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Wandering California, Nevada & Arizona 2009

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Camped at the parents house
Tuesday, October 6, 2009: We are on our way south to Arizona for the winter through Lodi, California then on to Truckee, California. Yes, it's the long way to Arizona. You'll see why. We are currently parked at my parents house in Lodi. They live on a four lane, 40 MPH highway so we are parked only 15 feet from four lanes of 40 MPH vehicle traffic. Still, it's worth while for this short visit because we are only 20 feet from their front door. We also have 20 amps of continuous electrical power and all the water we can use. I completed our first equalization on the new Trojan batteries today so the batteries should be in good shape for our next stop.
Community Concert Wednesday, October 7, 2009: We were able to attend a Lodi Community Concert Association Concert. My parents have been active with the association for many years and they are currently on their board of directors. We enjoyed the Duo Concertante with Wofgang Fetsch at the piano and Anita Fetsch Felix his daughter on violin. It was performed in the Hutchins Street Square Performing Arts Theater which was the Lodi High School at one time. I graduated from that high school before it became an arts theater. It was a very old building when I attended high school there but now it has been completely remodeled. My favorites were the arrangements by Leonard Bernstein.

Martis Creek Recreation Area Friday, October 9, 2009: My daughter Mindy has found us a perfect spot in the Martis Creek Recreation Area near Truckee, California. With our Senior Pass, it's only $8/night. It's nice a quiet here. We picked the perfect sunny site for excellent solar power generation. We are only 5 miles from Mindy's house. Click the photo for a wider view.
Saturday, October 10, 2009: Mindy introduces us to a wonderful area not far from our campsite to take Morgan. It's the Martis Creek Wildlife Area in the Martis Valley. This is a nice easy hiking area and dogs are not required to be on leash. The Martis Creek flows through the valley so a hot summer day would still be a good hike for dogs because they can cool off in the creek. Mindy is always with her dog Gunnar who likes to play by running with Morgan. Click the photo for a wider view. Matis Creek Wildlife Area
Amtrack on the Truckee River Sunday, October 11, 2009: We don't see the Amtrak train very often (if ever) so getting to see the train pass through Truckee and then follow the Truckee River to Reno was a real treat for us. Click the photo to enlarge to a wider view.
Martis Creek Dam
Monday, October 12, 2009: Mindy takes us on a hike threw the brush where we end up on the Martis Creek Dam. This is a Army Corp of Engineers flood control project, hence the water level is very low waiting for the next flood. Our Alpine Meadow Campground is in the trees on the right. Northstar is in the distance. Click the above photo to enlarge. Morgan and Gunnar on the dam
Dad and Mindy at Northstar Resort Tuesday, October 13, 2009: Mindy takes us for a walk through the Northstar Resort. This was one of my favorite ski resorts when I lived here a few years ago. It has grown a lot since I was here last and Mindy says the condos sell for one million. This is off season so the resort is essentially closed but the signs say it is open Friday - Sunday for skiing. Apparently they are making snow on a one run because there is not enough natural snow for skiing. When I lived here I enjoyed alpine as well as nordic skiing. My favorite was nordic skating which is a fast stride on cross country skis. I would have to lose 20 lbs and do a lot of exercise to be a good skater now. Click the photo to see a wider view of the Northstar Village, ice rink and shops.
Wednesday; October 14, 2009: We've endured two days without sun so we sat 3 hours at Tuff Beanz using their wireless Internet access so I could score the first quiz in the college course I'm teaching. I believe Gwen worked on her blog so be sure to click her link. We are feeling that we sold our generator prematurely and even shopped for a replacement but are holding out another day. Gwen visited the Truckee Library. At the Alpine Meadow campground
Truckee Library Tuff Beans coffee shop\
Lunch at Lake Tahoe Thursday, October 15, 2009: Truckee is just over the hill from Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful lakes in the USA. After driving to the lake, we walked through Tahoe City, visited Mindy at Scraps where she works part time and had lunch next to the lake. Lake Tahoe is 12 miles wide by
20 miles long so the far shore is at least 20 miles distant. It is also one of the deepest lakes with an average depth of 1,000 feet. Click either photo to view a larger image. Click for larger view
Trip to Reno Friday, October 16, 2009: Our plans for the day was to board the westbound Amtrak in Truckee, then board the eastbound Amtrak in Colfax back to Truckee. Unfortunately, the westbound train was 66 minutes late which made the connection in Colfax too tight. We will try again another day. Gwen photographed me exchanging the Amtrak tickets through the station window. Meanwhile, we drove to Reno to visit a few stores before returning to Truckee for an afternoon hike with the dogs.
Amtrak Exchanging Amtrak tickets

October 19, 2009: We've moved to a location between Truckee and Reno at Boca Reservoir. The reservoir is nearly empty but the campground is free, quiet, plenty of sun exposure and fairly close to Truckee (my daughter) and Reno (my son). We will be watching the weather because it is possible for snow to fill this area and the access road is not plowed. We don't want to be stuck here until the April thaw. Our plan is to stay about two weeks then move to an RV park in Verdi, Nevada. When we arrived, it looked like the morning rain storm was breaking up but Gwen Boca Reservoir
took a later photo which shows some pretty black clouds to the north. I have faced our trailer windows and solar panels due south to get as much warmth and solar power from the sun as we can. We should have no problem getting a full charge on our batteries with sunny skies. Click the photo to see what I mean about the dark northern skies and facing the sunny south.
At Boca facing the sun Tuesday, October 20, 2009: We have the Boca Reservoir campground to ourselves. The window side of the trailer is facing the sun to gather all the heat we can get. It worked FINE today. Generating lots of solar power. Today was a propane and grocery run to Reno, then back to our quiet campsite. Click the photo to enlarge.
Stampede Reservoir
Thursday, October 22, 2009: Only five miles from our campsite on Boca Reservoir is the much larger Stampede Reservoir. Since we have been in our campsite, we have seen more traffic than expected on our road and today we learned why. We saw a number of fishermen and hikers plus bicyclists as we visited this lake. This is a very steep boat ramp to the lake. The lake appears to be about 50 feet below the full level.
I chose to get back on my mountain bike today. Actually, Gwen was going to ride with me but her rear bike tire blew out. I don't normally ride my mountain bike on pavement but for a first ride after several months off, I decided to ride to Stampede and meet Gwen there. I've included a short video of this feeble effort to Stampede on my bicycle. As it turns out, the route to Stampede had several steep sections and I was glad to have the low gears of my mountain bike. If you can't watch the video to the left, then click here.
Hiking the Sawtooth Trail Friday, October 23, 2009: We met Mindy this afternoon for a hike on the Sawtooth Trail which is only a short drive behind her house in Truckee. You can click the photo to see a readable view of the map showing the trail. We hiked about 2.5 miles on the trail to the Highway 89 and Truckee River view point. That seemed to be enough for the dogs and we made some shopping plans for our after hiking pleasure so we wanted to get back to the truck. This is a great trail for hiking, running or mountain biking. Once the snow flies, it won't be available again until late spring. It was a hazy day because the forest service was doing some control burning near Truckee which put a lot of smoke into the air. Otherwise, this area is usually crystal clear.
Mindy and Morgan at the Highway 89 overlook on the Sawtooth Trail View of the Truckee River and Highway 89 from the Sawtooth Trail
Once we finished our hike and shopping at the Bass outlet store, we headed to the Drunken Monkey Sushi, Tapas and Sake Lounge. None of us had eaten here before but this was something Mindy wanted to try and invited Gwen and me to join her. We didn't know how to order but the waitress was very helpful. We got just the right amount of food and in the right combinations. The whole meal was superb and an enjoyable evening. Mindy treated us which helped the food taste even better. Eating Sushi at the Drunken Monkey Sushi Bar
Cabellas Sport Store Saturday, October 24, 2009: OK, so Gwen chose to stay home which allowed me to visit the Cabela's Outdoor Sports Store in Verdi, Nevada. This is a favorite store for folks who enjoy the outdoor sports mostly fishing, hunting but that would also include camping and hiking gear. I was after a specific hose to connect our little Mr. Heater propane heater to a standard propane tank. If you click the photo at left you'll get a better view of the bronze mountain goats in front of the store.
Part of the Africa stuffed animal exibit Another part of the Africa stuffed animal exibit
They had stuffed animals everywhere throughout the store. The African animal exhibit was in the center of the store and drew much attention from the Cabela's customers. If you like outdoor sports equipment you could spend a lot of time in this store. African stuffed animal exibit from the front

Storm coming toward Boca
Monday, October 26, 2009: The weather forecast is a storm warning for tomorrow morning. The photo shows the approaching storm. The storm is to include wind so I've tied everything down. It's not that big of a storm according to the forecast but it looks impressive in the photo.
Mindy, Dale and Morgan checking out the MacBook Pro Tuesday, October 27, 2009: I spent the afternoon with Ben helping him with a new Webpage he's writing. Then Mindy visited us in our trailer to have dinner and show us her new MacBook Pro computer. I sure has some nice features. I really LOVE those MAC ads on TV. I've used a PC since 1981 and those MAC ads are TRUE. Mindy is showing me those features. Note that Morgan wanted to be right in the middle of things.

Boca Reservoir Dam
Wednesday, October 28, 2009: Morgan took me on a hike today toward the Boca Reservoir dam. You can see the spillway which is well above the water level. You can also see Northstar ski area in the far distant mountain. The ridge of houses between Northstar and the dam is a residential housing area known as Glenshire. Interstate 80 and the Amtrak railroad tracks are between the dam and the Glenshire area just over the ridge of the dam. It never got above 39 degrees today.

Friday, October 30, 2009: We moved today only a few miles to Verdi, Nevada. We're expecting my granddaughter to be born soon so we are rewarding ourselves with a one week stay in a full hookup park. It promises to be a nice warm week. We need it because I need to make a slide repair this week. It seems the gear moving the slide needs to be replaced. I'm going to make the repair myself. Click the photo to see the last sunset at Boca Reservoir last night. Parked at Gold Ranch RV Park, Verdi, Nevada
Gwen takes this photo of Gold Ranch RV park
Sunday, November 1, 2009: I guess we are really retired. The change to standard time from daylight time was a surprise for us. While on a hike this morning, Gwen took this photo of the Gold Ranch RV Park and Terribles Gold Ranch Casino. The casino has some great food specials for customers, like $2.22 for two eggs, two pancakes and two bacon served anytime. Monday through Friday from 2pm - 5pm you'll get half off your meal if you are 55 or older. Anyone with a players card can get half off on Tuesday from 5 - 9pm. We have taken advantage a couple of times. This is Verdi, Nevada, about ten miles from Reno on Interstate 80 traveling left to right. Click the photo to see an enlarged view of our campsite. Yes, we are enjoying the 50 amps of power, plenty of water and the walk to the laundry room, we haven't tried the hot tub yet.
Ben with new Daughter Chloe Monday, November 2, 2009: The event that brought us to Reno happened today. My Son Ben and his wife Kim brought my granddaughter, Chloe Grace into the world today. Chloe has been perfectly happy with her new parents and with her grandfather. Let's hope she stays that happy with all of us, we are certainly happy with her. Click the photo for a enlarged look at baby Chloe.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009: Today was Grandpa's turn to get to hold and count the toes of little Chloe. All toes are present and just look at the contentment of this little girl. Can you believe all that hair, she has more hair than I do. I think I heard her mutter "GranPapa" just before she closed her eyes to snooze. I think she's anxious to start learning how to ride a bike. Click the photo for a closeup of Chloe. Grandpa Dale with Chloe
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