Friday, May 29, 2015

Dave's Ranch Camping and Hiking

Friday: (05/29) If all went well we are camping tonight and tomorrow at the ranch of one of my hiking group members. He was nice enough to schedule a visit this weekend for the group. It's not too far from home being just South of Livermore and over the mountains from San Jose.
Granola for breakfast. I did a temporary fix using double stick foam tape, tie wraps, and a couple of modified picture hanging brackets to secure the tire stem extensions on the RVs left rear tire. Evidently the inside dual tire lost all its air. It was likely caused by the extension banging around s loosening the sensor cap. Adding air fixed it. Then it was time for tank duty.
We were on the road before 1330. A stop for gas and we hit the highway South on 101 to 237 then 680 an then 84 into Livermore then Mines Road South to San Antonio Valley Road to Dave's ranch. Dave had invited the Meetup SJMWH group to come this weekend. Camping isn't usually part of our hikes, the hike is actually Saturday. Arrival was to be after 1500 but we were running closer to 1600. The road in was narrow and windy, interesting with the motorhome. I pulled to the side several times on the 25+ miles on Mines Road. The last time I pulled over it was Dave that was passing. He was running late. I followed him in to the Ranch. Good thing he came by because I would have passed the gate because Google said I had 1/4 mile to go. Turning around would have been fun. I had to dodge a couple of trees by driving out into the field a couple of times on the way in. We found a nice campsite on a peninsula by the lake. We were the only SJMWH's to camp. Dave, Clark, and Terry with family (Ranch Members) were also here. Smores by a campfire in the evening.
We had chicken and veggies for lunch on the road, BBQ ribs, potatoes, and corn on the cob for dinner.
GPS: 37.010305, -121.570503




Saturday: (05/30) Lou got me up before 0600 for a walk before the sun came over the hill. Her sun a!ergy has progressed from just sneezing to painful to be in at all. We walked around the lake and looked at some of the old rusting farm implements before the threat of sun sent her back to the RV. I continued for a walk on one of the ranch roads. For breakfast I prepared sausage, eggs, and hash browned potatoes.
It turns out my hike this morning covered the same area as Dave's first hike visiting the old homestead cabin, about a 2 mile hike. After lunch we did another 4 mile hike touring the Southern and Eastern areas of the ranch. We learned the ranch has quite a history. Developed by Amelia Reid with a runway for easy flights fro the San Jose Reid Hill view airport. The ranch is where the pilot for the Bonanza TV show was filmed. Really a pretty place. We went to dinner at the Cowboy Cafe enjoying elk burgers. When we got back to the ranch after dinner I took Lou and Dawn on the roads we hiked earlier in the jeep. Another campfire with the group in the evening.

Sunday: (05/31) Oatmeal for breakfast. I prepared my PCT gear for a show and tell. I also got out our RC airplanes for Dawn to use. We are camped by an airfield, after all. We hooked up and departed just before noon. We headed out EB toward Paterson to I5 then North to Tracy. We stopped for lunch at the Golden Corral Buffet. After lunch we stopped at Winco Market for some things then headed toward home. Traffic was terrible on Highway 580 so we turned off onto Highway 84, a nice two lane road through Livermore over to join Highway 680 and on to Milpitas. We "had" to stop at the Savers Thrift store there before heading on home arriving sometime around 1930?  Then it was time to prepare for my kayak trip tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lou's New Cabinets Too

Saturday: (05/23) Our usual shopping run in the morning. Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I spent the day finishing the cooler installation by installing weatherstripping. I then installed the lower cabinets. Lots of fitting to be done on a very un-level floor.  Grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches for lunch. A nice lentil and black bean soup for dinner.

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Sunday: (05/24) Ham and pancakes with berries for breakfast. Needed to go to Lowe's for some materials and hardware for the wall. On the way home I got some Dim Sum for lunch. I finished installing the middle cabinets and started considering how to modify the upper cabinet for installation. It needs to be modified from a 24 inch deep cabinet to a 12 inch cabinet depth. Dinner at the Home Town Buffet.

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Monday: (05/25) Granola for breakfast. I spent the day installing the counter top base and modifying the top cabinet. The top cabinet was a vertical pantry cabinet and is now a Horizontal cabinet. That was the easy part. The harder part was changing it from a 24 inch deep cabinet to a 12 inch deep cabinet.. A ham sandwich for lunch.

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The cabinets are now in. Now it's Lou's turn to install the counter top, do some painting, and move in to the cabinets. I still have to install a little wall paneling around the cooler and install the kick plate. It's amazing how well the used cabinet fit. We even have uses for all the other cabinets. to add doors to our pantry and make another free standing 30 inch wide cabinet.

We had Cecelia and Courtney over for our Memorial Day fest of hamburgers in the yard. I had just finished the cabinets so I was still wearing my interesting clothes. I've ruined two shirts on this project but today I wore one of my more obvious work shirts which sports a lot of paint on it and looks like I walked under a flock of sea gulls. It received no damage.

Tuesday: (05/26) Lou and I stopped for breakfast at A Good Morning then made a shopping run by Orchard Hardware, Harbor Freight Tools, Lowe's and Home Depot. We had a shopping list for our projects. It took us long enough that we stopped for lunch at LUU Noodle House on the way home, then remembered a few things we hadn't gotten so stopped at Orchard Hardware again. One of the things we bought was casters for Lou's work table. I got out the table saw and cut some boards to modify the table to accept the wheels and started to install the wheels. I drilled all the holes for the six each 3 inch casters but ran in to a problem when the bolts I bought were 1/2 inch too long. I'm using T-nuts on the inside of the cabinet to minimize penetration so the bolts must be just right. I stopped work and will go after the correct length bolts tomorrow. Leftover hamburgers for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/27) I made my run to Orchard Hardware to get the shorter bolts I needed. When I started to attach the first wheel, the new bolts were too short. ??? it turns out the bolts i got yesterday were the correct length except for the first one i pulled out of the sealed box that was supposed to contain 25 each 2" bolts. That first bolt was 2.5 inches long. the rest were 2 inch. I didn't remove the one that was too long. Instead i measured another from the box, determined they were 2 inch and decided I needed 1.5 inch bolts because that first one was 1/2 inch too long. I should never make an assumption!  Now the bench is on wheels.

I then attacked the RV repairs which mostly ended up ordering a new roof fan and some dual tire air hose mounting brackets. The fan is noisy and runs intermittently. It isn't all that old but we do run it all the time, especially when parked here at home. I had tried to locate the brackets before and couldn't find them without a complete $45 replacement hose set with brackets. I finally found just the brackets. They should be here tomorrow. Then I cut and installed the baseboards for the new cabinets. Lou and Dawn were busy with their projects in the morning and had appointments in the afternoon. Lou is now working on the counter top.

A nice breakfast sandwich with eggs, potatoes and cheese on a Chibata bun for breakfast.Chili, cottage cheese and peaches for lunch. Fish with baked potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables for dinner.

Thursday: (05/28) Leftover bread pudding and an omelet that Dawn prepared for breakfast. Lou and I spent the morning cutting and fitting the counter top for the cabinet. For lunch i tried a ramen burger from the L&L Hawaiian Restaurant. The bun was replaced by to ramen noodle patties. Otherwise it was a regular hamburger other than having an interesting sweet Chinese sauce in place of other condiments. Quite good. Lou and Dawn had their own gluten free tacos. The replacement Fantastic fan for the RV arrived so I installed it in the afternoon. Lou was busy gluing down the counter top we cut this morning, sewing, and getting ready to go in the RV. After dinner we made a quick shopping run for a computer case for Dawn's new laptop and few groceries.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Portola SP Up To Long Ridge OSP Hike

Friday: (05/22) Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian. Alex picked me up and we headed up the hill to the Grizzly Flat Trailhead at Long Ridge OSP. We met Jonathan and Colin there and carpooled down to Portola State Park to start our hike up the mountain. This was a one way hike up the mountain via Slate Creek Trail and Ward Road Trail.  It was about 8.7 miles. We started the hike about 1035 from the bottom and finished just before 1500. The weather was overcast almost all the way with just a couple of very short periods of sun. A nice hike. This is the same route i hiked last year as my inaugural backpacking hike but I was hiking the opposite direction on that hike. Leftovers for lunch. I then spent the afternoon working on re-installing the cooler in the wall it replaced the windows with. Hamburgers for dinner.

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A nice view near the top of the gray sky over the mountains. On the right a magical forest much of the way up the hill.

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I was at the back of our four person hiking expedition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Cabinets For Lou

Tuesday: (05/19) Off to pickup some salvaged kitchen cabinets this morning. I found them on a walk a few days ago. Lou confirmed they'ed be good for her craft room so we bought them. Lou's been busy cleaning the room out to make room for them. We dashed off to Uhaul to rent a trailer then stopped at A Good Morning Restaurant for breakfast. We picked up Ernie and headed off to Redwood City to the Habitat For Humanity Restore. All the cabinets were moved outside by the staff who didn't belief we'd be able to fit them all in the 6x12 trailer. No problem. We unloaded the trailer to the rear yard then moved some of the cabinets inside. After a lot of playing around and fitting we came up with the right combination for cabinets covering one entire wall. We also have enough cabinets to rebuild our pantry and then still have a couple of extra base cabinets. Leftovers for lunch. For dinner, Lou and I tried out a new place nearby. The have an unusual combination of food items. We had one of each type of taco they make and shared a peach black milk tea with honey boba. and a bottle of apple ale.

Wednesday: (05/20) Granola with a banana for breakfast. I got to work trimming the lower cabinets to have access to the outlets. Then i got to work removing the windows on the wall. I'm going to close the wall in which will behind the cabinets. Those windows have been covered by the predecessor shelves. One of the windows is where our cooler duct enters to house. Lou also had caulked the windows shut. The room is a sun room made with a two inch wall thickness from aluminum framing, panels and the windows. I finally got them out and cleaned up the area. Then I was off to get some paneling and lumber. Lunch at the China Wok. Getting old isn't fun. I used to be able to toss 4x8 panels with ease but now they aren't so easy. Either that or they make them heavier now. I spent the rest of the afternoon with the table saw cutting the 2x4 studs into the appropriate 2" width. I could only get one 2x2 from each 2x4 because they were really 2: wide leaving only 1 piece 1.5" as the remainder. I'll find a use for them sometime for a future project. I then cut groves into some to allow them to snap into place in the abandoned window frames. Ham with garlic mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner.

All this work when I'm trying to get my balance back. This is always the problem with being home.

In the evening we watched Letterman's last show. He will be a loss. We wish him a great retirement!

Thursday: (05/21) We went to breakfast at A Good Morning Restaurant with Cecilia. Then I got to work on rebuilding the wall in the sun room for the new cabinets. Ernie was the other pair of hands needed to lift, hold and be on the other side of the wall as needed.  A couple of trips were needed for materials and tools but it is now a nice solid wall. Hamburgers for lunch. Dawn's buckwheat black olive pineapple pizza for dinner.

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Windows out, wall going in.

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And it's now a wall.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Huddart Park Hike

Monday: (05/18) Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian. A nice sausage, egg and cheese English muffin and a donut. This place has become a gem. We never cared for the Hawaiian food but it now has donuts, breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers and more and everything I've tried recently is good.   I then walked over to the house of fellow hiker Hemma to carpool to a hike at Huddart Park in Woodside. Rather nice to ride in a carpool and not be the hike leader as well. The hike was only 7.3 miles through some nice mixed redwood forest. In all these years of hiking the area, I've never hiked in this park before, even though it is fairly close to home.  Leftovers for lunch. Lou has been busy working the past few days cleaning out her hobby room so it can receive some new cabinets. Ernie and I helped move some of the old cabinets around  this afternoon so there is now room for the cabinets. Dawn made quesodilla for dinner.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Big Cleanup

Saturday: (05/16) The usual Saturday morning grocery run. I had a couple of breakfast wraps at the Walmart McDonalds then made corned beef hash and eggs later for a real breakfast. We had a wiener roast with the Hackmans for dinner by a nice campfire in the yard. Lou was busy cleaning out her hobby room. I was mostly busy relaxing all day.

Sunday: (05/17) Granola to start. More cleanup by Lou and Dawn. More relaxing by me. We did make a run to REI to get some sun shirts for Lou and Dawn.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Brook Trail Loop, Sam McDonald park

Friday: (05/15) Breakfast from Jack In The Box, a Loaded Breakfast Sandwich. That is my favorite pre-hike breakfast, big enough but not stuffy. I signed up to take a hike with the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers Group at Sam McDonald park in the mountains of Southern Sam Mateo County about 15 miles NW of home. Alex picked me up so I didn't have to drive dizzy. Actually, I had no problems with my knees nor head on the hike. It was nice to get out, probably the best medicine. We hiked the Brook Loop Trail doing 8.3 miles with 901 feet elevation change and 2339 feet of altitude gain. Little sun on the hike but no rain and the trails were not muddy. Spaghetti for lunch, Dawn's chicken soup for dinner.

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Here I am caught thinking about something at a break on the hike. On the right our view from the top of the hill.

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Some nice redwood forest and interesting plants.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Good Rain

Thursday: (05/14) Dawn had an appointment in redwood City and Lou and I stopped by the habitat For Humanity Restore, a surplus building materials store in San Carlos. On yesterday's walk i spotted some salvage kitchen cabinets that would work in her craft room. We measured and considered and bought them. We have to pick them up before Wednesday now. Today rain was forecast so we didn't want to get them today. Tomorrow I have a hike so not then. We need to make room for them in her craft room so probably not Saturday. They are closed Sunday and Monday so it looks like Tuesday. In the afternoon. the rains came, enough to make thinks wet. We filled all my buckets for later use. Lou and Dawn were off to more appointments in San Jose today. i relaxed at home, filled buckets, and moved the sump hose around the yard to water things. I checked on renting a trailer. Granola for breakfast. Chinese fast food for me and Chipolte bowls for Lou and Dawn made lunch. Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for dinner.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Walk-about Testing My Knees

Wednesday: (05/13) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast I picked a pale of olallieberries. Then I watered the yard. We don't use the sprinkler systems nor the drip system anymore. Watering is more targeted and less often now. A little before noon i headed out for a city walk. I caught a VTA bus to downtown Palo Alto and walked University Avenue. Then I caught a Sam Trans bus to Redwood City and walked around downtown. On my way I noticed a tower crane being disassembled so I hung around way too long watching until they lowered the turret. More looking around brought me up to San Carlos where I visited the Habitat For Humanity Restore to see what used cabinets they had, then visits to Best Buy and REI. I walked back down to Redwood City to see how the crane dis-assembly went and the tower was already down. They worked much more quickly removing the tower than they did removing the turret. Oddly, each section of the tower is assembled with the same 16 bolts that the turret was attached with but it took nearly two hour to separate. Then I caught the bus back home arriving home a little after 2010. A long day mostly on my feet or walking about 6-10 miles and no complaints from my knees nor vertigo attacks. There is hope that I'll be able to do my hike this Friday. I had lunch at La Victoria Taqueria in Redwood City. Dinner at home of spaghetti and meatballs with a salad. For desert, those berries I picked this morning had morphed into a nice cobbler. Yum!

Snow and Drought

Wow! Another snow storm is headed for Southern California. It's the third since I took my snow storm break at Cajon Pass in mid April. It's interesting that in a drought, which we are definitely having in California and with most streams and springs already dry in mid April, that we are having the snow storms that should have occurred in January and February and before now in late April and May. The storms don't produce much water in the end but the cold is a definite hindrance to my pleasure while hiking the trail. Since it looks like I'm off the trail for a while, I can't help enjoying it a slight bit more knowing that I wouldn't have enjoyed the trail as much as I'd like to if I were out there..

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CCCC Salad

Tuesday: (05/12) Leftover KFC biscuits and honey with a sausage for breakfast. I rather enjoy Lou and Dawn's gluten free-ness and getting all the biscuits. Lou drove me to the dentist. I had a filling that needed replacement. Chinese cashew chicken cabbage salad for lunch. This is a variation on a wonderful salad we first had at a restaurant in Joshua Tree, California. After lunch Lou and Dawn were off to appointments and I had the place to myself. About 1345 Dawn's new laptop arrived so I started setting it up. I had chili beans and corn bread for dinner while Lou and Dawn were out dining at the Sherwood Inn in South San Jose.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spin City

Monday: (05/11) Chicken quesodillas for breakfast. I had a doctors appointment for my latest ailment, vertigo. I think I need to get rid of it before getting onto a trail on the side of a cliff. So, I will now be around home for at least another month. This year hasn't worked out too well yet for the hike. Dry springs, snow storms, and my ailments. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. After lunch I was busy ordering a new laptop for Dawn and tinkering on the computer. Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Better And Worst

Sunday: (05/10) I became sick last night so I have been relaxing in bed all day. And here I thought I was getting better. I planned a longer hike tomorrow to test my left knee that has been acting up and seems better and in their team efforts, some other part of my body started to complain. I hope things are better tomorrow. Granola and berries for breakfast. Chipolte's burrito bowls for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Whole Lot Of Garlic

Saturday: (05/09) I had donuts for breakfast. Lou and Dawn had smoothies then were off to a rummage sale in Mountain View. Mid Morning we were off to Gilroy. After a quick stop at Camping World we headed over to the Longhouse Restaurant for breakfast. Being Gilroy, Garlic Capitol Of The World, our breakfast featured garlic. Lou and Dawn shared a Cowboy Garlic Pork Chop breakfast. I had a bacon cheese and garlic omelet. They were both no nonsense fresh garlic endowed, not for the non garlic lover. Then we visited a few thrift shops. I visited the local Harbor Freight and a couple of auto parts stores. In no time it was dinner time and today was Lou's Mother's Day dinner, prime rib at the Black Bear diner. Before we left town Dawn and I explored the Best Buy store there looking for a new laptop for her. Lou explored elsewhere. We finished with a visit to the Super  Walmart and then headed home arriving home a bit after 2000.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson

Friday: (05/08) Lou and I made our grocery shopping run this morning. We'll be gone tomorrow morning, our usual day. Egg sausag and cheese sandwich for me and leftover pancakes for them for breakfast. I worked on repairing the RV's broken tire valve mount but couldn't get the last bolt off to remove the hubcap. They were put on with an impact wrench and were quite tight. I removed three with my battery powered impact wrench. it was stronger than an old air impact wrench I had was. But it just wouldn't get one off. SO, a run to Harbor freight was needed. I picked up a new impact wrench good for 250 foot-pounds rather than the less than 100 FP my battery powered wrench provided. Dim Sum for lunch. I got the hubcap off with no further problems but still didn't make much progress in repairing the valve stem mounts. Green salad for dinner. We headed down to San Jose State University in the evening for the  Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson Story Telling and Oral Interpretation Event. It's always interesting. Dawn once participated in the event.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Google Cars

Thursday: (05/07) Biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I actually did a little work. I trimmed a door to Dawn's playhouse. The building is falling apart and as things shifted the door got sticky. All better now. We had guacamole and chips for lunch. In the afternoon I took a walk to downtown Mountain View, about 6.5 miles one way. The knee seemed to work fine with only occasional pain mostly when I stopped. Lou picked me up on her way home from a shopping run from Joann's Fabric. I had leftover pizza and Lou and Dawn had Smoked ribs and baked potatoes.for dinner. We even had some rain showers today.

On my walk this afternoon I was at an intersection adjacent to El Camino Real, the main road through town. It is an odd intersection because it is so close to the highway. It only has a signal head for one direction and it flashes yellow most of the time then cycles to solid yellow and then red when the left turn traffic from the highway approaches. The flashing yellow is where the green light would normally be located. Mountain View also has some other interesting things. There are self driving Google cars all over town all day testing and improving their systems. They are amazing to watch. They are such good drivers compared to almost all the other drivers while still not driving like your elderly relatives. However, this intersection seemed to give it a challenge. It stopped at the flashing yellow light and backed up some cars that eventually honked at it. I'm sure the next time through this intersection it will be responding differently due to improvements but it does demonstrate how complex a self driving car can be when you have poor (non-standard) traffic system design. Darn, my past life is showing again?