Friday, December 22, 2017

Back Home

Friday: (12/22) Lou and Dawn were busy doing the laundry from our trip. We decided we needed a cat door on Ernie’s trailer. So I searched Amazon and read reviews of the various door. We then visited Pet Smart to look at some. At home, I tinkered in the RV replacing the shower hose and trying to adjust the level indicator by the driver. The auto system leaves the RV nose down a degree or two. Granola for breakfast. Ham an cheese sandwich for lunch. Dawn made stew for dinner.

Saturday: (12/23) I did little today mostly working on the computer and organizing photos on it. My back has been bothering me so I’m taking some time off. Maybe I’ll get some photos posted. It’s been over a year since I posted many. Breakfast was granola and a banana. For dinner, Ernie took us all to Harry’ Hofbrau for a Christmas dinner.

Sunday: (12/24) Popcorn for breakfast. Lou was off early with our neighbor grocery shopping. She and I went out later to get some Christmas presents. Otherwise, I tinkered with the computer and watched murder mysteries on TV. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. For dinner, we met Courtney at Harry’s Hofbrau. Quite a crowd since most restaurants were closed early.

Today is our mom’s birth date. Both Lou and my mom’s birthday is the same today. My mom passed away in 1990 but would have been 107 today.

Monday: (12/25) I cooked smoked pork chops with potatoes and eggs for breakfast. We all were busy doing house cleaning much of the morning. I removed the damaged sun shade cover that was blown to pieces in the wind storm last week while we were gone. Lou and Dawn were busy baking and cooking as well. At 1400 Meili, Cecelia, Courtney, and Ernie joined us for a potluck Christmas dinner. We don’t overdo it recently but still enjoy a nice feast. In the evening we enjoyed our Christmas pies and cake.

Tuesday: (12/26)A nice clear but cold day. Leftover fried potatoes with a wiener for breakfast. I installed a cat door in a compartment door of Ernie’s trailer. It’s one of two doors he and his cat Hobbs got for Christmas. If Hobbs gets used to the outside door, I’ll install the inside door. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. In the afternoon I removed the doors on the lower cabinets in the bedroom. They are difficult to open against the end of the bed and are always in the way. I also removed the upper wire basket hangers as well. Lou bought more plastic storage boxes which will fit in the space and be easier to get in to and organize better. They can also be removed as needed for access when the bed slide is in and blocks access to the cabinets.Chicken tacos for dinner. After dinner, Lou and Dawn headed off to IKEA for a walk. I headed to REI to look for a new backpack. My daypack is pretty worn so I wanted a new day hike pack. I got a 34L Marmot Graviton pack so I can do an overnighter as well.

Wednesday: (12/27) Another col clear day. We had a relaxing morning and finally headed out for the day. We stopped for breakfast an Joanie’s Cafe on California Street in Palo Alto before continuing North. We parked on Laurel Avenue in San Carlos and visited a thrift store then explored the other shops. A visit to Home Depot and another thrift store before stopping fr dinner at Chavez Market Taqueria on the way home.

Thursday: (12/28) We tinkered in the RV today installing eyelets and making bungee cords for our lower cabinets in bedroom. I also moved into my new backpack. I found stuff in the old pack never used before. The new pack can be opened like a clam so maybe easier to know what is lurking inside. Leftovers for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Beef log with Cheese and crackers for dinner

Rancho Canada Del Oro
Friday: (12/29) I prepared a sausage egg and cheese hikers breakfast. Lou and Dawn held out for a later breakfast in Gilroy. We left about 0830 and arrived at the trailhead at 0915. @0 of us hiked a big 9.5 mile loop of Calero Park and Rancho Canada Del Oro OSP. We finished the hike about 1315. Chris, the hike leader, had brought cookies he had made for post-hike snack. Yum! About 2 miles before the end of the hike I called Lou and advised her of my expected arrival back at the trailhead. They had dropped me off and continued down to Gilroy for breakfast at the Black Bear Restaurant. Then the visited the used bookstore in Gilroy. Dawn left a lot of books for them to go through and see what they wanted. They also found new books they wanted. I interrupted them when I called. They left when I called, filled the gas at Costco and headed off to pick me up. I waited about 40 minutes after all the other hikers had departed for them to arrive. They missed a turnoff. We returned to Gilroy to check some thrift stores, have a snack, and then have dinner at the Black Bear. Lou and Dawn wanted prime rib and I had a Chicken Fried Steak. We then headed home.

Saturday: (12/30) We made a shopping run with our neighbor. And that was about it for my day's accomplishments. Pie for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch and dinner

Sunday: (12/31) A relaxing Sunday morning. After our lunch out we walked around downtown Los Altos. Granola and Banana for breakfast. Lunch at Panera Bread Restaurant. Chili baked potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (01/01) We all headed out on the bus today. Hopefully a good start for the new year? Nothing special, just a run down El Camino Real intending to get some of my ciabatta bread and Bee’s Knees peanut butter at one of the other two Sprouts Markets. I can accept no substitutes. We had lunch out. Mine was from the China Wook, theirs from the market. Things lie MSG and cottonseed oil bothers Lou. Leftovers for dinner.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oceana County Park

Wednesday: (12/20) Leftover pork with sauerkraut potatoes fried as a hash and eggs for breakfast. I relaxed at home all morning and attended a webinar as well. Lou and Dawn went out thrifting. I relocated the latches on the sink cabinet doors. One keeps losing a screw and the other probably would have because they were installed in a joint of the door. I moved them further inward and all is well. For lunch, we went to Old Juan’s Mexican restaurant. In the afternoon Dawn visited a used bookstore and Lou and I went shopping. I bought a new latch for the drawer below the oven which was broken. I installed it when we got home. I also bought some heavier weight struts for the bed lid. The previous ones, which I just installed were 80#. I got 120# replacements and installed them and it lifts more easily now. Lou visited the dealer where we bought the RV and asked about a part they have to order. They are having trouble finding it so we’ll stop by tomorrow on our way out of town for them to take more photos and measurements. Lou made me a chili size and she and Dawn had pickled tongue sandwiches.

Thursday: (12/21) Breakfast at the Country Kitchen in Arroyo Grande. We then returned to camp for showers and prepared to leave. We left about 1000 and stopped by Sky River RV so they can take photos and measurements of the sewer service bay floor replacement they are having difficulty locating. We then took a walk out to the beach and visited the Monarch butterflies at the Pismo Beach SP grove. It was then time for lunch at Pismo Fish and Chips restaurant. This is their first day open after a three week closure which they do each year and this time. After a walk around the village of Pismo, we hit the road toward home. We stopped in Greenfield at San Miguel Ranch Market for some flan and other shopping. We arrived home about 1830.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Pinnacles Hikes

Saturday: (12/09) Leftovers for breakfast. We tinkered all morning doing final preparations to leave. I installed the new gas struts on the bed lid. I also programmed the from tire pressure websites I installed a few days ago. I found the right rear tire sensor wasn’t working so I swapped it with a spare. We finalized our packing Ang Lou loaded the refrigerator. We were off at 1200. We stopped at Camping World in San Martin, for a couple of things, then dinner at Chevy’s . We filled the gas tank at Costco. In Gilroy. Another stop at Walmart then back on the road. We arrived at the Pinnacles Campground just before dark. We topped the water tank then settled on our site. Leftover soup and bread for dinner. Afte setup I didn’t go outside until the Johnny Dollar radio mystery finished at 2030. Always a pleasant sight to see stars, galaxies in a dark Sky. Doesn’t happen in or near the city. On my walk around the campground, I was interrupted by gnashing teeth and growling as three raccoons scampered up a tree ahead of me. Exciting!

Sunday: (12/10) This morning I was joined by two fellow hikers hiking out the South Wilderness Trail to the end plus a half mile or so. I was doing a reconnoiter of the bottom of the South Chalone Peak. This is where our Friday hike will pass after coming down from the peak. Last year we had to wade through a couple of sections of the road. This year there is little road left, most having been washed out. There are much bigger flooded sections of the road and now the bottom isn't road but loose 8" rocks. Unlike last year though, it is possible to bushwhack through with no wading and just some scratches. Because the road is impassable for vehicles, it's mostly disappeared. I always feel better leading my hike knowing how this section is. By this time on our Friday hike, having to find our way would be more difficult. This is part of the two miles on non trail for this coming Friday's hike. Weather is nice but with cold mornings as usual. 25 degrees this morning, 75 to 80 this afternoon. Usual sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Hikers lunch of tuna salad and crackers. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and asparagus. Just before dinner, all the AC power went off. No breakers seemed to be tripped.I spent way too long looking, testing, bypassing, and etc. Eventually found a breaker behind the inverter. I do have too finish the project by labeling, and documenting the wiring.

Monday: (12/11) The usual sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich to start the day. I met my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 17 of the18 signed up arrived. We hiked up Condit Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail. We took the Rim Trail to the reservoir the returned through the Bear Gulch Trail. Nice 5.7 mile hike. No condors were seen. The usual tuna salad and crackers hikers lunch. Always a pleasure to get an ice cream at the camp store post-hike. We took a walk around camp and talked with a woman i, a truck camper that has been watching the condors on the fridge ab0ve our camp. She pointed out three condors in a tree on the ridge. Colin, one of my fellow hikers that is camped here came out to talk and we went to his camper for wine and Chips until they ran us off so the could have dinner.

Tuesday: (12/12) I made breakfast sandwiches for all. At 0930 I joined my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 15 of us hiked up the High Peaks Trail then down the Tunnel and Juniper Trails and back on the Balconies Trail. Another nice clear day. On our way through the caves, we sighted some bats. It was a nice 8.3 mile hike. Of course, I enjoyed a post-hike ice cream at the store. Lou made a sweet corn salsa bean noodle casserole for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/13) I made The usual breakfast sandwiches for all. Met 5 hikers for this North Wilderness Loop hike. Good weather. We were back to camp by 3pm. After relaxing, a snack, a shower, and having washed my clothes, I dumped our tanks and filled our water tank. Lou and Dawn were in Hollister all day and returned about 6pm. Lou had cooked a roast in the crockpot for dinner.

Thursday: (12/14) Lou made chorizo hash with eggs for breakfast. We drove up to Hollister for the day. I got a chance to catch up on email and Facebook with some tea st McDonald’s. Lou and Dawn checked a couple of more thrift stores. We had lunch at Chilin and Grillin Ale House. Home before dark.

Friday: (12/15) More breakfast sandwiches to start. Tara and Alex met me for my South Wilderness Loop hike. We started an hour earlier at 0830. We hiked up Bear Gulch, through the caves to the reservoir. From there we hiked up to the top of North Chalone Peak. We had lunch there. The view is the best on this, the highest peak in the park. On a rock near our lunch spot by the old fire tower, a young condor war sitting and allowed all of us to get a good view. We then h I'm 3rd on over to South Chalone Peak. This is where the trail ended and our tortuous trek down the mountain beside the pig fence. A very steep path for about 2 miles. We finished by hiking back on the South Wilderness Trail. We were back to our car by 1650. We made it to the store in time to get my post-hike ice cream. I managed to put a link in my back after I slipped on the way down the mountain. Lou and Dawn relaxed at home all day. Lou made chili and Dawn grilled asparagus for dinner.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bakersfield Visit

Saturday: (12/16) Prepared to leave the campground at 1030 after a relaxing morning. That changed when the slides, jacks, and steps wouldn’t come in. I spent an hour and a half checking and testing everything. Obviously, something to do with the safety circuit that requires the engine to be running. Last things rattled before it working were some relays in the slide control compartment. It is still lurking. I may just shotgun the relays by replacing them all. We departed late at 1230. We drove down Highway 25 to Highway 198 then East over to Coalinga then South on Highway 5 to Bakersfield. We checked in at the River Run RV Park. Leftovers for lunch in Coalinga. We called my cousin Judy and her husband Don and Lou’s friend Anita and met at the Rice Bowl for dinner. I enjoyed their shrimp dinner. Best fried shrimp anywhere and outstanding chow mein.

Sunday: (12/17) We dropped Dawn off at a used bookstore then Lou and I visited my Mom, Dad and brother Robert at the cemetery. We confirmed that a marking problem had been corrected. We then stopped at a Mexican market for a look and to pick up some things. The final stop was at Camping World for a longer sewer hose. I only have two five foot hoses but when I tried to use the new second one it was a special use hose and unusable for my needs. CW had the hose I wanted but it was 50% higher priced than the same hose at the RV Park so I ended up buying it at the park. Lou dropped me off at home and I relaxed all afternoon. She and Dan hit the thrift stores. In the evening they brought Anita over to look at the RV and we all went to the light show at the California Living Museum (CALM) in the evening. Deep pit BBQ for breakfast at Milt’s. Leftovers for lunch and dinner.

Monday: (12/18) A late breakfast and shopping at Winco in the morning. About 1500 Lou and Dawn were off to the thrift stores again. I relaxed at home. Dinner at the Golden Corral buffet. I started a pork roast with sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker for tomorrow.

Tuesday: (12/19) We prepared to leave and then went to Noriega's Basque restaurant for breakfast. On return to the RV park we showered then did final prep to leave, got LPG and gas and headed off to Pismo Beach via Highway 166. We were all settled in before dark at the SLO County Park in Oceana. I had started a pork roast with sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker last night. It was wonderful for dinner. After dinner, Lou and Dawn visited a thrift store while I relaxed at our new home. I showed them photos and videos from my pinnacles hikes in the evening.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Alices Restaurant / Wunderlich Hike

Friday: (12/08) I was outside early and greeted by Hobbs. I fed her and chipped the ice off our two cars and Ernie’s car. I then moved them all around to make space for the RV in the driveway. I found I did need to move it back because my backpack was in a cupboard in the bedroom blocked by the bed when the side is in. I didn’t want to put the slide out into the street. The road is narrow enough as it is. I put the slides out and hooked up power. I was then off for my hike at Wunderlich Park with my fellow SJMW hikers. 23 of us hiked up to Alice’s Restaurant on Skyline Blvd for lunch then back. I then visited REI and got some extra hiking underwear and filled our drinking water bottles. After a shower and starting the washer with my hiking clothes we all went to dinner then headed down to San Jose State University to attend the Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson Oral Interpretation Event. Lou made an open-faced egg, pork chop, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I had a bacon breakfast burrito for lunch. A couple of egg rolls at LUU Noodle House for dinner.

This is likely the last post for a week or so because we’ll be at Pinnacles NP for the week and there is no cell signal nor Internet there.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

More Power


Saturday: (12/02) I started work on the RV. Before i did much Ernie noticed the neighbor was disposing of a bunch of used pavers. Lou asked and we sent some time move a bunch of pavers from the dumpster and from his backyard. They are now an addition to our former front lawn with the excess dirt and broken concrete.  After lunch, I got back to work on the RV installing the batteries and powering up the Inverter. I then prepared to hook up the solar panels. The panel end needed to be terminated in the splice boxes on the panels. To complete that I needed some plugs to close off some now to be unused holes in the splice boxes. A visit to Orchard Hardware eventually found what I needed. I hooked up the panels but didn’t switch them on. Wouldn’t do too much since it was almost dark. I needed to make a second run to a different Orchard Hardware to get some more plastic knockout nuts. I decided to replace all the metal nuts on the cable fittings on the boxes. Tomorrow I can finish the wiring in the rear compartment since I received the 30 amp plug I need. Everything should be operational tomorrow. Boysenberries with cream for breakfast. Shrimp and French fries for lunch. Sausage and zucchini for dinner.


Sunday: (12/3) Lou made a nice omelet for breakfast. I installed the missing conduit nuts on the solar panels and taped the connectors hoping to prevent water entry into the splice boxes. I worked much of the rest of the day completing the wiring of the AC power through the new power sub-panel. I had to make a couple of runs to the Hardware stores to get some parts. Along the way I picked up lunch for us all at LUU Noodle House. I completed the RV wiring and put away all the tools and excess materials. Lou and Dawn were busy installing the Christmas tree. Lots of things had to be moved and while she was in the garage attic getting the tree she threw down a bunch of boxes for TV’s, microwaves, etc that have been around long enough that they won’t be going back to the store. Lou made sausage with baked potatoes and asparagus for dinner.


Monday: (12/04) I headed off early to Harbor Freight. I picked up some gloves for my hike next week. On the way i stopped at A Good Morning for a breakfast burrito. On the way home I did some grocery shopping for Lou. I then tinkered in the shop putting away all my tools and the excess parts from the RV solar install. I also found a few things that needed to be put in the RV. I then checked the bed hatch. It’s difficult for Lou to lift so I checked the weight of the hatch and located replacement gas struts for it. For lunch I made pork chops with rice. Lou and Dawn had an appointment in the afternoon. I reinstalled the RV radio which i had removed in hopes of replacing it but ran into  fit problem with the new one. I also stocked my clothes and backpack in the RV. In the evening I sent out my usual dire warning letter for the hikers that signed up for the South Wilderness hike. Later we all went to Grocery Outlet to get cheese and left with a big bag of groceries. Too many eyes and hands.


Tuesday: (12/05) I relaxed in bed util 1030. I did go through some of my clothes and prepare a bag for Goodwill of stuff I don't wear, mostly because they shrank so much. Lou made hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I headed off to get a magnet wand that I can use to retrieve the missing valve stem cap. I’m worried it might fall into the brakes and cause a real problem. I also had some things from Lou to return so I made return visits to Lowes, Home Depot and Orchard Hardware. I got rid of everything except a PVC Ell and a drill bit. On the way home I picked up Lunch at Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. We hit the jackpot there. There was evidently someone else's order in our bag in addition to ours. Nice bonus. While trying to use my new magnet wand eventually the cap fell out. Couldn’t have decided to do that earlier. I also organized the stuff i’d thrown into the drivers footwell. Most will eventually find a home or be installed. I also cut and installed the divider for under the sink to keep the trash out of the pan drawer. Dawn made soup with toast for dinner. I’ve been binging on the Midsomer Murder series recently.


Wednesday: (12/06) Leftover Mexican food for breakfast. Worked in the RV in the morning doing some final cleanup and packing. We prepared the RV to roll and drove it down to fill the propane tank. While it was out I checked the umbilical cord and found the lights weren’t working properly on the jeep. I needed to prune the front trees to fit the new RV height.  I worked the rest of the afternoon trying to correct it but found I needed a couple of connectors to allow better testing so picked up a set at the auto parts store. When starting the RV it seemed like it barely had enough juice to start. That matches the low charged voltage so tomorrow I'll get a new one. Lou made ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. We had leftover soup ala Dawn with toast for dinner.


Thursday: (12/07) Lou and I were off grocery shopping early. I also bought a new starting battery for the RV. At home, I installed the new battery. I then corrected the wiring for the towed Jeep lighting. I left the brake and power connections open because I couldn’t easily identify which was which. I’ll have to spend some time later ringing it out. I still need to install the RV portions of the system salvaged from the old RV. Fortunately, there are no real mountains on our way to the Pinnacles. In the afternoon I returned the bad battery to Walmart for the core charge refund. I also stopped at Smart and Final for some energy drinks and at Sprouts in Sunnyvale for some bread. I got gas and picked up lunch. I was home around 1530 so not really lunch. We had tamales for dinner.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Long Ridge Open Space Hike


Friday: (12/01) Lou had me cut a hole in the RV cutting board to go around the kitchen sink faucet. I prepared my ham, cheese and egg sandwiches for breakfast. At 0900 I headed off to Long Ridge Open Space for my hike with the SJMW hikers. It was a 7.5 mile hike led by Jonathan which included a couple of new to me trails. I had a chili size for lunch. After lunch, I got to work on the RV about 1500. I completed the hookup of the charge controller. I had a ham and cheese sandwich and a tamale for dinner.