Thursday, November 30, 2006


My nice new camera failed the other day. The image sensor failed. It has a nice warrantee at Comp-USA so off we went. The closest store is in Millbrea 20 some miles North. We got out around noon and stopped for breakfast at Neil's Cafe near there. Lou and Dawn scoured Tanforan mall while I checked the camera in at Comp-USA. It's going to be a couple of weeks before the camera comes back. On the way home, all the thrift shops had to be checked out by Lou and Dawn.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Repairs

The '92 Volvo needs to have the tail light damage repaired so since the smog repair is delayed on the '87 Volvo, I dropped by the repair shop to start the process. It goes in Monday and should take 4 days so It should be ready in two weeks before the '87 needs to go back in for the smog repairs.

Loosing Parts

Now that we're home it's time to get vehicles fixed up. Everything needs help. That's a given with older vehicles. The RV will need the windshield replaced before we head out. I haven't looked in to that much other than to get one quote of about $1500. Wow!. The "toad", our '92 Volvo wagon needs to get the damage from the accident in New Mexico repaired. That's scheduled for this coming Monday. And then there is the older, '87 Volvo wagon that needs to be smogged. That can't be completed for a couple of weeks. The state pays a major portion of the repair but , as usual, the paperwork will take a couple of weeks, but it's worth it. Should save $400 of the repair. We did have an exciting trip to the shop though. On our first attempt, we turned the corner and the muffler fell off. So we had to hold off on visiting the smog repair shop to get the muffler replaced at Midas since that's where the warranted for that is. Now this is why I prefer to be on the road, life is less complex.
It has been cold the last few days, like most everywhere else. Freezing weather is unusual here though. Maybe only a few nights a year.

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Nice!

Lou and I enjoyed breakfast at Joanies Restaurant on California Avenue. We shared a Combination omlette and each enjoyed an aplle muffin. Very nice. Then we stopped by Fry's Electronics for a look around. We also had to check out the construction of the building next door.It's a parking garage/swimming pool building that is being built cast in place with two parking levels under ground and the pool on top. I'm not sure this projects could get by without our supervision.

It's really turned cold, by California standards, recently. The rain that we'd been having over the weekend is pretty much over.

This evening, my friend Bill Morris and I went up to San Francisco to the BAADAUG (Bay Area Application Developer Adobe User Group) meeting. It's an interesting drive up in rush hour traffic. The meetings are always interesting. I attend them ocassionally when we're in town. They are also ocassionally available online and I attend via the Internet. Anyway, this evening was very profitable. There were four door prizes, three books and a softeware bundle. Bill won one of the books, another member of our old Clarion Programmers group, Andy Kaczmarczyk, won another book, and I won the $2100 software bundle. We cleaned up. There were about 30 people present. The meeting was mostly about Flex and Fireworks in particular a Flash-based Slideshow extension for Fireworks. Quite interesting. As usual, one of the best things is the pizza and chat after the meeting.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Don and The Car Get A Checkup

Thursday, we enjoyed a relaxed Thanksgiving holiday. We had dinner at the Hometown buffet. Brother Ernie is on the road back East and won't be back to cook. We're too lazy to, so we went out. Ernie should be able to help out later, possibly aroud Christmas.

Saturday, Lou's car went in for a smog test. It flunked again this year. It sat parked and unused while we were away. That surely didn't help. It is getting older, 20 years old next month. For some reason, it fails the NO but is perfet on the other samples. Two years ago it took 5 tests and the replacement of the catalytic converter to get it to pass. This year, I'll try a different approach. I'll try one of the Gold Shield test stations that will, now that it's failed the "Test Only" station testing, where they can both repair it and do the followup test at one place. This should eliminate a bunch of retests that were required last time.

One of the reasons for returning home was for medical and dental appointments. Monday was my turn at the dentist. All went well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Day Out

Lou fixed a nice breakfast of German Potato pancakes (a mix we picked up at the Honey Bear RV park deli in Oregon this summer) and Italian sausage. Very good.

We took the toad to the Alstate Insurance adjuster (the insurance company for the lady that hit us in Silver City, NM). The office was up in San Carlos so I dropped Lou and Dawn off at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo. It took about 20 minutes for the adjuster to complete the paperwork and cut the check. I wish AAA, our former insurance company was as competent.

I met Lou and Dawn at the mall. After a while it was lunch time so we visited Heidi Pies nearby. Any excuse is good for a visit there.

I finally uploaded the last of the pictures from the trip. Some added to the end of the Las Vegas post and then the more recent posts since then.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home For The Holidays

We left about 8:30 taking Highway 1 North. It was slightly foggy when we left but cleared North of Morro Bay and was nice all the way.

Monterey Wharf Lou On The Monterey Wharf
We stopped in Monterey for lunch on the Wharf.

View Of Marina From Restaurant At Monterey Wharf An Interested Seagull At Our Restaurant In Monterey
We had a nice view of the Monterey Marina and a seagull enjoyed the view of our lunch.

We made it home before the big rush of traffic.

Nice to be home. We'll probably be lazy home bodies tomorrow.

Broken Windshield Missing House
Our windshield was broken in eastern Nevada on our second day out.

While we were gone, the house across the street was removed (behind our car in the above picture on the right). I don't really understand the real estate market here in Palo Alto or California in general. There was a perfectly good post WWII house there. The new owners paid $785,000 for the place, then immediately spent a bunch more to "de-construct" it. You can't just knock down a house here, you have to take it apart and salvage most of it. Now, they'll build a monster house there. This is all very nice for the value of our measly old house when/if we ever decide to sell it, but it also means the neighbors will be even more actively bugging me to finish painting our house. Whenever I look at, I'm always glad we already own our house. We certainly couldn't afford to buy one here today, even if I did have a job, even with the recent drop in value here in the last year.

Statistics: Traveled 3962 miles, spent $1346.26 for 547.7 gallons of gas averaging 7.9 mpg. Bought 32.2 gallons of LPG for $79.87. We were on the road for 50 days, staying at 23 campsites. 19 days with hookup, 8 days primitive (paid for a place to park but no hookups), 23 days boondocking (didn't pay for anything).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

El Churro Regional Park, San Luis Obispo, Ca


We rose early to get on the road. Not a great idea. We hit the valley fog almost immediately. Visibility of less than 100 feet, as in hard to see the red light at the signal. I tend to drive according to my capability to stop. Not so for a lot the the other drivers. Fortunately, it cleared up near I-5, 25 miles West of Bakersfield, and was nice the rest of the way.
We stopped for Breakfast in Arroya Grande at the Girls Restaurant. Then we dropped by the North Beach Campground of Pismo Beach SP. No space available so we headed up to San Luis Obispo to the El Churro Regional Park. We got a nice site but there is a nice, tall Eucalyptus tree in the way of the satellite. Looks like it won't be a computing weekend.


Lou fixed a nice breakfast of fried potatoes, peppers, and onions in Pepperplant sauce. It was served with mild Italian sausage. Ummm!

We walked over to the arboretum. Very nice , as usual.
El Churro Bird El Churro Lizard
A bird and a lizard at the gardens.

El Churro Spider El Churro Bee
Beasts in the garden a spider and a bumble bee.

El Churro Quail El Churro Campsite
A covey of Quail visit our campsite and a cover shot of our campsite.

El Churro Flowers El Churro Suculents
Lots of nice flowers in the garden.

El Churro Workcrew El Churro Workcrew
A team of volunteers from Cal-Poly were installing another wooden bench. It was fun watching them try to apply their engineering studies to the installation of a post bench.

El Churro Workcrew
The bench installation project nearing completion.

We then went to the baseball diamond next door to fly the RC planes. Perfect place for that.All ths "work" made us hungry so we went downtown to the Golden China buffet for lunch, then walked around looking at some of the shops.

Don's leg wasn't working right so we limited our walk. By the time we got home, Lou's leg was bothering her so we relaxed all evening.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bakersfield, Ca


We've stopped off in Bakersfield to see Uncle Doug and Aunt Helen.

On the way in we stopped by Camping World, looked at a couple of RV's, and separated the car. I filled the LPG tank, used their sanitary dump then went and had the oil changed and filled up with fuel. It was the most fuel I've added, 61 gallons. Pretty empty, but it was mostly down hill on I-5 from Gorman.

We had dinner at Spencers, one of our favorites, tortilla soup.


Helen and Lou went out shopping the town, Doug and Don hung around home tinkering on the RV's. Both RV's Washed, Doug's tires aired up, RV fueled, new wipers installed. Ready to roll.

Diner was at the Pantry on Brundage Lane. Bakersfield has some really good restaurants, but don't expect table clothes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rexhall RV Plant, Lancaster, Ca

We're spending the night at Wal-marts in Palmdale. Tomorrow, well proceed the 7 miles to Lancaster to the Rexhall plant. We intend to tour the plant Thursday morning, then head over to Bakersfield.

Second attempt at this post. I really hate it when the computer eats my postings!


Rexhall Factory
We rose early and drove to the Rexhall plant. We showered and ate breakfast as we waited for the 10 am tour. The only picture we could take at the Rexhall factory. They didn't allow pictures on the tour.

There is a Rexhall Owners rally at the fairgrounds here so the tour was full, of Rexhall owners, and us. They do give a good tour allowing you to walk through the factory floor and get detailed looks at the process.

We own a Seabreeze Class A motorhome by National RV in Perris, Ca. We have toured their plant as well. Interestingly, the founder of Rexhall used to work for National RV.

Generally, we were not impressed with the construction quality. We toured several models at the factory dealer lot after the tour. All the models we looked at showed poor workmanship and quality of construction. Things just didn't fit. We crossed Rexhall off our list.

As we travel, we intend to take RV factory tours when we can. We like any kind of factor tour.

We headed West on Highway 138 out of Lancaster to I-5, then down to Bakersfield.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rio Casino, Las Vegas, Nv

We moved up to Las Vegas today. It's a nice place to hang around for a couple of days. There is another big tent in much of the parking lot. It's for a Cavalia circus/horse show.

Didn't really accomplish much today. So, another sucessful day.

We met brother Ernie for dinner.


We drove out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area West of Las Vegas. Here are a few pictures of the place.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv, Walter, Ernie's dog Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Ernie's doggies like to get out and run. Walter is shown at left. A Chipmonk on the right.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
These birds were making a racket that sound very much like chickens by one of the trails we took.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The weird creatures on the left were in the Visitors Center. The top one has things figured out. he just rides the big lizard around the cage.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The rocks have an interesting "grain". The park had a "forest" fire in 2005 that burned most of the flatlands.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Ernie's doggies awaiting our return. The park has both pytroglyphs and pictoglyphs as shown above right. There are five outlines of hands in the picture.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Another look at the burnt desert. A wild burro begging from the motorists.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The entrance sign to the park. While the rocks are all good looking, not that many of them are red? The gray and buff rocks out number the red rocks.


Ernie departed early this morning. Lou and I bought day passes for the bus and rode downtown to look around at the casinos on Fremont Street. We also dropped by the Post Office to see if our mail had arrived. It hadn't. It normally arrives within three work days but the holiday delayed its arrival.

Las Vegas Strip Las Vegas Sunset
We also rode the length of the strip on the bus. The buses are double decker. You get a great view from the top front seats that we had. It also helped to be ten feet off the ground, above traffic. A view of the Las Vegas Strip at night and a sunset as seen from there.


Las Vegas Rio Casino Cavalia Tent Practice Resue At The Wynn Casino
The Cavalia Show tent was behind our parking space. When we visited the Wynn Casino, we spotted this practice rescue from their fountains. There is a conference of Homeland Security Folks in town for a convention?

Rio Campsite Rio Campsite With Cavalia Tent in Background
Our campsite at the Rio Casino. On the right you see the Cavalia Tent behind us.

Reflected Image Reflected Image
From our RV we saw a semi nude chippendale looking guy in the driver seat of the RV ahead of us. It was actually a reflection from one of the Rio buses.

Our day passes were still good so we rode down to the post office to get our mail. Success!

When we returned to the Rio, we prepared for departure. Traffic was very light. We headed down I-15 and then over to Palmdale on Hwy 18. Traffic was pretty heavy in Victorville, but OK once we were out of town. Were planning on spending the night here at Wal-marts. We might get ousted though because were the only RV here?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Riverside,Casino, Laughlin, Nv

We made our way to Lauglin stopping at the Riverside Casino for the night. We contributed our couple of dollars to the casino and had a nice breakfast before heading on to Las Vegas. Brother Ernie is there so we'll meet up again.

Time is sure confusing here. You would think that modern technology would improve things, but here is another example where it makes them worst. We don't wear watches, we only use our cell phones. They're usually very accurate, but not here. Time zones change at the border here so on the Arizona side, it's an hour later than here in Nevada. And of course, the strongest signal is always from the other side of the river so time is always incorrect, whichever side you're on. Oh well, who needed to know the time anyway?

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Dead Horse Ranch SP, Cottonwood, AZ


Dead Horse Ranch SP, Cottonwood, Az Cottonwood, AZ Conchos Restaurant Peacock
We moved North to Cottonwood, Az just South of Flagstaff to the Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

We had dinner in old Cottonwood at Conchos, a Mexican restaurant frequented by a flock of peacocks.

Thursday Jerome:

Dead Horse Campground, Cottonwood, Az
We took a morning walk to bird watch.

Dead Horse Campground, Cottonwood, Az Dead Horse Campground, Cottonwood, Az
On our walk we passed a creek and a river that meander through the park.

Jerome Palace, Jerome, AZ Jerome, AZ Mr Milo Look-a-like
We had lunch at the Jerome Palace dining on Haunted Burgers. These were the best, and most pricey burgers we've ever had. Jerome is an old mining town turned tourist trap much like Bisbee, possibly a bit nicer.

We happened across a cat that looked very much like Mr Milo.

Friday Sedona:

We decided to stay in Cottonwood due to the Holiday weekend being upon us. Moving to Sedona would have been too much work and there would likely have been a difficulty getting a campsite. We haven't been there yet.

We drove up about noon after our leisurely morning of breakfast, flying the RC planes, and taking a long walk along the river. It's only about 17 miles away. Sedona seems to be highly over rated. There were crowds of people, scads of tourists traps with very high tourist prices on everything. Even the gas prices rose 40 cents just because it was a tourist trap. We got hungry and looked around for a restaurant. Nothing looked good. Again the prices were ridiculous. $14 for a taco and enchilada lunch? That ruined my appetite so we stopped by Burger King. They didn't raise the prices based on the geographic coordinates.

Sedona, Az Sedona, Az
Some views of Sedona.

Sedona, Az
Sedona, like almost every other city in the country has a bunch of fiberglas statues around town each painted by different artists. Their choice is the Havalina (a piglike beast found in the area).

We drove up Oak canyon. This is a nice place, lots of trees, nice looking rocks and could be quite enjoyable , if it weren't for all the development. The campgrounds are right on the highway. our site in Cottonwood is much nicer than anything we saw. The views around Sedona are spoiled everywhere by houses and shopping centers. We didn't have time to explore any trails but I'm not sure you could find anyplace to hike where you didn't hear traffic and see the buildings, and worry about trespassing.

All in all, there are other places just as pretty and much nicer. We'll probably return sometime with more time and see if the first impression is totally correct.


Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, Az
There were sill flowers along the trails in November.
We're off toward Las Vegas. No hurry though, so probably won't get away until noon.