Monday, January 31, 2011

Quartzsite SKP-Geocaching Rally

Monday: (01/31) A nice morning, no wind and clear skies. Toast, scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast. I spent the morning working on the computer and also joined a new SKP group, the Geocache BOF. They are having a rally just north of town so I started that way after lunch. Cottage cheese for lunch. I made a stop at the General Store market for drinking water and a couple of other items. While there I crossed the street and picked up a pie at the bakery as well. Then I headed North 10 miles to Plomosa Rd. There is another BLM camping area there and the Geocache BOF meets there at mm2 on Plomosa Rd.

Plomosa Road Campsite
My campsite at the SKP Geocachers Rally on Plomosa Road. I attended the 4pm happy hour. I missed all the other activities of this first day of their rally.

Don's Chef Salad
Leftover stew with a chef's salad for dinner. Desert was a slice of apple pie from the Quartzsite bakery. At 6:30 I attended a presentation on the website. I'm already familiar with it but I did learn a couple of things. After the presentation I enjoyed the group campfire. It was quite windy again today after about 10am until 6pm. In the evening the wind had finally stopped.

Tuesday: (02/01) Oatmeal for breakfast.

Barbara Westerfield Training SKPers
At 9:30 there was a presentation on GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) by Barbara Westerfield. 18 people crammed in to one of the RV's where there was floor space only. GSAK is an application for the PC that allows easier connection of the Geocache data with any GPS device. With the Android phones there are apps that provide more functionality already but with the large number of GPS devices out there, GSAK is very helpful.

Barbara Westerfield's Cat Barbara Westerfield's Cat
I really enjoyed watching Barbara's cat. Even with 18 people in the coach, the cat said hello to every visitor and roamed around at ease.

SKP Geocachers Out And About SKP Geocachers Out And About
After the presentation I joined a caravan of 4x4 vehicles on a geocaching run out in the desert. With 20 people it's more difficult to really find the caches yourself. We traveled some pretty rough roads to some of the caches. Lunch was a PBJ sandwich.

SKP Geocachers Happy Hour 0469.jpg SKP Geocachers BOF Rally
There was the usual happy hour at 4pm. The wind seems to start every day about 2pm and continue most of the eventing. Note the people standing in the sun in the right picture. The wind and cold made it less pleasant outside.

At 6pm there was a "Z". It's sort of like speed dating though not fast and not dating. Some RVers host a small group of visitors in their RV and a group of about six visitors move around to different coaches every hour. Interesting evening. No real dinner but there were lots of snacks at each stop.

Wednesday: (02/02) Oatmeal for breakfast. It was cold, about 28 degrees, and windy this morning.

SKP Geocachers BOF Rally
One of the motorhomes had a small water leak. On one of our cold morning a stalagmite had formed. At the morning coffee, waymarks for two games were distributed.  For the poker game you just located the caches and selected a card in an envelope at each. I only got a pair of sixes. For the golf game you find a letter on a golf ball at each location some locations had one ball, others many balls, and others many balls in many locations. You have to identify the geocaching related word the letters spell and also make as many two word groups out of the letters. Lunch was a baked potato with salsa on top and a pork chop. There wasn't much going on all afternoon. Just as well since at 2pm it was all the way up to 38 degrees with even stronger winds. At tonight's happy hour I found out what I expected. I found 10 words for the golf game, the winner found 39 words out of the 6 letters "SIGNAL". I don't think I understood the rules?

Thursday: (02/03) Breakfast was oatmeal. At the morning coffee meet it was still cold at 38 degrees. It was a quick meeting which set next years dates and location and it was determined not to have a pot luck dinner since it was expected to be just as cold as yesterday. We all said our goodbyes. I was rolling out toward Parker before 10am.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Quartzsite Campsite In La Posa West View from our campsite
Wednesday: (01/19) We pulled in to La Posa West and unfortunately our nice campsite from last year was occupied so we found a suitable parking spot near the road close to the show. We took a quick look around Prospectors Panorama. And then I dashed over Satellite Advantage to setup an appointment to get the dish fixed. Turns out the factory technicians will be here for the show and they we be out to fix it sometime this week. Dinner was leftover white bean soup and toast.

Old GMC coaches get together Old Vixen motorhomes get together
Thursday: (01/20) On my morning walk around camp I took these photos. The winter migration to Quartzsite brings some interesting groups. Across the highway from us are a bunch of old 70's GMC motor homes. In the same area as we are is another covey of old 70's era Vixen motor homes. The Vixen seems like it should be made today. You can park it in any garage 96.5 inches tall, 19 feet long. It has 6'4" inside ceiling height with the lid up. It's diesel and gets 28-30 mpg. How come we could make them then but not today?

Irish oatmeal with rehydrated banana chips and honey for breakfast. Our morning was spent cruising the isles at the Pow Wow at the Quartzsite Improvement Association grounds. QIA is like the local fairgrounds. The Pow Wow is mostly a rock, mineral , jewelery, and beading show.

QIA diner
We enjoyed our lunch in the dining room. I had Salisbury steak, Lou had roast pork and Dawn had beef stew. All good. After lunch we headed over to the Main Event, one of the flea markets. That finished the day. Dinner was chicken tacos at home. Even though the sun was shining all day it never got all the way to 70 degrees today. We like the local KBUX radio station. It can only be heard within a few miles of Quartzsite but the programming is really nice. Oldie's music and local ads and news.

Friday: (01/21) PBJ English muffins for breakfast. Got to try some of the Peach amaretto preserves I picked up yesterday at one of the vendors. After breakfast we were all off. Lou and Dawn were back at the junk vendors, I mean flea market vendors. I looked around at rice ranch. I picked up some new flat water hoses. They store much more compactly than the standard round hoses and now there is extra room in the water hose storage box.

After that I returned to the RV and worked on a website. Lunch was an olive loaf and cheese sandwich. Lou and dawn had the leftover chicken taco fillings. After a little relaxation we were all off to another bunch of junk dealers near the Post Office. I, of course, finished with them quickly and headed off to look at RV's.

I then received a call from the Motosat factory technician. They are here for the RV show and while here come out to the camping areas and fix peoples satellite dishes. Mine has been OD since last May when the UCB failed in Death Valley. I was so busy when we got home I didn't get it fixed. So, as it turns out, Quartzsite was the best place to get it done.  Since my dish is so old they tried to get me to replace the whole system, then to replace the arm and transmitter but I preferred the cheaper route of just fixing what was not working the upper control board. They had one and swapped my bad one out and amazingly, it now worked, or was at least on the way to working. The dish now moved but I was offline so long I needed to do a re-registration to get it working. That only took another 4 hours to do successfully, but I am patient and all was working by 9:30pm. All in all a successful day.

It's nice to have the satellite Internet system working again. While we don't really need it here at Quartzsite because Verizon has nice 3G service on our phones and they can be tethered to the laptops for Internet access. That was not the case by Imperial Dam where we were just camped and also many of our better camping sites.

Dinner was some of Lou's new years tamales. She froze the leftover tamales and now they are all gone. Tomorrow is the first day of the RV show so of course, that's where we're headed tomorrow.

Saturday: (01/22) I fixed home fried potatoes with sausage and eggs for breakfast. Lou picked up some of the Quartzsite General Stores home made sausage last night. So good!. After breakfast Lou and I were off to the big RV show. First day so lots of people. Too many for the isle spacing. We made a quick round through most of the then and all the outside and then met Dawn at the apple pie lady's shop for lunch of fresh apple pie with caramel sauce. After lunch we went over to the Main Event hoping to see the steam engine show but they had canceled for this year. Too bad. We looked around the Main Event some more then had dinner at the Quail Mountain Cafe Northeast of town. Prime rib night so Dawn and Lou enjoyed that. I had the usual, chicken fried steak. All very good. It warmed up nicely today, not at all hot but just room temperature.

Sunday: (01/23) I intended to get over to the show again this morning but when we tried to open the roof vent, it fell apart so I spent an hour or so rebuilding it. The pin on the arm that raises the cover came out. Should have been an easy fix except it was on the fantastic fan and it neither comes apart nor goes together easily. I did a little looking around before returning for lunch. It was quite breezy (it's never windy in Quartzsite we were told by a resident, always breezy) We hung around the RV reading the rest of the afternoon.

Leftover steak and prime rib with home fries for breakfast. Lou made shrimp cocktails for lunch. Smoked pork chops, baked spuds and cole slaw for dinner.

Jeep with my new used F! dish on top
Monday: (01/24) I went down the road a ways to pickup a used Motosat F1 from one of our fellow campers. I intend to use it for a solar panel tracker. It also provides lots of spare parts including another upper control board if ever needed. It's too big to haul around in the RV so it will go home with Lou and Dawn in a couple of days.

When I got back to the RV Lou and Dawn were off on their search for the ideal pieces of junk. I moved some things from the jeep to the RV to make room for Lou and Dawn to load it up for their trip home day after tomorrow.

Breakfast was PBJ English muffins. Lunch, for me, was an olive loaf and cheese sandwich and some coleslaw. Lou and Dawn were out and stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a taco salad and some margaritas.  Lou and Dawn started some stew in the slow pressure cooker. First time for stew. It's worked so well for beans we decided to try stew. Worked the same just get it hot and put it in the thermal bags. Actually better than the crock pot and no power needed after getting it hot.

Quartzsite Rush Hour Traffic
Tuesday: (01/25) Quartzsite morning rush hour traffic during the big show. I fixed pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were busy packing for tomorrows departure. I got out of the way and looked around over at the RV show. An Olive loaf sandwich for me and shrimp and fried curly onions for Dawn and Lou.

BOGSAT meeting BOGSAT meeting
I went to tha annual Quartzsite BOGSAT. The BOGSAT (Bunch of guys/gals sitting around talking) was held at John Watson's campsite this year. It's a meeting of Motosat users. Up on the roof is Royal Lamb and Ryan form the Motosat factory fixing John's big dish. We learned all the latest from Royal about Motosat.

For dinner we went over to Silly Al's pizza parlor. Excellent pizza.

Wednesday: (01/26) Leftover pizza for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off early toward Bakersfield, then home to Palo Alto. Dawn has a job coming up she needed to return for. I walked East a few miles to Boomerville, a gathering of Escapees Boomer BOF. They were discussing going to Alaska. It looks like we are going to try that trip ourselves this summer? I over-estimated my walking speed or under-estimated the distance. In either case I arrived about an hour late for the 10am gathering. It was probably 6-7 miles out and I was on foot. I got a good 15 minutes of the tail of the talk then hoofed it on back home. I strayed off course heading to Boomerville but my return trip was easy and direct . Head back straight toward Q mountain. As it turns out I should have headed toward the peak to the East to get to Bommerville. Next time. Pizza for lunch as well, then a well deserved nap. I took the RV on a trip the two miles South to the dump. Now all ready for a couple of more weeks. Dinner was, of course, pizza. Can you overdose on pizza? Nah! One advantage of a ginormous pizza is the leftovers. Lou and Dawn made it to Helen's in Bakersfield for the night. They made an extra long rest stop in Barstow to look over several antique stores downtown.

Thursday: (01/27) PBJ English muffin for breakfast. Off to the show again. I picked up some info from the Canadian booths. For lunch I went to where Lou an Dawn had lunch the other day over at Rice Ranch. I had fried onions and chicken strips for $5. Almost too much. I then walked over to La Mesa RV to see what they had then along main street then out to Herbs hardware. I was back home a little after 4pm. I enjoyed the time doing some reading in the shade. I of course had to interrupt my reading when a neighbor came over to ask about my solar system which extended into other topics for over 30 minutes. By then I moved my chair out into the sun as it was now cooling off. Dinner was left over stew and some sauteed mushrooms followed by an apple with peanut butter.

Friday: (01/28) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast.

Inside The Big Tent Inside The Big Tent
After breakfast I visited the RV show again. Finally took a picture of the inside the big RV show tent. Not much of a crowd now. Also looked at some RV's. Lunch was an olive loaf and cheese sandwich. I did a little Alaska trip research this afternoon.

Grubstake Bar
For dinner I walked North of town to the Grubstake Bar for their fish and chips. Quite a crowd but I was seated in about 15 minutes. Their fish and chips ranks up there with the best. I've seen a lot of sand nearby but haven't found their fishing hole yet. By the time I made my way home it was dark. On Friday nights when it is all you can eat the crowd is huge. I controlled myself and didn't order a second plate of fish like last time.

Saturday: (01/29) Don McMuffin breakfast this morning. It's another fine sunny day, no winds, now. I tinkered at home in the morning. I installed the tax preparation software and started thinking and collecting for that disagreeable project. I also started backing up my photos from the laptop to DVD's. It's been a while and even though they are backed up at Carbonite online, you just can't have too many backups. Lou finished uploading the Jeep at home. The used F1 satellite dish I bought wasn't the lightest thing and she rounded up the neighbors and they lifted it off the roof of the Jeep and stored it away in my shop. Interesting how other peoples projects occupy so much of ones time. Thanks Lou. Now we don't have to cart that thing around for four more months. For lunch I warmed up some stew and had some apple cake I found in the back of the fridge.

I caught up on the pictures for the past week or so. I also published an article about our new No Power Required Slow Cooker at RVexperience.

I finally got outside about 3pm and dropped by the RV show and some other shops before stopping at Trina's for a couple of her $1 burgers and a milk shake for dinner.

Sunday: (01/30) Breakfast was some cottage cheese and pears. A pretty nice morning, sunny with a few lightly scattered clouds. I tinkered at the computer all morning. I fixed a nice chef's salad for lunch. After lunch I got the bike out and rode over to the RV show, it's last day. Many of the vendor booths were empty. There wasn't much of a crowd. I did break down and buy some rescue tape. It's supposed to be able to fix a leaky radiator hose or anything else. Since we plan on heading to Alaska, I knew if I didn't get it, I'd need it, so I got it. I also got some Montana summer sausage. It's the same people who used to handle buffalo summer sausage but I guess the herd has changed. I then rode over to Main street and looked at the RV dealers way out East of town. That didn't take long. There are only four vendors but one didn't seem to want me on the lot, so I left. I'm sure I took a shower this week? I then rode around looking at real estate. I had picked up a list from a local Realtor but most of the for sale signs seem to be for another Realtor and not on my list. Final stop was to pick up a loaf of bread. It was pretty cloudy and cooling off by the time I headed back toward home. There was a steady breeze from the South. I was headed South and it was a lot harder peddling on the way home than it was coming in to town. In fact when I was headed North down the overpass I had to continually apply the brakes to keep my speed down. Not so going South toward home. In fact going down the overpass I actually had to peddle to keep my speed up. When I got home I fixed a chili size for dinner. The clouds seem to have thinned but the wind was then from the West and there was even more dust blowing.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Kripple Kreek at Imperial Dam

Wednesday: (01/12) Lou fixed a spinach oven omelet for breakfast. We were off early to Ed Whiteheads tire Country on 4th Ave to get the brakes fixed. They replaced the rear pads and the right rear rotor and calipers. Evidently the caliper stuck and wore out the right rear pad. The one pad was gone, the other right rear pad and the left rear pads had their 55% left. They finished the fix by 3pm and we were off toward the Senator Wash BLM area near Imperial Dam. We got the same campsite as last year in Kripple Kreek.Lou and Dawn took a walk out to the beaver dam for a look. Hopefully the beaver are still there. We had lunch at Brownie's cafe near the tire shop. Lou and Dawn shared some liver and onions and I couldn't resist the chicken fried steak. Lou fixed a stir-fry dinner with tofu, Canadian bacon, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Nice to finally be back home here in Kripple Kreek.

We hope the burros pay us a visit. We know they know where we are because we have to clean up a lot of the droppings before we moved into our site.

Kripple Kreek Campsite Kripple Kreek Campsite
Kripple Kreek CG.

Bird feeders at kripple Kreek CG
Thursday: (01/13) Leftover omelet for breakfast. Ham sandwiches for lunch. Pasta with pot roast and a green salad for dinner. Nice to have nice weather. I raised the solar panels  because there are clear skies here. We pretty much hung around the camp today. Dawn and I ventured down a burro trail to the liberry. That is how it is spelled. It's in an old trailer and is a place to share books. Bring some and take some. Lou set up her bird  feeders.

Our corned beef hash breakfast
Friday: (01/14) Lou fixed corned beef hash for breakfast which was enjoyed in our yard. We took a drive out to the Sun Garden Date Farm for some date milk shakes then spent some time on a hill checking our email and phone calls. There is no cell signal in our little valley where Kripple Kreek CG is located. We then took a drive out to the North side of the Washington Reservoir looking for burros. Still none seen but we can tell they are around but the fresh droppings. We stopped for lunch overlooking the headwaters of the All American Canal sitting on the Imperial Dam. Nice views. We returned to camp where Lou did some sewing and I worked on preparing photos for the blog. Dinner was enchiladas.

Saturday: (01/15) We enjoyed leftovers for breakfast. Today was flea market day. We headed off early to the Arizona Marketplace. Not a real flea market but a bunch of snow bird oriented vendors. No real junk but a lot of cheap stuff. We enjoyed lunch at the Ranch House restaurant across the street. Nice prime rib for Lou and Dawn and BBQ ribs for me. Then back to work. We went to the real flea market at the old dog race track. After our exciting day junking we stopped at Walmart for groceries then returned home just before dark. I fixed chili sizes for dinner.

Sunday: (01/16) Lou fixed sausage gravy on bread for breakfast. Another nice sunny day. The humming birds here are abundant and fun to watch. Our neighbors all have numerous feeders as well as the one Lou puts up. The birds have found Lou's seeded field for their breakfasts. Having pet birds seems to be a major occupation here. Lou fixed fondue with  bread for lunch. At 1:30 we went over to the "gravel pit" where there is a covered shed and watched a bluegrass jamboree. While we were watching the music, we spied some burros on a ridge and they seemed to be watching and listening to the music. After the music ended we drove over to where the burros were and Dawn got a chance to finally see them. There was even a baby in the group of six we watched. Lou fixed Salisbury steak, baked potatoes and a five bean green salad. She got to try out some BBQ sauce on the steaks that she picked up at the flea market. Wasn't bad!

Last Sun Hitting Hills By Our Camp Kripple Kreek Sunset
Above the last sun of the day turned the hills to the East of our campsite a nice shade of red. The same sunset over our RV.

Kripple Kreek Campfire
We enjoyed a campfire in the evening. Someone brings a lot of old pallet pieces for firewood at the nearby community campfire ring.

Monday: (01/17) Up early, very early. Evidently Lou was anxious to go so she was up preparing to go when Dawn pointed out that it was 4am, not 7am. We enjoyed leftover chili sizes and Salisbury steak for breakfast. We arrived at the dentist's office in Los Algodones right on time at 9am. With no appointment, I was in the chair by 9:10 getting my teeth cleaned. Lou was in another chair moments later. My tooth had been bothering me so I got a good checkup as well. When I bumped my head or stepped off a curb, the jar made my tooth hurt. That is, it did for the past couple of weeks but not today. Maybe I should just make 365 dentist appointments and my teeth wouldn't bother me. After a lot of tapping with no hint of pain an xray showed a cavity on a tooth with a crown so they removed the old crown and filled the tooth and installed a temporary crown today. Tomorrow afternoon I get the permanent crown. With that done, we visited the optometrist and Dawn and I ordered glasses. The glasses I got last year are still good but I wanted a single vision set of transition glasses for driving. An excellent deal at $59. Dawn got a pair of transition polycarbonate glasses for $159. We had lunch at our favorite shrimp taco stand. We also shared a great vanilla milkshake and a pineapple smoothie. While I waited in line to get back in the good ol' USA. Lou picked up some items we didn't want to have to carry around. Then it was time for me to pick up my glasses and rejoin them in the exit line just before the agents. The line to get back is always extremely long and unnecessarily slow but it was much easier doing it in multitask fashion. We stopped at the Quetchan Casino on the American side of the border crossing in Andrade, Ca. It's a big casino and our new players cards from the Paradise casino are good there as well. Even better this week.  Just for being old, you get $10 free play for investing $1. Lou couldn't resist, that is until the machine locked her out. Then it wasn't fun any more so we left. She may have the same problem with the use of a players card in a one armed bandit that I do with all vending and coin operated machines. They simply don't work for me. Many years ago I drove clear across Utah trying to find one pay phone that would work for me. Before we left this morning Lou started a pot of beans in the pressure slow cooker. Nice to have dinner ready when we get home.

Tuesday: (01/18) French toast and sausage fr breakfast. I dropped Dawn off downtown Yuma so she could visit the book store. i then headed over to the border crossing at Los Algodones to the dentist. I crossed at 1:30 and by 2pm I was out of the dentist's office with my new crown. Seems nice. i picked up some more pecan flavored liqueur for Lou. It is good in her tea. It only took 52 minutes to get through the line back into the states. I stopped at the Quetchan casino because they have a good 3G phone signal and i was able to do some banking and this blog update.

Bluegrass Jamboree At Senator Wash Graval Pit
Bluegrass jamboree.

Senator Wash Burros Senator Wash Burros
Burros at Senator wash.

Kripple Kreek Sunset
One of our Kripple Kreek sunsets.

Wednesday: (01/19) Shredded wheat with fresh blue berries for breakfast. We prepared to roll and were away from camp by 0830. Of course there was then the required stop at the dump. One should never arrive in Quartzste with full holding tanks, especially during the big RV show week. Unfortunately, we had a little snafu this morning. The left front tire on the jeep was flat. it's had a slow leak for a while but evidently change to a fat leak. I aired it up and we headed into town with a little stop to have date milk shakes on the way.

Ed Whiehead's Tire Country Shop In Yuma
While Lou and Dawn shopped around I revisited Ed Whitehead's Tire Country,where the brakes were fixed, to get the flat fixed. We were finally on the road to Quartzsite about 12:30. Lunch was apples and peanut butter along the way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paradise Casino, Yuma, Az

Tuesday: (01/11) Breakfast was oatmeal with bananas and honey. We stopped at Home Depot to get a new Venetian blind. I managed to break one. We also stopped at the Winco market for a couple of things. Then we were off South on Highway 86 toward El Centro then I8 to Yuma. After fueling and sandwiches for lunch, I stopped at a shop to arrange to have the brakes looked at. They started grinding. Possibly something fell apart. No performance reduction and they checked good when we returned home last June with less than 1000 miles since? We now have an appointment for tomorrow morning so decided to spend the night close by. We stopped at the Paradise Casino just across the Colorado river. Even though it's on the West side of the river, it's still in Arizona? Odd?  The weather is finally nice. Shirt sleeve weather again! Lou and Dawn attacked a few thrift stores while I settled in at our campsite for the rest of the day. A nice Chef's salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/12) We were up early. Lou fixed one of her oven omelets with spinach for breakfast. We were at the brake shop by 9am as scheduled. By 10am they had found the problem to be in the right rear brake. The rotor had to be replaced and new pads on both rear wheels. The pads supposedly had 55% left but something caused to right side to fail necessitating early retirement. Ed Whitehead's Tire Country did a good job on the brakes and got us in and out quickly.

RV brakes left Rear Old Pads
RV brake job in Yuma.

Old Right Rear Brake Pads RV getting brakes Fixed At Ed Whitehead's Yuma Az
Left side pads weren't bad.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fantasy Casino, Indio, Ca

Monday: (01/10) We're staying the night here at the Fantasy Springs Casino with about 30 other RV's. We're headed toward Yuma, Az. We left Bakersfield this morning about 10:30 after filling the propane and gas tanks. We lost the fog and clouds before reaching Tehachapi.

Ice falling from tree in Tehchapi
We stopped at the Apple Shed restaurant in Tehachapi for an early lunch to show Dawn the place. We shared a bowl of potato bacon soup and a bowl of tri-tip vegetable soup and a turkey apple sandwich. All very good. The ice was falling off the trees where we parked.

We continued after lunch to Highway 14 South to Palmdale and a visit to a Goodwill thrift store for a stretch. Then continued on Highway 138 East, then I215 and I10 to Indio stopping for the night as it was getting dark at the Fantasy Casino. Lou fixed steamed bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms with smoked pork chops and rice for dinner.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bakersfield In The Fog

Friday: (01/07) More tiramisu for breakfast today. We hooked up and were on the road about 9:45. We headed off to Dawn's apartment in San Jose to drop off some things then caught highway 101 South to Gilroy. We needed to stop at the Gilroy Outlet Mall again. The SAS shoe store had some shows Dawn needed. It's hard to find good shoes for her that fit and work right. Her long time Rx shoe store closed. We ate lunch of some shrimp balls and egg rolls from the King Eggroll restaurant across the street before we headed on South on 101 to Paso Robles and then toward Bakersfield. We arrived in Bakersfield by 5pm. We settled at Aunt Helen's then went to dinner at the Wool Growers basque restaurant in East Bakersfield. Excellent family style restaurant. Cabbage soup, beans, salsa, pickled tongue. tomatoes, Basque fries, salad, and spaghetti. That's known as a "setup" or no entree meal and is more that enough. We did get one entree of tri-tip that gave us all a good sized piece of meat. We all left over stuffed after dinner.

Liquor used to make Pecan Punch at Wollgrowers
Dawn loves the pecan punch drinks from the bar. They're made with this liquor. So now they know and will be searching for some to make their own.

Saturday: (01/08) Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. It's gray and drizzling this morning but not really cold in the mid 40's. Costco's best for lunch. Chicken bake for me and hot dogs for Lou and Dawn. We stopped by Harbor Freight for a little shovel for the Jeep. Lowe's for some grab handles for Helen and looked around several other places as well. I got the handles installed as the project of the day. Lou made salmon and rice for dinner.

Sunday: (01/09) We had breakfast at our favorite market, Ranch Market, which has an excellent restaurant inside. Actually we were worried because it was recently sold and is now part of a bigger chain of Vallerta Supermarkets which now has about thirty locations around Southern California? Still a great place. We had our chorizo and eggs with rice and beans with fresh tortillas for breakfast. Lou and Dawn attacked the thrift stores again. I tinkered on a few projects for Helen. Dinner was chicken, potato salad and a green salad.

Monday: (01/10) Breakfast was French toast with peanut butter and some of Uncle Doug's strawberry preserves. Readied the RV to roll. Stopped by Delta Energy to fill the LPG tank. They have the cheapest LPG at $2.99/gal compared to others starting at $3.49. They're located on "Buck Owens" Blvd near Helen's. Also filled the gas tank. We were on our way by 10:30.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Last Minute Things

Horse race at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley Horse race at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley
Sunday: (01/02) A day at the races. Breakfast was soft boiled eggs and cinnamon toast. None of us have ever been to the race track before so today was the day to solve that. Today was dollar day at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley. It's the last remaining race track in the bay area. Tanforan became a shopping center many years ago and Bay Meadows became condos more recently. Before Golden Gate fields closes we thought we'd better get out for our day at the races.

Horse race at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley Horse race at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley
Dollar day made it more acceptable with $1 parking, hotdogs, beer and soft drinks. We watched 3-4 races before calling it a day due to the cold and drippy weather. I managed to pick the winner of one of the races. Lunch was hotdogs and beer, of course. We eventually made it home and enjoyed super nachos ala Lou for dinner.

Monday: (01/03) Leftover enchiladas for breakfast. I started the day with a hike at Shoreline Park in Mountain View.

Shoreline Park in Mountain View Shoreline Park in Mountain View
I tried to meet up with the Monday Hikers group but was late and missed them. I had a nice walk by the baylands with all the geese and other fowl.

New Traffic Operations Center In Santa Clara County
Next, I went to where I used to work for a visit. They're doing so well now that I don't work there? Above is a photo of the Santa Clara County traffic operations room with it's new monitors.

Lunch was a chili relleno from the nearby El Rincon restaurant near work. I got a call from the San Jose tenant to look at a couple of things. I was nearby so took a look at what was needed but couldn't do anything without tools. Dinner was more enchiladas. Lou and Dawn were busy packing the RV to leave again, possibly on Thursday?

Tuesday: (01/04) Breakfast was Lou's eggs Benedict. I was off to San Jose to work on the house there. The tenant called for a couple of things that needed looking at. First stop was at Lowe's for some materials. I picked up a new shower door and a new bathroom faucet. Lou, Dawn and Courtney met me at Lowe's. Lou and Courtney continued on down the freeway for some driver training for Courtney. Dawn came with me to her apartment. I spent the day removing the old shower door and installing the new one. It took a while to clean up the lime deposits due to formerly hard water. That's why the faucet needs replacing as well. Of course the fact that everything is over 20 years old has nothing to do with it. I didn't get to change that faucet because the shutoff valves also need replacement. Something for tomorrow. We've been around home since June and now they call? No lunch. Dinner was Lou's split pea soup.

Wednesday: (01/05) Lou and I went back down to San Jose. I read the directions for replacing the bathroom faucet. The directions estimated it was a 15 minute job. I also had to replace the shutoff valves which went easy as did the faucet but the total time was well more than 15 minutes. I must be getting slow? A nice shiny new pop-up drain pipe came with the faucet as well. I looked at the lime coated old drain and thought to myself, "Self, don't do it. It drains OK now." But I didn't listen! The old drain came out easily but the new drain would not fit in the hole in the sink. They improved the design and now it wont seat on a sink like ours with a precisely cast hole. No problem. Just go back to the hardware store and get one that would fit. After visiting Lowe's, OSH, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware, who all carry the same improved "imported" products we couldn't find anything to fit. I returned and cleaned up the old drain and re-installed it. It doesn't look great but it will have to do until I can make a new one by turning down one of the improved pieces. Note to Self. I'll try harder to listen and heed what you tell me next time. We made it home in time for dinner.

Oatmeal with honey for breakfast. For lunch we stopped at Chavez market in East San Jose splitting a super nachoes and a torta. More leftovers for dinner.

Thursday: (01/06) Dawn's tiramisu for breakfast. Tamale fries for lunch. Lou had some tamale seasoned meat left over from New Years Day dinner and they were put onto French fries with cheese. Quite tasty! Dinner was leftover beans, rice and pea soup. The project for the day was to install a new tarp on our storage tent. The oak tree drops a lot of leaves on it and, though it was still intact, it probably wouldn't make it through the winter so the new tarp, which was too small, went over the top of the old one. Not my usual quality workmanship but we're going to get out of here, no matter what. The rest of the day was doing the final preparation to leave tomorrow.

Tree fell on car a Mountain View Target Store
Weather caused tree to park on a car at a nearby shopping center.