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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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