Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Darned Cold

Wednesday: (02/29) Cereal for breakfast. A cold and rainy day. Lou worked in the garden some this morning and then worked on her dolls. I got a quote for the tree removal from one of the contractors the city recommended which also was the outfit that trimmed the tree about 4-5 years ago and did our oak tree a couple of years ago. Their quote was twice what the city would charge us so we'll give the job to the city. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. More work in the office in the afternoon. For dinner we went to Lou's favorite place, LUU Noodle House. We shared a combination chow mein and a combination wonton soup.

Thursday: (03/01) Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. It's another cold day with some good rain as well. About noon we headed down to San Jose. We stopped at King Eggroll for lunch. Lou and i shared a combination of chowmein, almond chicken, egg roll and shrimp balls. yum Yum. Dawn had a few fried banana pieces and some pot stickers. After lunch we stopped by the City Of San Jose Maintenance Yard on Maybury Rd to deliver the approval form for them to remove our tree. We also stopped by Dawn's place then we visited Southern Lumber, a high class lumber store there in San Jose. They have things not found at other stores in the area. Lou found some of the pipe plugs she wants for the gliders chairs we recently bought. She bought them out. We also visited Lowe's and they had some more. Then, of course, we visited thrift stores on the way home. Dinner was corned beef and cabbage.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

San Francisco, Rather Cool

Tuesday: (02/28) I attended some computer group meetings in San Francisco on occasion. Today is one of those occasions. Lou made hash-browned potatoes with bacon, intending to add eggs but we were out. Who needs eggs anyway, I try to restrict eggs anyway. Lou dropped me off on California Avenue at the bank. After visiting the bank I walked down to the train station and caught Caltrain to San Francisco. I ran an errand for Lou. She wanted some freezer labels and The Container Store in San Francisco has them, most places don't.

San Francisco Walkabout 2-28-2012 11-01
I happened by the sign above. Maybe this will be lunch?

San Francisco Walkabout 2-28-2012 12-37-3 San Francisco Walkabout 2-28-2012 12-38-2
With Labels obtained, I walked over to Coit Tower for a look around. I always like the walk up the stairs through the gardens to the lookout. While it was quite cold today and threatened rain, the clouds were pretty high so visibility was good. Nice views of the Golden Gate bridge and the bay. It must be nice to live here, especially if you're a cat.

San Francisco Walkabout 2-28-2012 12-45-3 San Francisco Walkabout 2-28-2012 12-50-0
Some nice bottle brush like flowering trees and the view from the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I walked down into North Beach and stopped for lunch at the Golden Boy Pizza on Green Street near Columbus. I had their sausage pizza. Excellent low cost square pizza. Possibly the best pizza in the city. Usually, I'd take a good walk around the city but today since it's cold and since my legs are complaining I thought I'd just enjoy more people watching than usual. I grabbed another slice of pizza for dinner, this time at Blondie's Pizza on Powell Street near Market. Sausage pizza again. My BAADAUG meeting was at 6:30 at the Adobe Building in San Francisco. The topic was "HTML5: Features and Performance." The speaker was Sreeram Ramachandran one of Google's Engineers involved in increasing the speed of everyone's web experience. Quite interesting. It's been a year since I attended a BAADAUG meeting so this was even more interesting. While we've been on the road so much this year there were several meetings I would have liked to attend but not so much as to not be on the road. I used to be able to attend online but the meetings are no longer available that way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warm Winter Weather In Palo Alto

Saturday: (02/25) We started the day by having tea with Ernie's Dogs in the arbor. We had cereal for breakfast. I spent the morning pruning and thinning the arbor, the cherry tree and the Asian pear trees. The apricot tree was trimmed last January but is now about half blossomed out. Ernie helped get all the trimmings into the compost bins. Lou and Dawn went out to the garage sales. Lou managed to find a set of gliders for the back yard. Two single gliders and on three person glider. They look pretty good. For lunch Lou made olive loaf sandwiches with horseradish cheese and tomatoes served with avocado. My afternoon tasks were to get the oil changed in the 92 Volvo and work in the office. Dawn made ham pear pizza for dinner.

Sunday: (02/26) Choriso and eggs with kale for breakfast. I spent a little time working in the back yard leveling and cleaning around the arbor. Lou and Dawn working in the garden cleaning out the weeds and preparing to plant the garden. Not yet though since we will be getting cooler weather for the next few days. Lou made grilled cheese sandwiches using olive bread for lunch. I spent much of the day in the office working. Dinner was stir fry noodles and vegetables with tofu.

Monday: (02/27) I fixed Don McMuffin's for breakfast. Lou worked in the garden some this morning. For lunch she made savory coleslaw. We drove down to San Jose to measure our tree that is to be removed. The cost of removal is based on the diameter so i wanted to get the size to be able to get estimates. We met Dawn ans did some thrifting while we were there. For dinner we had stew.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lake Cachuma County Park, Santa Inez, Ca

Wednesday: (02/22) We enjoyed donuts from a local shop for breakfast. Our first task was to find a drinking water vending machine to refill our bottles. For some reason the two markets in town don't have any. They did but when thy remodeled Von's they removed them and they are currently remodeling Albertson's and the machines there don't work. We finally located some machines at a little market right at the exit to the parke we didn't use. We broke camp and headed on up the road turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 154 to Cachuma Lake. It's a nice road but a long climb up and the drop down to the lake.

Cachuma Lake County Park Site 481
We located a nice campsite, #481, at Cachuma Lake County Park. We are one of only a very few campers here, currently. I don't think we can count on that this weekend if we remain here that long. The park is really nice. Lou served leftovers for lunch. I had a hamburger and she had chicken both served with potato salad. It's nice and warm here in the valley by the lake. We relaxed at camp the rest of the day. I uploaded some recent photos from the past week to the blog.

Cashuma Lake Mohawk Mesa Trail Cashuma Lake Oak Canyon Trail
later in the afternoon we took a walk around camp and chatted with some neighbors. Then we hiked two of the three trails in the park, the Mohawk mesa trail (above left) and th Oak Canyon Trail (above right). Neither trail is long but both are nice typical California oakland trails.

Cashuma Lake Sunset Lit Bluffs
The sun setting lit the bluffs on the other side of the lake nicely. For dinner we had macaroni and cheese with green beans.

Cashuma Lake Camsite 481 Scrambled Eggs With Chorizo, Onions And Spinach
Thursday: (02/23) Lou made scrambled eggs with chorizo, onions, and spinach for breakfast. We had only one near neighbor last night that came in after dark and was gone before sunrise. Other than that we had our section of the park to ourselves.

SKU the Cat At Santa Inez Hardware Store Solvang
We took a little road trip today. It's about 10 miles down to Santa Inez. We looked around a few shops including our usual stop at the local hardware store. We were greeted by the store cat name SKU. Store cats must really enjoy their job. They're always so glad to meet the customers. Next, we explored Solvang, the Danish village. We had lunch at the Red Viking Restaurant. We both had their combo Danish meat ball and Danish Sausage with red cabbage salad and mashed potatoes. Very good. On the way home we stopped for a visit to the Chimash Casino. A nice casino but not RV friendly. There is not RV parking at all. Fortunately we have such a nice place to camp up at the lake. For dinner we had leftovers. I had leftover onion soup with a sausage. Lou had chicken with potato salad.

Friday: (02/24) Another nice clear morning. We prepared to leave our wonderful campsite and were on the road toward Pismo Beach by 9am. We planned to move up to our usual Pismo Beach campground for the weekend but half the campground is closed and the other half was full enough that we weren't happy with any of the remaining sites. And our clear day had turned to fog. So we decided to continue on home. But first we visited a couple of thrift stores in Grover Beach then stopped for lunch at the Pismo Fish And Chips Restaurant. We can never pass the place when we're in town. After lunch we continued on to Paso Robles and stopped at another thrift store. Then we were on the road in earnest. We stopped in Salinas for a walk and in Gilroy for gas.We arrived home shortly after 6pm. Dinner was leftover onion soup. Nice to be home.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carpenteria State Beach

Sunday: (02/19) We were up early and on the road by 07:45. We stopped for breakfast at Denny's restaurant in Bell Air. I had pancakes and Lou had biscuits and gravy. They were a couple of items from their cheapskate menu so our total breakfast cost was less than $7. Our next stop was in Carmichael for gas. We took a nice walk to get the blood flowing. Lou checked Michael's craft store and found some nice picture frames she has been looking for. Before leaving we had lunch. Lou prepared leftover roast chicken, cottage cheese and a nice Waldorf salad. 

Carpenteria SB Carpenteria SB
Our final stop was at Carpenteria State Beach about 2:30pm, where we got the last spot available. We took a walk on the beach and around town. For dinner we had chili sizes by a nice campfire.

Monday: (02/20) A nice morning at the beach. Lou made scrambled eggs with chorizo and spinach for breakfast. I spent all day working on the computer.

Carpenteria SB Site 46 Carpenteria SB Site 46
When some of our neighbors left, Lou did some scouting and found a better site with an ocean view by the lagoon so we moved over to it. Abive are views of our campsite #46 from across the lagoon and from the beach.

 Carpenteria SB View From Window At Site 46
And the view out our dinette window. Lunch was ham with green beans, potato salad and Waldorf salad. Lou finally "had" to go out so she looked around town, then got some things at the market before returning. I continued to work at the computer all day. For dinner Lou made tacos. It's quite amazing how empty the park is tonight considering there were no spaces left last night. This is a popular weekend destination.

Tuesday: (02/21) Lou made breakfast burritos this morning. We drove up to Santa Barbara for the day. We explored the wharf and everything on State Street.

Santa Barbara Old Town Santa Barbara Old Town Farmers Market
By the time we headed back toward the car the Farmer's market had begun so we checked it out and got a few things. It's a real Farmers market not a street fair. There was only produce there. So many of  the Farmer's Markets that we've visited are half trinkets, crafts and food vendors.

Carpenteria SB Sunset
We enjoyed a nice sunset.

Carpenteria SB Sunset Carpenteria SB Sunset
A couple of more views of the sunset. Lou mad sausage onion soup for dinner. After dinner we enjoyed a nice campfire.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, Ca

Saturday: (02/18) I had oatmeal, Lou had grits for breakfast. We went over to Yuma and did our laundry. On our way home we stopped at Brownie's Cafe for a snack. A slice of pecan pie and a cowboy cinnamon roll, shared. We took the RV down to the nearby RV park and utilized their facilities to do our tank duty. With everything appropriately empty or full, we hooked up the jeep and hit the road West on I8. We made it through the two check points (border Patrol and Agricultural) fairly quickly and turned off I8 onto Highway 98 to Calexico. We wanted to check out a flea market we liked a couple of years ago but it is all but gone. We then headed up Highway 111 to Highway 86 stopping in Imperial City for an early dinner at the Golden Corral and to get a few things at Costco and then continued on to Indio. We stopped for the night at the Fantasy Springs Casino.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Return To Los Algodones For Another Tooth

Thursday: (02/16) Arrived back at the Quetchan Casino near Yuma. We parked the motorhome and Lou drove me down to the border and dropped me off. I crossed in to Los Algodones by 11am. I stopped in at the Dentist office and they all had a worried look on their faces. No I hadn't returned because of a problem with the troublesome crown of a week ago. I had broken different tooth. It's a good thing we hadn't traveled too far. It was only about 150 miles back from Borrego Springs this morning. I was all fitted for my new crown by 1230 but had to wait the hour to get the temporary installed. After it was installed I stopped by at the taco stand for a couple of shrimp tacos and a milk shake. I can't pass them up. Lou had hot dogs for lunch, poor girl! I then caught the pedicab across the border. It does save waiting time. We had Lou's home made enchiladas from the freezer for dinner with some leftover cauliflower. When I finally checked my email i saw an email from the ISP that hosts my websites. They advised that they had disabled six of my blogs due to being a source for spam. Those old Wordpress blogs had been hacked and had code injected that allowed them to relay email. Only one blog is important to restore quickly. All I did this evening was place an "out of order" page on the site instead of a blank screen. Fortunately I do have a backup copy of the database only one month old.

Friday: (02/17) We were up early and had our ham and eggs breakfasts in the casino. I came out and worked on the websites for a while before we headed over to my 11am appointment to get my permanent crown. We also stopped in to get some driving glasses for me. Now maybe I'll be able to read the street signs. After the appropriate wait, Lou and I had lunch at the La Rancheria restaurant. We shared a margarita and a combination chilli relleno, tomale and enchilada, all very good. After lunch Lou headed on across the border so she could get some thrift store looking and grocery shopping done. I had to wait to pick up my glasses but finally got in line for the pedicab about 3:15. the place was really crowded today so there was about a 30 minute wait for the cab, still way less wait than for the walk through crossing. Unfortunately we did get flagged over for additional inspection which added another 10 minutes. I was finally walking back toward the casino by 4:15 and arrived at the RV at 4:45. Pretty much spent the day. I didn't get much done on the websites like I had planned. That's why they make tomorrows, I guess. For dinner we had roast chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Anza Borrego SP, Pegleg

Tuesday: (02/14) Happy Valentine's day to everyone! We got up early to drive down to Pegleg while the wind was gone. It seems to be gusting pretty much most of the day except early morning. We were settled in at Pegleg, about 7 miles East of Borrego Spring, by a little after 8am. We're now down at 634 elevation. Last night we had a good rain storm at Blair Valley. The mountains got some snow. In fact, on the drive down to Borrego Springs we were passed by a ranger that had a 3-4 inch coat of snow all over the top of his vehicle. I fixed toasted English muffins with PBJ for breakfast. We relaxed at home as the wind started blowing pretty well shortly after we arrived. About 1130 we ventured downtown for a look around, and lunch. We stopped in at Carmelita's at The Mall. Lou and I shared a combination plate of a taco, a chili relleno, and a tamale.

Borrego Springs Galleta Meadows Jeep Art Borrego Springs Galleta Meadows Sculpture
We took a drive around the area and stopped to look at a few of the metal sculptures placed all over the valley floor. There is a private estate covering much of the valley floor called Galleta Meadows It is mostly just natural desert landscape but there are creatures lurking about. Dinosaurs, elephants, wild jeeps, coyboys, sea serpents, etc, all sculpted in steel by Ricardo Breceda, a Perris sculpture. Above are photos of a couple of the sculptures. Very detailed sculptures.

Borrego Springs Galleta Meadows Sculpture Borrego Springs Galleta Meadows Barrel Cactus Flowers
I'm not sure all the sculptures are really necessary in the desert. The metal sculpture on the left will never blossom like the one on the right. The estate is open to public use to look at the sculptures, camp up to 3 days, hike, etc. Leftover chicken pasta soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (02/15) For breakfast, I made biscuits and gravy. Actually, the biscuits are left over from a couple of days ago and Lou tutored me on making the gravy. Her secret is diced onions in the gravy, lots of them.

Borrego Springs DiGeorgio Road To Willows Borrego Springs DiGeorgio Road To Willows Creek Crossing
We drove out DiGeorgio Road to the Lower Willows. We had to forward the stream three times and crawl over some rocks to get to a point above Lower Willows.

Borrego Springs DiGeorgio Road To Willows Borrego Springs DiGeorgio Road To Willows
We came to a point where the "road" climbed a pretty good hill over 8-12 inch rocks as the pavement. That was a bit to treacherous for our poor little city Jeep, even with it's skid plates. I hiked up the hill about a half mile to see what was on the other side. There was just more of the same.

Borrego Springs Double Rainbow
We returned to town and stopped at the store for more drinking water and then visited the Visitor center. When we left the Visitor Center, there it was raining and there was a double rainbow across the valley.

We returned to the RV for a late lunch. Lou made grilled horseradish cheese sandwiches. I had the last of the leftover chicken pasta soup and Lou had the leftover cranberry sunflower seed rice. We hung around home since it was raining. the air smells really nice after the rain.

Thursday: (02/16) We had oatmeal for breakfast. I noticed a new feeling on one of my teeth this morning. I had broken off the side of another tooth. So, we headed off toward Los Algodones. Fortunately, mornings are the least windy time so our desert crossing was easier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blair Valley, Anza Borrego SP

Saturday: (02/11) Nice sunrise again today. Lou made fresh strawberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast. On our last day in Mexico she picked up some excellent, sweet strawberries while we were in line to exit. We were on our way by 10am. We headed East on Imperial Dam Road to Highway 95 then down to Fortuna Road. We stopped at the Goldboro's Bakery there and picked up some bread, raspberry bear claw, maple bar, and an apple turnover.We then took 32nd St to Cactus Propane and filled our way empty LPG tank, topped off our gas at the cheaper Arizona prices, picked up a couple of things at Joann's and Target, visited the bank and were off, finally. When we stopped at Joann's we parked next to a farmers market. We picked up asparagus, cauliflower and grapefruit. For lunch we enjoyed the baked goods. When we passed through the California Ag inspection Station we had to surrender our grapefruit. We had planned on stopping in Calexico at the flea market but it was getting late and the winds were getting quite heavy so we continued on to Ocatillo then took Highway S2 in to Anzo Borrego State Park.

Blair Valley Campsite At Anza Borrego SP
We stopped at a nice campsite in Blair Valley, a free camping area in the park. Our camp is by the old 1849 overland Stage Route. We've come up in this world. We were at 196 feet at Squaw Lake, here we're at 2543 feet so it's a bit cooler. Lou fixed BBQ ribs, baked potatoes and broccoli for dinner. It's a good thing the satellite Internet system is working since there is no cell phone signal here.

Sunday: (02/12) Partly cloudy today. Almost looked like rain may come. Lou made fresh strawberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast again.

We drove out Blair Valley to the pictograph site and took a hike. It's only a mile to the pictographs.

Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP With Lou
The wind was icy cold thus the reason for Lou's parka.

Lou Examining Yucca Flower Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP
Evidently last year there was a bumper crop of yucca flowers.

Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP End Of Trail
At the end of the Pictographs trail is this gorge leading to a real end of the trail, a 100 foot dropoff. Lou enjoys the view from the top. We continued on another 1/4 to 1/2 mile through a gorge to a place with a 100 foot drop off

Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP Overlooking Agua Calliente Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP Pictographs
The wash below the dropoff where we stopped (known as Smuggler's Canyon) is shown above left with Agua Caliente Park in the distance and highway S2, the road we came into the park on. On the right are some of the pictographs. Not too many, just on one rock.

Pictographs Trail At Blair Valley In Anza Borrego SP Liken On Rock Ocotillo In Bloom
Not too many flowers probably due to lack of rain. The "flower" on the left has no problem with no water. It's liken on a rock. A few ocatillo did decide to put out a few blossoms. The wind picked up again and was icy cold on the trail. My leg seems to be happy again and I got back to my usual pace with no limp on this hike. We returned to the RV for lunch, leftover broccoli and chipolte corn soup followed with peaches.

Julian California
After lunch we drove up to Julian, California, an old gold mining town that is now famous for Apple Pie and a big tourist trap.  We stopped in at the Candied Apple Pastry Cafe for a couple of slices of apple pie. There re probably twenty places in town to get a slice of apple pie, most are just reselling Julian Pie Company pies. The Candied Apple Pastry does their own and are a little creative. We looked around the curio shops. While it was partly cloudy and windy down at our campsite, up here at Julian, at over 4000 feet, we were in the clouds and it was foggy and rainy. We returned to camp and relaxed at home the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was roast chicken with cheesy mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus.

Monday: (02/13) Partly cloudy again today. No wind in the morning. It blew well all night. Chorizo and eggs with apple bread toast for breakfast. While i prepared recent photos for publishing, Lou was busy preparing future meals.

Pinyon Mountain Road
About 10am we took a drive out Pinyon Mountain Road, a Jeep road we saw on the park map.

Shelter valley Viewed From Pinyon Mountain Road Very Old Juniper Tree Along Pinyon Mountain Road
We stopped for a look out over Shelter Valley (left) and noticed this really old juniper tree (right).

Pinyon Mountain Road Pinyon Mountain Road
The road was mostly sandy with the occasional rock passages(left)  and some trenches (right).

Dropoff On Pinyon Mountain Road Dropoff On Pinyon Mountain Road
The map mentioned a "dropoff" a few miles in so we drove out to see what we could seem We found the dropoff about 6 miles in so we couldn't take it on through to the highway past Wind Cave. The "dropoff" wasn't much, just 5-10 feet but also passed through a very narrow notch in the rocks. The combination was enough to have us turn around.

Dropoff On Pinyon Mountain Road Near Dropoff On Pinyon Mountain Road
Above left looking toward the dropoff from where we parked. we often stop and get out to access the rocks to see if we can pass. In this case, we didn't bother going over the big rock in from of the Jeep or through the really soft sand to the right around the bush because we noticed the narrow passage ahead and took a look as well finding the dropoff.

Trail Off Pinyon Mountain Road
We explored several of the side roads on the way back.  At the end of one there was a nice trail down a wash. While Lou waited I took a short walk down the wash a ways before returning.

When we got back to the RV we enjoyed one of Lou's efforts from this morning, chicken pasta soup. The wind picked up after lunch so we relaxed at home.

The wind was gusting very heavy all afternoon and evening. We had some rain later in the evening. For dinner we had fresh cauliflower with cranberry sunflower seed rice, and grilled tuna.