Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quartzsite, Arizona

Thursday: (01/26) We awoke and were on the road by 6am. We headed a little South on Highway 247 to Highway 62 and continued on to Parker, Az. After picking up a few things at Walmart and enjoying leftover ham, pepper and onion salad for lunch we continued on down Arizona highway 95 to Quartzsite. We stopped in the Hi Jolly BLM campground at MM112 a few miles North of downtown Quartzsite. After settling in, we headed down to the big top RV show. There is a much bigger crowd here this year for this time in the show run. Some interesting things as usual. After a look at the show we covered a few rows of vendors at Tyson Wells before stopping by at the Grubstake Bar for fish and chips. We are really fortunate to have a very friendly cat named Bounder at the neighbors.
(GPS: 33.70700416, -114.21432001)

Hi Jolly CG Quartzsite Quartzsite Sunrise
(01/27) We were up for a nice sunrise. Cereal for breakfast.  I removed the towbar from the RV and put it in the Jeep. We headed toward the big top but had to stop at a couple of garage sales and a thrift store on the way. I found a couple of "new" shirts at the thrift store. Lou found an extension wall mirror at a garage sale. I then headed straight to the RoadMaster tent outside the big top where I dropped off the towbar for repairs. It's gotten too loose to stay in the stowed position a sign of some serious wear. They rebuilt the towbar like new for $155, a lot cheaper than a new bar for $1100. It did have nine years and 70,000 miles on it. I looked  at a few motorhomes and really liked the layout of an older Chinook. Lots of good space for a small RV. Lou was busy checking out more of Tyson Wells vendors. The towbar repairs took about an hour so after 1.5 hours I returned to pick it up then called Lou. We returned to the RV for lunch. Chinese chicken salad for lunch. We returned to the hunt in the afternoon. I picked up a new fluorescent fixture for the bedroom. The fixture on Lou's side of the bed had a bad ballast. We found an exact match. I also found a couple of more matching small fixtures like the one I installed over one side of the dinette to replace a decorator fixture that didn't provide usable light. I also got a couple of LED lamps for them. There are a few other things we that we may return for like a new bathroom sink and counter tomorrow. A mostly leftover dinner. I had a hamburger/chorizo steak with onions, brown rice and fresh asparagus. Lou had tomatoes cucumbers fresh asparagus and a ham steak.

Long Shadows Hi Jolly CG Quartzsite
(01/28) Lou made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast we were busy completing our visit to the big top for the purchases we still thought we needed to make. We feel for getting some of the polish/wax. By the time we try it they will be gone so you never know. We also got some things at Tyson Wells. They we stopped by the Gamblers RV Store at Rice Ranch and picked up a new bathroom sink and fittings as well as a piece of Corian counter top to go with the new sink. Also a screen door latch for Ernie's trailer and a magnet for our screen door. Haven't found a replacement latch for ours yet. I spent some time trying to get our Hughes Net Internet to work with no success yet Lou finished organizing her doll magazine articles. We managed to think of eating too late for lunch so we just snacked on some beef log and cheese and crackers. We had to save ourselves so Lou could enjoy her prime rib dinner at the Mi Casa Restaurant tonight. Actually I enjoyed it too and we topped dinner with a shared slice of berry pie.

Sunday: (01/29) Lou made pancakes with fresh cranberry topping and sausage for breakfast. I spent the morning working with the satellite system. I determined I had a bad/intermittent transmit cable. I'm getting closer but still can't get a successful crosspol test which is needed to commission the modem. A bit before noon we headed downtown. I was off to look at RV's, Lou checked out the junk vendors on Main St. For lunch we returned to Mi Casa and shared a wet burrito and a bread pudding. We returned home about 5 pm. Coleslaw, leftover prime rib and baked potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (01/30) Corned beef hash and eggs with tangelos for breakfast. I finally got the HughesNet satellite Internet system working. Persistence does pay off on occasion. I think the threat of having it repaired at the local shop scared it in to working. Those were the sentiments before the sun warmed the dish up and it stopped working again. Reception died when the LNB got warm. I put an ice pack on it and it started working again. Third problem but repaired easily enough when I get home. I have another LNB there that hopefully works better than this one. Meanwhile I'll be a night owl since it works when it's cool. We dropped by Granma's Apple Pie for lunch. Granma treated us to a nice apple pie ala mode with caramel sauce. We visited with Judy for a while then picked a couple of more things up at the Gamblers RV shop and KB Tools nearby before returning home. On the way home we had to wait a bit while they cleared a wreck. A pickup and travel trailer had turned over trying to avoid hitting a dead dog in the road. Better to hit the dog! When we got home we had to balance lunch with some beef log and cheese. We had a late dinner of Chorizo hamburgers.

Quartzsite Sunset At Hi Jolly
A nice sunset and we shared our neighbors campfire.

Tuesday: (01/31) Leftover pancakes with cranberry topping and sausage for breakfast. We had planned on leaving Quartzsite this morning after a couple of stops to look at things we hadn't visited yet but on our way we remembered we intended to get the RV windshields replaced. Both windshields need replacement. We stopped at Windshield Magic on Main Street and arranged for the replacement, possibly tomorrow if the glass comes in.

Before we left this morning Lou started some beans in the slow cooker. They were ready by lunch time so she turned them into chili for lunch. We relaxed at home in the afternoon. For dinner Lou prepared BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and fresh asparagus.

Wednesday: (02/01) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Actually the eggs aren't leftover. It's sunny and 38 degrees here at 9am. Pretty typical. Typically pretty. After breakfast, Lou prepared a ham pepper onion and cheese salad for lunch. Since the frying pan was dirty after frying the eggs she usually uses it to prepare other meals, like grilling the ham, onions and peppers before doing dishes. We received word that our windshields would be in today and they set an appointment for 3pm today to install them. We ran a few errands and stopped by at the Craft Show at the Big Top then returned home for lunch. We enjoyed Lou's ham pepper onion and cheese salad for lunch.

Hughes LNB Cozy Hughes LNB Cozy
I picked up some silver bubble insulation at Herb's Hardware and  installed some tinfoil around the satellite LNB and made a shade for the LNB out of the silver bubble insulation.

Hughes LNB Cozy
It didn't fail today, possibly because of the shade and possibly because it was cooler today. At 2:30 we got ready to roll and drove downtown for our appointment.

Jeff Doing Winshield Magic Quartzsite's Silly Al's
Jeff, the installer, did an excellent job on the installation though he was having some back problems at the time. We've never been able to see so clearly through our windshields. The installation was finished at 5:30 and we returned the RV to our campsite, which was saved by our chairs having spent the afternoon there. We had planned to go to the QIA for their pancake dinner but Windshield Magic gave us a coupon for Silly Al's Pizza so we went there for dinner (above right). We got a ginormous Al's Combo pizza which more than satisfied our appetite for dinner and provided three more meals for the future. Thanks Jeff. Now our tasks here are "really" finally completed so we should be off in the morning toward Yuma.

Desert Flowers Desert Flowers
Desert flowers seen at Hi Jolly.

Screen Door Latch
New magnetic latch for screen door.

Landers California

Wednesday: (01/25) Helen fixed bacon with grits and toast for breakfast. We finally left Bakersfield about noon. Lunch was ion Tehachapi at the Apple Shed. we shared an apple, avocado, ham and bacon sandwich after sharing a slice of fresh peach pie ala mode.  We took highway 58 on to highway 395 then hichway 18 to highway 247. We stopped in Landers to visit with Aunt Mary about 4pm. Dinner was leftover chicken with home fries, and avocado. We chatted until 10 pm. Since it was late, we spent the night by the Post Office in Landers.
(GPS: 34.26582662, -116.39379615)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bakersfield Stopover

Sunday: (01/22) We started the day with cereal watching CBS TV's morning shows. This post is being made on my phone. I really prefer a bigger keyboard. My computer's power adapter's cord failed last night so I may be suffering withdrawal pains until remedied.

We tool a short walk out to the beach. The tide was very high and the was lapping on the dune a couple hundred feet further than normal. We watched the waves and ocassional wader.

We finally got on the road about noon. We must have been home too long. We seem to have forgotten a lot. Like remembering to check the gas. We stopped in New Cuyama for a little expensive gas to carry us all the way into Bakersfield. Lou made hamburgers with grilled onions, mushrooms, and cheese for lunch. We arrived in Bakersfield about 4pm.

We decided to go to the Rice Bowl Chinese Restaurant for dinner. The power went out before we ordered and we had to leave. The neighboring Bill Lee's power was also out so we tried the Casa Mexico.They were closed. Next we tried Spencer's. It was closed as well. What luck! We then went to Milt's, a good local truckers restaurant where we finally had dinner. We all has deep pit BBQ dinners.Very good!

Monday: (01/23) PBJ toast for breakfast. I picked up a smoke/CO detector and installed it a Helen's. We awoke to rain which then cleared to blue skies then returned to rain before noon.
We met cousin Judy and Don at the new Golden Corral Buffet for lunch. All very good and too much. We followed lunch with a tour of several thrift stores. In the evening we visited cousin Delynn at the hospital. Dinner was chicken wings.

Tuesday: (01/24) Helen fixed biscuits and gravy for breakfast. While we had a good amount of rain yesterday, today it look like it will be a nice day cloudy but not raining. Lou and Helen went out thrifting and grocery shopping. I went out hunting for a power adapter for my computer. I found a perfect one at a reasonable price at Best Buy. It did cost twice as much ad exact replacements available online but then there is the shipping problem. I also picked up an auxillary battery for my phone so I can use it freely for GPS on hikes. And sitting on a shelf right next to the battery was a cell phone range extender from Wilson Electronics that I'be been looking at. It should allow use of the phone where we camp in Yuma. For lunch I stopped at a Chinese fast food place I spotted next to Best Buy called the Bamboo Cafe. It's a place I'll return to.$5 for a two item combo with rice and chowmein and very good. Lou and Helen had Lou's special ham peppers and onions salad for lunch. Dinner was roast chicken with baked potatoes and cooked carrots.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pismo Beach, North Campground

Thursday: (01/19) Banana and sausage for breakfast. We spent most of the morning working to escape the gravity of being home. This morning was made more interesting when  our neighbor told us about her car being hit this morning. We finally pulled away a little before noon. We stopped at Camping World and got a new TV antenna crank. Lou and I shared a BBQ ribs and chicken lunch at the Longhouse restaurant in Gilroy. After lunch we stopped and got some new drinking water bottles then got back on the road. We arrived in Pismo Beach North Campground as it was getting dark. After settling in to our campsite we went to dinner  at the Pismo Fish And Chips Restaurant where Lou and I shared a fish and chips dinner with a coleslaw. It's nice to be back out on the road.

9pm: The tire pressure monitor went off. I went outside to look at the Jeep's right front tire that was alarmed. It was oozing air from around a nice little nail. Something to do tomorrow.
(GPS: 35.128966, -120.6350696)

Pismo Beach North CG Pismo Beach North CG
Friday: (01/20) Pancakes with apple sauce and smoked sausage for breakfast. We started the morning by calling AAA auto club. They showed up in ten minutes and had the spare on in about five more minutes. We then took a walk up the beach to the Pismo Peir and watched the surfers for a while. Lou returned to camp while I did a little geo-caching. I looked for four caches and found three. When I returned we went down to Figueroa's Tire in Oceana, about two miles South of camp to get the flat fixed. They had it fixed and re-installed on the Jeep in about 15 minutes. We then stopped at the Rock And Roll Diner in Oceana for lunch. We shared a shredded pork sandwich and some clam chowder. After lunch we did our requisite thrift store searches. Leftovers for dinner. I had bok choy with rice and a hot dog bun. Lou had a green salad.

Pismo Sunset
Pismo sunset.

Pismo Beach Pismo Beach
(01/21) Sausage, egg and home fired potatoes and peppers for breakfast. A morning walk to the beach was interesting. There was no beach. The high surf made the beach disappear. Normally there is a beach several hundred feet wide. We looked at some RVs at the dealer across from the park then went up to San Luis Obispo and stopped at some thrift stores and looked around downtown. We had a very late lunch at the Home Town Buffet in San Luis Obispo. When we got home about 5pm Prairie Home Companion was just coming on on the local public radio station KBCX. KCBX is a combination of our own local public radio stations KALW and KQED. Our usual Fridays often include listening to the Thisitle And Shamrock on KALW and to Prairie Home Companion on KQED. How convenient here to have them both on the same station.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our RV Has Returned Home

Wednesday: (01/11) Our warm weather continues.

I've been intending to update our visited states map and an article by Chris Gould of the GeeksOnTour folks this morning reminded me again. So I took a moment and prepared the two images above. I'm not really satisfied with the images because I'd like one integrated image. Alaska isn't rally an island off the coast of Mexico and there isn't an ocean between the US and Canada. I know this because I had a little geography instruction in high school and because that wasn't our experience on our recent travels. These images were generated by one of the automated generators where you just tick off the states and provinces. Unfortunately there isn't a generator that integrates just the US and Canada or just North America. Maybe someday I might cut and paste or draw a better image but for now this will have to do. Our pin map also does a good job of presenting where we've been.

Cereal for breakfast. Lou and I went to the Sunny Chinese Buffet in Sunnyvale for lunch on our way to San Jose. The RV was ready at Leale's RV Repair so Lou dropped me off. She dropped by a doll shop and picked up a few things then met Dawn. When I got the RV parked at home I started to move stuff back into it. One disadvantage of having the printer instaled on the engine cover is that it need to be removed for services. Leale's has a nice new location in an old cannery building that gives them way so much more room than at the prevous location. The RV was at their shop for over three weeks, more than one during which they were closed for the holidays. Since the RV was inside that long, the solar panels couldn't charge the batteries so they were down a couple of hundred amphours when I picked it up. Hopefully they didn't get below 300 amphours or they could have been damaged a little. I forgot to turn off the UPS inverter which would still be running when the battery disconnect switch disconnects the batteries. I never disconnect the batteries.It's happy now that it's plugged in.

Dinner was macaroni and cheese.

Thursday: (01/12) Cereal for breakfast. Today was another yard cleanup day. It was also a day to fix Ernie's leaking toilet. Chili sizes for lunch. Today was one of Lou's days off. She was enjoying working on her dolls and it also explains the menu of the day since I cooked.

Dawn baked some more bread. Open faced chicken sandwiches with baked potatoes for dinner.

Friday: (01/13) Friday and the thirteenth on the same day. I headed over to the RV show in Pleasanton this morning. On the way I stopped for breakfast at Denny's. I haven't been there for a while. I enjoyed their $4 all you can eat pancakes. I looked around the RV's at the show. The show is much smaller that years past and was mostly weekender travel trailers. Most aren't as nice as our current motorhome even though they're new. Lunch was a couple of egg rolls and a shrimp ball at King Egg Roll in Milpitas. Lou relaxed at home and made a shopping run. For dinner , Ernie made sauerkraut potatoes with pork ribs and hot dogs for dinner.

Some recent photos:
Saurkraught Potatoes With Hot Dogs
Saturday: (01/14) I fried up the leftover pork, sauerkraut and potatoes and added some fried eggs for breakfast. They may be better for breakfast than dinner. Lou had an appointment to have here hair cut today. She brought home some Mexican pastries for lunch. I worked in my study rearranging stuff and setting up everything that uses electricity to be powered by a convenient switch so everything that needs to be turned off can be and everything, like the modem and phone system stays on. Our kitchen sink faucet needs to be replaced so we spent some time this afternoon looking for the perfect faucet. We couldn't find what we want so the hunt continues. We ended up at the IKEA store so we had dinner there. Ernie met us for dinner. Their meat ball dinner is pretty good.

Sunday: (01/15) We've been busy preparing to leave for a little trip South. We have been home too long and things have wandered so it isn't just a matter of driving off. I worked on the rock screen some more. I've reinforced the bracket and repainted it. The original paint has disappeared. Evidently not very good paint. It's now better that original. I also spent time in my study cleaning out storage boxes and organizing. In the afternoon we went on a little shopping trip to get a new kitchen sink faucet. Not exactly what we want but better than a leaky one. We're finally getting some cooler daytime temperatures.

Caribbean French toast for breakfast with smoked pork chops. Chips and guacamole dip for lunch. Lou made beef enchiladas for dinner.

Kitchen Sink Faucet
(01/16) Leftover sauerkraut potatoes and sausage for breakfast. First order of business was the kitchen sink faucet. Since we haven't found the perfet faucet yet Lou and i took a quick trip to Barron Park plumbing and Los Altos hardware. We found nothing like we want so the one we bought at OSH will have to do. It went in easily and doesn't look too bad. Grilled olive loaf red pepper and horseradish cheese panini for lunch. I spent the afternoon working on the used motosat dish I got last winter. Since the one on the motorhome is sick I thought I'd see if the used one actually worked. it does. It acquired the satellite but i didn't get it to connect with the satellite but that appears to be a little cabling configuration problem. Not to be unexpected since it's sitting on a cart in the back yard. I had to give up on it when the sun went down since it was freezing outside.   Lou's been busy getting redy to go. Dawn made mushroom, chicken potato and onion soup for dinner served with artichoke bread.

Tuesday: (01/17) Latkas and ham with applesauce for breakfast. I spent the morning getting my spare F1 Motosat dish working. When I was satisfied it was good enough I started to swap out the one on the RV for the spare. Nice to have a spare. A dish weighs about 90 pounds so getting them on and off the roof isn't a simple task. I used my long extension ladder as a ramp to slide the old one down and the new one up. I was on the roof and Ernie assisted on the ground. The swap went well but the transmitter on the spare didn't work. I swapped out the arms with included the LNBs and transmitters. Everything now looks like it's working except that it never completes the link. Even so, it looks like it may eventually actually work. Olive loaf with horseradish cheese quesadillas for lunch. Fried potatoes with pigs in a blanket and Bok choy for dinner. Lou was busy packing today.

Wednesday: (01/18) Leftover latkas and ham with applesauce for breakfast. I spent the morning in the shop putting things away waiting for the frost to melt off the RV roof. When it did, I climbed up and put some covers back on the dish. Much of the rest of the day was cleaning out compartments and organizing. I had a couple of homemade cinnamon rolls for lunch. Dinner was leftover soup.