkin patch

Noah at the pumpkin patch

 

Sunday, October 1, 2017: This was pumpkin patch day with the grandkids in east Reno. Lucy, Elise, Chloe and Noah showed up with their parents to choose just the right pumpkins and gourds. While at the pumpkin patch the kids got to jump in a bounce house and pet the animals in the petting zoo. Uncle Joe was there too. We all picked out our favorites and promised to come back to the corn maze when we had more time.

Out flow from McCloud LakeSaturday, September 30, 2017: This is a travel day from the base of Mt. Shasta to Verdi, Nevada so I'm reporting on the adventure Gwen, Ray and I took to McCloud Lake, ten miles south of the city of McCloud. Access ends up on a paved, single lane road along the west side of the lake. About a dozen cars were parked in the boat launch parking lot and several fisherman were on the shore near the boat launch. The area is wild and undeveloped. We reached the dam and noticed no water passing through the overflow channel. However, once we drove to the bottom side of the dam there was a huge plume of water coming from the bottom of the dam. We stood at this outflow and I took a video to show the power of the water.
Native American showing the fish she caught Gwen on the McCloud Falls Trail Gwen and Ray find a point of interest
Gwen and Ray nearing the end of the trailRay photographing the Lower FallsFriday, September 29, 2017: I knew Gwen would like a good hike so Ray and I took her to the McCloud River Falls loop trail. This is a very popular, short, 2 mile hike along the McCloud river with three beautiful falls along the route. They have simple names, Lower, Middle and Upper Falls. We began the hike at the Upper Falls then hiked toward the Lower Falls. Ray parked his truck at the Lower Falls while we parked at the Upper Falls. Click each photo for additional views. We learned this is a "spiritual area" with those meditating at the Middle Falls and cleansing the body by a Shaman at the Lower Falls. Our interest was in the hike and taking photos along the path. The McCloud River is clear and clean. We hope to return in the spring to see what the river looks like when full of spring melt. The weather was perfect and we always enjoy activities with Ray making this a perfect day. I took a video of the Middle Falls to give you an idea of the area.
McCloud California
Thursday, September 28, 2017: Ray and I drove to McCloud, California, a small town with a lumber industry history. We went to the Chamber of Commerce and learned there is no industry left in McCloud other than tourism. The McCloud River Mercantile Cafe, Hotel and gift shops has not changed in the thirty years we been visiting the area. I've posted a photo of Ray's new Allegro, just click the photo above. After McCloud, we drove to Shasta City where we walked the streets and visited all the sporting goods stores. Here is a video you will enjoy of some Ravens we found in McCloud.
On a hike with MorganRay shows me how to set the front wheel perfectly onto blocks
Wednesday, September 27, 2017: After breakfast, we take Morgan for a hike to see the view of Mt. Shasta. This is a very special day for us to be meeting up with our friend Ray. We met Ray last year while on the Alaska tour. Ray has come out of his way to meet up with us again. He has a brand new Allegro 39' motorhome and I've encouraged him to come park with us in the woods at the base of Mt. Shasta. However, after learning how dusty and the possibility of tree branch scratches, I'm really worried. Ray, not so much. His Allegro is a diesel, much more power than what our 8.1 liter gas engine has. The ground is not quite level so Ray shows me how to put the front wheel directly on top of leveling boards without going over. Without the leveling boards, his hydraulic jacks would have the front wheels off the ground and we don't want that. I've made a video of us parking and leveling. Click Ray's photo or here.
Time for a flu shot
The view on the road to our "secret" campsite.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017: This was a travel day from Brookings, Oregon to Mt. Shasta, California. It was nearly 300 miles but seemed further than that. Some tough driving on Highway 199 from the coast. We were down to 3/8 tank of fuel so stopped at the Medford Costco for fuel. We also got our flu shots at Costco. With our insurance, there was no cost. We drove from Medford Costco to our "secret" campsite at the base of Mt. Shasta. This is a great time of year to camp in this location. The weather forecast is clear and warm for the days we will camp here. This location would not be accessible in the winter months. In fact, I believe we camp where they normally have a nordic ski run. Click both photos for another view.

Sign in the RV repair shop
Monday, September 25, 2017: After spending most of yesterday trying to fix Dave and Brooks furnace without succeeding, I took the furnace to the RV repair shop today. We had tried to get at the furnace motor to learn if the motor was bad or something had jammed a "squirrel cage". The repair man immediately diagnosed the need for a new motor. I left the furnace with him to complete the repair. While there, I noticed this sign in the window. I can understand his frustration. We had already looked up the price of a new motor at Amazon and were prepared to order one had we been able to gain access to the motor. Unfortunately, none of the YouTube videos or the service manual we found online gave instruction of how to access the motor.
Another garage sale and a house we want Dave to buy
Saturday, September 23, 2017: We continued with garage sales but also looking at property because Dave and Brook are wanting to buy property in Brookings. This house is having a garage sale and also house for sale. We want Dave and Brook to buy this house. It's right on the Pacific Ocean. It also have a huge area where we could park our motorhome when we visit Brookings. The $800,000 price tag is a bit over their budget so probably won't happen. Click the photo for another view.
Gwen and daughter, Lesa overlooking the Brookings Marina
Friday, September 22, 2017: This was a visit with family day. Gwen is watching the Brookings marina with her daughter Lesa. Lesa and Gwen wanted to visit garage sales so that took up the rest of the afternoon. Click the photo to see one of the best sales.
Another quilt store for Gwen to visit
Thursday, September 21, 2017: The winter adventure has begun. Our first destination is Brookings, Oregon to visit with Gwen's children. Our route takes us along the Oregon coast on US101. When we reached Port Orford, Gwen knew of a quilt store we haven't visited in years so we had to stop. The visit was long enough to take Morgan around the quilt shop several times on her daily walk. From Port Orford, we drove on to Brookings where we parked at the Brookings Elks Lodge. Click the photo to see our parking location.

Time to clean carpets

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017: Tomorrow is the day we leave Sutherlin for as much as six months. So today I cleaned up the yard with the string trimmer between rain storms. Actually, I cleaned up the neighbor's yard too keeping the string trimmer running until it runs out of gas. I don't want gas sitting in the carburetor during the six months we are gone. I loaded more camping gear into Miss Dory with the idea I might do some camping in Arizona. Gwen and I had wanted the camping gear when in Canada but we left it in Sutherlin so I decided to bring it along this time. I've also loaded the 30 lb propane tank rather than the 20 lb propane tank. We expect to do a lot of boondocking which means burning a lot of propane and I'd like to reduce the number of times I must refill the tank. Finally, I used this "Little Green Pro" to clean Miss Dory's carpet. It's a spot cleaner but does OK for the RV carpet since it's a small area. It helps to cut down the "Morgan" smell too. Still much to do tomorrow.

Tiffany groomed Morgan

Monday, September 18, 2017: Both Gwen and I are working on preparing for our winter trip south. However, the biggest event today was Morgan getting a grooming. Morgan is at the age she finds it difficult to stand any length of time so I volunteered to help with Morgan while Tiffany did a great job of grooming. Tiffany has been Morgan's groomer since 2012 and we have always felt she was the best. Look at all the fur which won't be in our vacuum.

New mattress for Miss Dory

Sunday, September 17, 2017: This is the empty box of the new mattress we bought for Miss Dory. Gwen has not been sleeping well on a "hard" mattress and I didn't like the old mattress because it was a "short queen" we had moved to Miss Dory from our Lazy Daze. Miss Dory is made to fit a full size queen, 80" rather than the 74" of the short queen. So the empty box is on it's way to recycle. We are trying (after testing) several mattresses the 14" tall Gel mattress which comes in a box. Yes, it came from Costco. We will be leaving "home base" soon, looking forward to the new mattress.

The old radioJohn is reshaping the dash to fit the new radio
Saturday, September 16, 2017: Almost out of fuel in Miss Dory so I combined a trip to Costco for fuel and dog food with a trip to Pro Car Stereo to get a new radio installed. We haven't watched TV since leaving for Canada. Instead, we have been listening to "old time radio" on our XM satellite receiver. After about ten years of use on that XM receiver, it gave up the ghost on the trip home. Rather than replace the receiver, I chose to replace the radio to get more features including XM radio, bluetooth, Pandora, USB, CD, and AM/FM. Of course it has a remote control too. Speaking of "old time radio", after getting home I found an online archive of our two favorite shows. Gwen likes "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar" (I found about 700 episodes), while I like "The Great Gildersleeve" (I found more than 500 episodes). I downloaded them to my computer and those can be played back through this new radio. No more listening to "Dagnet" or "This is Your FBI", although Jack Benny is fun. There are more photos behind these, just click on each photo.
Oregon is on fire
Friday, September 15, 2017: This is Interstate 5 just south of Sutherlin, driving toward Roseburg, Oregon. Much of Oregon wildland is on fire and today the wind has shifted to bring all the smoke into our valley. This is not as bad as it has been according to friends but it is the worst we have seen.

Sutherlin's big event for the summer was the completion of new playground equipment in the city park
Thursday, September 14, 2017: Our first day back to our "home base", Sutherlin, Oregon after our Telegraph Cove, Adventure. We learned on returning, the big event for Sutherlin was the completion of the installation of new playground equipment in the city park. This time, it included a water fountain feature for children to play during hot weather. They had plenty of hot weather but the water feature just finished a few days before our arrival. Most of the really hot days didn't include the water feature. The kids were enjoying it today.

 

 
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