Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quartzsite Arrival

Tuesday: (01/26) We started the day with cold cereal and bananas for breakfast. We headed on East stopping in Indio at the Winco Food store we spotted. We picked up a few more things. The markets in and near Quartzsite are good but not elaborate. I also tried to get a laminate roller at the Home Depot next door. It was the forth hardware store, if Home Depot qualifies as one, that I've checked at and still haven't found the roller. We continued on stopping in Blythe at their Ace Hardware Store. They had the roller, of course. It was even located where it should be found. Now I can clean the roof and install the sealing tape on our little roof leak. We also filled up with gas. It was $3.07. Cheaper than anything in or since Pismo Beach. But not as cheap as we found in Quartzsite, $2.75. We had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

We drove on across the border to Quartzsite and registered in the BLM long term campground. We then took a quick drive around town. It looks similar to previous years but there are only half the RV dealers of years past. It also looks like it had a lot of storm damage recently, which it did. When we approached highway 95 from the West freeway exit via Kuehn road, we waded through the wash on the way. It was odd to see water in the wash. It was mostly sitting, not flowing now.

Our First Campsite In Quartzsite
We opted to stay close to the highway rather than further back, as we normally do. This was at least partly due to the rain clouds that eliminated the nice sunny sky we drove under all day. Our last year's camp was occupied by a permanent looking resident so we couldn't camp there. We'll keep our eye's open looking for a nicer spot but aren't in a hurry.

I cooked up a bunch of sausages in the oven and we had Boston baked beans with pepper jack cheese and bratwurst sausages. The ethnicity isn't pure but it was sure good.

We heard from the clerk in the hardware store in Blythe about their tornadoes a few days ago. When we talked to one of the vendors on main street here in Quartzsite he mentioned the heavy storm in December and the second bigger storm a few days ago. No tornadoes here in Quartzsite just horizontal rain and 70 mph winds. Glad we weren't here and were delayed this year.

Wednesday: (01/27) We rose early to try to catch the sunrise and took a morning walk around La Posa West nearby but didn't find any sites good enough to move to. With the clouds overhead and a forcast for rain today we want to stay near the road. Lou fixed chorizo with eggs, onions and cheese for breakfast. We went over to the Main Event flea market. Lots of junk and lots of hard to resist items. The place had far fewer vendors than years past. It's impossible to tell how much is due to the poor economy and how much due to the storms scaring vendors away. Many had a lot of storm damage.

We returned to the RV for lunch. Tomato bisque soup with pan fried toast. That was followed with a little angel food cake with Lou's fresh cranberry topping. Even though it was partially cloudy this morning our solar panels did their job and we were fully charged by our arrival home at 2pm for lunch. I relaxed at camp while Lou returned to the flea markets. The cloud cover  increased in the afternoon.

I climbed up on the roof and raised the second row of solar panels. I kept them at a lower angle than last year so we can drive around safely with the raised. If they do the job I'll leave them that way. Even with the clouds this morning we still put nearly 70 ah into the batteries before 2pm. And that was with only 2 of the 4 panels raised.

Lou fixed some mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, califlower, and green beans), added some onions and diced hard tofu stir fried with some soy sauce. She also prepared some long grain rice. The rice was pre-cooked Uncle Ben's in a pouch that can be placed in the microwave oven for 90 seconds and is ready to eat. Really convenient and doesn't steam up the windows. The microwave can be used very effectively when camping when the sun shines. No LPG required. Come on sun, come on out and stay a while!

Thursday: (01/28) A wonderful, normal, Quartzsite morning! Clear skies, warm, no wind, just great. Breakfast was the same as yesterday only easier because it was leftovers. We're off to look over Kuehn Street and the Big Top craft show this morning. We looked at a couple of trailers then took  good look at KB Tools, a favorite stop. We then went across Highway 95 to Rice Ranch checking all the vendors.

The Pie Lady Returned
It was 1230 when we arrived at Gran'mas Apple Pie shop. We enjoyed our slice of apple pie with caramel sauce. We ended up staying and talking with Jeannie, the propriator for a couple of hours. Some great news, she's working on a cook book with much more than a great apple pie recipie. She returns to Alaska every summer and may have convinced us we need to get on up there this year.

We finished up at Rice Ranch and stopped by Trina's hamburger joint at Prospectors Gulch for a couple of the after 4pm $1 special hamburgers with grilled onions. Very good. We then made it home and Lou fixed some fresh coleslaw to top off the burgers. We finished the evening with a nice campfire.

Friday: (01/29) Another sunny morning. Breakfast was leftover pancakes and some Italian sausage and a grapefruit. Back to Main street again ths morning.

Our Better Campsite At Quartzsite New Campsite From Opposite Side Of Wash
Well, plans change. We were driving out toward town when we spotted a nice vacant campsite with two trees, by a wash, with a nice flat parking space, and proper alignment for the solar panels. It even has an easy emergency exit if the rain returns. We returned to our old site and packed and moved to our new site. We were set up in no time but as has been the case recently the Motosat dish took a half hour to get the satellite. Once aligned it works fine and can be powered on and off as needed and is ready for use in a minute or so.

We drove over to Paul Evert's to look at a few RV's the over to Msin Street to see the junk vendors near the Post Office. Lou examines each vendors stuff thoroughly, I walk by so we travel at different speeds and wandered seperately. I spent some time in the museum across the street as well and learned of a bigger flood in 1919, 18" of rain causing water to be 8' deep there at the Museum on Main Street. Glad I missed that! When Lou called we went over to the Grubstake for the fish fry, all you can eat fish and chips. Not as good as at Pismo Beach but far better that most anywhere else. we stuffed ourselves. When we returned to camp it was nap time for me. Lou managed to continue movement and tinkered around camp.

In the evening, we took a walk around our new camp seeing where the water had been. Our neighbors said where we are the water was just up to the top of the wash banks so it didn't bother them. We're maybe a foot lower so might have to wade but would be washed away. Coming back toward home we stopped at our neighbors across the wash and talked with Don Bradner, his wife  Joy and John Watson fellow Datastorm Satellite system users.

Quartzsite Sunset Quartzsite Sunset
We enjoyed a nice sunset and nice moon rise this evening. Lou's busy working on her dolls while I'm doing this update.

Quartzsite Sunrise
Saturday: (01/30) We were up early to watch the sunrise and moon set. We had PBJ English muffins for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed over to the Auto Show at the big tent in Quartzsite. Lots of neat cars. Our favorites were probably the vintage cars towing teardrop trailers. I stayed at the auto show while Lou continued on elsewhere. We had lunch at the RV. Lou had a chefs salad I had a ham sandwich. Lou dropped me off at La Mesa RV while she explored other junk (treasure) vendors.

We were both worn out early and returned to camp to relax. Lou fixed Italian sausage with zucchini and onions for dinner.

We've been having good sun and moon viewing the past few days. This evening's moon rise was a full moon so as big as it gets. The sunset though wasn't great due to few clouds available to assist.

Sunday: (01/31) Cereal and bananas for breakfast. We started with a look at a couple of RV's on the way to The craft show at Tyson Wells. We shared a half order of curly fries for brunch. We returned to camp for lunch of summer sausage and cheese.

After lunch we drove over to RV Lifestyles West of town. We are looking for a table bracket and they don't have it but will order it for us. Next stop was the Main Event again to get some spring chair cushions. They are all over town but only this vendor has one that will last, no elastic bands. These have web straps and snap fasteners. Lou dropped me off an i browsed a few more used RV's while she examined another junk dealer.

On our way home we stopped at the General Store Market for more sausage and some potato salad. Lou fixed hamburgers with potato salad for dinner. After dinner Lou was on the look out for the moon. She caught it trying to hide behind one of the mountains. It was really huge and orange like a pumpkin. Sorry, my measly camera can't capture it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

On The Road To Quartzsite

Monday: (01/25) We got up early but were in no hurry to leave. Breakfast was leftover pork roast, mashed potatoes for me , sweet potato for Lou and toast. I lowered to solar panels which haven't had a good opportunity to do any good except day before yesterday. We drove back down to the dump station near grand avenue. The station there had three lanes and there was no one there, an advantage of it being Monday and being early. We headed out grand Avenue to the freeway but, unfortunately, Lou spotted another un visited thrift store so performed the required inspection. We then did get on the road.

We stopped in Buelton just before noon at pea Soup Andersen's for a bowl of soup then were back on the road. We left highway 101 in Ventura and caught highway 118 East and connected with highway 210 East. About 4pm, we stopped at a Walmart in Duarte because traffic was getting bad on the freeway. We stretched our legs and bought a few things and then enjoyed dinner in the parking lot. We got gas and were back on the road about 7pm. We stopped for the night East of Redlands at a rest stop on I10.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oceano Beach Campground, Chapter Two

Our New Campsite At Oceano Looks Like Snow, Actually Hail
Friday: (01/22) Our new campsite above left. It was raining all morning ending with a long flurry of hail just after noon. Lou went out to get her glasses fixed and do some thrifting and had to hide the car under a service station canopy when it hailed. They were only 1/4-3/8" sized pellets but to us Californians, any solid object falling from the sky is a threat.

Lou and I went up to Pismo Beach for dinner at the Pismo Fish and Chips. We shared a bowl of clam chowder and a four piece fish and coleslaw. We looked around near the pier and found there was a lot of sea weed piled on the beach now and a lot of sand missing from the beach. The tides did get high.

We also stopped at our old campsite, North Campground that was closed due to possible flooding. It's no longer possible but actual. Our site is entirely under water, inches but wet all the same. It cold be called North Lake now. Very few butterflies to be seen and those that could be seen weren't moving very much. The weather has been tough for them recently. We expect a nice weekend so it will be interesting to see how many come out.

I stopped at an RV supply store Lou saw on Grand Avenue near McDonald's. It was very well stocked since it probably recently opened. I did manage to find something I needed, almost impossible not to. I drove off without my Lynx wheel chock and need another but Camping World doesn't carry them anymore, just some other incompatible brand now. I find they are very handy when using a bunch of Lynx leveling blocks (like big Legos for RVers) to use the chock to help arrive and stay at the top of the pile of blocks. So I bough a set.

When we returned to camp we took a walk out to the beach and South to Arroyo Grande Creek and the Oceano Dunes. The creek is running full and flowing to the ocean. We met Larry there doing the same and he asked where we were from. We said Palo Alto and he said he's a retired Palo Alto High School teacher, retired 20 years ago. He lives nearby in an ocean front house we had admired on our walk down the beach. The house is unusual because it has a high pitched roof with a lateral round dormer going through the middle. Unlike any other house we've seen before. When he described his house we knew it was the one we'd seen and discussed before. Turns out he bought the place back when a teacher could afford a beach cottage. Now all the cottages have been replaced with mega houses. When his neighbor built one next to him, he started expanding his into a house. After he retired he designed and built a second floor. He's now a sculpter and artist in many media and it was interesting talking with him and getting a tour of his house. It's amazing what you can learn by talking to strangers. We made it back to camp just after sunset.

Saturday: (01/23) I fixed some breakfast sandwiches using the last of the artichoke sour dough bread from the Pescadero store, garlic cheese, fried eggs and European bologna. After breakfast we hiked up to the North campground via the Oceano Trail. We stopped for a rest period at the entrance to Oceano Beach at the end of Grand Ave.

There was a man there from Castaic that had been in the Air Force, as I was, and had worked up in the bay area for Philco Ford's Western Development Lab in Palo Alto where I had taken a course in the early 70's, and had worked for years in the missile industry which I had worked with, somewhat, when I was in the Air Force in Sunnyvale at the Satellite Test Center. It was interesting chatting about how things were and how common place much of what was complex now is.

Pismo Flooded Pismo Flooded
We continued into the North Campground which had dried out quite a bit since yesterday. the water was down a foot of more today. Most of the roads are now above the water line. The campground is now populated with a lot of ducks.

Pismo Flooded Pismo Flooded
The bridge to the butterfly grove is at water level now. Lots of water remains even though it is now ,ore than a foot lower than the high level.

Creek From North Pismo CG Flowing To Ocean Pismo Flooded
The creek from the campground now flows to the ocean rather than pooling in a lagoon.

Pismo Flooded Pismo Beach Now Cluttered After Storm
Lots of water going down the creek. The beach was clean white sand before the storm. Now it's littered with what looks like all the landscape bark that was at the houses above.

Pismo Flooded Pismo Flooded
You can swim to your own table. Our old campsite on the right is still rather wet. All that water is normally nice grass. The water was covering the pavement yesterday.

We stopped by the RV Peddler across the street to look a a few RV's then walked back toward home stopping at the Station Grill by the Amtrak Station for a nice choriso breakfast burrito. Choriso wasn't one of the meat choices but we mistakenly asked for it thinking this is where we had one a few days ago but that one was a bacon version. The chef had no problem making it even though it wasn't on the menu and it was past breakfast time being about 1230. It was as good as we thought we remembered it to be.  We enjoyed our buritto and teas outside and watched as the Amtrak Starlight train arrived headed North. After our second breakfast of the day, we walked home via the streets on the East side of the railroad tracks back to our campground. We stopped at the Oceano CG Nature Center on the way into the park and watched a Huell Howser video about the Pismo Clams.

When we made it back to camp we were tired so relaxed in our lounge chairs in the sun but that didn't work out to well because the shadows were chasing us. Lou did see one of our red shouldered hawks. I got my camera out but missed it.

Several of the adjacent campsites are occupied by single women. Lou talked with them and learned they are members of a singles camping club. She collected informtion about the club of possible interest for Aunt Helen.

Lou baked another pork roast and potatoes for dinner followed by some fresh cherries for desert.

Sunday: (01/24) Lou fixed pancakes for breakfast. They were really good with the rhubarb spread. We were out early to go to the flea market in San Luis Obispo at the drive in theater. It was a good, real junk type of flea market without the commercial trash vendors. Lou found a nice Pendalton jacket and I found some more of my weird driving caps. We then stopped by a Goodwill thrift store, split a sandwich for lunch from the Von's deli, drove the back road back to Arroyo Grande, stopped at the Miner's Ace Hardware in Grover City to redeem a $5 coupon we received for a 1 dollar purchase last week. I didn't have any particular need when i arrived but we managed to find about $15 worth of stuff and paid only $10. A new pruning blade for the sawsall I carry. It's much easier and safer than using a chain saw for that unofficial campfire. A switch for the TV line cord to allow shutting it off easier when we're using the inverter power. And finally a filter screen for the vent in the RV. All useful items but not needed immediately. 33% savings are always nice but I could have had a 100% savings on a single $5 item. The older I get the more my Scotch heritage develops. Our final mission was major grocery shopping and refilling our filtered water bottles.

When we got home it was nap time. For some reason shopping is like work.

We went to dinner at the Rock And Roll Diner near our campground. It was all you can eat rib tips night. We did our duty. It's a neat diner in a couple of rail cars on Highway 1 in Oceano.

It was supposed to rain this afternoon but hasn't yet at 8pm and likely wont. There was enough cloud cover today to make for a not too productive solar day. Darn!

Tomorrow we will probably depart to head further South but haven't determined our destination yet. Not too far probably just North of Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Home, Home In The Rain

A Pair Of Red Hawks A Pair Of Red Hawks
Tuesday: (01/19) We woke up to a nice morning, all the puddles dried out, no rain and a little breeze. I managed to get a walk around the campground as the wind started picking up. I spotted a nice big red hawk out the RV window looking for breakfast. I got my camera out only to have him fly away by the time I could find him and focus the camera. Tiny bird, at least it is on my tiny camera screen. He did return later and I did get some pictures of him, and his mate. Two huge birds. Sorry for the picture quality, the are good looking birds. We read our books and think they ar the Western version of the red shouldered hawk.

We don't make long term plans. Today is a typical reason we don't. We needed to decide if we were staying a couple more days here in Oceano or head Sount toward Santa Barbara. We then got a call from our tenant in San Jose saying the heater wasn't  working. Considering the cost of getting someone out and the time it would take to get them out, and the fact it had started to rain, or deluge, again, we decided to head up to fix it. We're not too far away yet.

It was interesting getting the solar panels down in the heavy rain. We drove over to a gas station, got some gas and used their awning for shelter to lower the panels and hookup the car, then we were off. Arrived in San Jose by 3pm and fixed the heater. Everything tested good and it started to work so I just replaced the thermostat in hopes it doesn't fail again. But I did find that there was some water leaking onto the heater from the vent pipe. I'll fix that tomorrow if the rain holds up for a spell.

I'll check to see what havoc the storm has caused at our place as well. We hope to be back on the road really soon. I won't let Lou take anything out of the RV nor get comfortable at home. We may try Santa Cruz for our next attempt at getting away.

Oatmeal and bananas for breakfast. Cold cuts nibbled on the road for lunch. Dinner at home at Cecelia's Mexican Restaurant, a short walk from home.

Wednesday: (01/20) Lou fixed one of her excellent oven omelets, tuna, spinach, onions and cheese. it rained rather well all morning. After lunch of red pepper soup, Lou Dawn and I went down to San Jose, Dawn for an appointment and Lou and I to work on the rental. I sealed the heater vent pipe. It was leaking onto the heater. Lou patched and painted where the thermostat was replaced. I also cleaned the rain gutters and repaired a leaky toilet. I hate working on toilets. For me, they are always difficult to get to work correctly and this one was typical. All missions accomplished. We had dinner at the Super Taqueria. Dawn and I shared a carnitas torta and I also had a quesadilla, Lou had a carnitas quesadilla.

I relaxed and caught up on the computer. Lou and Dawn went over to IKEA for an indoor walk. Looks like the rain will be with us for a while longer. Lou and I should get away tomorrow.

Thursday: (01/21) We all went over to Joanie's Cafe for breakfast. Dawn had the salmon omelet, Lou had the Huevo Ranchero burito, Ernie had the Eggs Benedict, and I had pancakes and whatever else I could steal.We hooked up the toad and were on the road by 11:30. The rain was nice and stopped long enough to get hooked up. It had been raining steadily sinvce 1:30 am when i went to bed. We stopped in Sunnyvale for gas at one of the cheapest stations we had seem in our travels. We also stopped for propane in San Jose at Suburban prop[ane on Monterey highway. Only $3.59 there and $4.15 at the service station we checked on the way. We then continued down Monterey Highway to Morgan Hill and the Camping World store. I got some caulk and some tape to seal a roof leak we have on the right front. Now if we only have a dry spell. We finally were back on the highway about 1pm. It rained most of the time all the way back down to Oceano Campground at Pismo Beach SB. We stopped for apple fritters in Greenfield at a nice bakery there.

We arrived in Oceano about 6pm and settled in to a new campsite. There are quite a few campers here tonight including one that was in our previous campsite. Darn! I wanted it to have a potential good view of the red hawks we saw before we left. We're next to the same tree but on the opposite side now. May still get a good view. Lou fixed  some shirataki noodles with leftover pork roast, carrots, green beans and such. Very good. We had to try the shirataki noodles because they claim to have 0 carbs and 5 calories per serving. And it tasted good as well. We took a short walk around the campground and noted the water in the pond is a foot higher than before we left.

I finally added some more pictures to the previous post and this one this evening. Getting the photos up is not always immediately with the narative.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Wet Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
Wednesday: (01/13) Our campsite was quite green and a bit damp after the rain last night. There weren't many campers.

We got up about 0630 and took a walk on the beach. The water was the highest we've ever seen it, almost no beach left. Turns out the high tide was at 0730. As we were watching from what we thought was the edge, we had to dash as it decided to come in further, suddenly. We walked up Grand Ave into Grover Beach stopping for breakfast at the Station Grill by the Amtrak train station. After breakfast we took a walk further up Grand Ave stopping at a couple of thrift stores and a hardware store then returned to camp. We decided to move from our existing campsite to one with more sun next door. One of the problems with late arrivals is that you don't get the best sites but they always seem to appear the next day so we usually only register for one night on arrival.

I raised the solar panels and we're getting some nice sun today especially considering that we had a deluge most of last night.

We got the car in gear so Lou made a run to some more thrift stores while I relaxed in camp.

Lou fixed a nice salad, no lettuce but broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, European bologna with corn salsa for lunch. For dinner she fixed butter beans, wieners, bell peppers, onions, with salsa topped with Parmesan cheese.

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
Thursday: (01/14) We had maple-brown sugar oatmeal with bananas for breakfast then took a walk on the beach. We were out about 45 minutes before high tide and stayed out until about an hour after high tide. We wanted to see how high it really got but were a bit disappointed. It didn't get nearly as high as yesterday even though the tide tables said it would be the same. Evidently the storm surge and the creek runoff made a big difference yesterday. A buss load of school kids stopped by the beach. The lagoon at the end of the little creek behind our campsite got rather big.

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
The water came right up to the dunes. The storm churned up a lot of foam and deposited it on the beach.

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
The foam looks rather interesting. The sky was clear so the view of the Pismo pier was nice.

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
When the water was up there was no beach.

Lou fixed an early lunch of croissants with dried red tomato smoked cheese. We visited Walmart's, Albertson's market and trader Joe's for a couple of things. When we returned, Lou fixed coleslaw for a late lunch.

My afternoon task was cleaning the RV battery compartment. We had dinner at the Pismo Fish and Chips, again then drove up to San Luis Obispo to look around the Farmers market. Always a nice place to visit.

We, especially me,  like Pepper Plant Garlic Hot Sauce. It's better than Tobasco or other hot sauces. Unfortunately, even though it's made in the Garlic capitol, Gilroy, we can't find it near home. Several restaurants around here in Pismo Beach have it and this is where we discovered it. On one of our previous visits here we found it but couldn't remember where.  When we were returning home I remembered it was at Scolari's Market here. We stopped there and I walked right to it. We stocked up. Seems like we are always finding things like this when we're on the road and then get to cart them around for the rest of our trip.

We've been watching some of the old" Murder She Wrote" episodes the past few evenings and that was our entertainment  again tonight.

Friday: (01/15) Lou fixed her version of my breakfast sandwiches. My back has been bothering me so she relieved me of cooking duty. She used french bread, grilled, then added  dried tomato cheese with the European bologna, and a fried egg. We took a nice walk on the beach but didn't stray far until after Lou paid our fees for the next couple of days. We really disappoint some people looking for one of these nice spots by only paying a couple of days at a time. People are always checking the ticket stubs to see how long we're staying. We don't do it to disappoint them it's just that we don't plan very far ahead.

We took a walk up the beach to the pier and enjoyed watching the surfers. The most successful of the 30 or so surfers were to guys using rectangular surfboards (actually bodyboards or boogieboards about 3' long ans 2' wide). I've seen them used by kids close in to the beach but never further out like today. They caught every wave that came near and could spin circles on the wave. The other surfer that caught a lot of waves was a girl. Most everyone else seemed to be just watching the waves go by.

Lou fixed a green salad with tuna and four bean salad as the dressing for lunch. We relaxed at camp all afternoon watching the weekend campers arriving.  I fixed spaghetti for dinner with artichoke french bread.

Saturday: (01/16) Breakfast?? memorable! Lou went out thrifting in San Luis Obispo today. I worked at camp on the computer. Leftover spaghetti for lunch and dinner. Lou enjoyed lunch out in San Luis Obispo

Pismo Beach Sunset Pismo Beach Sunset
We walked down to the beach at sunset and I took these pictures. Nice cloud formation that turned red across the whole sky. As we were walking out to the beach, the lagoon (pond) at the end of Arroyo Grande Creek reflected the sunset well.

Pismo Beach Sunset Pismo Beach Sunset
I like silhouette pictures. This was one of the best sunsets we've seen recently.

We attended the campfire about animal tracks. We enjoyed a long chat with some guests from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. They are originally from Germany but moved to the Island years ago. Also at the campfire we learned that some more big storms were on the way.

Sunday: (01/17) We took our morning walk around the campground and to look at the ocean. It was nice out, overcast but nice. When we tried to register for a couple of more days, they would allow us. They said the campground was closed due to potential flooding to be. They said that the Oceano campground would be open. We drove down to Oceano, all of 1.1 miles. We looked over the campground and found a suitable site and register. We then went over to the nearby Rock and Roll cafe, a restaurant in a couple of railroad diner cars. I had a chorizo omlette, Lou had the tri-tip scramble. We returned to our old camp and quickly readied to roll. I stopped by the dump station and waited for the two RV's ahead of me. The first took 40 minutes to do the jub. His friend tool 10 minutes. When it was my turn it took the usual 5 minutes, as it did for everyuone else. Some people!

Oceano Campground Oceano Campground
Our new site is rather nice. We chose one in the very back of the tent camping area. We saw no need to the electric and water hookup sites largely because they ware like sardines, all in a row right next to each other. We have lots of room and overlook the dunes. The campground is almost empty, evidently lots of campers were scared away.

Oceano Beach CG Pond Oceano Beach CG Pond
The storms coming are supposed to be big but will likely be fizzles as usual. The water is high in the pond by our new campsite. Back at our old North Pismo campground there are about a half dozen RV's remaining. Evidently they registered beyond tonight so got to stay. Isn't it going to flood? Evidently not if you pre-registered.

We watched as all the RV's on the beach were hurrying to get off the beach. From our observation it's clear that all the fifth wheel RV's towed by pickups were too much for the trucks and had difficultly getting through the sand. The several motorhomes we say towing their huge toy hauler trailers had no such difficulty. Interesting!

By noon the rain was coming down pretty good. Lou fixed creamy vegetable soup with tuna salad and crackers for lunch. We were settled in until 2pm when we went out for a little drive on some of the back roads. When we returned, Lou fixed a baby pork roast with baked potatoes and green beans for dinner.

Monday: (01/18) It rained much of the night but by morning it had stopped and the wind was starting. We walked around camp and found a half dozen other campers all but one of which left by 10am. We ended up by ourselves here in camp. The rain returned by 10am. Lou was busy house cleaning and I wasn't. Time to relax indoors for a while.

Lou fixed some bologna sandwiches for lunch. A little after noon we drove up to Pismo Beach to the pier to look at the waves and high tide. The wind was blowing pretty good but the rain had mostly stopped. Lots of other people had the same idea for a good look. There were only two surfers out in the really heavy waves. We stopped by the Walmart store in Arroyo Grande. When we came out, the sun was out, the sky was clear and no wind. It was beautiful and remained so all afternoon.

Butterflies At Oceano Beach Headed To Beach From Oceano Campground
We took a walk to the beach in the afternoon. On the way we watched a bunch of butterflies in a eucalyptus tree near our campsite.

Oceano Beach Oceano Beach
The beach was looking good, even to our feathered friends.

Lou found some firewood left by departing campers when we arrived yesterday, I found some more today. We enjoyed a nice fire for about an hour until a little after 6pm when it started raining again. We buttoned up and went inside. I fixed some chili sizes for dinner. We learned they forced the few remaining campers, and even the camp host,  to leave our old campground this morning. Looks like it won't be reopening for a week or more until after this series of storms goes by. Tomorrow we'll have to decide to stay or head on down the road. Not sure which will win?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On The Road Again

Monday: (01/11) We advertised our old electric dryer with Freecycle. freecycle is a website where one can get rid of perfectly good stuff free to the recipient. In this case, the dryer was working perfectly even though it was 20 years old. What can go wrong with an electric dryer that can't be cheaply repaired? We just wanted a gas dryer because it would be cheaper to operate. So we had the old one hanging around, unused for the past year. too good to haul to the dump and besides we're too cheap to want to pay the dump fees. A person called right away after the notice was placed on Freecycle and they agreed to pick it up tonight. It took them a while to get to the house, about 10 pm but they took it and hopefully they will be happy with it We re happy it found a new home.

Tuesday: (01/12) Up early to drop Dawn off at the train. Breakfast from the Hong Kong Bakery, of course. Lou was busy doing her final packing. Our neighbors car was ready for pickup from the garage so we ran over to pick it up. I hooked up the toad and we were off about 11am. We had some rain last night but it was just overcast all the way down to Pismo Beach. We stopped for lunch at Scramblez Restaurant in Morgan Hill. We shared a chicken fried steak breakfast.

We stopped on the way in downtown Paso Robles for a walk and a look around an antique store and a thrift store. We pulled in to our campsite and were setup by 5pm. Unfortunately, the toad would go into gear so it will have to be looked at in the morning.

Our winter trip this year is late and will likely be a little different. By now we're usually settled into our camp in Quartzsite Arizona but this year we're so late getting away we won't bother rushing down for the big RV show. We'll do our usual moseying, this time down the coast starting with our favorite camp here in Pismo Beach. From here we'll head on South toward San Diego. It's raining pretty good today, causing a little warmer weather than we've experienced recently. Hopefully we will find the preferred warmer weather and I can get back into my retirement uniform of short pants.

Our first mission was dinner. We walked downtown, about 8 blocks, to the Pismo Beach Fish And Chips Restaurant. We shared a fish and chips dinner with cole slaw and fries topped off with a piece of deep fried cheese cake. It rained rather well after our return to camp.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Readying To Roll

Monday: (01/11) Lou and I were off early to take the neighbors car in for some recall repairs. When we returned Dawn had fixed French toast and bacon for breakfast. I worked at doing my final packing and a little cleaning of the RV. Lou was doing some final tasks as well, including a grocery shopping trip.  Lunch was a hot bologna and cheese sandwich. Lou fixed tuna and artichoke noodles with a spinach grapefruit and cranberry salad. We're still hoping to be on the road by noon tomorrow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Halfmoon Bay Daytrip

Sunday: (01/10) A little day trip today. We hit the road early stopping in Redwood City for breakfast at the Talk of Broadway Cafe. Lou and I shared an excellent corned beef hash breakfast. Dawn had a meat filled crepe. It was all excellent.

Back on the road toward the big Pacific Ocean via Highway 84. We stopped in Pescadero to look around the antique shops and get some garlic artichoke bread at the Norm's Market. They make the best bread! We then took the old Stage Road back up the coast to San Gregorio. It was a very nice one lane country road. It would be nice to live there. Dream on. We then got back on Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay. It's another tourist trap town with some interesting shops. One of our favorite is the "Half To Have It" shop. After we wasated the rest of the day looking around we went back over the mountain via Highway 92 then Highway 280 to Redwood City again. We stopped for dinner at Harry's Hofbrau. I had the pastrami and Lou and Dawn had the roast lamb. A nice trip. Lou and I will be on the road again Tuesday so this was a last fling for Dawn for a while.